Active FX to Fix Sun Damaged Skin

What is Active FX?

Active FX is a popular surface treatment for skin that has been damaged by the sun. It employs a carbon dioxide laser to deliver fractionated energy. This laser corrects hyperpigmentation, diminishes fine lines, wrinkles, freckling, and other signs of aging. It also promotes new collagen production beneath the epidermis which leads to firmer skin.

How does Active FX work?

The Active FX laser heats the tiny vessels in the epidermis, causing the blood within to coagulate. This does not damage the layers of skin beneath, and once the vessels have coagulated, they become a natural protection for underlying surfaces until cell regeneration occurs within four to seven days. Doctors can adjust the laser for depth of ablation depending on the severity of skin damage being treated.

What areas of the body does Active FX treat?

Active FX laser treatment may be done on the face, neck, and chest area.

What are the advantages of Active FX over other similar treatments?

Active FX is a single treatment which requires no maintenance other than avoiding the sun. Patients have no more pain than a light sunburn would cause and can resume their activities immediately after treatment although healing can take a week or longer. The Active FX laser lets the doctor make adjustments for individual treatments.

Who is a candidate for Active FX?

Because it can cause a lightning of pigment in dark skinned people, Active FX is not recommended for those of African descent. It is appropriate for healthy Caucasian males and females and those of Oriental or Asian origins.

How is Active FX performed?

Patients are usually given a medication to take on the morning before the Active FX is used to help them relax during the procedure and a cream to numb the face. After protecting the eyes, the doctor makes one pass over the treatment area, concentrating on one section of skin at a time. During the procedure, slight discomfort might be felt around the eye, nose, and mouth areas as these are more sensitive.

What is the recovery like?

Because the Active FX laser pulses, it leaves tiny bridges of collagen unaffected. This results in faster regrowth and less damage and pain. The physician will apply cold compresses to the skin after treatment and encourage the patient to do so at home to control discomfort. Patients can experience flaking for a few days following Active FX treatment. Doctors suggest that patients take several days off work to let the skin return to a healthy state. All patients are encouraged to stay out of the sun to prevent damage from reoccurring.

What will the results be like?

Signs are aging will be less evident, and skin will be more supple. Lines and wrinkles will be visibly reduced, along with light scars and freckles. Skin tone should be more evenly balanced, and these improvements should continue to get better over the next several months.

What are the risks?

Though the risks are slight, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation are both possible. Also, any time a laser is used, it can burn the skin or leave lingering redness. If the skin becomes infected before it heals, this may lead to scarred.

Is Active FX approved for use in the U.S.?

The Active FX laser is approved for use and used widely in the U.S. for facial resurfacing and pigmentation problems.

Is Active FX covered by insurance companies?

Although some providers may offer patients a payment plan, this cosmetic procedure, which can range in price from fifteen hundred to four thousand dollars, is for aesthetic purposes and is not covered by major insurance companies or Medicare.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By Staff
Updated: November 24, 2009