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Patient Information on Ablative Lasers

Ablative lasers use the power and heat of light in a targeted beam to remove and resurface the skin, either superficially or through to the deeper layers.

Pros: Ablative lasers produce dramatic results in resurfacing skin to diminsh wrinkles, acne scars and other surface irregularities. They improve overall skin tone and texture.

Cons: Treatment with ablative lasers is surgery that requires anesthesia and pain management. Ablative lasers require real downtime—for your skin to crust over, shed the scabs and fully heal—and carry risk of infection, pigment changes and scarring. Resurfacing an entire face may require four to six weeks of initial healing. In addition, this type of laser resurfacing requires that you stay out of the sun for a year, and in some cases for a lifetime. Ablative lasers are definitely not for darker colored skin; definite borders or permanent skin whitening can occur in treated areas.

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