Ablative And Non-AblativeAblative lasers were the first type of laser to be used in laser skin resurfacing. They vaporize the top layer of your skin, physically removing (destroying) any skin damage you want to treat and allowing healthy skin to grow back. CO2 laser resurfacing is an example of an ablative procedure. Nowadays, ablative lasers (not fractionated, which is explained below) are rarely used for the face because of the long downtime. It takes months to recover and multiple ablative treatments to get desired results. Some people are also subject to a high risk of scarring and hyper/hypo-pigmentation.
Non-Ablative: Non-ablative lasers penetrate into deep layers of skin without removing the top layer of skin. Therefore, they can treat skin issues without damaging the surface of your skin. These lasers are a significant improvement over ablative lasers because of the large decrease in recovery time. Many non-ablative lasers claim to have "no downtime" and are even advertised as "lunch-time" procedures i.e. you will be able to go back to your normal life far more quickly than with an ablative laser treatment.