Laser Resurfacing: An Anti-Aging Tool That Works

Face LaserThe natural aging process, along with exposure to sun and pollution, destroys collagen – the main protein of connective tissue that keeps skin plump and line-free. Laser resurfacing uses small rays of energy light to bore minuscule holes in the skin, which accelerates the body’s natural collagen production. Combining the effectiveness of traditional carbon dioxide lasers with a new application technique, fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing delivers powerful results without the traditionally harsh side effects. And it doesn’t damage the top layer of skin, allowing the technique to offer maximum results with minimal recovery time. Board-certified ophthalmologist Michael Neimkin, M.D. at the Ophthalmic Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Atlanta, GA, is proud to offer this state-of-the-art technology to his patients.

The term fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing actually refers to two different types of skin resurfacing procedures, ablative and non-ablative. Both treatments are highly effective anti-aging procedures. They deliver dramatic results and are used to correct mild to severe skin problems ranging from dark spots to deep wrinkles.

What’s The Difference Between Ablative and Non-Ablative Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Ablative fractional skin resurfacing, also known as fractionated or pixilated carbon dioxide (CO2) laser skin resurfacing systems, deliver the most dramatic results but require significant downtime for recovery. Non-ablative fractional skin resurfacing lasers deliver gentler, milder results and require minimal downtime, you can expect to be pink and puffy for approximately 4-5 days but you can wear makeup after 24 hours and resume normal activities. Although ablative and non-ablative procedures all involve laser skin resurfacing, the procedures are performed differently and they produce different results.

Ablative Fractional Skin Resurfacing

The procedure essentially vaporizes the uppermost layer of the skin. An ablative laser delivers a more intense light beam than a non-ablative laser, and the treatment generally requires anesthesia or sedation. Ablative laser treatments, require considerable downtime to give the skin a chance to recover. Ablative laser therapy is considered an outpatient surgical procedure.

Ablative lasers differ in their intensity depending on how deeply they penetrate the skin. Deeply penetrating lasers require anesthesia along with pain medication during and after the procedure. Less aggressive lasers, only require pain medicine during and after the procedure. Recovery requires 2-4 weeks of downtime. Treatments last anywhere from a 1/2 to 2 hours. Patients only need one ablative laser therapy treatment, and the results last for up to five years.

Patients may have to wear a mask bandage for two days. When the bandage is removed, the skin will be weeping and raw, and there will be discomfort. Patients must apply an ointment to the skin regularly to aid in healing.  It can take up to a month before the skin is completely healed. Ablative laser treatment is somewhat intense; however, for dramatic improvement, the results are worth it. It delivers a fresh, unblemished complexion. Although facial imperfections such as fine lines, dark spots and discolorations will return over time, skin can be refreshed with an additional laser treatment that’s less intense than the initial treatment.

Non-Ablative Fractional Skin Resurfacing

Non-ablative fractional skin resurfacing goes deep into the epidermis of the skin and stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen causes the skin to plump up, and as it does, the collagen fills in wrinkles and lines. The result is firmer, smoother, suppler and younger-looking skin. Because non-ablative skin resurfacing is performed within the skin rather than on its surface, there is minimal discomfort and no downtime.

No anesthesia is required and pain following the procedure is minimal. The treatments themselves can be mildly uncomfortable, but topical numbing cream is applied to the skin to help alleviate any discomfort. After the treatment is complete normal activities can be resumed. There may be some redness for 3-5 days after the treatment. One session typically takes about an hour.

Each patient is unique; therefore, results will vary.


To learn more about Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing, call or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Neimkin. At the Ophthalmic Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Neimkin and his staff take pride in only offering patients the highest level of care in a family-like environment. Our office serves patients in the metro Atlanta area. We look forward to helping you soon.

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