St. Petersburg Skin and Laser center

Ablative Laser Treatments


The Cutting-Edge Solution for Skin Rejuvenation and the Evolution of Dermatology

For those feeling constrained by the reflection they see in the mirror each day, battling signs of aging, skin damage, or the lasting impression of old scars, we understand the weight of those worries. The tug of lost confidence, the nagging discomfort when stepping out in social or professional settings, and the longing for a restored sense of self. But imagine a world where you could confidently wear your skin, embracing its rejuvenated appearance, radiant health, and the boosted self-esteem that comes along with it. This is the transformative journey ablative lasers invite you to embark on, changing not only how you perceive your skin, but also how you live your life. The aesthetic change instigates an emotional evolution that will reverberate through all aspects of your existence.

Dr. Kesty and staff were very professional, respectful and friendly. Explained everything well. Look forward to being under her care from now on.

—Ana H.

Advantages of Ablative Laser Treatments

Addressing the unwelcome changes that sun damage, aging, and other factors bring to your skin.
Promotes natural rejuvenation
Precisely target damaged skin
Quick Results
Treats multiple conditions
Minimally Invasive
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Why Choose Us for Your Skin?

Unlock age-defying transformations with the tailored expertise of Dr. Kat Kesty, a pioneer in laser cosmetic dermatology

Double Board-Certified Dermatologist
Broadest selection of lasers in Florida (25+)
One of a handful of fellowship trained laser surgeons in the nation
Customized treatments merge science & artistry

Give Your Skin the Best

Don't settle. Choose confident, natural beauty.

Ablative Lasers: Revolutionizing Skin Health and Appearance

In the realm of medicine and cosmetics, particularly in Dermatology, one technology stands out in the United States for its notable results: ablative lasers. These high-energy yet precise tools have revolutionized the approach to treating a myriad of skin conditions and achieving noticeable improvement in skin health and appearance.

The Precision and Power of Ablative Lasers

Ablative lasers, primarily carbon-dioxide and erbium lasers, emit a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by the tissue, generating heat and causing ablation, or removal, of the damaged or aging skin. This action prompts the body’s natural wound healing process, stimulating the production of collagen, the vital protein responsible for the skin’s strength and elasticity.

The Advantages of Laser Treatment

One of the benefits of ablative laser treatment over other medical procedures is its precision. The laser’s energy can be finely tuned and directed, allowing Physicians to treat targeted areas without causing unnecessary damage to the surrounding tissue. This contributes to a safer procedure and potentially quicker recovery time for patients.

The Types of Ablative Lasers: Carbon Dioxide vs. Erbium Lasers – The Advancements

Ablative lasers primarily come in two types: CO2 lasers and Erbium:YAG lasers. Both of these are highly effective for skin resurfacing procedures that target water in the skin, but they have different properties and uses. Both are minimally invasive procedures that use precise (down to the nanometre) stimulated emission of laser beams in coherence to cause microscopic injury to the cell for the ultimate goal of facial rejuvenation. Dr. Kesty has all types of lasers at St. Petersburg Skin and Laser, so she is able to customize a laser skin rejuvenation regimen that can effectively achieve your cosmetic goals.

  1. CO2 Lasers: These were the first type of ablative lasers introduced and are traditionally used for treating a variety of skin issues, including deep wrinkles, scars, warts, and other skin conditions. They work by using a laser beam to vaporize the outer layers of damaged skin at a very high temperature. The newer fractionated CO2 lasers minimize recovery time and potential side effects while still achieving phenomenal results.

  2. Erbium:YAG Lasers: These facial resurfacing lasers are typically used to treat age spots, skin laxity, fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and other similar skin concerns. Erbium lasers are able to remove precise layers of the skin surface (epidermis and dermis), which can lead to a great result with a short recovery period. These lasers are an advanced treatment and can be used on the face, neck, chest, or hands, and are also a good photorejuvenation choice for patients with darker skin tones. Fractional treatments and Ablative Lasers use light energy to remove the facial skin (the outer layer) in a precise and controlled manner, leasing to improved skin tone and the improvement of mild wrinkles at the deeper layer, the more pronounce wrinkles. Nonablative lasers cannot compare to Erbium:Yag Lasers in terms of results. Most patients prefer the ablative lasers for improving skin texture when compared to non ablative treatments.

The Potential Risks and Side Effects of Ablative Lasers

Despite the significant advantages of ablative lasers, they are medical procedures are not without their risks. Lasers are a medical procedure, and Ablative Lasers should be performed by a Physician with significant experience and training with Lasers. Pain, edema, infection (cold sores, fungal infection), itch, pigment changes like hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, and an altered skin texture are potential side effects if lasers are not used properly or do not allow the skin to completely heal. Too much sun or post-laser sun exposure can also cause post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark skin). Sun protection with broad range sunscreen (sun protection factor of 30 or more) is vital after ablative lasers remove the sun damaged skin of the epidermal layer. An antiviral drug will be prescribed by our Physicians to ensure that the cold sore virus (a common skin condition) is not activated after thermal injury from fractional ablative laser resurfacing or ablative laser skin resurfacing. Adverse effects of fractional lasers and non ablative laser resurfacing are usually manageable with a well-planned post-procedure regimen that includes analgesics for pain management, topical medications for infection prevention, and, in some cases, antiviral or other oral drugs to mitigate any adverse effect. Laser safety is the top priority at St. Petersburg Skin and Laser, where only Board Certified Dermatologists with special training in Lasers use these powerful tools on patients.

The Role of Anesthesia in Ablative Laser Procedures

Anesthesia plays a pivotal role in the success of ablative laser procedures. Local anesthesia, an oral analgesic, or sedation can be utilized to keep the patient comfortable during the laser procedure. Nerve blocks using local anesthetic may also be used during a laser with Dr. Kesty. The choice of anesthesia chosen by Dr. Kesty will depend on the extent of the procedure and patient’s medical history and skin disease history (including the use of isotretinoin, bleeding or coagulation disorder, past radiation therapy, connective tissue disease, rosacea, ectropion, botulinum toxin use, any intravenous therapy, actinic elastosis, nursing, milium, photodynamic therapy, acne scarring, acne medications, oil gland issues, skin care history, etc.). Alongside this, the application of an ice pack or a specialized cooling device during the procedure can further mitigate discomfort and inflammation. Patient comfort during procedures is vitally important to Dr. Kesty at her clinic, so she utilizes all of the above methods to ensure a top-notch patient experience.

Fractional Ablative Resurfacing: The Future of Laser Treatment

Opting for fractional resurfacing, a technique involving lasers like yttrium aluminium garnet (Er:YAG), creates microscopic columns of treated tissue (at a specific density) while leaving the surrounding areas untouched. This minimally invasive procedure promotes faster healing and a reduced risk of complications, making it a favorable option for the treatment of wrinkles, acne scars (including pitted facial scars), milium, and other skin conditions. It is also an option for treatment of non-facial areas like the neck and in all skin types, promoting overall improvement in complexion.

Fully Ablative Resurfacing

Fully ablative resurfacing uses eryag laser and co2 laser to remove the entire epidermis and part of the dermis (layers of the skin). Fully ablative resurfacing can significantly reduce or remove wrinkles, brown spots, laugh lines, eye wrinkles, xanthelasma, and other signs of sun damage and aging. Cutaneous ablation of the dermal layers may require multiple treatments for phenomenal results, or it may require just one with Dr. Kesty. Lasers are Dr. Kesty’s medical specialty. Fully Ablative Resurfacing is a highly specialized procedure that carries significant risk when not performed properly with flawless technique. The laser light beam targets the upper layers of the skin and stimulates the body’s healing process, revealing more youthful skin.

The Continual Evolution of Ablative Laser Resurfacing

The landscape of ablative laser resurfacing is continuously evolving with ongoing technological advancements. It is critical to consult with a physician experienced in laser surgery before deciding on a treatment plan. It is equally essential to understand that the journey to improved skin may involve more than one treatment session, depending on the condition of the skin and the desired results.

The Power and Promise of Ablative Lasers at St. Petersburg Skin and Laser

Ablative lasers offer a robust solution for those seeking to enhance their skin’s appearance. With their ability to efficiently target and treat issues like wrinkles, acne scars, and other signs of aging, these lasers continue to set the bar high in laser surgery and skin rejuvenation.

As a Double Board Certified Dermatologist and one of a handful of Fellowship Trained Laser Surgeons in the United States, selecting Dr. Kesty and the team at St. Petersburg Skin and Laser for your ablative laser treatments is a decision rooted in professional expertise, personalized care, and a dedication to delivering outstanding results. With a deep understanding of the complexities of skin and the transformative power of ablative lasers, Dr. Kesty uses her proficiency to customize treatments for each patient, focusing on their unique needs and goals.

At St. Petersburg Skin and Laser, the journey towards rejuvenated skin is not only about the treatment, but also about educating and empowering patients. Understanding the process plays a key role in achieving the best outcomes. The team ensures each patient is well-informed about the procedure, the expected results, and the necessary aftercare.

Moreover, safety is at the forefront of St. Petersburg Skin and Laser. The application of leading-edge technology coupled with the team’s extensive training ensures procedures are carried out with the utmost precision, keeping your comfort and well-being as a priority. Only Board Certified Dermatologists perform cosmetic procedures at St. Petersburg Skin and Laser. We believe that patients deserve the best health care, and do not have Laser Techs, Physician Assistants, or Nurse Practitioners.

For results that truly bring out the best version of yourself, delivered by a team dedicated to your skin health and satisfaction, Dr. Kesty and St. Petersburg Skin and Laser are the obvious choice for your ablative laser treatments. Experience the synthesis of science, care, and artistry that will elevate your skincare journey beyond your expectations.

Age Gracefully

Enhance your natural beauty.

More Questions About Ablative Lasers

Do ablative lasers deliver faster results than non-ablative lasers?

Yes, ablative lasers generally deliver faster results than non-ablative lasers. This is because ablative lasers work by vaporizing the top layers of skin, which stimulates the body’s natural healing process and promotes the growth of new, healthier skin. This precise and targeted approach results in more immediate changes. However, it may involve a more intensive recovery process. On the other hand, non-ablative lasers leave the skin’s surface intact and work by heating the underlying skin tissue to stimulate collagen production, which can lead to more gradual improvements over a series of treatments.

What is the usual recovery duration after undergoing a fully ablative laser treatment?

After fully ablative laser resurfacing, the skin typically heals entirely within a span of two to four weeks. The formation of a new skin layer occurs in approximately two weeks, and thereafter, any skin discoloration can usually be covered up using makeup.

What potential side effects might one experience from ablative laser treatment?

Ablative laser treatment could lead to redness, swelling, itching, or even discomfort akin to a burning sensation. Post-treatment, thick creams or bandages might aggravate acne or cause milia, small white bumps, to temporarily appear on the treated skin. Additionally, changes in skin color, potential scarring, and the risk of infection (including herpes simplex) are also possible side effects.

Is the CO2 ablative laser procedure painful?

While delivering the fastest results, the CO2 laser treatment is the most powerful among our laser treatments. While it can cause some discomfort, we make sure to keep our patients comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Typically, patients describe the sensation as akin to snapping rubber band or mild pins and needles. We use topical medication to numb, as well as light sedation, nerve blocks, and cooling devices to ensure your comfort during the laser.

How should you care for your skin post ablative laser treatment?

Immediate aftercare following the laser treatment involves covering the treated skin with a product like Vaseline (or other specified products) and using cold packs to alleviate discomfort and swelling. Using cold compresses on the treated facial areas provides the most comfort.

Is skin peeling a post-treatment effect of an ablative laser?

Yes, skin peeling is a common post-treatment effect of ablative lasers. The laser works by removing the outer layers of the skin to stimulate the growth of new skin cells. As this new skin forms, the old, treated skin begins to peel away. This process generally starts a few days after treatment and can last up to two weeks, revealing smoother, rejuvenated skin beneath. It is essential to follow all post-treatment care instructions to protect the new skin and facilitate the healing process.

How long should one expect facial swelling post-laser resurfacing?

Post-laser resurfacing, the swelling usually peaks between days 2 and 4 before gradually reducing. Bruising may occur but typically resolves within 7 to 10 days. To help decrease swelling, it is recommended to sleep with your head elevated using multiple pillows for a few nights after laser.

How long does collagen take to rebuild post-laser treatment?

As a general rule, it takes approximately 12 weeks for the body to rebuild collagen. While this may seem short, it is a marked contrast to the years it can take to degrade collagen to a point where visible signs of aging appear.

What food and drink should be avoided after an ablative laser treatment?

Following your treatment, avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and cigarettes for 24-48 hours, as they can exacerbate swelling, bruising, and irritation. Also, limit caffeine intake.

What are the benefits of ablative laser therapy over plastic surgery?

Ablative laser therapy provides a host of advantages over traditional plastic surgery, making it a preferred choice for many individuals:

  1. Minimally Invasive: Unlike plastic surgery, ablative laser therapy is minimally invasive. It does not involve any incisions or stitches, thereby reducing the risk of complications like infections. Plastic surgery will always leave a scar, however lasers do not when performed by a well-trained Laser Surgeon.

  2. Less Downtime: Recovery from ablative laser therapy is usually quicker compared to plastic surgery. While full recovery from a surgical procedure can take weeks or even months, recovery from ablative laser therapy generally takes just a couple of days to weeks.

  3. Precision: Ablative lasers allow for extreme precision. They can selectively target only the damaged areas of skin, leaving the surrounding healthy tissue untouched. This level of control is not achievable with traditional surgical methods.

  4. Collagen Stimulation: Laser treatments not only remove damaged skin but also stimulate the production of new collagen, promoting skin rejuvenation from within. This often results in a more natural-looking outcome than plastic surgery.

  5. Cost-Effective: In many cases, ablative laser therapy can be a more affordable alternative to plastic surgery.

  6. Versatility: Ablative lasers can treat a variety of skin conditions, from wrinkles and fine lines to pigmentation, scars, and sun damage.

  7. Comfort and Convenience: Laser treatments are typically outpatient procedures that can be performed in a doctor’s office, making them more convenient and comfortable than surgical procedures that require hospitalization and the risk of general anesthesia.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with an experienced Board Certified Dermatologist like Dr. Kesty to discuss your specific needs and suitability for any laser treatment.

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