What is ablative laser treatment?

In ablative laser treatment, energy from a laser beam vaporizes top skin layers and heats deeper layers to stimulate new collagen growth.

What it's best for: Removing superficial wrinkles, scars, pigment irregularities, sun spots, and more. Generation of new collagen has a firming effect, so deeper wrinkles and sagging may be improved. Depth of resurfacing can be controlled, varying penetration from superficial to deep.

Average cost: $1,500-$6,000 per treatment.

Number of treatments: One.

Risks and recovery time:
  • Recovery time varies according to the depth of laser penetration. Careful wound care, antibiotics, analgesics, and antiviral drugs are needed after the surgery. Healing is usually well underway at 10 days, but redness can persist for weeks and pinkness for months.
  • Makeup can be used after 2 weeks.
  • Milia (small white bumps) may appear during healing.
  • Some risk of burns, scarring, infection, and pigment changes.
  • Sensitivity to makeup may occur until healing is complete.
Inside scoop:
  • Not recommended for darker skin types due to risk of hyperpigmentation.
  • Requires anesthesia.
  • Final results may not be apparent for months.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.