Ablative Laser FAQs

Ablative laser

What is “ablative laser”?

Ablative laser resurfacing is one of the most effective and predictable methods of reversing skin ageing. Ablative lasers are lasers that are utilised vaporise the skin in a controlled and precise manner. In general terms, an ablative laser is utilised both resurface the skin and to stimulate collagen in the deeper skin layers.  The purpose of undergoing an ablative laser treatment is  to dramatically improve surface imperfections, skin tone, pore size, wrinkles and even improve scarring. 

How does it work?

Generally speaking there are two ways to apply ablative laser. 

Fractionated Ablative Laser – This is when the energy is delivered via splitting (fractionating) the laser into smaller individual beams. Fractionated ablative laser works by creating columns of heat into the deeper skin layers which stimulate the growth of new collagen. Importantly the skin tissue between the columns are preserved which significantly reduces the down time from each session.

Full Field Ablation – Full field ablation  is utilised at a more superficial depth and involves completely removing the superficial skin layers and therefore “resurfacing” the skin layers. Whereas there is more down time associated with this type of ablative laser application, the results can be dramatic.

Can both types of ablative laser be used together?

Yes, it is very common for use to perform fractional and full field laser on the same day.

Am I a candidate for Ablative Laser?

Many different variables go into determining individual eligibility for an ablative laser treatment. When you attend The Manse Clinic, your practitioner will undertake a comprehensive medical history and assessment of your skin and advise you on the most appropriate option to meet your individual needs. Importantly the ablative laser we use here at The Manse Clinic is highly adjustable and can be tailored to meet the individual needs of your skin. 

Will it hurt?

Although not pain free, ablative laser treatments are generally very well tolerated. We ask that you arrive at least one hour prior to your appointment as this allows us to apply a strong topical numbing cream to the areas being treated. Additionally the use of local anaesthetic “nerve blocks” and  nitrous oxide “laughing gas” can be utilised to make your session as comfortable as possible.

What is the downtime from this procedure?

The downtime will be dependent on what type of ablative laser your practitioner has recommended. As mentioned previously the fractional treatment downtime is usually less than the full field approach. Generally speaking the deeper the treatment you are having the greater the downtime associated and your practitioner will discuss this with you during your consultation prior to treatment. 

What is the recovery like?

In the first few days your skin will be red and swollen. It is likely you will have some oozing and mild discomfort. Dependant on the treatment approach you may have some peeling around day 4-6. Additionally, you will need to apply a protective ointment to the treated area for the first 5-7 days depending on your practitioner’s recommendation. Typically, you can start applying makeup again around the 6-7 day mark.

What are the risks?

Redness swelling and itching are anticipated as part of your skin recovers from the trauma of the laser. Occasionally the redness symptoms (erythema) can be prolonged but resolves in time. Aggravation of previously undiagnosed skin conditions, such as rosacea, can contribute to the prolonged erythema.

As with any procedure that involves damaging the skin barrier, infection is an uncommon but important risk. Skin infections can result from bacteria, cold sores and event fungal sources. Thankfully, these types of infections are very rare.

Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) and much less commonly Hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) can occur. The ablative laser system we utilise here at the Manse Clinic is highly adjustable and therefore allows us to reduce these risks through tailoring the device to your skin type. Additionally, your practitioner may recommend that you apply a skin lightening cream prior to and or after your session in order to further reduce risks of pigmentation issues.

Individual risks will differ dependant on skin type, medical history and treatment paradigm. Your practitioner will discuss all the risks and potential side effects of the recommended treatment during your consultation.

How many treatments will i need?

The number of treatments recommended will vary based on individual treatment targets and expectations. As a rule of thumb you can anticipate 1 – 3 treatments spaced 6-8 weeks apart. Again this is highly variable and will be discussed with you at time of consultation.

What preparation will I need?

Your preparation for this type of procedure will be very dependent on the type of ablative laser you are having (ie fractionated or full field laser), individual medical history and skin type. During your consultation with one of our practitioners, be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions and any medications that you may be taking. Your practitioner will physically examine the skin to be treated and provide you with the modest appropriate treatment plan and preparation for your individual circumstances.

Based on this initial consultation, your pracitioner may recommend medications and or topical creams which will decrease your risks of complications such as hyperpigmentation or infection. Additionally, you will be asked to practice strict sun avoidance and sunscreen application for at least 4 weeks prior to the procedure. If you are a smoker, it is highly recommended that you cease smoking at least two weeks before the procedure.

What is the price for ablative laser?

Please see our pricing page for pricing of ablative laser

To book a consultation to discuss ablative laser, please call us on 93315005.