Nonablative Fractional Energy Treatments

  • Stephanie D. Gan
  • Jeffrey S. OrringerEmail author


Nonablative lasers heat but do not vaporize the skin. Many nonablative devices emit light in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, including traditional intense pulsed light (IPL, 500–1200 nm) devices, neodymium/yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd/YAG, 1064 and 1320 nm), and diode lasers (980 and 1450 nm). The fractionated nonablative resurfacing lasers include the 1550-nm erbium-doped, 1540-nm erbium glass (Er/glass) lasers, and several others. The energy emitted by these nonablative lasers is absorbed by dermal water, leading to tissue heating and subsequent dermal remodeling. In contrast, the ablative devices, such as the carbon dioxide (CO2) and Erbium/YAG (Er/YAG) lasers, remove the epidermis and dermis during treatment (see Chap.  19). While the results of ablative treatments may be impressive, there is a significant degree of associated postoperative morbidity. By completely preserving the stratum corneum and precisely confining epidermal and dermal coagulation, nonablative fractionated laser (NAFL) treatments often offer satisfactory clinical results with much less postoperative morbidity (roughly 3 days of downtime versus 7) as compared to their ablative counterparts (5) (Hantash and Mahmood, Dermatol Surg 33(5):525–534, 2007). Results from an individual NAFL treatment, as expected, are less dramatic than those from traditional resurfacing lasers, but the side effect profile is significantly more favorable. Due to these advantages, the nonablative methods for skin resurfacing have become a mainstay treatment.


Nonablative fractional energy treatments Nonablative lasers Nonablative devices Fractional laser device Fractional photothermolysis (FP) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Dermatology Institute of DuPage Medical GroupHinsdaleUSA
  2. 2.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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