Most modern lasers that target water (we are made mostly of water), the non-ablative and ablative fractionated lasers, are delivered in a fractionated manner, meaning that small areas of skin are treated producing a pattern of dotted treatment areas on the skin, with large areas of untreated skin in between. These lasers evolved because earlier generation lasers generally treated the entire skin surface, and while effective, resulted in often unacceptable down-time and side effect. Fractionated lasers require a series of treatments, in contrast to most ablative non-fractionated lasers, but the benefits in less down-time and side-effects are most often considered worth the extra visits.
Fractionated lasers come in two main types, ‘ablative’ and ‘non-ablative’. Non-ablative lasers do not ‘ablate’ or remove skin, in contrast to ablative lasers such as the CO2 or Erbium:YAG lasers. Example of non-ablative fractionated lasers are the Fraxel Dual, the Affirm, the Clear + Brilliant, and the Emerge lasers. Examples of ablative fractionated lasers are the Active and Deep FX, the Deka Dot, and the Syneron CO2RE. These lasers are used primarily to improve fine lines and wrinkles and enlarged pores associated with photodamage, and treating acne scarring and other types of scars. These lasers stimulate new collagen growth and are much gentler than their non-fractionated counterparts that were widely used only a few years ago. I will often use a combination of lasers to address the varied features of photodamage and acne scarring. Down time ranges from less than a day to a few days depending upon the type of laser used, what condition is being treated, and individual variation.
To answer your specific questions or schedule a consultation, call Dr. Bernstein today at 610-645-5551.
Dr. Bernstein was the first physician in the United States to get the Fraxel Permea Clear and Brilliant to treat patients with wrinkles.