Active FX is a popular technique widely used in cosmetic dermatology. This type of laser resurfacing treatment has been known for its ability to deliver effective treatment of superficial wrinkles and discolorations in a single session. The minimally invasive quality of this procedure leads to many benefits, such as low risks and fast recovery, but it also sets limitations on its capabilities. For this reason, surgeons often recommend Active FX be used in combination with other techniques for patients who want more profound results, without undergoing more invasive procedures.
Deep FX is is actually more often used in combination with Active FX than alone. The principle of Deep FX is exactly the same as Active FX. Treatment is delivered by laser induced tissue exfoliation. Deep FX uses the same CO2 laser as Active FX, but with a much finer, more powerful beam. This unique quality enables Deep FX to attack deep layered scars, lines and wrinkles, where Active FX cannot reach. Deep FX operates better within smaller confines, whereas Active FX aims for larger coverage of treatment. This makes them perfect partners in producing profound overall results.
In terms of risk factors and downtime, Deep FX used alone is also minimally invasive. The finely tuned, high energy beam causes even less thermal collateral damage than Active FX. Because Deep FX is more penetrating, usually 3 to 5 days of healing is be necessary. The combination of Deep FX and Active FX are not much more traumatic. Both treatments can be performed in one joint session that takes less than 1 hour, and patients generally recover within a week's time.
Light Chemical Peels
Many surgeons prefer to follow up Active FX treatments with light chemical peels for patients with acne scars or who have acne prone skin. Active FX, with its ability to stimulate collagen growth and improve skin texture, is not as effective in treating or preventing acne breakouts. Limited by its penetrating capability, Active FX may not be suitable to treat patients with more in-depth acne scars. These shortcomings can be made up by following Active FX treatments with light chemical peels. Light chemical peels are made from the mildest agents and are considered non-invasive. Light chemical peels are mostly made from AHA or salicylic acid, both of which are extremely effective in acne treatments and prevention. Used alone, light peels are limited by their depth of penetration, but with laser aided epidermal removal, chemical agents can act directly on the roots of acne and acne scars, greatly increasing their effectiveness. In addition, light chemical peels are effective skin brighteners, able to alleviate any mild hyperpigmentation that may occur after an Active FX. With collagen stimulating abilities of Active FX and the brightening effects of light peels, the combined treatment can result in a dramatic look of rejuvenation.
The combined treatment of Active FX with Deep FX or chemical peels can lead to significant augmentation of results, but they must be done with caution. Though each procedure alone is considered minimally invasive, there are potentials risks. Discuss your specific needs with your doctor for the best and safest treatment option.