I am proud to offer, and very pleased with the results of, another extremely effective weapon in fighting the war on aging: the ActiveFX laser. This laser is an amazing new technology that gives essentially the same remarkable results of conventional CO2 laser without the immediate ablation, or removal of skin, thus avoiding the more prolonged and often unpleasing aftercare associated with the CO2 procedure. Active FX uses a high-energy laser beam that interacts with the skin’s surface, causing a slower, more gradual peeling to generate a new, healthy, glowing skin. The FX, or fractional, means that the laser is applied in a fractional pattern; ‘bridges’ of normal, non-damaged tissue go untouched by the laser, while the damaged tissue is repaired by it. This pixelated technique enables a faster recovery, while at the same time providing the same results as the fully ablative laser of past. Immediate results are visible after treatment and are long-term. At 3 months the “remodeling” of the skin and underlying structure is most noticeable, with improvement in fine lines and tightening occuring over the next several months as new collagen formation continues.
There are multiple ways to most effectively utilize this laser, depending on each patients’ individual needs… which is precisely why it is so effective. The modalities, or ways of using the laser, can be changed not only for different patients but for each individual patients treatment plan. While this can be more complicated for the physician, continually evaluating a patients progress and then utilizing the appropriate modality at that particular treatment time, it is exactly what makes this laser so effective. There is complete customization for each individual patient at each step of the treatment plan. Some treatments provide the desired improvements after only one treatment – usually this is true for those wanting to erase surface pigment irregularities and improve fine lines and wrinkles associated with the beginning signs of aging. Other patients, usually those who have more severe photo damage and show more advanced signs of aging, require additional maintenance procedures to achieve a true structural improvement of the skin. Following are the different ways in which this laser can be used and the benefits associated with them.
PigmentFx sub-ablatively treats pigmentation issues such as ‘sun-spots’ or freckles and melasma or dark, patchy areas of the skin. Healing time is 2-3 days with visual symptoms being nothing more than slight bronzing and some mild flaking.
ActiveFx provides similar benefits of the ablative CO2 laser….reduction of fine lines, reduced pore size and improved skin tone and texture with only a gradual and more minimal peeling of the skin. There is a regeneration of new, healthy, glowing skin. There will be a slight bronzing of the skin followed by some flaking.
DeepFx treats scars, dermal lesions such as deeper acne scars. DeepFx stimulates long-term restructuring of surface skin and underlying layers, creating a tightening of the skin, which is why it is often referred to as the “facelift of the future”. Deeper lines are more effectively treated with this modality. Healing is 3-4 days with symptoms similar to a mild sunburn followed by minimal flaking. With multiple treatments there is a tightening of the skin.
TotalFx treats pigmentation, deeper wrinkles, scars and dermal lesions while stimulating long-term restructuring. Healing time is 4-6 days with symptoms similar to a sunburn followed by a more aggressive peeling and flaking.
Unlike the CO2 laser, all of these modalities can be performed on the neck, chest and hands…great news for those who may have had the CO2 and want to improve these other areas as well… and for those who are new to this process and want to improve all areas at one time and avoid possible lines of demarcation.
All of these treatments are performed virtually pain free with only a topical anesthetic being needed. Most patients say they experience a slight warming sensation. You can drive yourself home after the procedure. You will be asked to gently wash your skin and to apply a cream that will provide your healing skin with the moisture and protection it needs. Most patients are wearing make-up on day 4 through 7 and pinkness is reduced in about 1-2 weeks depending on the aggressiveness of the treatments. Depending on the laser program designed for you, the doctor will give you specific pre and post treatment expectations. Depending on the result one wants to achieve, multiple treatments may be needed.