Active FX is currently considered one of the safest techniques used in cosmetic dermatology. The fractional laser technology allows effective treatment of superficial skin imperfections with one minimally invasive procedure. Nonetheless, like any other medical intervention technique, there are always possibilities for adverse effects to occur after treatment.
Though topical anesthesia will be applied before the procedure to keep minimize discomfort, feeling pain after the procedure should be expected. Most often, OTC pain relievers like Tylenol are used to keep the pain level down, but if you need to, your doctor can prescribe you stronger pain medications.
This is another common side effect for Active FX because of its ablative nature. Your skin will look red for the first 4 to 7 days after treatment, and it will gradually disappear after healing is complete.
Swelling is also to be expected after Active FX. The severity of swelling depends on the intensity of the laser beam used during procedure. It will generally subside within a week. Antihistamines can help relieve some discomfort.
Many people noticed a “bronzing” of the treated area or even the appearance of brownish spots after Active FX. This is normal and will usually disappear within the week. However, some patients have reported that it may take several weeks or even months for these discolorations to go away.
After treatment with Active FX, your skin will feel very sun burned, and will be ultra sensitive to the sun. Direct exposure to sunlight will be detrimental to your healing process. You will be instructed to avoid sun exposure for at least a 4 to 6 days, after which time you will have to wear SPF 30+ and other sun protection for all outside activities.
6. Infections and Inflammations
Infections after Active FX can occur, but only in rare cases. Your doctor will prescribe you oral antibiotics and antiviral medication before and after treatment to prevent the occurrence of any post procedure infections. Applying occlusive ointments, like Vaseline, over the treated area will also help minimize the chance of infections and inflammations.
Serious scarring due to improper healing is highly unlikely after an Active FX, and only occurs in very rare cases. Having a history of keloid or taking anticoagulant medications will increase the likelihood for scarring to occur.
8. Recurrence of Cancer and Viral Infections
Studies have shown that CO2 laser can induce the recurrence of cancer. If you are a current cancer patient or have a history of cancer, especially malignant melanoma, you will not be a good candidate for Active FX. In addition, Active FX may also reactivate your viral infections, such as herpes, lupus or HIV, so if you are a current carrier of a viral agent, you will need to reconfirm your eligibility with your doctor.
Active FX can deliver effective results with a one-time procedure, but side effects can occur. If you are considering Active FX as a treatment option, these potential risk factors should be noted and carefully discussed with your doctor.