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Lasers/Light Therapy

Laser technology has come a long way in the past 10 years, and light-based devices are more versatile than ever.

Of these technologies, fractional lasers remain one of the most requested and effective modalities for a wide-range of patients and skin concerns.

Continue reading to learn all about non-ablative and ablative laser treatments and the difference between the two.

Here’s your complete guide to laser treatments courtesy of Washingtonian Plastic Surgery.

What Are Non-Ablative Laser Treatments?

Non-ablative laser treatments are designed to repair mild to moderate damage by delivering fractional laser energy to deeper layers of skin.

These technologies are especially well-suited for women and men of all skin types who are concerned with age spots, acne scars, sun damage, wrinkles, dullness, and roughness.

Popular brand names of non-ablative laser treatments include Clear+Brilliant, DUAL, Fraxel re:store, Halo, LaseMD, and ResurFX.

Patients interested in facial rejuvenation with this technique can expect one-to-three days of social downtime post-procedure. Skin may look and feel like a mild sunburn, and these effects resolve on their own within several days.

A series of three-to-five sessions is recommended for optimal outcomes.

What Are Ablative Laser Treatments?

Ablative laser treatments use focused beams of infrared light to vaporize skin layer by layer.

Accordingly, the high-energy procedure is able to tackle significant damage such as stubborn discoloration, moderate to severe sun damage, texture irregularities, and wrinkles and lines.

If you are thinking about undergoing an ablative laser treatment, you may wish to consider the following brand names: CO2RE, Fraxel DUAL, Halo, UltraPulse ActiveFx, UltraPulse CO2, and UltraPulse DeepFx.

Following the procedure, patients will experience red and raw skin for approximately one week. As a result, social events should be scheduled for at least two weeks after an ablative laser treatment.

What’s the Difference Between Non-Ablative and Ablative Laser Treatments?

There are several key differences between non-ablative and ablative laser treatments. To start, a non-ablative device bypasses the outer layer of skin and avoids damage to the epidermis.

In comparison, an ablative laser breaks the skin barrier, which accounts for increased redness, swelling, and downtime.

With that being said, as a more aggressive approach, ablative lasers are more adept at correcting deeper and more severe issues.

Plus, non-ablative results occur gradually and require a series of treatments. On the other hand, most patients achieve desired effects, following one ablative laser session.


  • MaxG for pigmentation
  • 1540 for scars, and skin tightening
  • Non Ablative Fraxel t
  • Laser Hair Reduction
  • Fractional Laser, CO2
  • Ultherapy
  • Smart Lipo Laser LIposuction

Learn More About Laser Treatments

If you are considering laser treatments and want to know which one is right for you, please call our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Navin Singh.