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Monday, October 16, 2006



I had the procedure and am in the second day of recovery. I had extreme sensitivity in my eyes to light and needed to wear sunglasses for two days in the house. I had the horrible metal contacts but have no idea why I had this reaction. Did anyone else have this?


I had similiar results: day 1, burning which resolved by evening. Day 2, redness and swelling. Day 3/4, brown dots and sloughing by day 5/6. Dunno about benefits yet, its been a week. Time will tell.


I just had the Active FX/Deep FX treatment done today. It wasn't so bad except for the areas around the mouth and the eyes. Now my face is stinging as if I got a sunburn. I am anxiously awaiting the next couple of days as I understand those are the far as recovery is concerned.


I have posted a couple of times on this site. First, soon after I had the procedure and then again two years later. I had the Deep FX done first and then both of them together a month later. Yes, I did have swelling, discomfort, redness AND had to slather Aquaphor all over my face for several days. But, I will tell you now after 3 years, my face looks great. I just turned 65 and I feel like I have not really aged much since I had this done. You see the best results over time. I think the MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is to get a good doctor to perform this. How would you know? Well, do your reseach. I had been going to this plastic surgeon for Restylane & Juvederm injections only, but totally trusted him for this procedure. That is what you need to look for.....TRUST.


Hi I had Active Fx three weeks ago now and have had an awful time. My face initially was brown tight and burned, then started to swell by day three I looked like I had done a few rounds with Mike Tyson, I woke up blind!!! both my eyelids had swelled shut and the puss/plasma that was running down my face glued my swolen eyes shut took nearly twenty minutes of pure panic before I could get them open to slits. The surgeon and nurse called to my house after I sent pictures of my face through email, they said I had a very rare reaction but would be grand in a few days (bullshit) My face wept for days it was disgusting, and so so sore even hurt to blink. I am 33 and no patch test was done. The doc has been to my house three times since with valium, creams and wil be here tomorrow with more meds and make up to cover my face wich is now red, looks scarred under one eye and have a good few red square patches with little dots in them still and no sign of it getting better any time soon. I am so upset over it and it still hurts like sunburn the itch drives me crazy but can't scratch or I cut myself because the skin is so thin. I would not recommend this to anyone, botox any day is way better. If you do get it I stronly urge you to get a patch test done. I look awful and have been housebound for weeks when I did go back to work everyone assumed I got beat up and I can not believe I actually paid someone to do this to my face. I don't know what to do now the doc has offered me free botox to make up for the ordeal I have/am goin through. I had the shaking too by the way, I think this is actually your body going into shock and it does hurt getting it done. I still can't wear make up, I only got my eyes and forehead done and two lines on either side of my mouth. I look like a raccoon and I tried covering it with special make up used to cover birth marks etc and you could still see it!!! and then it starts itching so have to rub it off which is really upsetting because I can see the red coming back with every wipe of the cloth. I am not a happy bunny at all and if this does not get better sooner I will be considering legal action. My face is destroyed. Think very carefully about this before getting it done.


I had active Fx on my chest and arms and hands on Monday. I am still lobster red and tender everywhere. I have been told that this procedure on the body will heal faster than the face. Has anyone had experience with it on the chest, arms and hands? I will keep you posted on my healing.


Has anyone had the Active Fx done on their hands or arms? How long did it take to heal and was it worth it? I am considering having it done to tighten the skin under my arms and also on my hands. MM


i am about to do this procedure and i am so afraid. I have acne effects and hope that i will have my baby skin back i really need my normal skin in 10 days for my sister's wedding... did any one hear that it is helpfull for the acne problems ?? please reply as soon as possible ..thankyou

forex trading training

I am afraid the moment I read your experience of this lazer and the plastic cup all over your eyes, plus the medicine and everything!, and I think I will not do the thing you do to your face LOL, though it may sound great after the effect, but the process is what I'm afraid of.


Hi Guys,

It is my 4th day since my Active FX. I am
still in pain on the right side of my face and still bright red, my eyes also have a burning sensation, did have these same symptoms on the fourth day? It seems like I am starting to slough just alittle bit but not like they said I would by this time. I will never go through this again unless I have a miracle result in the end. It was more painful and scarier then my nose job!


I am sorry that (Carol) had such a bad experience. Almost two years ago, I had the Deep FX done first and a month later had both Deep FX & Active FX done, and I am so glad I did this. I am now 64 yrs. old and look great! My dr. told me the best results would come around 4-6 mos. after the treatments because the Deep FX stimulates the collagen and your skin gets better over time. He was so right! The wrinkles that I had before the treatment around the eyes have all but disappeared. I need to wear eye makeup as my lashes are quite sparse and I have really big eyes, but the skin on my face looks really good with no makeup at all. Just remember, this treatment doesn't always give the immediate results you want. If you choose to get the Deep FX you will get longer, lasting results. Good luck!


December 27th, Day 4 Post Treatment

I wish that I never did this. I chose it because I had a pre-cancerous red spot on my right cheek and my doctor assured me that after the procedure, the spot would be permanently gone. He also said it would do wonders for my skin -- getting rid of the sun damage and spots. I am a televison personality and everyone begged me to leave well enough alone. I chose to hire an anesthesiologist for this procedure as I am a little squeemish. Any way, I have been so itchy for two days and I look like a freak. No matter what the results, the downtime and discomfort are definitely NOT WORTH IT.

Southern Belle

Hi all! This is Southern Belle. I had the procedure done in Nov. 2007. I am back on this site because I am considering doing this again! I was 10 full days of downtime, so it is difficult for a mother of two to find that kind of time!! It was worth it...pain, $$, question...worth it. I am 42 and was recently accused of not being old enough to have kids. I am a product junkie and take excellent care of my skin, but this procedure had maximum benefit to me in tone, texture, volume in sunken places, and just general anti aging. The fact that I am considering doing it again should speak volumes. I'll keep you posted:)

jenny kim

The procedure will depend on your skin type, the physician doing the procedure and the settings used.

My teenage son can drive a Mercedes and crash it. Does it mean the car is no good ?


I just turned 40 and had this procedure done 5 months ago and I can state without hesitation it was NOT worth the time, pain or money ($2200). Although my skin looked fresh after the first couple of weeks, ~ face it, the top layer was burned off, ~ since then it has returned to the way it was before the Active fx. I still have lines, scars and hyper-pigmentation. And as a bonus I am now burdened with breakouts!!


You need a ruby laser to pull off pigment like that. Why didn't your derm suggest that? Good luck!


Hello everyone, I had Active FX done in October 2007, I chose Active FX so that I could get rid of brown sun spots on my cheeks, the first session did not get rid of them so the doctor did just the cheeks a second time, this also did not get rid of them but the doctor said that they would go away in three months. They did not. I went to her again and she gave me a skin lightning cream, I used this for six months and eventually the brown spots became lighter. Now nearly two years on I have the same amount of brown spots back, I have worn factor 50 sun screan for two years and kept out of the sun, hats etc. I personally think that this proceedure is a complete con and would not recommend anyone to have it. They say a fool and their money is easily parted, and yes I feel like A COMPLETE FOOL.!!!!!!


I had Active FX one year ago. The pain was the least of my problems. The recovery was awful. It took 3 months of heavy makeup to cover all of the spotty redness and hyperpigmentation. After using a skin bleach for months the hyperpigmentation lessened, but was still worse than I started with. I am 59 and had pretty nice skin for my age with just a few age spots. I then underwent 5 IPL treatments. The last two being pretty aggressive. Everything went away for a few weeks, but even with heavy sun lotion use, most spots have returned. My skin does look better as far as tightness, and smoothness, but I would not do any of these procedures again. Too much downtime and heavy makeup wearing caused by the bad side effects of the Active FX. Getting some Restylane and using the bleaching cream accomplishes more than all of the other treatments combined.


I don't think you're too young. Your genetic background may not protect you well from UV and that coupled with tanning beds will make your skin age before it's time. Think of active FX as great preventive maintenance. Always use sunscreens and practice your skills with applying fake tans. Eating fruits and veggies also helps and manage your stress. I get airbrush tans prior to vacation to look cool without the damage. Hope this helps. Joe


I am 28 and spent years from 18-27 in tanning beds and laying out as much as possible. Having fair skin (irish, english, scottish, and french canadian background) I just looked a whole lot better tan. I always have freckles on my face but very few everywhere else. Well a year ago I started to break out really bad, and have been using differin and benzyol which cleared my skin tremendously after a few months. Then I realized I had really big pores in the center of my face-on both sides. (possibly a side effect from tanning beds?) Also just a lot of fine wrinkles all over.
So I went to a good doctor a few months ago, who did a free consultation. He then had me bk for botox and juvaderm but highly recommended the active fx. So I got it done finally yesterday (friday) morning. Here I am now, w/ tons of brown little dots w/ vaseline like cream all over. I feel like I am the youngest person who has gotten this done. after reading all your posts. I am in my dungeon of a condo right now w/ blinds closed and will be out of work till next Friday. I hope this works and do you think I am too young?


I've spent the last hour reading all your comments as I was considering having this procedure, and am now re-considering! I really appreciate everyone's time in relaying their experiences. These are times when I say THank God for the internet. One comment remarked that they suspicioned Lumenis spending time on this site - and as a retired market researcher for companies such as Lumenis - this would NOT surprise me one bit. I just turned 60, have fairly good skin, a few slightly brown sun spots, and lack of elasticity happening in my jowl area. From everything I have read - it does not seem this procedure is worth the money (and this would be a splurge for me). Has any one had any worthwhile results with the series of Photo-facials?? Thanks again everyone. Lee


I had my Total fx the first of January '09. I posted on the 10th and 14th. After the inital healing period and swelling my scars began to slightly reappear. My doctor told me to expect this. He said they would continue to improve over time. It has been nearly 3 months since my procedure and although I have had very few comments even from people who knew I was having this done, I have definitely seen improvement in tone, texture and clarity. Two friends did tell me they though my under eye area was improved and my scars are a little softer. My brown spots have almost completely diminished and I feel comfortable now without makeup. when I do wear makeup it goes on so smoothly. I am going in tomorrow for a follow-up touch up over my scar area (part of the package). I may add the under eye area. I have been pleased so far with results and know that it should only continue to get better as collagen is stimulated below the surface.


Hello Everyone,
Checking back in, I had Active FX done Dec 07, so its just over a year. I am now 57..and people tell me they just can't believe I am that age. To this day, I continue to get compliments on my complexion. I am fair complected and had all the usual sun spots and crepe-y wrinkling due to years of sun exposure, in addition to aging. The Active FX treatment was a very positive experience for me, as I had a competent Dr I continue to see for wrinkle filler injections twice a year. As someone on this blog noted, certain wrinkles are dynamic,meaning when we smile, the skin and underlying muscles move too..I did find that overtime, while my skin is clear in tone and color, some of these dynamic wrinkles are coming back..I look forward to having this treatment again either the end of this year (which would make it 2 years between treatments) or in 2010, will see how things look end of the year. My doc says next time, he will go "a little deeper" so that is exciting and I look forward to even better results, as he will have been so much more experienced in these treatments as well. As I mentioned before, I think the the key to having a positive outcome is realistic expectations and a qualified ethical Dr. It easy to see from the before/after pictures available on web that the active fx laser does make a discernable difference in texture and tightening up of the older skin..I was scared to have the treatment, but with trust in the Dr I selected, I am so glad I went forward..somebody asked me recently, which would I choose, another laser treatment or a trip to New York..much as I love going to NYC, a successful laser treatment brings such pleasure every day, for years!


I posted back in June 08 when I first got my Active FX, for acne scars. Only a few people noticed any difference after 6 months, then between 9 and 12 months it really starting changing, and looking better. Because I felt there were a few spotson my cheeks that could be better, I went in yesterday and had those spots redone with the Deep FX, at no additional charge to me.
My doctor explained to me that because I have thick skin, sometimes the results don't show within the "normal" 6 months. Boy, was she ever right! I am 58 yrs. old and I am glad I had it done. It has definetly softened my acne scars and took away the fine lines that were appearing.
So for you that have this done, wait at least 8-10 months for the results to show.
Also, I was told that this procedure will last forever if I take care of my skin, and use LOTS of sunscreen. Apparently it's the sun that breaks down the collegen.



I am a 35 year old Asian female and I just had this procedure done three days ago to be exact. It seems from reading these comments that date back to 2006 that they have at least improved the procedure somewhat. I did not have to take any vicotin or valium...was not even offered that medication. Only told to take Tylenol - I would take it mainly for headaches...but that could be due to the icing I would do on my eyes...kind of like a "head freeze" affect - you know, when you drink a slurpee too quickly?

Anyhow, my experience with the procedure (Active FX) was the same as everyone elses. They took "before" pictures of me. They put the topical numbing cream on my face and let it sit for about an hour. Then the pretty intense "needles" on my face procedure lasted about 15 - minutes. Afterward, I remember my face feeling like someone had rubbed jalapeno peppers all over my face. It was pretty intense. Even your hair brushing across your face will hurt a bit...even to day 2. Its now day three. I'm still swollen around the eyes and upper cheek bones, but it seems to be getting a bit better. My skin is definitely starting to exfoliate and its itchy. THANK GOD for Aquafor. I also read some where on the internet that doctors recommend a cream called "Neocutis". I've been using that too and its helped with the healing of my skin.

I mainly did this to get rid of sun spots, so we'll see. I'll keep you posted as I'm only in day 3.


I think a lot of the improvement from Active FX has to do with after care - keeping your skin moisturized at night, eating right, and using a good sunscreen so that UV does not inhibit healing.

Sherry C.

hey- I was trying to keep this somewhat confidential and included my name in error. Oops

Sherry Costanza

I am 74 and wondering if I am the oldest living being who has had this procedure. I spent my youth on the beach with baby oil on my face and probably deserve every wrinkle and brown spot. I had my procedure yesterday and am red, bronze and swollen. I resemble Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler which is about what I expected. I was quite well prepared by my doctor and saw pictures showing how I might look the first few days. I hoped to be out in public in the week but I think ten days may do it. I have never worn much makeup and hope that I won't need it daily. The pinkness will last up to a month and I wonder how to explain it to my friends?

Carla Taylor

I have just completed the treatment one week ago, and my skin is still little red. I'm hoping for great results and so far things are looking great! For more info visit here, the information over here might be useful Active FX Laser.


It has been 10 days since my Total Fx. I gave the update January 10th. I had my post procedure check-up on Monday and the doctor said I was healing according to plan. The swelling has subsided significantly as the fine lines under my eyes and on my neck have returned. I was really excited about my scars but was told by the doctor on Monday that I would see them reappear when the swelling subsides and then there would be a gradual improvement as the months went by and collagen begins to rebuild. He was definitely right, I am beginning to see the scars return slightly. The texture of my skin overall seems improved but I woke up this morning with cyst-like eruptions all over. They are painful and different from regular acne break-outs which I haven't had in years. The one on my chin is the size of a quarter. I'm sure the agressive nature of this procedure stirs things up a bit beneath the surface of the skin. I've emailed my doctor and hope he has some kind of explanation for what this could be and how I can treat it. It's very unsightly at this point. Will report later.


I am 45 yrs old and had Active FX done 2 days ago. I was put to sleep which I think was great considering reviews from people who were awake. When I awoke after the procedure they already had my face iced and lubricated. I went home and continued to ice all day and night as well as lubricate with Acquafor. I did not feel any pain although I was uncomfortable because I had to continually keep icing and lubricating. This is really key as you keep the swelling down and the lubricant keeps it from drying. I did not look so bad Day 1. Day 2 I woke and did not see any swelling, I was very brown. Again I have been lubricating constantly as this is very important to healing. Day 3 I already feel the skin wanting to slough off. I am not peeling this off I am still constantly lubricating and I am going back to the doctors tomorrow and they are going to take care of this for me. I cannot say enough about how important your choice of doctor is. My doctor and his staff are terrific. They know what they are doing and have called twice to see how I am doing and to answer any questions. I can see already that my skin is smoother and wrinkles are barely visible at all. I will update again after tomorrow's doctor's visit.


I've had rolling acne scars on my cheeks since I was a teenager. I've had many microdermabrasions, jessner peels, other glycolic peels and laser genesis to help build collagen. All of these procedures have helped me have better skin in my forties than in my twenties. However with the aging process and loss of elasticity and collagen the scars seemed to be getting more noticeable (maybe just to me) and I was developing some crepiness and fine lines under the eyes.
After a year of investigating more aggressive procedures including a full blown co2 (no way), fraxel repair and fraxel restore I decided on the total fx (active/deep fx). I am at day 6 post procedure. My skin has peeled 95%. I don't think the procedure was horrible but it was no cake walk. I expected this. I had the deep fx over the scar area first then the active everywhere else including eyelids. (eye shields were no big deal) I had a valium and lortab along with 1 hour of numbing cream before. The whole procedure took less than 1/2 hour. I had someone drive me home. My face felt like it was on fire. I live where it is cold this time of year. Much to my relief I fanned my face with the car window down going home, then sat by an open window continuing to fan my face for about 1 hour. I was a swollen tomato for three days. There was not one line on my face. I am still pink and get more red when I exercise. I have some red splotches and see the lines under my eyes reappearing (however I know this procedure takes time to rebuild collagen). My scar area looks smoother but it's still red and difficult to give a difinitive outcome yet (too early). Fine lines on forehead appear gone. I think crows feet are a little more diminished however I am still peeling there. My doctor did the deep over the cheeks down to my jawline to help with tigtening. I can't tell if it's much improved since it's too early. I expect to see the full effects in a couple of months. I haven't gone out of the house yet. I see my doctor in two days. I'll find out my settings then. I can't remember what he told me during the procedure (probably too out of it from meds). Had lots of itching day 3 and 4 as skin peeled. Overall I am not unhappy so far. I'm hopefull this is the one procedure to do the trick. I researched extensively and felt great about my doctor. He was very honest and upfront.

Des Scarlett

Hi, I am 46 years old and wanted to have FX under and around my eye area for wrinkles. I am on day 3 and WOW, this is not the 'faster' healing process than previous treatments offered I expected. Day 3 has been the worse so far. I am tight, not peeling by any means and have brown spots around my eyes. I have been washing three times a day and using the gel as directed to. RIght now, I want my wrinkles back anxious to see what day five will bring. I didn't experience the pain as the rest of you.....I was knocked out completely.
Looking forward to some updates from people that have made it to day 10 and beyond.


This for Trisha, I had the Active FX done on my face and neck in November of 2007. Each day my face did exactly like my Dr. said, although it took a month longer for my neck to heal. On day 6, I put limited makeup on and went out for the evening and no one knew or could tell that I was still a bit pink. I wore a turtleneck to hide my neck as it was still very red. To this day I am glad I did it, although I still have crowsfeet around my eyes, my skin looks pretty good for being 53. I hope this helps you.


I had exactly two days of downtime and I wonder if others had more extensive procedures. I was slightly blothchy on Monday. I had Active FX on an aggressive setting. HTH



I wondered why more comments were not posted since this was done in 2007 and it is now Dec 2008 when I am viewing this blog. I was concidering this procedure but I just cant be off more than a week and look like a monster when working with clients. If any of you read this in 2008 please post more info if you can. Thanks


I had the Active Fx procedure in November 2007. I had numbing cream on my face for one hour. I did not take any pain medications orally. I did not have any trouble with pain. I love the way my skin looks and feels. Since I am 53, I did have wrinkles. I am going to have total fx done at the beginning of 2009. I can't wait.


I had the active fx with the deep fx on October 2nd. I was hoping for tightning of my skin as well as the lightning of hyperpigmentation (which was the result of a CO2 lasrer treatment that I had in 1999). My skin does look somewhat clearer, but I have had fraxel and other peels, and I notice it always looks better for a while afterwards and then the hyperpigmntation comes back. As of now, there is improvement, but a little of the hyperpigmentation has returned. However, I would have to say that there is a mild to moderate improvement. As far as the skin tightening, I would say the jury is still out on that one. I am only a month and a half out, so maybe I will experience some of the collagen building that is suppose to occur. At this point my hopes are not too high,but you never know. I will post in another month an a half and lewt everyone know. As far as recovery, I was able to go out in public (without feeling thew need to hide) on day 6. I kept aquaphor on my face until then. I stopped using aquaphor when I began to go out(switched to a moisturizer). I looked a little red, but makeup covered it up for the most part. I kind of miss the glow I seemed to have from week 2 through week 6. Good luck to all


I had a two-day recovery and my skin is smoother and tighter and many lines are gone. Also the orange-peely texture of my skin is gone. Thumbs up in my opinion, but I am a guy whose skin heals fast and I use Tazorac and take good care of my skin. I'm going for a touch-up in January. Hope this helps.


I am going for my procedure on Thursday. I had my consult two days ago and I am also being told 5 days to recover. I am wondering about the downtime as my doctor said it does vary from patient to patient and that you must use the acquafor constantly and that speeds the healing process. The results also seem to vary and I am wondering about that. It may have to do with how deep they go with the laser. I asked my doctor bout this and he said it depends and the settings used and also the experience of the doctor doing it. Any comments from anyone 10 days after the treatment? How does you skin look the 1st time you use make-up and how soon were you able to use make-up?

At the almost 5 month mark I can now say that I'm not upset that I did it and there may be very little improvement as far a smoothness and a little tightening. Given the chance to do it again, even for free, I would definitely say NO. Maybe without side effects it would be worth it, but to deal with all the "stuff" it isn't worth it. With all that said, I do know folks who have done it and it has been very successful with minimal downtime. Good luck. Keep us posted.


I am going for this procedure 11/20 and am wondering if anyone has had a positive effect from this procedure. Aside from the discomfort and downtime, is anyone glad they did this?

I'm now at 4 1/2 months post Active FX. I had IPL done last week on one side to test first, since I had such awful hyperpigmentation problems from the Active FX. The results were wonderful. Using a very low setting the hyperpig is now just about gone. I wish I would have skipped the whole Active procedure and just done IPL and maybe some fillers. For those of you who are dealing with hyperpig. there is hope with IPL to get rid of it if the bleaching doesn't work.


I have been reading this blog for the past year trying to decide if I should get the Active FX or not. Yesterday, I bit the bullet and went for it. I'm 41 with olive skin, have some acne scars, sun damage, large pores and crinkling on my eye lids. Not too many wrinkles, just scowl marks between my eyes. I went in and they offered me valium, I've never taken it before, but have taken Vicodin and gotten sick, so I was leary but went ahead anyway. The valium just made me relax, I can see why people get addicted... Anyway, the nurse applied the numbing cream 2 xs at 1/2 hour intervals. First, they did some Botox on my forehard and between my eyes and then started with the laser. I was never required to wear goggles ot eye things or anything. I was okay with that. There was a small fan going that sucked up the smoke. The procedure was pretty painless except for where the nurse had missed the numbing cream along my hairline. Then it felt like a small cigarette burn, lucky it only happened a couple of times. He went scary close to my eyes on lids and below, but I trusted him with my sight and he did well. I also had a couple of pock marks cut out right after the laser was done and stitches applied. Then he gave me a steroid shot to help with swelling and applied a heavy cream. I also got a bag of lotions, soaps and sprays to start using today. He also sent me with a prescription for a bleaching cream to use when I can wear makeup. Since I did my research for the past year, I am where I should be with a dark brown oozing scary face and using lots of cream, but I am anticipating great results after the healing has finished. I don't think the procedue was that bad at all and I don't work for a Dr or Luminis, just a stay at home Mom who wants to wear less makeup to cover up imperfections and mke myself feel a little better. My cost was $1900 for all above and my Dr is a well known local Dr with a great reputation who I fully trusted and liked. I didn't drive home and I plan on staying home for several more days, I have kids but was my family is prepared for my downtime and are happy to help. I heard Day 3 is the worst and an ready for it tomorrow. Will try to post again if possible as it seems many people were not happy I hope to change some minds.

Southern Belle

Hello all!

I have not posted in close to a year...procedure at the end of October last year. I have to say....drumroll was worth it. Skin is smoother, plumper, and the area under my eyes looks much more youthful. I used to have swelling in that area, puffy bags on occasion, well, no more. Hooray! It is not a miracle...I am 41 but most people guess my age in early 30's. Good enough for me. By all means, let me know if there are any 18 year old producing procedures. Sign me up!!! I do believe there are those collagen producing results that aren't seen for months after. Subtle but noticeable a year later. You can read all of my old posts about the downtime and healing process. I stick to my original posts...I was not adequately prepared for the prior. Am I going to do it again?? I don't know. I think I'll wait for that 18y/o producing technology!!!!!

I think you either have good results with no side effects, bad results with a lot of lasting side effects, or no results with no improvement and some side effects. The problem is you can't predict which category you will fit into until it's over. If you do it allow for much downtime. At best you won't need it, but to think that everyone is presentable in 5 days is not a good way to approach this.


Wow no way in hell I'm getting this done after reading this blog. Seems about 30% of u are getting good results. 30% are getting NO results. 30 % look WORSE. And only 10% are getting dramatic results.

I'd rather save my money. and my face.


As far as the sun exposure, definitely NONE. Your skin is super sensitive for a long time, and gets very dry. I now wear tons of sunscreen and a hat if there is a hint of sunlight.

I am at the almost 4 month mark. I am still dealing with hyperpigmentation and really don't think I look any different than before I had the procedure. If anything my skin hasn't gotten back to the clear condition it was in at the beginning. My husband did not think I needed to have Active FX. He was worried about things that could go wrong, although he was supportive when I decided I was still going to do it. He was shocked at the recovery period and what a mess my face was with all the streaking and hyperpigmentation. After using bleaching creams for 3 months I still have blotchiness. Supposedly I had the "perfect" skin tone for the procedure and my doc was shocked that I experienced any hyperpig. I would caution anyone thinking about doing this. No matter how good your doc is, you just can't predict how your skin will react, so allow plenty of time for recovery and hiding out in your house until you heal. I haven't met anyone that had a substantial power used that has been out and about before 10-14 days. Maybe if you have very fair skin you could have results with a lesser power, but I tend to agree with your husband. I think using the money for Restylane or Botox would be wiser.



Thanks for all the great information from all of you! I have seen a doctor who has recommended deep fx on my face and active for my neck. I am 51 and I have quite a bit of sun damage from lots of years in the sun.

My two concerns:

1. Those of you who have had it, are you able to be out in the sun on a regular basis?

2. I have not heard too much about spouses, if they have been supportive. My husband is not! He is a physician and thinks any kind of elective surgery is dangerous and a waste of time. How have your husbands reacted? After seeing some of the post-op pictures I am afraid my husband would have a fit! I am wondering if some of you have dealt with less than enthusiastic spouses and how that went.

Thanks for your info and thanks for having this means of sharing information available!



Wow Larry ot took 30 years off! Can you post some pics!


I've read all the posts, thank you all so much. I had Active FX, on my eyes, 18 days ago. Under my left eye got infected, had to go on an antibiotic. Since, the infection has healed, but the skin around both eyes is VERY red and blotchy, irritated. Dr. prescribed a hydrocortisone ointment, this seems to have cause additional irritation. Not sure what is going on. I also see small broken capillaries that were not there before. Not sure what is going on or how long this will last. Has anyone had a similar experience, with a possible solution?


Posted here right after Active FX procedure Feb 15 2008. Just two days of down time, then back in public. Now, six months later the results have come into their own, and it really does look like a single Active FX application will last the rest of your life. I am a 70+ male and my face now looks forty-something.(Also a year earlier I had a Thermage plus regular periodic touch-up injections of Restylane and Juvaderem and an earlier spider vein removal. I work out in the gym seven days a week (weight training + StairMaster cardio). This exercise maximizes oxygen circulation to the skin capillaries for a smooth glowing skin that is kept free of wrinkles. At night I apply CoQ10 taken from capsules and put under my eyes along with vitamin e oil plus Cetaphil over face and body and this keeps any wrinkles from forming. Because of my ripped physique (after three years in the gym)and smooth face people think I'm in my forties.Active FX is worth every penny because it lasts for years and years.


After months of research, I had Totalfx done yesterday. I had it done primarily for acne scars. I was given a numbing mask and a Valium and the pain was definitely tolerable and not as bad as I expected (I have high pain tolerance). My face was hot like a sunburn for a couple of hours and then it was gone.

Today my face looks disgusting, but is not tight or painful.

I went to Moats Laser in Santa Maria, CA. They are offering $1500 for the treatment until the end of the year. Susan and Claudia were GREAT! Highly recommend going there. I know of several other offices in Orange County offering Totalfx, but did not seem as knowledgable on the laser and are way more was worth the drive.


Hi I had the active FX done last Thrusday (today is day 5). As all of you have stated, the eye cup thing was weird to say the least and the brown freckles were a special touch. I, as some of you have said, stayed inside for the first couple of days for fear of scaring small children. I then went to the grocery store on day 3 looking like a deranged burn victim. It was interesting to say the least, at how people tried NOT to look at me. I have now peeled most of the brown off my face (my neck and chest are still spotted with brown)and I am now red and splotchy. I have seen a difference especially around my eyes. I will be calling my doctor today to see about wearing makeup. I took 10 days off work, but I am going stir crazy and need to get back to the office. I would love a facial (I think).

Anyway, that is my experience. The pain was tolerable and my doctor was fantastic!



If anyone gets this procedure to improve acne scarring, know that this is not a one shot deal. I went back to the doc last week and he wants to do a new laser procedure. Now the doctor wants to do this laser that draws blood - basically doing a full resurfacing not bridge resurfacing like the Active FX. Of course the doctor is offering this for another 1000 dollars. I don't have any more $ for this, so this is the end of the road for me. I do see some improvement with the Active FX/DeepFX but not a $3500 improvement. Active/Deep is expensive but I'm sure the costs will come down in a few years as the technology is perfected and the cost of the equipment is recouped. I would wait until prices come down if I had to do it over again. I wish everyone the best of luck with the procedure.

Sheelagh Alstrom

Hi, I had my treatment back in October 2007. I originally had several brown marks on my face due to age and sun damage. When I went to the doctor, here in Mallorca, Spain she said that it will be "NO PROBLEM" and that the marks will disappear, like magic. They did not disappear with the first treatment so she opted to do the four marks again on my face. I had these done and two of them are almost gone but the other two are still there, they have not gone at all. I contacted her again and she said that I had to use cream to get rid of them. She wrote me out a prescription for cream, which incidently I could have bought over the counter without a prescription. I could not use it as I developed a severe form of what I think was shingles on my face and left eye. I lost most of the sight from my left eye. I went to see an ear nose and throat surgeon and and an eye specialist several times over the next month. Finally after four weeks my eyesight began to come back although it is not one hundred percent yet, four months on and I am worried that it will never return to normal. I went back to the doctor, her remarks was "Well the cream is working" !!!!! I had not used any cream.

Am I disappointed, well I suppose you can all guess the answer to that question. She said that I should go back this October, one year on to see her. Personally, I will not set foot across her threshold again. I will have to pay again for her "knowledge" or lack of it. I feel for the money it is not worth the pain and suffering I had. I wanted Active FX to get rid of my brown marks, I have spent over three thousand euros to obtain this, needless to say my brown marks are still there. I am so disappointed.


Rina Segal

This is my 2nd day after doing the FX . I did it here in Bangkok, Thailand and it was done soemwhat different from what you people are sharing. First of all no pain killer nor any valium was offered at all. Then the eyes were not covered or done like you people are saying. I did the face and neck and for the first basic FX pulsation I could endure and thought to myself this is a walk in the park. Soon as I said it the Dr. started using the DEEPER FX program which felt like he was shooting me with acid and going over it with a knife. It got so bad towards the neck area that I begged him to stop. After that I was actually bleedining from some spots. They put a Healing cream and send you home. Not much was discussed and hopefully when I see him next in 7 days I can ask him why it hurt so so much. Now I am not so swollen or red, not too bad really, the neck is getting scabs but that's about it.

You all seem to mention having the eyes covered I actually had my eyes lasered too, top and lower parts. My eyes now look like two tenis balls, has anyone else experienced this?


I do think my scars are improving. In fact just over the last week I've seen a big improvement. I still have the discoloration and the doctor gave me Tri Lumen to use for awhile and see if it helps. Now I also had many of my ice pick scars excised before doing this so anyone reading this should know that. I'm not sure what the skin would have looked like without doing that. But I'm now of the mind that I'd do it again.

When I was sold this procedure, I was told that it was a one shot deal. When I went back into the office at my most recent follow up, I was told that I might need another treatment. So if any doctor says you only need to do this procedure once, depending on why you are getting it done, it is probably not true. I do not have 3500 to do this again. If they suggest doing it again, it better be significantly less and with pain meds!


I am a 52-year old male who had the Active F/X procedure done on May 23. Besides having pretty extensive sun damage on my face, I had an area of crepey skin below my eyes that really bugged me and I was becoming self-conscious of; I was also getting tired of people at work telling me I had a lot of wrinkles under my eyes. I started looking through the internet and read about Active FX, which sounded like my best solution due to the short down-time. I checked out Dr. Cockerham in Los Gatos and after some discussion I ended up going for the whole face.

As a whole, the procedure wasn't that painful and it was fast; the doc had started me on Valtrex, an antibiotic, and difulcan in advance to prevent any infections or cold sores. The first couple of days I looked pretty bad, which I'd expected; a lot of swelling, especially under the eyes, and brown patches that looked like I'd been dragged along the street by a car and scraped up. The only discomfort I can really say I experienced was the night of the procedure (I had it done very late in the afternoon and was out by seven p.m.), where it felt like a bad sunburn. I tend to be pretty fast at healing, so by day six the skin had pretty much peeled off and I was back to work.

The doctor used a higher setting w/the laser around the eye area that I had originally wanted to be worked on; I still have some slight swelling there, which is slowly going away, as well as some occasional redness, especially if I sweat at the gym, but the crepe-like skin is gone (and I keep checking it out in the mirror in the morning wondering when it's going to come back!) I have one deep line there that probably would benefit from being zapped again, but on the whole I definitely recommend this procedure. People I'm running into are telling me, "You know, you look really good," but don't seem to be able to put their finger on what the difference is, which is great with me.

From what I'm reading - and I did a lot of research - a lot of the success of this laser has to do with finding a good doctor who knows how to use it and knows what to expect with different skin types. Dr. Cockerham is definitely one of the best, and I wholeheartedly recommend her to anybody who's considering doing Active F/X in the area. As a male, I was pretty embarrassed to want this procedure in the first place, but what I've learned from this is that I've really treated my skin pretty badly for most of my life. I've also become aware of how important using a sunblock is - my father currently has skin cancer that has advanced pretty quickly, and I've become aware of how all the years of lying in the sun to get a great-looking tan has sort of prepared me to be a candidate for that.

It's now been 3 1/2 weeks and the swelling has almost disappeared although I had a cortisone shot about 8 days ago. The doctor did say some of the swelling could reappear as the med wore off. One side of my face is healed with a few remaining marks that I can't tell if they are red or brownish. The "bad" side still has many horizontal "bars" where it was gone over twice with the laser. They have some red, but look more and more brownish as the time goes on. I'm using a steroid cream on that side. The one point that amazes me is as much as my skin was lasered off, and as long as it's taken to heal, just about everything I started with has come back. The doc said he will do some IPL on the age spots, and I do see some tightness around my eyes, but this may still be due to swelling. Along with Megan I'm wondering how long it could take for the total healing process and getting rid of the brown/reddish places?


Megan, You may try low does steroid cream. I would not recommend any further trauma (ie chemical peels) at this time. Also, see your physician who performed the procedure. Redness will go away. - best wishes.


My problem seems to be redness in the areas where they did the Deep FX - at first I thought it was hyperpigmentation, but it doesn't look brown, it looks red/spotchy. Has anyone else had this last more than a month? If so, does it eventually go away? I bought these chemical peels but the more I look at it, I'm not sure the peels will do anything to help this.



How long ago did you get the Total FX? I am leaning towards getting it soon for acne scarring, but if improvement is only 20-40% then I'd rather not. Did they do the laser aggressive? What was your cost? How would you describe your scarring? Thanks - this is really helpful!


Megan, this is Pat. Don't panic just yet. I am having a hard time seeing improvement too. It's been 3 months today. But I think it's because I am getting my magnifier mirror out on a nightly basis and looking over my face. Plus I keep thinking how long it's going to take to pay off that loan! Ha. ha.. My friends and acquaintances can notice the difference in the smoothness in certain areas. I had one friend that I haven't seen in years remark that something looks different about me.
I am 57 yrs. old and have been told I only look like I'm in my 40's.(My husband says hang on to those friends!) ha ha. Anyway, I had the Active FX done because of lots of acne scarring. I have been very self-conscience about my skin, to me even removing one scar makes me feel better about myself. So let's both keep our fingers crossed on this one.


if you have your face deadened by injection, the injection probably had epinepherine in it, which causes the shivering when it enters the bloodstream.


I wasn't given a timeline for noticeable improvement. I know one thing, my skin still looks blotchy and bumps, like little pimples not whiteheads just bumps, have formed under my skin. I'm not real happy right now with the results. I'm hoping this is just temporary.



I was told it would take 3 months for collagen to form to see a difference in the scarring. And there would be 40-60% improvement. What were you told?


So far, I'm not impressed with the results. I've had to go on antibiotics because my face broke out so bad. I just don't have the kind of money to do this again. I really didn't have the money in the first place. The thought of paying another 3500 dollars is just unthinkable to me.

I agree that I would have a doctor do the procedure rather than a nurse. For that very reason, I choose the dermatologist over the plastic surgeon. He was going to have the nurse do the ActiveFX. I wasn't excited by that prospect. I also think this procedure is great for reversing the signs of aging, but that wasn't what I wanted it for, so we'll see how good it is going to be for my acne scars. I'm still waiting for some improvement.


I am 8 months post ActiveFX. I went back to my doc to get Botox and he pulled out my before pics. I am truly amazed at the difference. He had said it would keep getting better and if I had it done every 6 months, then even BETTER! I was not too sure about this, but the proof was in the pictures. I absolutely look younger. He said the skin builds collagen for months and it must be true. I will have this again as soon as I scrape up more money!


Its great to have found this website! I wish I knew about this earlier. I had the Total FX in So. Cal. with Dr. Han - Skin Nirvana as "Jeannie" too. Ill have to agree results are great, however would say its more like 20-40% better for sure on acne. Dr. Han was caring and very honest. He told me that acne scarring may take more than one treatment. Im schedualed for another Deep FX only in one month ! Ive released my pictures at the office so anyone in the area may ask for them as see yourself. Good luck everyone. I wouldn't let anyone touch my skin except Dr. Han. PS - My personal advise, make sure the doctor does the treatment (not the nurse - esp. if Im paying this much) .


Hi kg

I had mostly ice pick scars and dilated pores. I had about 40 of the scars excised (cut out) and also subcision performed prior to the ActiveFX/DeepFX. So far, I'm not seeing a big improvement in the scarring but I am seeing some improvement in the age related wrinkling on my face (I'm 35.) It also seemed to help with some of the hyperpigmentation.

My scars are not gone, instead replaced with shallow, more linear scars. I'm interested in doing some TCA Cross next. I think I'm done with these laser treatments for now. My skin doesn't look beautiful now, just broken out. It doesn't appear to be a silver bullet, but I'm willing to wait to see additional results.

I've done just about all I can do for the scarring. Knowing that, makes me happy with whatever the results. I'll keep you posted...



Please keep us posted on your improvements. How would you describe your scars prior to the Total FX? I am interested in getting it done for acne scars.



I am the same Asian guy who had this treatment some time ago. I posted Dec 18, and Jan 1 regarding my acne scars. Its been almost 6 mos now and the improvement werent that huge. I would say, what helped me the most is the skin needling that i did to myself every month. With the active-fx, its only beautiful after a week or 2, after that, like nothing happened. I understand about collagen remodeling but it didnt inflated the depressed scars a lot either. Well, from doing another batch of research online, i think Fraxel CO2 looks promising as it can penetrate deeper. Unfortunately, it costs twice the Active-fx price.


Well - I can't believe it but my whole face peeled. I figured this would go on for another week or so but it didn't. I still look a little red in the areas where the doctor did the DeepFX. I definitely look younger, which wasn't what I was doing this for, but it is a nice bonus. I had a deep furrow in my brow that appears to be gone as are the crow's feet. I cannot really tell that my acne scars are any better.

From all of the creams and so forth, I've received a few pimples. Some feel deep under the skin and hurt. Not something I need right now :(

I put some powder over my face when I went out the other day and that appeared to help with the redness, but other than that, I haven't put any major makeup on. My followup appt is on Thursday. I am looking forward to it. I'm wondering if it would be OK for me to do some skin peels. I'm going to ask.

Pat, I'm glad your procedure was not as painful as mine. I guess I have a low pain tolerance. However, I would do this again. The pain and physical disfigurement didn't last as long as I had expected. :( I'll keep you posted....


I had the Active FX March 13th. I had been told by my dermatolgist that the laser would help my acne scars, and recommended this doctor. After researching and reading all the comments on this site, I thought I would get it done. I am 57 yrs old and have suffered with old acne scars for years, and felt that I should now do something about it. The actual procedure I felt wasn't too bad. I lied to my doctor when she asked me if I had taken my Valium beforehand and applied the numbing cream. I don't like to take anything like Valium.
So I thought I would try it without that. They covered my eyes with those metal cups. Yuck! I must admit that was the worst part of the whole thing. They then reapplied more of that numbing cream. She scrapped any small skin tags, etc. first, then she took a needle with a scalpel on the end and went underneath my acne scars to "loosen" the scar tissue. I then got Rejuvaderm injections under my eyes. Then the doctor did the laser on the highest setting in my worst areas, going over twice. I can't actually say it hurt, it felt like being in a real bad sand storm how the sand stings when hitting you. I found it more irrating than anything. The cool air that they blow on you at the same time they are lasering really helps. She did my whole face and neck and chest. That took about 45 minutes.
After I was finished they "popped" out those eye guards and slathered a cream on my face. She also did age spots on my hands with some sort of liquid nitrogen, and I was ready to go home. My face was red, swollen and tight for about 4 days. I had to wash my face 3 to 5 times a day. It was painful after washing when you have to dry it throughly before putting on your creams. The vinegar rinse made it feel almost bearable. I slept sitting up for the whole week. I tried sleeping in bed on the 3rd night, I gingerly laid my head and face down on the pillow, but when I went to turn over the side of my face stuck to the pillowcase and it actually pulled the skin off the side of my face leaving it stuck to the pillowcase. Kinda like the Shroud of Turin. That hurt! Anyway, I am seeing improvement little by little. The doctor promised a 70% improvement. My complexion appears softer and the pock marks aren't as deep. I had 2 treatments to remove the red marks, but that doesn't seem to be working real well. I have noticed that in time the red marks are fading. I guess I'll just have to wait six months to see if it was worth the $4,000.00.
It didn't hurt enough for me to tell anyone not to get it done especially if you are not happy with your skin. I'll keep you posted.


I had the active fx/deep fx procedure done for acne scars. I haven't seen this posted before here but in addition to doing Active/Deep FX I had punch excision for the pitted scars and then subscision for the rolling scars prior to doing Active. I've had about 45 pitted scars surgically removed. I did the excision and subscision over the course of a month and then had my active fx/deep fx done this past Tuesday.

I live in NC and I did this with a dermatologist. He seems to be on the cutting edge of cosmetic dermatology and he was very confident in performing this procedure. Before settling on a dermatologist, I went to a plastic surgeon but the PS wasn't even going to do the procedure. They were going to have a nurse or an anestician do the procedure! The PS was also not interested in doing anything additional to the acne scars and didn't seem very confident in doing any of the procedure so I opted to go with the dermatologist.

This is not a simple procedure and I think the reports of a "few days downtime" is inaccurate. I suggest having a driver and making your doctor give you painkillers. Good ones. I believe that the recovery times that are being advertised are grossly inaccurate and need to be improved. I also disagree with the notion of no pain meds so that people can drive themselves home. I think the more they advertise the truth of this type of laser, the more invasive it will seem, but that is more accurate than how it is being promoted today.

I'm two days post procedure and so far, I can't tell anything. I know I look horrible. I cannot go out in public. If anyone tells you this procedure doesn't hurt and they did not take any pain meds, they lie. It was extremely painful. The deep FX was not that bad. The active FX was terribly painful. You would think the deeper the more painful but that was not my experience. Active felt as if someone was moving an open flame across my face. That went on for about 45 minutes. The deep felt like getting a tattoo. I don't know what a tattoo feels like but that is what I imagine it feels like.

I think rather than start with the Deep FX first as my doctor did, he should have done the Active first on my forehead, around the mouth etc. and left the areas where he was going to do the deep fx untouched. Do the deep and then go back over those areas with active. The reason I say this is by the time he was done with Deep much of the numbing was wearing off on the other areas of my face that are considered more sensitive. I had dental blocks on the areas where he was doing the Deep so I think it would have been better to do Active first. Of course I'm not a doctor so there may have been a method to the madness that I do not know of.

Anyway, I look awful. I have these dark circles on the areas where he did DeepFX similar to the other descriptions that look like "cigarette burns." With the combination of the things I did I'm hoping I will have some noticable improvement with all of this. My goal was to minimize the appearance of my scars. I'm realistic in that I do not think the scars will disappear only minimize their appearance.

I think this will be a long road to recovery. I do not think I will see any big improvements until 3 mos from now. I think everyone will respond differently to these kinds of procedures. I think some will respond wonderfully and receive amazing results and some will not. While this might just be genetics rather than the procedure itself. I don't know why it is, just that it is.

I hope to start peeling soon. I am looking forward to seeing the real results. For all of what I've done, I paid $3500. Given the scar removal, subcision, and the laser, I think it was a good deal. I feel like the doctor I'm seeing is doing all he can to help me. That is really important. In fact I think my doctor has had issues with acne in his past. I think when the doctor has battled these issues themselves, it makes a difference.

I'm at a place where I accept that what the results will be, will be. I don't think I can do much more than what I've done. Therefore, I'm happy with whatever results I receive provided they are not worse. I will keep you all posted on my progress.

I love this board!!! A wealth of information!!


Hello Active Fxers..Checking back in at the 5 month post-active fx treatment point. I agree with assessment from CPK, I think the initial appearance of some lines/wrinkles "disappearing" is due to residual swelling that takes a long time to resolve-I was the one who wrote so ecstatically that if I couldn't see them in car rear view mirror, they had to be gone! Well, some of them those lip lines have seemed to reduce in size or become "filled in". But as time marches on,I see the residual crevices or artifacts of 57 years of smiling are not eradicated..but ya know..on a day to day basis, nobody looks at our faces up close and personal with a magnifying glass like we all do..and its the overall appearance, how we dress, carry ourselves, the sparkle in our eye that gives that youthful appearance. Definitely my overall skin tone is firmer, more volume, better tone and color, no more tired look around the eyes and mouth..when I told some people I saw Jimi Hendrix the night I graduated high school in 1969, they said " No way!" And I had to show driver's license to prove I qualified for Sr discount at Bob's Big Boy...I will definitely do this procedure again in a few years...and most of all, make sure your doc properly medicates, discussed earlier..nerve shots in mouth, pain killer, and anti-anxiety meds, for maximim comfort. Is it wise to mix all these different types of laser or tightening treatments, the active, deep, fx, max,etc., I say, for your own sanity, keep it simple!


Did you have the Deep FX ? or just Active FX?


I had the Activ FX procedure done on May 16th for acne scars I have been trying to get taken care of for 17 years.

It is now May 19th. My skin has peeled, I look like a sunburnt victim...eeekkk! My face itches a little. Not sure if its from the vinegar soaks or my skin is on the road to recovery. (fingers crossed) I do have to say that my skin feels tighter and from what I can see, my skin looks smoother. No bumps & dents from all my scars.

I hope the redness goes away soon & I cant wait to see the results. Only then will I be able to say it was worth it...


Yeah, probably somewhere between 40-60%. I do have some minor acne scarring which definetely improved but I really just wanted to look a little younger. Im 46 and did this for me. I feel better and look younger. Dr. Han recommended to wait until my skin completely healed before any filler or botox.


Thanks, Jeannie! Did you have it done for acne scarring? If yes, how soon did you see results? The Dr. said it is 40-60% improvement. Would you agree? What kind of fillers were recommended? Did you get any? I was told to wait 3-4 months afterwards before spending money on doing anything else. Thank you for your feedback!


I had a great experience with Dr. Han in Southern California, Anaheim CA , Total FX (both Deep and Active). I paid 3950. Skin Nirvana Medical Office/Laser- Dr. Han also recommended some some fillers and botox which has made the total experience simply incredible ! I cant tell you how many compliments I have had. Good luck.

Tammy B.

Had it done 5-12-08
I did not have to have anything put in my eyes, The doc held some safety eye things over them. Always ask if the dr. has the cold blowing devise, they use it at the same time of the treatment and it imediatly takes away the burning, this makes the experience 100% better than without it.


I am interested in getting TotalFX (DeepFX and ActiveFX) for acne scarring. I live in Southern California and was quoted $4500. Does anyone know any other doctors in SoCal besides Dr. Sire in Fullerton that performs the treatment? Price? Thanks!


I have to comment on the Active FX. I had the procedure done in November of 07, so it has been 6 months,,,,my skin is a better texture, but the fine lines and crows feet are still there. I do believe the reason they seem to be gone at first is because your face is somewhat swollen. I am pleased with the smoothness of my face and do receive comments on how nice my skin looks. But I am a little disappointed that the fine lines and crows feet did not go away. I guess that is what Botox is for!!
I suppose I would do it again,,,the jury is still out on this one! I enjoy this column, and it has been fun listening to everyone's experiences.


Ok. I'm about 2 weeks out on an Active FX/Deep Fx combination treatment of face, neck and chest. My doctor (a board- certified head and facial surgeon), did one pass of the Active FX everywhere at 80-100 joules, and up to three passes of Deep Fx, depending on the area (focusing on my lower face and jowls, I believe). I was under twilight anethesia--my doc won't do anything else, as he underwent the procedure himself with numbing cream and pills, and does not want to inflict that experience on any of his patients.

The key word for this experience is "faith". You gotta have faith that you will get better, because the first 4-5 days of recovery are nerve-wracking. You look like a burn victim. Not a lot of pain for me, but increasing itching for awhile. The pace of recovery speeds considerably between days 4-6. I was out and about on Day 7, albeit with lots of concealer. Neck and chest lag the face by at least 2-3 days, in terms of recovery.

At two weeks, now that I've come down a bit from the euphoria that I have not ruined my face forever, I can say this:

I'm still pink, on my face and neck/chest. I can cover it with makeup, but I'm hopeful that it continues to fade (especially on my chest, where you can see a distinct U-Pattern where the doctor treated it, although he tried to "feather" between the treated and untreated areas).

Surface skin has improved--no doubt about it, really. Fine lines are finer, color more uniform, etc.. Hope that continues to be the case as the pink fades. For me, though, the Active FX (which is the tougher recovery) was almost an afterthought--I was looking more for longer-term, deeper collagen building and tightening from Deep FX. On that, I'll have to wait, but early signs are pretty good. My doctor says it will "just keep getting better" for several months.

He wants to use me in his advertising, so I extracted concessions in return--he did this for $2000, including anesthesia. At that price, so far it seems it was worth it to me.

If you do it, especially Active FX, just hang on for the first few days--it WILL get better!!


IF possible always get the DEEP FX with the active. penetrating deeper layers safely with incredible proven collagen production.


I am about 3 weeks post Active FX and am quite pleased. Wrinkles are diminished but the acne "holes" look about the same. I am going to get some injectible, Juviderm to deal with those and the deeper creases around the mouth.


I'm scheduled to get it done on 6/17 and want it done to remove some big and growing sun spots on my face. Any advice? Did it work to remove the sun spots?

eye girl

Hi, I'm eyegirl. I posted back on February 3, 2008. I had gotten ActiveFX done around my eyes for $1,000.

I wanted to come back just to give my final opinion on the procedure. Unfortunately, I don't think it's worth it.

CONS: I was trying to get rid of brown spots, and unfortunately I got MORE brown spots from the procedure.

PROS: A wrinkle that comes from smiling went away, but that never wrinkle never bothered me. The brown spots did.

Overall, I feel that Holly's original post was accurate. I had thought since she was part of a trial group, I would fare better (sorry, Holly), but really this procedure is pretty much a waste of money and time. The only thing that's give me results is IPL, so I'm going to stick with that. And thankfully IPL's helping to remove the extra brown spots the ActiveFX gave me. Oh, well, we all make mistakes, right?


This is the Lumenis laser website:


I live in vermont and am looking to get active fx and deep fx, how do I go about finding the closest place to me that does both deep and active? TIA


MAX FX is a traditional "old school" CO2 procedure. It offers the maximum benefits with maximum results however, this procedure usually involves: IV sedation, increased downtime sometimes 10 or more days with very close follow up with your physician. Our office performs this procedure in the hospital. In addition, MAX FX may involving "wiping" the vaporized skin in between passes with the laser "cleaning off layer by layer" Although the results are quite impressive, there has always been an increased risk for "hypopigmentation" or permanent lightening of the skin, infection, and poor wound healing.

Deep FX combined with Active FX (called TOTAL FX) has been a newer way to deliver the energy. "Fractional" which means only portions are treated. The results are not as dramatic as MAX FX however in my opinion about 70-80% the result and much safer. Usually no IV sedation, downtime about 5-7 days, currently over 2000 cases and no reported "hypopigmentation or scarring" . Much easier recovery without the risks of infection.

DEEPFX procedures entail tiny micro dots .12 microns to be exact ! (smallest in the laser world of fractional CO2) to penetrate the skin deep down below the skin and thus heating it creating tightening and increased collagen production. It doesn't do too much to the surface because the spots of energy are so tiny. The Active FX are larger spots and also tightens but stays more on the superficial top layers of the skin to treat freckles and some fine lines. Combining both procedures (Active and Deep FX) called Total FX offers really immediate refreshed look and with Deep FX procedure heating collagen to last months and years down the line.

Final note : Deep FX is still a very new procedure to many offices. It is always better to have procedures performed at offices that have completed many procedures. Never let money be the sole reason why you pick a office for any procedure, your safety is number one. Make sure a board certified physician who has done many procedures (ask to see their own pictures not from laser company) performs your treatment. Your physician should have hospital staff priveledges at a local hospital. This is for your safety as a patient should any emergencies arise, although rare. A nurse , nurse practioner, or a physician assistant may not be able to handle admitting you to a hospital and/or running a cardiac arrest code. Again although rare, surprises in a laser surgical setting are never welcome.

There are many laser technologies for "fractional CO2" now out. Active/Deep FX has been the first from a company that has the most clinical studies in the market today. Lumenis laser is the merger of ESC, Sharplan, and Coherent combined. As noted by another physician Active/Deep FX are used by my colleagues from Harvard, John Hopkins, NYU. Many other "me too" products from China, Korea, Germany, France are currently pending preliminary FDA clearance. Like anything else not all lasers are the same.

Final note: As a laser surgeon, I believe, you should always be treated with respect and all your concerns should be answered thoroughly. Although, all patients will not necessarily be good candidates for this procedure, those that I have treated have been very happy. The settings that I have used and technique are very important to the outcomes of this procedure. Good luck to everyone. This is a very wonderful and informative blog!


Can anyone explain the difference between deep fx and max fx? Are they two totally different procedures, or are they the same thing?


My clinic recommended that I get the fractional resurfacing but after reading all the comments about active FX I'm not sure which procedure is better. I need correction of acne scars, some expression lines arround the eyes and lip area. Can someone help me with advice on which procedure will work better for my needs?

just me.

I had Active fx on the 27 th of April and I came out of it alive. I was told to take a valium and a demoral 30 minutes before the procedure. The procedure wasn't as bad as I thought. I was told I was a tuff cookie and that most patients scream a little. I'm dis apointed that I wasn't give ice to calm my face down right after the procedure. I had to ride 2 hours home and was told not to ice my face until tomorrow. Well, my face was swollen and my kids said I looked like an Alien. My face was hot,swollen and red to brown in color. I was told to put aquaphor on my face for 4 days to moisten the skin so it flakes off faster. It took until the 4 th day for my face to stop hurting.My face is now almost free from spots, except along the hair line and my neck. Which by the way was not covered with numbing jell like the rest of my face.

So far the lines around my eyes look alittle
better, but I was told that any lines around my mouth would defently be gone, wrong ! they are still present and I'm very disapointed since that is the reason why I went in for the Active FX. I phoned the doctors office and was told that, there is probably a slight difference and that is what I wanted. That is not what I wanted! I just hope they go away. I hear was told it could take 6 months for my face to tighten.
Then the doctor says it takes 1 month, they can't make up their minds. Another thing is that the brown spots that were on my cheek and forehead were light in color and they are still visiable. I paid 600, for their package of creams and was told that the Daily sun protector only would keep me covered for 30 minutes. I got 4 bottles of creams in the package and that was one of them. My friend had resanine injections just before I had my procedure. The doctor told her 2 ceringes would be plenty to take away the wrinkles on her cheek. Once she was in the office and her face numbed the doctor said she would need 4 ceringes to do the job. That's not what she was told before she paid him. Now shes left with cheeks with wrinkles and paid over 2,000. She was told to come back and he would finish the job for another 2,ooo. It's not fair when she was told something else. Now her face is black and blue and her wallet is empty. She doesn't have the funds to compleate the job. We drove 2 hours one way for a job done half right. We hope that our faces improve in the time they said. Will they?

another fxer

additional comment:

Okay, forgot to include this. Of course, people respond differently to treatments. HOWEVER, given that I didn't respond at all to the other treatments mentioned in my entry just above, this FX is legitimate. It is common sense, that depending on WHO is using it, it may not work at all for you. Dr. Cockerham told me the Max FX for eyes is merely turned up joules FX, which makes perfect sense. I don't think I got actual Max FX on the eyes, but normal FX. I'll ask next time. I am getting a second treatment done in 6 months. A doctor absolutely must have loads of experience with loads of patients requesting different time frames of healing in order to know how much to crank it up, so you will be healed enough to go back when you want. I really like that this machine is so flexible in that a patient can tell the doc how much downtime they can do and the doc will take care of how deep (how strong) to go. The more downtime, the better the results, of course. It is really that simple. Dr. Cockerham has this experience. AND, multiple treatments ARE additive, which is also common sense. Anyway, it should be obvious that if a doc hasn't used the machine long, they can only go by printed guidelines as to how strong and how to place the laser to the skin. Nothing substitutes for actual experience, evaluating each and every patient closely and frequently until you have the "feel" for how much you should laser someone to get them back to work on time and ALSO give them results. This seems to be the machine that fills the niche before getting the whole works of true laser resurfacing. I've heard Fraxel is useless - and I do not know about their "copy" of Active FX, where they've now combined the CO2 laser with the original Fraxel. But, I'd stick with Active FX. Will write again after another week.

another fxer

Hi all, I am 45 and I had Active FX on Wednesday, March 26th. Just for your info., I have had Cooltouch, Titan, Thermage (including eyes), and none of them did anything - Thermage looked good for a week, but then I discovered that was because of the swelling, which plumped everything up. Anyway, just before Active FX, I HAD signed for the Queen of all procedures, true laser resurfacing, but canceled, due to research found on longterm 5-10 year effects found at the last moment. So, I found Dr. Kimberly Cockerham who has been mentioned earlier in this blog. Her CV or resume is easily Googled and once you see it, you may ask yourself, "And, how does a single person achieve all this in one lifetime???" Not only is she a plastic surgeon, but also an opthamologist, with about the most impressive background, complete with truckloads of awards and enless published research, I've ever seen - and my dad, a doctor, used to run ERs for 30 years, a pioneer in ER medicine, and as an ex-scientific researcher, I've very high standards. So, my concerns voiced by other physicians about lasering on the eyes were put to rest. She uses Ti eye shields. A few days before, I had to take Valtrex, a herpes med, because they make everyone take it as there is the possibility it can be activated, and people don't always know they have herpes. That was the first surprise. BECAUSE, I became violently ill the ENTIRE night, losing 4 pounds overnight, after taking the two prescribed during the day. God, that's a nasty med. Next AM, called the office and stopped taking THAT.

THE DAY: had the caine goo spread all over my face, eyes, neck, chest. Sat for 1/2 hour, then took 1/2 valium (cuz too scared to take a whole) and took a vicodin. Then, 1/2 hr. after that, they took me in. They left for a moment, at which point, I thought it prudent to pop the last 1/2 of that valium as I thought I was perhaps being too optimistic about the pain to come. Well, they put the numbing drops in my eyes, and she had those eye things in my eyes before I knew what was happening - THANK GOD. Anyway, throughout the whole process, I was talking to the dr. and nurse about this and that, research and bike riding, etc. Okay, then they were going to do my eyes. Okay. OKEEEEE. This was the moment I dreaded...and it turned out I envisioned it correctly. OH MY GOD - THE PAIN - not from the laser. From the injections. My eyes were injected a bizzillion times - they gave me rubber balls to squeeze, and my fingernails squeezed clear through them. I was so rigid, they asked if I wanted to stop and take another valium. I said no. Being stiff as a board, enabled me to endure. And really, it didn't last all that long. But, I did wonder if I would ever open my eyes again ;) . Anyway, then she lasered my eyes, which didn't hurt. None of the lasering really hurt. It was just an interesting feeling. After, they slathered me lightly with Aquaphor (like Vaseline) I was sleepy, but not cold. They laid ice bags on my chest, neck, and face. I went to sleep. Then, they moved me to another room where they put the ice on me again and I went to sleep again until my ride came. I did not feel hot or cold, just sleepy. The only time I felt burning, was the teensy distance I walked to my friend's car and inside her car where I put a towel over me, like over a bird cage, because I was hypersensitive to any sunrays. But then, a 1/2 hr. later, I walked from her car into the Hyperbaric Oxygen place with no burning sensation at all. Yes, I believe this is what makes me different from everyone else on this blog. I signed up for three 2 hr. hyperbaric oxygen treatments at Bay Area Hyperbarics in Mtn. View, which, BEFORE I went, I really thought were hype. They are NOT! All I can say is how amazed my dr and nurse were when I came back the next day. This is something I added on my own, after running it past the dr., who agreed the theory made sense. She had never sent a patient for hyperbaric therapy before. After seeing me the next day, she said she was sold. Anyway, at no time after the procedure was I ever in any sort of pain, except for the moment I spoke of in the sun walking to the car. I went home after the oxygen - I SAW the difference, after looking in the mirror immediately before and after entering the Oxygen chamber. The swelling went down rapidly. Oh, the other really cool thing about hyperbaric oxygen is my eyesight improved, both up close and far. This can definitely happen, but is usually not permanent. Anyway, it was exciting.

Day after: Had 2nd hyperbaric oxygen treatment in the AM. As I said, dr. and nurse impressed with rate of healing. Some yellow wet soggy crusty areas, mostly under eyes, and a few spots on cheeks. Normal. Upper eyelids quite fluid-filled. Normal. Chest/neck already seem to have brown spots. Dr. told me to wash using mix of 8 oz distilled water and 2 tbsp vinegar. I did that eve, but pulled some skin off my eye, as I didn't get that the gauze was supposed to be sopping/dripping wet and you're supposed to sort of soak the skin by firmly, but delicately patting. Not just dampening the gauze with the solution, which promotes adhesion to the skin when touched. If totally soaked dripping, then it will pat and lift off easily.

Friday: After another hyperbaric treatment, was panicked and went to see dr. because I had pulled skin off eye as mentioned above. They told me fine, and it would heal. Swelling around eyes diminishing. Showered everything but head, hair, face, and chest. Nice! One scary thing here, but since this day, it seems it may be temporary. I noticed my eyes looked sunken into my head, the skin directly under the eyes seemed to have lost quite a bit of fat and it was scary-looking. My friend thought so too. But, I realized, at least part of this was due to just how darned tight the skin was pulled across my cheeks and bridge of my nose that, of course, pulled all the skin across my cheekbones so tight that it looked like there were hollows just under my eyes. I believe there is also uneven resolution of edema(swelling) too, so cheeks may stay more swollen longer than directly under eyes.

Saturday: Swelling really going down. Showered and washed hair. YAY! I feel human. Used Cetaphil to wash and wash and wash and wash and wash. Then used transformation cream. The hollow eye look is diminishing as skin loosens up.

Sunday: Looking great. Eyes still surrounded by reddish areas, but swelling down and can see great progress. Hollow eye look is less than Saturday. Skin loosening more. I thought I might go outside with sunblock, but called dr. and she said, "No! Sunblock is still too toxic." Waah. Oh well. Today is Sunday, so this is the end so far. Neck and chest are all brown spotted, they seem to go through the stages the slowest, and next to that my forehead seems to be healing third slowest. Well, except my eyes are still reddish purplish, but not swollen, so really not bad! :)

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