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Erbium Laser Resurfacing

Erbium lasers can be used for wrinkles/ rejuvenation work, acne scars, & pigmentation. Downtime & redness is less with erbium in comparison to CO2 laser resurfacing. This laser gives precise resurfacing of skin, down to 1/100 of a millimetre. 

Key Points

  • Erbium lasers are useful for skin rejuvenation in most skin types
  • Fully ablative resurfacing is reserved for epic, deep wrinkles including smokers’ lines
  • Fractional lasers deliver laser energy to smaller surface areas 
  • This means faster healing times
  • For fractional work we prefer the CO2 laser over erbium as results are much better
  • To understand which treatment is best for your skin, book a consultation with our dermatologists or practice nurses
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Erbium Laser at a glance

For: Deep wrinkles, dramatic skin rejuvenation
Procedure time: 5-60 minutes
Duration of results: 5-15 years
Back to work: 1-2 sessions
Recovery: 3-15+ days
Anaesthetic: Sedation
Your specialist: Dermatologist
How much: $$$-$$$$

Our results speak for themselves

Laser Resurfacing treatment cutis dermatology brisbane 24

Erbium & CO2 laser, 1 session

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    Laser Resurfacing treatment cutis dermatology brisbane 69

    Erbium & CO2 laser, 1 session

    Ask us more about this treatmant

      Laser Resurfacing treatment cutis dermatology brisbane 74

      Erbium & CO2 laser, 1 session

      Ask us more about this treatmant


        What is an erbium laser?

        Erbium & CO2 lasers are called ablative lasers, as opposed to Fraxel, LaseMD, Pearl, & HALO (NA component). Ablative lasers do a much better job of collagen regeneration, skin rejuvenation & removal of spots & dots. 

        What conditions does this laser treat?

        Erbium lasers are used at Cutis for-

        • Skin rejuvenation (wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation)
        • Acne scar removal
        • Removal of non-cancerous skin lesions
        • Acne cyst treatment (1mm drill)
        • Skin resurfacing for grafts
        • Female intimate area rejuvenation

        How does erbium compare with CO2 laser?

        It really depends on the settings we use. In some cases, erbium is the laser or choice, in others the CO2 laser has the advantage. As a guide-

        Laser type Recovery 






        (Fractional mode)

        Suits darker 

        Skin type?

        Erbium  Shorter 3 days Good Higher Better
        CO2 Longer 4 days Much better Lower Higher risks

        What types of erbium lasers do we use?

        Cutis uses 2 types of erbium devices. The Sciton Joule (both fractional & fully ablative) as well as the MCL-31 laser. The Joule is an upgraded HALO laser. HALO can deliver up to 100 microns depth, whilst Joule delivers up to 1500 microns, over 15 times deeper than HALO

        Most specialists employ Joule over HALO laser as it gives much better results.

        How many sessions will I need?

        For skin rejuvenation, most patients require only one session. This refers to fully ablative laser resurfacing using the Sciton Joule. 

        For erbium fractional laser resurfacing, you will require between 2-4 sessions for best outcomes. 

        Laser type Recovery  Number of sessions Costs Potential side 


        Fractional  Short <2 days Multiple Low Low
        Fully ablative Long >7 days One High  Higher

        Can all skin colours be treated with erbium lasers?

        Yes. We tweak settings to deliver safe parameters. 

        CO2 lasers are best for skin rejuvenation, even in darker skin types as we have specific lasers for this job. If you have pigmentation, pico lasers are better than erbium laser. 


        Medik8 Physical Sunscreen SPF50+

        Dermaceutic All Things Pigment 21 Day Kit

        Erbium lasers are useful for treating deep scars from acne, trauma & surgery. We also use this laser to rejuvenate skin, removing decades of sun damage, wrinkles & pigmentation. 

        Is erbium laser resurfacing painful?

        Yes, that is why for bigger cases we perform this procedure under conscious sedation. We also block the areas with anaesthetic, so your pain will be well controlled. For small tasks, laughing gas & topical anaesthesia is sufficient. 

        How does erbium compare to HALO laser resurfacing?

        No comparison. HALO is a minimally invasive, minimal downtime laser, limited by its flexibility & power. Results are underwhelming as it requires multiple sessions (3-5 or more). We use the erbium component of HALO, as our laser is from the same company, only more powerful. 

        For skin rejuvenation, the use of CO2, delivered precisely & combined with thulium non-ablative give far better results than HALO, with less overall downtime & one treatment only.

        When do we employ erbium lasers for acne scars?

        Darker skin patients are best treated with erbium lasers. This in the context of fully ablative delivery. For most patients, including dark skin types, the use of special short PD CO2 fractional lasers, delivered in a modified way, is the best laser for acne scars. 

        In some cases, chemical peels are better than even the most advanced lasers. Scar should be treated based upon their merit, not with one or two devices. 

        How long does it take to see results following erbium treatment?

        Results can be seen within two weeks. After redness settles, skin will look and feel refreshed with better luminosity, less wrinkles, reduced pigmentation & better light transmission.

        Results will continue to improve over the next 2-6 months as more collagen is stimulated.

        Does erbium laser resurfacing help with volume?

        Marginally. Volumetric changes are due to an increase in collagen; however, this varies from 0.5 to 1.0 ml at most. For reliable volume replacement, soft tissue fillers or multiple sessions of fat transfer is needed. 

        Lasers address skin quality issues such as pigmentation, superficial wrinkles, spots & dots, whilst skin tightening is addressed with HIFU, RF, & surgery. 

        What are other treatment options if the erbium laser is too scary for you?

        There are many other methods to improve skin quality. 

        • Non-ablative lasers include Fraxel, LaseMD, FraxPro
        • Pico lasers
        • Microneedling
        • HIFU skin tightening
        • PDO mono threads
        • RF microneedling with Genius RF
        • Chemical peels including Jessner TCA, glycolic & lactic acid peels

        Our clinical staff will discuss other effective options, bearing in mind your budget, expectations & downtime.

        How much is erbium laser resurfacing?

        Erbium laser can provide excellent results in fully ablative modes. This form of resurfacing is conducted by a dermatologist in an operating theatre. Costs ranges from $2,990 to $7,500.

        For more cost-effective treatments, fractional CO2 is better. This treatment ranges from $990 to $1990 & gives 80% of the result of fully ablative erbium lasers. 

        For an idea of the results, have a look at our before and after gallery. 

        Want to know more about erbium laser resurfacing?

        Book a FREE consultation with our nurses. In most cases they can provide you with a management plan. For more complex procedures, book a consultation with our dermatologists. 

        *Consultation fees redeemable with procedures.

        Ask us more about this treatment

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