The carbon dioxide laser has long been the gold standard of laser skin resurfacing. Carbon dioxide lasers have been in use for many years to treat different benign and malignant skin conditions. The Active FX is the newest generation of Carbon Dioxide lasers that emits a short pulsed light energy (ultrapulsed) or continuous light beams that are delivered in a scanning pattern to very precisely remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage to the surrounding structures.
What is Active FX used for?
These lasers have been successfully used to treat cosmetic and medical conditions.
Wrinkles, Fine lines
Stimulates collagen growth for skin tightening
Crows feet (wrinkles on the corners of the eyes)
Age spots and sun spots on the face, hands, body
Rhinophyma (enlarged oils glands on the nose)
Other benign skin growths
How is the Active FX different and better than traditional Carbon Dioxide Lasers?
Lumenis, the makers of the Active FX) is one of the pioneers for the carbon dioxide laser. The Active FX is the newest generation of Carbon Dioxide lasers that emits a short pulsed light energy (ultrapulsed) or continuous light beams that are delivered in a scanning pattern to very precisely remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage to the surrounding structures. That means that less heat will be delivered to the patient’s skin decreasing the chances and side effects. The physician is now able to be more precise in the size, pattern, and energy that needs to be used and treatments can now be more tailored to the patients’ needs.
What is involved in the treatment?
Patients will have numbing cream applied to their treatment area for approximately 1 hour. For smaller areas, the physician may choose to use local injection to numb the area. Treatment time varies but the average treatment time for the face is 30 minutes.
How many treatments are required?
This depends on the reason for the treatment. For anti-aging, wrinkles, skin tightening, pore size reduction, age spot and sun spot reduction, usually 1 treatment is enough.
What should I expect after the treatment?
The area that is treated will swell for approximately 4-5 days. On day 2, the skin will turn darker. The patient will start to exfoliated on day 3 and usually most of the exfoliation will finish around day 5-6. We do recommend that the patient stay out of sunlight for about 5 days. Patients will also need to use aquaphor or Vaseline 24 hr a day for the first 5 days before the exfoliation process is completed. During the first week after the treatment, patients are not to use any chemical on their skin that may contain acids, alcohols, or whitening creams.
Is the treatment painful?
Because we use numbing cream, the procedure is not painful. Your skin will feel warm, but no pain. The first evening following the procedure some patient complain of discomfort that usually requires regular Tylenol or motrin. After the first night, the patients usually complain of itching, this can be corrected with regular Bendaryl.
Are results immediate?
The first week following the treatment, you will notice that your skin texture will be more even, wrinkles will be reduced, pores will shrink, age spots and sun spots will be reduced, and your skin will feel tighter. Since the Active FX induces collagen growth, the skin will continue to lift and tighten over the next 6 months following the treatment.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the treatment?
Make sure you wear sunblock or do not be exposed to the sun excessively (ie-beach) for 2 weeks before the procedure.
If you have a history of cold sore or current acne, please let the physician know, this may require medication before the treatment starts. Sometimes this treatment can induce acne or cold sores to grow so a prescription for medication will be given to you before the treatment. This medication needs to be started the day before the treatment.
Do not do any chemical peels at home or at a medical office 1 month before the treatment.
Please inform the physician if you have used any medical cream in the past 6 months.
Please inform the physician if you have used accutane in the past year.
What can benefit from the Active FX?
This treatment is safe for Caucasians, Asian, Hispanics, and Middle Easterners. In the past, on patients with Caucasian skin were able to benefit from this treatment, however, now with the newest updates, more people can be treated with the Active FX. African Americans skin type has not been approved for this device because of their skin might lose pigmentation following this treatment.
What are the possible side effects?
Milia, which are small white bumps, may appear in the laser-treated areas during healing. These may be removed by gentle cleansing with a washcloth.
Hyperpigmentation, and more rarely hypopigmentation, may result in the laser-treated areas. In general, the hyperpigmented areas may be treated.
Reactivation of a herpes simplex cold sore may occur, especially after laser resurfacing around the mouth. This can be prevented by giving an antiviral medicine prior to the surgery and continuing it for seven to 10 days afterward.
Bacterial infections are also prevented by taking an antibiotic prior to the surgery and continuing for seven to 10 days afterward.
Postoperative swelling is to be expected and is lessened by ice and anti-inflammatory medication
Patients are encouraged to sleep on an extra pillow at night to help reduce the swelling. Ice pack application is also helpful in the first 24 to 48 hours.
Scarring, although very rare, may occur in laser-treated areas.
Cessation of smoking is highly recommended because of its documented harmful effects on the healing process.
Amae laser skin solutions is a professional medical facility offering quality cosmetic skin procedures including Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, laser hair removal, Cool Lipo liposuction, and more. Dr. Edward Chiang and Dr. Henry Leung are trained in laser dermatology and are proud to serve patients of all skin types including Asian, Hispanic, African American. Our two locations are proud to serve San Gabriel Valley, Orange County, Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Rosemead, and Pasadena.