Ablative VS Non-ablative


In the medical esthetic industry, ablate refers to treatments which remove or intentionally damage the outer layers of aged or sun damaged skin (the epidermis) to stimulate the underlying skin, resulting in collagen formation and an improvement in wrinkles and other signs of aging. As the skin heals, new skin forms that is smoother and tighter.

Ablative treatments, such as our Venus Viva or Scarlet RF Microneedling are ideal for patients who have significant signs of aging or deep skin damage, want fast results, and can also commit to some recovery time.

Non-ablative treatments work beneath the skin, in the underlying tissue, without any damage to the surface. AgeJET PlasmaRejuvenation and Skin Tightening, is a non-ablative treatment ideal for all ages and skin concerns. We offer several other non-ablative modalities, including Fraxel DUAL, IPL, and Lumenis ResurFX fractional resurfacing. These treatments are best for patients who are younger, have mild to moderate signs of aging, have moderate sagging, or who can’t take time off from work for recovery. Usually a series of several treatments are required to achieve the desired results.

The word “ablative” can sound more like terminology used in construction or the machinist industry, rather than the beauty industry—too intense for use on delicate skin. But ablative technology is actually wide-spread, approved, safe, and successful for getting the anti-aging results we want for our patients.

The select modalities we offer for ablative and non-ablated treatment have been thoroughly tested by their manufacturers and vetted by us. The fine targeting and precision is remarkable. Our experts are experienced and also participate in regular training, allowing them to minutely set each device to the intensity levels ideal for each patient.

Because ablative lasers are more invasive, delivering dramatic improvements after a single treatment, they generally require a period of recovery due to swelling or crusting. Of course we provide options and recommendations for speeding recovery as well as keeping discomfort to a minimum during treatment.

Non-ablative treatments are less invasive, meaning there is little to no recovery time.

Which is right for you?
With all these variables, it can be confusing as you try to determine which treatment may be right for you. A consultation with one of our medical practitioners is complimentary and no-obligation. You can discuss your concerns, budget, and goals. We cover ways in which discomfort may be alleviated during and after treatment. We will assess your skin’s type and condition and then provide a recommended treatment plan which addresses all the variables. We hope you book a consult now!

(Patient above was treated with Scarlet and IPL.)


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Kirsten S.
Linda and staff are amazing. I am always very happy with my treatment results. It is apparent that she researches various technologies and techniques. The applications are always evolving with new and improved products. Highly recommended.
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Suzanne P.
Excellent service and an overall pleasant experience. Victoria was professional and knowledgeable. She proposed treatments addressing both my anesthetic and medical concerns.. I could not be happier with the results. Also, the Receptionist, Mattie, was pleasant and efficient. I look forward to future treatments.
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Lisa M.
Hayes Valley is the best! Kate did an incredible job with Dysport removing the wrinkles from my forehead, Sandra gave me great abs and glutes with Emsculpt, and Linda gave me my youthful facial structure back with Sculptra. These women are truly amazing. So glad that I found them!
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Gene V.
I love Hayes Valley Medical and Esthetics! I've been coming for a while now for Botox and filler treatments. Linda is AMAZING! She knows just the right amount of product needed in all the right places to bring out my best facial features. I feel more handsome every time!!

The front desk staff are super sweet and helpful. They always ask exactly what I want and I never feel like I'm being 'upsold' or encouraged to do anything other than what I came in for. I would highly recommend HVME to anybody that is on the unsure about trying some of the services they offer. You won't be disappointed. Thank you!!
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Julie S.
This was my first experience with any filler/injection treatment and it was very pleasant, professional and everyone there made me feel safe, welcome and I felt very knowledgeable coming out of my treatment about what to expect. I will absolutely be back!
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Tina B.
Diana at the front desk is so sweet, the medical assistant was amazing & personable and Kate who did my procedure is my favorite! As I walked out and met my husband, I told him how much I enjoy being there & what a good vibe Hayes has.
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Cher B.
Sheila and Linda took great care of me and I look younger and vibrant.  I do not trust anyone else for injectables.  Linda is careful, thoughtful, and respectful of one’s budget. I have followed her from Marin into SF and I will continue to follow her where ever she practices.
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Emily N.
I highly recommend Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics!! All the front desk staff are warm, friendly and professional and Denise is the best for laser, she goes above to make you feel comfortable and at ease. Andrea is exceptional at explaining the services they offer. They are the best in SF in my opinion and I do my research!
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Kathleen F.
Excellent customer service, advice, and care. Botox and Microneedling. Melonie is a gem. She is extremely knowledgable, sincere and honest. Everyone here is helpful, They carry a fabulous array of skin products too. I am so pleased with my results!
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