DFW Skin Surgery Center
1115 W. Randol Mill Rd
Suite 200
 Arlington, TX 76012
(817) 303-6647 (MOHS)
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DFW Skin Surgery Center, PLLC
1115 W. Randol Mill Road, Suite 200, Arlington, TX 76012
(817) 303-6647 (MOHS)
Fax: (817) 303-6651


©2012-2017 DFW Skin Surgery Center, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Laser Resurfacing: Ablative, Non-Ablative, and Fractional
Skin aging occurs as a result of both natural aging and excessive sun exposure. The latter process is also known as photoaging and is the main contributor to prematurely aged appearance of skin. Signs of photoaged skin may include irregular skin tone, including redness, broken capillaries, sun spots, and freckles, altered skin texture, enlarged pores, wrinkles and fine lines, and skin laxity.

Over the years, numerous procedures and techniques have been developed to try to reverse the effect of natural and photo-induced skin aging. Laser resurfacing has long been established as an effective photorejuvenating technique. Resurfacing lasers are usually subdivided into ablative, non-ablative, and fractional types.

The so-called ablative lasers were the first of the group to be used for skin rejuvenation. These devices include CO2 and erbium lasers, which are characterized by ablation, or removal, of the outer skin layer. At the same time, the emitted laser beam penetrates deep into the skin and stimulates new collagen formation, effectively resurfacing the sub-surface of the skin. Though very effective, these procedures often result in prolonged downtime and a lengthy healing process.

The next type of lasers to become available was the non-ablative lasers, which, as the name implies, do not remove the outer layer of the skin. These devices afford treatment with no downtime and are often referred to as “lunch-time rejuvenation”. Though quite effective, especially in the treatment of acne, acne scars, and yellowish growths known as sebaceous hyperplasia, non-ablative lasers offer less improvement in photoaged skin compared to their ablative counterparts.

Fractional lasers are the latest resurfacing devices, which produce tiny beams or columns of laser light to remove only a portion (or “fraction”) of the outer skin layer. Since islands of intact tissue surround each column, healing time is significantly reduced compared to traditional ablative devices. At the same time, the laser beam is still able to penetrate into the deeper layers to stimulate new collagen formation and cause sub-surface resurfacing.

Treatments are well tolerated, though redness and swelling are common and may last from 3 to 7 days. More than one treatment may be required, depending on the degree of photoaging. In such cases, Dr. Berlin will notify you before commencing your treatment regimen.

If you would like to find out more about these or any other procedures or would like to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Berlin, please contact our office today or use the form on the right to request more information.