Ablative Laser Resurfacing

There are two types of Laser resurfacing options. Ablative laser, which removes thin layers of skin and non-ablative, which stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin. Skin resurfacing is an excellent option for men and women if you are concerned about fine lines or wrinkles around your eyes, mouth, or on your forehead, shallow scars from acne or have non-responsive skin after a facelift. Laser skin resurfacing may not be recommended for darker skin types or individuals with acne. Book a consultation with Dr. Dawes or his laser tech/ Registered Nurse to see if skin resurfacing is right for you.

Good candidates for laser skin resurfacing individuals who are looking to:

  • Reduce the appearance of facial fine lines
  • Treat loss of skin tone or texture
  • Improve complexion from scars or sun damage

How Laser Resurfacing is Performed

Your medical aesthetics nurse will clean your face and cover your eyes. Your treated areas will then be numbed with a topical anesthetic. For deep resurfacing we provide an oral sedative, oral pain reliever and sometimes local anesthetic injection as well depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment.

During ablative laser resurfacing an intense beam of light energy is directed at your skin which will destroy the outer layer of skin. It will also heat the underlying skin which causes the collagen fibers to shrink and will form new skin that is smoother and tighter. This procedure takes between 30 – 120 minutes depending on the size of the treated area.

Recovery Expectations

The treated areas will be red, swollen and may itch. Your skin will peel and ooze a yellowish liquid and even a bit of blood, depending on the depth of the treatment. Do not pick at the crusted areas or peel any loose skin. Your healthcare practitioner will apply a thick ointment to the treated areas. An over the counter pain reliever and ice packs may be required. Regular cleansing is required. You will be provided with a post treatment kit that includes all the skin care products you will require. A thick protective ointment such as aquaphor is applied for the first 4 days. Strenuous activity is to be avoided until healing is complete – approximately 2 weeks. New skin should completely cover the treated area after two weeks at which time you can apply makeup and resume your normal activities.

Laser FAQs

This depends on your lifestyle. If you can avoid prolonged sun exposure then yes, you can get laser treatments in the summer. If you plan on being outside in the sun without protection (SPF & a hat) then we would recommend that you postpone your treatments until the fall or winter.

Typically no. Our registered nurse/laser technician can assess you to determine whether you are a candidate for laser. Depending on the treatment and the area being treated there are different recommendations but in general, the skin must not be tanned in order to have a laser treatment.

This depends on what type of treatment you are undergoing. BBL treatments are not painful. The halo laser will feel hot and you will experience some pain for about 45-60 minutes after the treatment but then it completely goes away and is quite tolerable. Deep resurfacing laser treatments are painful but our office provides many forms of pain relief including oral, topical and local anesthetic.

This depends on what type of laser treatment you are having. There is no downtime associated with BBL. Halo has 5-7 days downtime. Deep resurfacing has a 2 week downtime and then prolonged redness (few months) which can be covered with makeup.

Our laser is a state of the art medical grade laser called the Sciton Joule. This platform has many different lasers built into it. We have a Broad Band Light (BBL) system which is the world’s most powerful IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) device on the market. We also have a 1064nm Nd:YAG laser; the Halo laser which is a hybrid of two laser wavelengths (1470nm and 2940nm); a full resurfacing Erbium YAG laser (2940nm) and a Profractional ablative laser, which is also the 2940nm wavelength but instead of treating the entire surface of the skin it just treats a fraction of the skin – creating channels in the surface.

Many including: unwanted hair growth, spider veins and small facial vessels, rosacea, acne, pigment and wrinkles.

The results you receive from ablative laser resurfacing are long-lasting, as they can last about three to five years. To maintain these results, you will need to have routine touch-up appointments to keep your skin looking and feeling silky-smooth.

The amount of sessions of ablative laser resurfacing depends on a few factors. It depends on the current quality of your skin, its depth, and how severe your condition is. Ablative laser resurfacing is meant to help treat skin conditions such as acne scars, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tones. 

Ablative laser treatments can help improve the quality of your skin, but before you can have the procedure performed, you must be considered an eligible candidate first. 

You are a candidate for ablative laser resurfacing if you meet the following:

  • You are in good health
  • You have a positive attitude regarding the treatment
  • You have fine lines
  • You have mild to moderate wrinkles
  • You have sun-damaged skin
  • Your skin has a leathery texture
  • You have realistic expectations

You will know if you are a viable candidate during your consultation with one of our doctors. 

Ablative laser treatment can help improve the quality and appearance of your skin. However, only some may be ideal candidates for the procedure.

You may be disqualified from ablative laser treatment if you:

  • Have a very dark skin tone
  • Have active acne
  • Have deep wrinkles
  • Have sagging skin
  • Are currently pregnant

If you meet any of the above criteria, you may be given alternative options during your consultation. If you have a condition, such as active acne, you will need to wait until it clears before you can have the procedure performed. 

Learn More

Contact us today to learn more about our plastic surgery products & services.

Book a consultation online or call 403.571.3141

“My role, in part, is to assist patients through the process of determining which surgical or non-surgical options would help them meet their aesthetic goals and realistic expectations” - Jeffrey C. Dawes MD, FRCSC


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What Happens in a Consultation?

  1. You will meet Dr. Dawes for an individualized, comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Dawes will offer individualized recommendations regarding the best treatment options available to you in a way that will allow you to make a confident, well-informed decision.

  2. You will then meet with a staff member to review your customized quote, discuss financial options and ask questions.

  3. Discuss potential treatment or procedure dates.

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