What Is Laser Resurfacing Treatment and How Does It Differ from IPL Treatment?
As mentioned above, laser resurfacing treatment involves the shooting of laser beam to the surface of the skin to remove any irregularities on it. Laser resurfacing treatment is different from IPL treatment in that the former uses coherent light of a specific wavelength, the latter uses a broad spectrum of non-coherent light.
The coherent light of laser is effective either to burn outermost skin layer or to coagulate deeper skin layers while keeping the skin surface relatively intact. Non-coherent light of IPL, on the other hand, is particularly effective to deal with pigment-related problem.
Ablative vs. Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing Treatment
Laser resurfacing treatment can be ablative (wounding) or non-ablative (non-wounding). Ablative laser resurfacing treatment is considered more effective for removing even the most stubborn ice pick scars, but it does require downtime to heal the wound, which usually lasts for about 4 to 5 weeks.
Conversely, non-ablative laser resurfacing treatment might not be as effective as its ablative counterpart, especially when used to deal with severe acne scars; however, because it involves little to no wounding, downtime is often not a big problem.
In ablative procedure, the laser beam is used to vaporize the outermost layer of the affected skin, thereby encouraging skin resurfacing. In non-ablative procedure, the laser beam is used to heat the skin tissues that lie beneath the surface of the skin, thereby enabling coagulation and allowing the rebuilding of collagen.