Ablative fractional resurfacing has advantages over older modalities, including a better safety profile and the ability to tailor treatments to patients' conditions and skin types, says dermatologic surgery Roy Geronemus, a clinical professor at New York University Langone Medical Center. The results from nonablative resurfacing techniques may not be as long-lived as with fully ablative lasers, but the side effects are milder and the risk of scarring is lower, Geronemus says.

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