Laser devices have brought immense value to the medical field as a whole. In the specialty of dermatology, lasers are now used to treat conditions such as unwanted hair, hyperpigmentation, veins, and sun damage. In our Midtown Manhattan office, we perform laser treatments using a variety of modalities, including the ActiveFXTM and DeepFXTM platforms. Because fractional laser resurfacing is often sought to manage the effects of UV exposure, patients often question when they should see us for routine dermatologic care. Here, we discuss what ActiveFX does, how it does it, and what to expect after treatment. These details can help you make your personal decision about the timing of treatment.
What is ActiveFX?
ActiveFX is an innovative carbon dioxide laser platform that treats the skin in a fractional or fractionated, manner. Fractional treatments like ActiveFX and DeepFX target pin-point spots on the skin’s surface, as well as beneath the epidermis, depending on the treatment selected. Because there is a tiny bridge of untouched skin in between each pinpoint of vaporized tissue, healing occurs much more quickly than is common with standard carbon dioxide laser treatments. The expedited healing period is one of the primary advantages of fractional laser resurfacing.
How it Works
Laser energy interacts with various layers of tissue. ActiveFX targets the uppermost layer of skin cells. DeepFX reaches deeper past the surface to address more advanced signs of aging and sun damage. The initial effect of treatment is the gentle, controlled vaporization of tissue, resulting in slight flaking or peeling that lasts three to five days. The secondary effect of treatment is an intense proliferation of collagen. Collagen production is intended to heal the micro-injuries created during treatment, but the side effect of this increase is brighter firmer healthier skin.
One of the most important aspects of healing after fractional laser treatments is to avoid UV exposure. This is especially crucial during active recovery. However, patients are encouraged to limit their time in the sun for weeks after their treatment to provide sufficient time for collagen remodeling to occur. Ultimately, the development of healthy sun-care habits promotes lasting results from laser resurfacing.