One important factor in choosing a laser is its wavelength. The longer the wavelength, the deeper into the skin the laser penetrates. Lasers that bypass the surface of the skin are known as non-ablative.
Non-ablative lasers can affect blemishes and cosmetic issues beneath the surface of the skin, like scars and veins. Additionally, non-ablative lasers are less painful, because the nerves on the top layer of the skin are not affected.
Non-ablative laser brands, and what they treat:
- CoolTouch - typically used for acne scars and redness
- SmoothBeam - used for collagen growth (plumping up crow's feet and lip wrinkles, for example
- Fraxel re:fine and re:store - non-ablative erbium lasers used for treatment of age spots, uneven skin, acne scars and other skin concerns
- Pulsed dye laser: Photonics NLite (585 nm)- used to treat red pigmented growths and marks, like vascular birthmarks and tattoos
- Long wavelength Nd:YAG laser (1320 nm) - good for laser hair removal and collagen growth
- Alex Trivantage (alexandrite) by Candela- primarily used for tattoo removal, particularly green ink
When will I see results?: Non-ablative long-wave lasers are not particularly fast or quick-acting - it can take three to five treatments at $250 to $500 a pop to see a result, and the whole series can take three to six months to complete.
How long it lasts: Results from non-ablative lasers are long-lasting.