In the previous section, we mentioned the four types of laser resurfacing, and now we will explain the differences between each type in detail.
Fractional ablative lasers primarily include Fractional Co2 laser and Erbium-YAG lasers. These lasers retain the effectiveness of traditional non-fractional lasers, but the fractional characteristics significantly reduce the skin’s discomfort. Although the side effects are reduced, some Asians have experienced side effects such as pigmentation after using these lasers.
Non-ablative fractional lasers – non-ablative means preserving the entire stratum corneum, and fractional means that each laser emits thousands of powerful laser beams, forming microthermal treatment zones. The entire skin is divided into several parts, and the entire treatment is completed step by step. The microthermal treatment zone is a tiny wound caused by the laser. These small wounds are surrounded by intact tissue, rather than removing the entire layer of skin (unlike traditional lasers). The body’s natural healing process is faster, replacing the problematic skin.
One of the non-ablative fractional lasers, Fraxel® laser resurfacing, is a high-energy fractional laser. It has wavelengths of 1550nm and 1927nm, which can treat skin problems at different depths. For example, 1927nm wavelength is used for surface color and texture, which can achieve the effect of reducing wrinkles and removing spots in the 0.25mm layer of the skin. As for deeper skin problems, such as wrinkles and scars, 1550nm wavelength is needed. The 1550nm wavelength can reach a depth of 0.5mm to 1.25mm, effectively improving deep problems. Even if the laser reaches the deep layer of the skin, the recovery is very fast, and the chances of pigmentation and scar proliferation are reduced.
Some non-fractional and non-ablative lasers, such as Aramis® using 1540nm wavelength, have lower energy output, so the effect is not significant.
If necessary, the doctor should determine which type of laser and degree to use for better results.