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Fractional Laser Resurfacing

What is it?

Fractional laser resurfacing is medical procedure that treats only a fraction of the skin’s surface leaving areas of untreated skin intact. This laser technology improves the overall texture of the skin, along with wrinkles, scars, sun spots, enlarged pores, and uneven pigmentation.

Fractional Laser Resurfacing Methods

Fractional laser resurfacing can be performed using:

  • Ablative Laser: This is a wounding laser, which removes thin layers of skin. The different types of ablative treatments include the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and the erbium laser.
  • Nonablative Laser: This is a non-wounding laser, which stimulates collagen growth and tightens underlying skin. This includes many types of lasers as well as intense-pulsed light devices.


  • Take medication to prevent complications
  • Avoid unprotected sun exposure


The doctor might advise the patient to avoid unprotected sun exposure before the procedure. The patient might also be prescribed medication to prevent any complications during the procedure.  
During this procedure, the laser directed at the skin will destroy the outer layer of skin. At the same time, the laser heats the underlying skin causing the collagen fibers to shrink. This wound will heal forming a new skin that will be smoother and tighter.
The procedure typically takes around 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the technique used and the size of the area treated.


The doctor might prescribe the following after the procedure for the comfort of the patient:

  • Apply a hypoallergenic moisturiser.
  • Avoid creams with active ingredients such as AHAs or Retinoids, which will irritate the skin and hamper the healing process.
  • Do not sleep on the treated area to avoid any swelling.
  • Apply Cool compresses or cooling gels such as aloe vera to the treated area
  • Avoid exposure to the sun


In some cases, the patients might experience the following:

  • Redness, swelling, and itching
  • Acne
  • Infection
  • Changes in skin colour
  • Scarring


Authored By: Dr. Priya J Talageri

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