Types of Cosmetic Laser Procedures

  • Laser- and light-based therapies can treat many concerns related to skin, including acne scars, signs of aging, blemishes, lesions, unwanted hair and tattoos
  • Most laser treatments are safe for all skin types
  • Some treatments have no downtime, while others require up to a week

Today’s lasers are incredibly effective at treating a myriad of skin conditions and concerns. At Advanced Cosmetic Surgery, we perform a wide number of specialized laser and light therapy services to our patients in the Greenville, SC area. 

In today’s post, we’re covering the main categories of cosmetic laser treatments we provide. Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our team of expert plastic surgeons laser technicians.

Terms to Know

These key terms show up a lot in the world of laser therapy – here’s what they mean.

  • Laser: A monochromatic, highly selective light with a wavelength that penetrates deeply into the skin 
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): A broad-spectrum, scattered light that corrects surface-level skin concerns
  • Ablative laser: An erbium (Er:YAG) laser or carbon dioxide (CO2) laser that heats water molecules in the skin to vaporize the entire topmost layer
  • Non-ablative laser: Heats only the lower layers of skin to encourage collagen production. They include diode, Nd:YAG and pulsed dye lasers
  • Fractional laser: Targets an equally distributed portion of the treatment area in a pattern, rather than the entire surface; can be ablative or non-ablative
  • Non-fractional laser: Targets the entirety of a treatment area; can be ablative or non-ablative

Skin Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing removes the outer layer of skin to treat blemishes of all kinds and reveal fresh, new skin beneath. At ACS, we use long-pulse erbium lasers that provide fewer side effects and faster recovery times than CO2 lasers.

Skin resurfacing can be performed as a single, transformative procedure or a series of gentler treatments. Depending on the strength of the treatment, the healing process may take up to 1 week.


  • Smooths fine lines, wrinkles and creases
  • Improves skin tone and texture
  • Fades age spots, melasma, discoloration and hyperpigmentation
  • Reverses sun damage
  • Evens out acne scars
  • Removes skin lesions (moles, skin tags, solar keratosis, warts) 
  • Eliminates certain precancerous growths
  • Treats rhinophyma


Any adult in good health with mild-to-moderate skin issues can be a good candidate for laser resurfacing.

Skin Revitalization

Skin revitalization is a non-ablative procedure that delivers rapid pulses of energy deep into the dermis, promoting collagen production without harming the outermost layer of skin. We use the PicoSure Focus Lens Array, a leading-edge fractional laser system from Cynosure.

Over multiple sessions, your skin will become firmer and brighter with fewer fine lines and wrinkles. The procedure is also virtually painless–although you may experience some redness and swelling, skin revitalization requires no real downtime.


Skin revitalization treatments can:

  • Smooth fine lines, wrinkles and creases
  • Provide skin tightening
  • Fade acne scars
  • Treat hyperpigmentation
  • Improve skin thickness and overall health


Ideal candidates for laser skin rejuvenation are men and women in good health with mild-to-moderate skin concerns, especially those who want to gradually improve their skin without the downtime associated with more invasive procedures.

IPL Photorejuvenation

A gentle yet effective method of skin revitalization, IPL photorejuvenation emits pulses of scattered light to heal a number of skin imperfections. Requiring no downtime and with minimal side effects, this comfortable procedure is usually performed as a series of treatments for brighter, younger-looking skin.


  • Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
  • Fades freckles and age spots
  • Reduces the appearance of visible veins and broken blood vessels
  • Soothes redness
  • Treats rosacea


IPL photorejuvenation is a very safe and gentle treatment. Any adult with mild skin concerns, or who doesn’t want to undergo a more invasive procedure, can be a good candidate.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal involves targeting a beam of laser energy at the melanin–the pigment that gives hair its color–inside your follicles to destroy hair at its root. We use the Icon, a state-of-the-art laser with an advanced cooling system.

Over 3–8 sessions, the follicles will start producing thinner, lighter, sparser hair and in some cases, no hair at all. Laser hair removal is a comfortable treatment that doesn’t require any recovery time.


  • Permanently reduces or eliminates unwanted hair
  • Works for all skin tones and pigmented hair types
  • Is a comfortable, painless treatment
  • Offers long-term or permanent results


Ideal candidates are men and women with unwanted hair anywhere on the body. The procedure is safe for all skin tones and pigmented hair types. However, very light hair may not respond to treatment, and people with darker skin tones may require more sessions to see results.

Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal delivers short bursts of energy to unwanted ink in the skin, fragmenting it into microscopic particles that are then absorbed and eliminated by your immune system. We use the PicoSure laser, which typically requires fewer sessions than a traditional laser and has few side effects. You’ll experience a sunburn-like sensation in the treated area, but there’s no real downtime required.


  • Removes unwanted tattoos of any size, anywhere on the body
  • Effective for all ink colors
  • Safe for all skin tones


Anyone with an unwanted tattoo can be a good candidate for this procedure; difficult-to-remove tattoos simply require more sessions.

Vascular Lesion Removal

Address almost any vascular skin concern, including birthmarks, with vascular lesion removal. Laser or IPL light is focused into the enlarged or malformed blood vessels, causing them to collapse and be absorbed by the body. This treatment is associated with some temporary redness or discomfort, but doesn’t require downtime.


This treatment addresses:

  • Broken capillaries
  • Hemangiomas (strawberry marks)
  • Port wine stains
  • Small varicose veins
  • Spider veins


Anyone with small vascular lesions, spider veins or varicose veins can be a good candidate for treatment.


At Advanced Cosmetic Surgery, we’re equipped with the most advanced laser and IPL systems on the market to treat a huge variety of skin concerns. If you’re located anywhere from Atlanta to Charlotte and interested in a laser-based cosmetic procedure, contact us!

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