CO2 laser resurfacing is a procedure that removes dead skin and the upper skin layers to increase collagen production in the treated area. Laser resurfacing comes in two different treatment levels: ablative and non-ablative. What is the difference and should you choose an ablative or non-ablative laser?

Ablative CO2 laser resurfacing is performed under local or general anesthesia and by a plastic surgeon like Dr. Santos. It is a surgical procedure and requires a recovery time. It penetrates deeper than a non-ablative laser. Surgical CO2 laser usually treats skin that requires heavier treatment of wrinkles or sun damage. CO2 laser resurfacing is a common add-on to facelift surgery because it improves the quality of the skin and can improve results.

Non-ablative CO2 laser resurfacing uses a CO2 laser that does not fully ablate the skin or penetrate as deeply as a surgical laser. You may still require some topical anesthetic and you may require some basic aftercare. The treatment and recovery are not as extensive as a CO2 laser resurfacing surgery. However, it treats only mild to moderate skin quality issues. It can be a great way to maintain skin quality as you age.

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