Sabrina G. Fabi, MD, FAAD, FAACS
Board Certified Dermatologist, Cosmetic Laser Dermatology

Q: Patients need to make informed skin care decisions. What are some of the best questions to can ask doctors during consultations?

A: What options do I have to improve the quality of my skin considering my skin type and condition?  What kind of results can I expect from each option and when will I notice the results? Lastly, what are the risks involved with each option?

Q: Laser therapy can be dangerous. What types of professionals are skilled to perform this type of treatment?

A: It is best to be treated by someone who has a fundamental knowledge of the skin as not all skin problems can be treated with laser therapy and certain conditions can even worsen depending on the skin type. A skin expert such as a board certified dermatologist is the safest bet.

Q: How do patients know when to move past topical products and enter the realm of lasers?

A: When bothered by blood vessels or wrinkles, topicals are not very effective as they are limited in their penetration, making laser therapy the treatment of choice. The right topical products on the other hand can help pigmentation problems significantly, with laser and light sources reserved to jump-start the results.

"It is best to be treated by someone who has a fundamental knowledge of the skin as not all skin problems can be treated with laser therapy and ceratin conditions can even worsen depending on the skin type."

Q: With so many advancements in laser therapy it’s hard for patients to know what treatment is best. What are major differences between ablative and non-ablative therapy?

A: Ablative treatments typically offer superior results in wrinkles and pigmentation in a single treatment, but are associated with a one week downtime. Non-ablative fractionated laser treatments have minimal to no downtime, but require multiple treatments to achieve similar results.

Q: Advancements in non-ablative therapy have introduced photofractional therapy, what are some of benefits of this practice?

A: Photofractional therapy allows us to treat all the signs of photodamage (redness, pigmentation and wrinkles) in a single no downtime treatment, enabling the physician to provide a more comprehensive result for their patient.