Facial resurfacing can be accomplished in several different ways: mechanically (dermabrasion), deep chemical peels (phenol peels), or laser. There are two forms of laser resurfacing: ablative and nonablative. Nonablative resurfacing is typically done using topical anesthetic creams in an office setting. While the results are good, there is minimal improvement in wrinkles and very little skin tightening. 

Dr Burns offers two techniques for ablative laser resurfacing: fully ablative and fractionated ablative resurfacing. Fully ablative resurfacing utilizes either a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser or an Erbium laser and removes the top layer of skin (epidermis and superficial or papillary dermis) in a uniform way. There is significant improvement in wrinkles, skin tone, texture, pore size, and laxity. This is a more aggressive treatment generally requiring significant recovery time. While the results are excellent, only the face skin can be treated due to healing concerns with the neck. 

Fractionated ablative resurfacing is a newer method of ablative resurfacing where skin is removed using a Fraxel Re:Pair CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser which delivers energy to the skin in tiny, microscopic units or “dots”. By treating in a pixilated fashion, enough of the body’s own tissue is spared to allow faster healing with fewer side effects The fractionation allows the Fraxel Re:Pair laser to penetrate much deeper into the skin (epidermis, superficial/papillary and deep/reticular dermis) than the fully ablative alternative. It can also be used off the face to blend the face and neck and avoid any sharp transitions zones between treated and untreated skin. 

Regardless of which method is chosen, the end result is tighter, beautiful, radiant skin with fewer lines and wrinkles. 


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Fully Ablative Erbium Laser Resurfacing

Fully ablative (Erbium) or fractionally ablative (Fraxel Re:Pair) laser resurfacing techniques are utilized to create beautiful and radiant skin.  Fully ablative lasers precisely remove skin in a complete and uniform layer.  

Patient Focus 1

Procedures: Full Face Erbium Laser Resurfacing

Fractionated Ablative Laser Resurfacing

Fractionated lasers partially treat skin preserving some native skin which allows for quicker healing.

Patient Focus 2

Procedures: Full Face and Neck Fraxel Re:Pair (Fractionated CO2) Laser Resurfacing

 *All patients are unique and results may vary


Patient Focus 3

Procedures: CO2 Perioral Laser Resurfacing



Length: 1 hour

Anesthesia: General or Local with sedation

In/Outpatient: Outpatient

Side Effects: Temporary swelling, raw skin surface, and some pain

Risks: Pain, bleeding, infection, pigment problems, prolonged redness

Recovery: Back to work with makeup: 1 week More strenuous activity: 2 weeks

Final Appearance: 1-2 months for redness to completely resolve

Duration of Results: 5 to 10 years depending on post laser skin care program



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