The skin is your body’s largest organ, and it plays an important role in keeping harmful substances and organisms from affecting your body. However, this means that the skin can take a lot of abuse from chemicals, UV rays, and other environmental elements. Age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and other effects can make the skin age, but there are treatments for skin resurfacing in San Diego, CA, that can help minimize the appearance of aging. There are laser treatments as well as other options to resurface the skin, so here’s what you need to know about these different treatments.

Non-Laser vs. Laser Treatments

The two basic types of resurfacing treatments fall into two categories: laser or non-laser. Laser treatments are available in different options as well, with some being able to penetrate the skin more deeply. Non-laser treatments use chemicals or abrasive elements in order to resurface the skin. The aim of all of these treatments is to remove the old, dead layers of skin to reveal tighter, more youthful skin underneath. Some of the treatments also boost production of collagen to reduce fine lines and wrinkles further. The two most common types of non-laser resurfacing treatments are chemical peel and dermabrasion. Laser treatments are available in ablative, nonablative, and fractional laser options.

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is available from very mild forms up to a deeper peel that requires more recovery time. A mild peel generally uses products containing mild acids, such as alpha hydroxy. These gently exfoliate the skin and only penetrate the outermost layer of skin. A medium peel contains glycolic acid or something similar to penetrate both the outer and middle layers of skin. A deep peel uses trichloroacetic acid of phenol to penetrate the middle layer of skin fully. These peels damage the affected layers of skin so that it will peel away and reveal healthy skin underneath.


Dermabrasion treatments use a rotating wheel to remove the outer layer of skin. Microdermabrasion uses tiny, abrasive particles to do the same thing. This is an effective treatment for removing mild scars and age spots, but to help address problems like fine lines or wrinkles, most dermatologists recommend laser skin resurfacing treatments instead.

Nonablative Lasers

Nonablative lasers are those that don’t wound the skin. They use heat to damage the collagen below the skin to help stimulate the production of new collagen. This tightens the skin and improves its overall appearance. This is the mildest option for laser resurfacing and generally requires no downtime.

Ablative Lasers

Ablative lasers are more intense and actually damage the skin in order to promote growth. The outer layer of skin is destroyed, and the dermis layer underneath is heated up to destroy and regrow collagen. This causes the skin to be swollen and raw for a few days, but then the old skin begins to peel away and reveal the youthful skin underneath. Ablative lasers are far more effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Fractional Lasers

Fractional lasers are the newest laser technique available and considered by many to be the option for the best laser skin resurfacing in San Diego, CA. These lasers destroy the skin in tightly spaced columns. This yields the same results as nonablative and ablative lasers, but the healing process is sped up. These lasers are able to closely target treatment areas without affecting the surrounding skin. To learn more about resurfacing options, contact Academic & Aesthetic Dermatology Consultants today.