Guelph Medical Laser Shares the Truth about Ablative Vs. Non-Ablative Lasers

3 Minutes Read

Both Ablative and Non-Ablative lasers can be highly effective if performed by a well-trained and certified practitioner. However, despite their use of light and laser technology, these treatments vary in their goals, downtime, and efficacy. 

Here at Guelph Medical Laser, we understand the major shift in laser technology and have had ample opportunity to study and practice with both laser types. 

Before diving into our preferred light & laser treatments at Guelph, being; IPL, and Fotona SP Dynamis , we want to give you a little overview on the main points of differentiation between Ablative and Non-Ablative Lasers. 

A Comparison of Ablative Vs. Non-Ablative Laser Treatments 

Ablative Lasers  

Ablative lasers such as C02 and Erbium (Fotona- Yag) function by removing the top layer of skin (the epidermis) to reduce signs of aging and imperfections. To allow for proper rejuvenation and revitalization of the epidermis, these lasers also heat the underlying dermis to encourage the growth of new collagen fibers. 

In simpler terms, ablative lasers are more intense for the skin and target moderate wrinkles, scars, and overall uneven skin tone. Significant improvements to the skin can be seen after just one session. 

Some other key factors to be aware of are:  

  • Downtime can take up to 8 weeks  
  • During recovery you may see swelling, bruising, and peeling (All possible outcomes should be touched upon by practitioner pre and post treatment)  
  • Works on improving overall complexion (more glow/more brightness to skin) 
  • Not as common in medical spas today 
  • One to three sessions are necessary in most situations. 

Non-Ablative Lasers 

 In contrast, non-Ablative lasers such as IPL, BBL, and Pulsed Dye Laser work differently from Ablative lasers. These treatments penetrate deeper into the skin and boost collagen production without damaging the top layers.  

Non-Ablative lasers are ideal for addressing skin concerns related to texture and pigmentation issues. They are used to treat mild wrinkles, fine lines, and sun damage. Multiple sessions are required but with minimal to no recovery time. 

Some key factors to be aware of are:  

  • Treatments target discoloration and target red spots, brown spots, and sun-damage colour  
  • These lasers work on a much broader range of skin types  
  • Some may experience mild redness or swelling during recovery 
  • A “coffee grind texture may appear on the skin when targeted pigment begins to come to the surface.  This will slough off in 5- 10 days. 

It is crucial to understand the distinction between the broad categories of ablative and non-ablative lasers. This terminology is frequently used in light and laser therapy discussions, providing a basic understanding of what to anticipate. 

Guelph’s Non-Ablative in Clinic Laser Options 

IPL – Non-Ablative 

IPL Photorejuvenation (also known as IPL, photofacial or just photo rejuvenation) is used to dramatically improve the appearance of the skin. Further, the IPL has low risk and minimal downtime. 

Photorejuvenation is a process which uses intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser to eliminate rosacea, fade brown spots such as freckles and sun damage, while diminishing wrinkles and the size of pores in your skin. Your skin becomes smoother and younger-looking often in as little as two to three treatments. 

Ready to learn more about IPL at Guelph? Click Here.  

Fotona– Non-Ablative & Ablative  

At Guelph Medical Laser and Skin Centre , our Fotona SP Dynamis laser provides safe and effective resurfacing with minimal to moderate downtime depending on the treatment. 

Fotona's SP Dynamis laser system is designed to perform all major aesthetic treatments. By combining two complementary laser wavelengths, the SP Dynamis functions as a highly versatile, multi-purpose aesthetic platform that can perform an exceptionally wide range of applications in aesthetics. 

Fotona's Nd:YAG wavelength is effective for reaching the deepest layers of the skin, while the Er:YAG wavelength is ideal for brushing away surface imperfections to reveal visually attractive, long-lasting results. 

Click here to learn more about Fotona today!  

Try a Laser Treatment at Guelph Medical Laser & Skin Centre 

Ablative VS. Non-Ablative laser options vary by person, by treatment and by personal medical history. 

We always recommend speaking with an experienced Laser Technician about your concerns and have a full skin assessment prior to committing to any treatment. Understand the risks involved with lasers and be sure to disclose ALL your medical history including current prescriptions.  

It is very important to complete a Fitzpatrick skin typing survey. The technician needs to be fully aware of your ethnicity and know where to place you on the Fitzpatrick scale. If there are any "red flags" or concerns as to how you will respond, a test patch should be performed prior to committing to a full series.  

 It is also important to fully understand what you need to avoid before and after laser treatments. And lastly, know what you're getting into! Contact us today to receive a consultation and let answer any questions you may have! Book Here 

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