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Monday, October 16, 2006



Chemical peels "melt" skin. Lasers "ablate" remove skin with energy and leave residual heat to tightening and stimulate more collagen which chemicals cannot do.


What is the mechanism by which a TCA peel gives "almost the same collagen building" as Deep FX?


Hi - I'm back again with a quick question.

My friend the dermatologist said that lasers are expensive and that I need to accept I will never totally get rid of the wrinkles around my eyes b/c they are dynamic wrinkles. I smile, they wrinkle. That's just the way it is. She also said - and here's where my question comes in - that b/c I am young, have fair skin, mild freckles ("brown spots") and mild to moderate wrinkles, I am a perfect candidate for a peel. Specifically, she said I can get the same benefits from a 35% TCA peel that I can from a laser. Almost the same collagen building, and definitely the same ablation on the surface level. She acknowledged that I'd probably want to get a peel once a year to maintain the effects, but at $250 a pop, that's a lot cheaper than a $3,000 peel.

So here you go - has anyone here had such a peel? Clearly, if you are on this great blog you've had or are thinking of having the laser. I am just curious whether anyone had a peel previously and if it helped at all.

Many thanks,


Hi Diana,

You were probably shaking more due to psychological trauma (as weird as that might sound to you) than actual physical trauma.

Furthermore, you should not be worried about it zapping off your hairline. It is a temporary effect and it will grow back, so don't worry about having a bald spot or anything.

Lastly, I would talk to your doctor again because although you might see some improvement in your acne scars, ActiveFX is better suited for pigmentation and minor facial issues.

DeepFX, which I underwent 2 days ago, penetrate much deeper (hence the name) and is much better at treating acne scars.

For more information for anyone who visits this board, you can also visit


in which I am detailing my experience with this treatment. Plus, its a forum that deals specifically with scars.




I just had my first Active FX treatment today. I decided to go for this treatment because I have acne scars. The acne scars are the only reason I am doing this laser treatment.
I was very nervous today during my procedure. I arrived an hour and a half early so the clinic could put numbing cream on my face. I also took one vicoden to help with the pain. In addition my doctor gave me nerve blocker shots. The effect of all of these pain killers allowed me not to feel a thing during the procedure. After the treatment was finished my whole body was shaking...I guess from the nerves.
Currently, my face is really red, my skin is flaking off and has those brown spots all over my face. Also, it appears that the laser burnt off some parts of my hairline. Has this ever happend to anyone else??
For cream I am using Biafine a topical emulsion. My doctor didn't want me to use Aquaphor all over my face because I might have acne breakouts. I was also prescribed Valtrex because the laser supposedly might bring out cold sores.
I'll continue with my progress in a couple days.


I was told to not use any antibiotics during/before/after these procedures. Also, I think the Active FX addresses the surface and is not as effective as having the Deep FX, which stimulates the collagen and you see the maximum results 3-6 mos. after doing that procedure. Since I had the Deep Fx first and then both a month later, that might be the reason that I see a dramatic difference. It's important to choose a doctor that knows about both these procedures and who gives you accurate details on what to expect. As far as then not offering you any anxiety (or pain)meds (I took Xanax), etc. I guess some doctors don't want to take the responsibility for that since you have to have someone drive you after the procedures if you take any meds.


Hi everyone on this fantastic site. I had active fx done five months ago. I had it done with just the gell to numb my face, it was quite painful, I was offered nothing else, I had to put the cream on one hour before I reached the surgery and then they reapplied another lot half an hour before the proceedure.. I can honestly say that I do not see much change even in my skin although when I go back to the doctors they always say what an improvement there is. Is it like the Kings New Clothes!!!!! Perhaps I have just forgot what I was like before. Initially I went because I had several bad sun spots on each side of my face, when ever I looked into the mirror they were all I saw, even if I tried to cover them up with foundation they were still there. I also wanted the bags under my eyes tighened.

The first lot of active fx got rid of some of the dark marks so I had to have a second lot of active fx done just on the dark areas which were left. They have completely gone on the right hand side of my face but on the left side there is still a small mark which shouts out to me. When I went back the doctor prescribed me a bleaching cream and told me to use if for one month. After I had put it on for four days my left eye went bright red and I got terrible pains in the left hand side sinus and down the left hands side of my face. I went to an ear, nose and throat consultant and he said that I had an infection in my sinus. He put me on an antibiotic. Two weeks later I was worse, the whole of the left hand side of my face was swollen and I looked like I had had a stroke. Really pretty!! I went back to him and he had to change my antibiotic. I them started to lose the sight in my left eye. Once again I went to an eye consultant who said that the infection had affected my eye. Three and a half weeks on, my face is back to normal and my eyesight is getting better. Really, I am not sure whether it was the cream or whether because of all the treatment I am just low but I can honestly say it is the illest I have felt in all my life.

Was it worth it. Well, if I am honest after all of the above I suppose it is, at least the right hand side of my face looks better, the bags under my eyes are no different though. I have stopped using the cream as I am really not sure whether it could have caused the problem. I still have pain in the left hand side of my face like nerves running across so I am thinking that I could have had a small dose of shingles which is why they give you a viral tablet after the proceedure, who knows,

I will go back to the doctor in a week or two to see what is the next move.

Will keep this sight undated.



My doctor was conducting a study to determine a better way to do both the Deep FX and Active FX. I had the Deep FX first and one month later had both the Deep and Active FX. I had the first treatment on a Wednesday and was back to work on Monday. I was red and swollen the first 3 days, but was wearing makeup by Sunday. Because I was given Xanax the doctor's office had previously told me I would need a ride home. I didn't feel any real pain or discomfort, only a little around the jawline and other bony areas. After, I was iced and went home. I slept elevated, which helps the swelling. I noticed a difference in my face as soon as I returned to work. Most of the peeling was done. The second treatment required more downtime, about 5-7 days. I did have to put Aquaphor on the entire time, so it was very messy, but I didn't leave the house anyway. It took a full week, but I am very happy with the results. I am over 60 and had very visible lines, mostly on the left side of my face. My doctor said the best results will come in 3-6 months because the Deep FX stimulates the collagen. I will let you know more in a few months!


Yes, there are now 2 more "fractional" CO2 devices: SmartXide Dot from Deka and Alma Pixel fractional CO2. A third model from Korea and possibly a fourth from China on its way this year. These models have not been clincally used extensively in the US. They will cost approx. 1/4 the cost of Lumenis Active/Deep FX laser. Many laser manufactures have now entered the "me too" product line of fractional CO2. When all is said and done you want to find the most qualified and caring physician that can address your concerns with respect. Some may not be candidates for any resurfacing. A good physician will tell you that. You will find some of the most respected physicians in the field of laser surgery and academia/ universities use Lumenis Active/Deep FX, (ie John Hopkins University - Dr. Weiss, Scripps - University of California San Diego - Dr. Ross, University South Texas- Dr. Kenkle, Harvard - Dr. Seckle, New York University - Dr. Goldberg .... etc.) Good Luck.


As I was reading this, one of the posters mentioned only three Co2 laser treatments offered in the US. Well, there is another one called the smart xide dot therapy. I am still researching this and there is not a whole lot of real-life people experience like what I've read here, but what I have read makes it clear that the damage that can come with some of these Co2 lasers has been dealt with. It's been in use in the UK for some time and has FDA approval for a whole slew of issues. If anyone out there has real experience with this newer Co2 laser (smart xide dot therapy), can you post here? Thanks


Thank you for all of your thoughts. It's funny - some days I look in the mirror and feel like a hot momma :), while other days I catch a glimpse of myself and wonder where that girl with the crow's feet came from. And don't get me started on the bags and circles under my eyes (thank you, children, says the mom who has been up since 3:30am...why are they always able to fall right back to sleep, but not me? I suppose I am in the process of filling the well of mother's guilt I will use on them when they are teenagers - but I digress.).

Debora - the doc I saw is in Timonium and supposedly helped test this laser in its early stages. That's why I don't understand how the office can't have more pics to show. If you are doing the study that tests its efficacy, how do you not keep the proof that it works?

I know I want to do something. I know I want to freshen my skin and diminish both the fine lines and the tired look. Would a deep peel be better? I wonder. Full confession: I was scheduled to get filler injected in my tear trough to deal with the tired eye look. I went to the office (a friend is a dermatologist; she doesn't do Active Fx, but another laser called the Pearl, which most folks don't speak highly of) and had the numbing cream applied. I totally wussed out - such a loser! - and, not wanting to waste her time - again, loser! - got the Titan instead. Getting the Titan was equivalent to handing her $675 and saying, here, let me treat you and some friends to a really great night out. I can pretend it softened here or there, but must emphasize the "pretend" part. I querry whether Fraxel or Affirm would be better (did I mention they also pushed Thermage for Eyes, which is crazy to me b/c I don't see much of a difference in the pics on the Thermage website).

So, I am back to square one - desperately wanting to believe that Active Fx will work, and not wanting to believe that it likely will not. Sigh - do I buy a new chandelier for my dining room or get an iffy procedure? Life's questions can be so difficult!

Thanks again.


Hi Lynn, I feel your questions..and I think you are wise to do some "reality checking ". I too have noticed the same pictures from commercial sites being used to promote ACtive Fx. From my experience, Active Fx was uncomfortable, and I felt sore and achy, in addition to being swollen for 5 Dr wisely had me take meds the day before to prevent cold sores..1 hr before procedure I was precribed 1 vicodin and 1 ativan... Then 30 minutes before, 1 more vicodin, and 1/2 of the ativan..when I saw my doc for check-up, he said he has actually increased the ativan dosage for his patients, as people are quite anxious, and unprepared for the "stingy feeling"..and some people, as reported get the shakes afterwards. Did your Dr mention anything about an additional nerve block being administered through the upper gum line, to help further block the pain when the machine goes over the mouth and lips area, where there are lots of nerves? Based on my experience, and reports from others here, the recovery time as advertised is usually minimized..after the zapped skin comes off, face remains quite and noticeably red, for at least 2 weeks, I am fair-skinned too, and was able to hide out for two weeks..I read these reports or claims that people can go back to work after a weekend and think maybe their treatment was very superficial..and that's why some people feel they don't see any results..I felt exactly what you are expressing when I was 37,had a tubal ligation, and had to grieve the idea of no more kids, that I was now "sterile" even though it was my choice. So, please continue to look within yourself, honestly, as seems you are doing..maybe you are exactly on the right track to give yourself some time to reflect and get ok with these other life decisions you are making..and its not time for you make this decision yet..I would not recommend anyone drive themselves home afterwards..this is not an insignificant procedure, this is not a "facial" if I were in your position, and reading this response, I would keep looking for another Dr.who would at least acknowledge that some people may in fact experience pain or discomfort..I could not imagine going through the Active Fx with only the numbing face way..


Lynn, speaking for myself only, if I was your age (I too have fair skin. I have been told often that I appear younger than my years), I would not get the Active FX procedure. I would wait. And I would find a physician who provides complete and reliable information in advance.


I saw a well respected dermatologist in Baltimore for the Active FX consult. I was quoted $3,000. and was also offered no anti-virals for fever blisters. I have not decided whether to have it done at this office. They were pushing Thermage big time.


I am in need of real advice from real people who have been on the receiving end of Active Fx. I am considering undergoing this procedure in the office of a well-respected dermatologist in Baltimore, MD.

I am concerned, however, because what I am reading is not what I am being told by the office. First, the office claims that other than the 2 photos on its website, it does not have any before and after pics to show me. Given how many procedures they claimed to have performed, I find this odd. I also find it odd since the doctor said she had the treatment herself, but I could not see her own photos.

Second, I am concerned because I'm being told: I do not need any pain relief other than a pre-procedure numbing gel for 30 minutes; that the laser does not hurt; that swelling (if there is any, for many don't swell) will subside within 48 hours; that any redness and peeling will be gone within 5-7 days; that I don't need to do any speciial prep in the week or two before the procedure. I was not asked about cold sores. (I don't get them, but my husband does, so I sure carry whatever it is that causes folks to break out.) I was told I could drive myself home afterwards.

Third, I was told that any negative reviews were regarding the Active Fx full CO2 laser. They say they don't use the full CO2 Active Fx laser, but the Active Fx fractional laser. I'm confused b/c I thought the whole selling point of the Active Fx is its fractional (80%) nature. What are they talking about?

Any thoughts would be MUCH appreciated. I am 35 with fair skin which is actually kind of pretty. It's just that I have fine lines that don't go away after I stop smiling, as well as the freckles which are suddenly being called "age spots." If I'm really honest, it's also the feeling that I am getting older that is spurring me on (we decided to stop having children and, for some reason, knowing that my childbearing years are behind me is making me feel old all of a sudden).


Sorry nadina, I was just glancing at your post and went to your link. I see it's Dr. Cockerham.



Wow, you can really see the difference. You must be a happy camper. What doctor did you see and in what state? Tia



Here is my album-The last picture in the album is my "before" picture. I hope the pictures help you see the difference.



Hello! This is Nadine...I am doing amazing. I can't tell you the difference-you have to see to believe...the wrinkles are GONE on my cheeks and the deep lips line are %90 improved.

Now keep in mind I had the DEEP FX
(done 2-1-08)-first Dr. Cockerham did a once over with the active fx and then she cranked it up to 150 and went over all my really bad spots.

I am 42 and was terribly wrinkled...I have pix and will be back with a link for anyone who wants to see.


Great Rita, I'm very happy for you!
I've read on that the best laser for acne scar is DEEPfx (and not active fx) by lumenis, while active fx is good for minimal skin problem
but not very good for acne scar. Are you agree? Dott. De Bias, what do you think about that active fx does not work for acne scar , not very deep, not ice-pic, but bad and large? bye from Italy!


Just stopping back with an update. I had my Active FX done by a very good doc right before Thanksgiving. I posted a bunch right afterward. Well, it has been a few months and he told me I would build collagen and it would just keep getting better for three months. I didn't really believe it. I get so many compliments now that I have to say it must have worked better than I originally thought. I had a job interview yesterday with an Oncolology doctor (I am a nurse) and he asked me how old my children were. When I told him 32 and 26, he told me it couldn't be true. He estimated my age to be around 27 -29. I thought he was crazy, but I wasn't going to argue. I am 50 and no one believes it. If I had some extra money, I'd have it done again at 6 months. It is just supposed to get better. It wasn't too expensive and my doc does subsequent procedures for half price!! I do think he is the best.


I got Active FX with CO2 done a month ago. Here is the question I want to ask somebody who will read this comment. I had a really deep active FX and I'm still swollen below my eyes and my face color is not that smooth yet, It looks like it's irritated (some red spots on and off). But I'm fine with this coloring problems. The most concerning thing is the swollen areas below my eyes, it just looks not right. Is it possible to have it that long or I have to alarm? How much time have to pass to get rid the swollow areas after deep Active FX?


Hello, Active Fxers..I feel I have to respond to the comment made about "Kaiser" on March 1, 2008 on this blog. The Kaiser facility near my home has a "cosmetic care center" for these types of elective procedures: active fx lasers, filler injections, etc. This is where I had my Active Fx laser done Dec 27. The whole process was managed professionally, with great care to make sure I was comfortable..and the procedure was personally supervised as well as conducted by the attending MD. He is a wonderfully warm, caring, physician, and for these purposes, extremely skillful and knowledgeable. I am totally satisfied with my result and just went yesterday to "complete" my little makeover, with some filler for the ( )from mouth to chin and the "11s" on the forehead that the laser can't completely address. Therefore, I wanted to offer a response to the insinuation that a person might receive less than qualified care at Kaiser. As we have seen, there are plenty of hacks everywhere in private practice. I asked my doc "what's new" on the horizon for these treatments. He just returned from a national convention of cosmetic care surgeons and dermatologists..the "deep" laser targets a smaller area on the skin, and does go further into the dermis. The "head" of the deep laser costs about $ is a different "head" than the one used for fx treatments..there is also product development going on in Europe about permanent filler products..but so far, not consistent results..some patients had "skin necrosis".. So again, it can't be repeated strongly enough, that you have to have confidence in the MD you choose for your treatments..and not be swayed by advertising..


Robin, I would expect most areas to be completely recovered by now. However, without seeing the area and knowing the settings....Defintely see the physician back in the office. Cont. moisturizing not heavy and sun block. If you do see little brown dots, it may still just be flaking away. Keep the area moist, pat dry and let them exfoliate gently. Keep us updated. Best wishes !


I had activeFx 1/28/08. My eye lids, lower cheek still have streaks appearing to be laser tracks. They are becoming brown.
I am hoping the M.D. that responded to this post 2/29/08 will post more information about treating these areas I mentioned.
I have not had a facial but I do use the products the Dermatology group sold me for keeping skin moist ei Ceuticals skin emollience and sunblock. I do have a 6 week follow up with MD next week.
I am 60yrs old and never wore much facial foundation but I fear this will become a daily routine to cover marks and I am not happy about it.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Mark Aguilard

I just had the active fx done tues.26th.
i thought it would be a four day healing period then back to work. Well it's Sat. now and i have taken of an additional two days to complete the healing.I primary had this procedure done for rolling acne scars. Well i would have to say that they look to be gone,but im told they will come back when the swelling subsides and will hopefully fill in again when the collagen grows in about two months or so.i will keep you updated between now and then. Good luck to us all.


Personally, I'll pay more for a doc who has done many Active/Deep FX treatments. BTW, no offense, but this is not Kaiser, I don't want to see the nurse, PA, or nurse practioner!


Currently there is only 3 laser companies that make "fractional" co2.

1) ActiveFX/DeepFX by Lumenis Laser
2) Re:pair by Reliant (makers of Fraxel)
3) Mixto by Lasering USA (made in Italy sold in the US by third party)

Lumenis laser company with its sister Coherent Inc. has been manufacturing CO2 since 1960's and currently has the most extensive clinical data in the medical community regarding CO2 aesthetic lasers. They are the largest and in my opinion the best manufactures of CO2.

CO2 resurfacing is the gold standard however because of risks hypo-pigmentation scarring and severe downtime (can be up to 6 months not to mention IV anesthesia) fractional CO2 was developed. Why? -- safer and faster healing but about 70-80% of the result of a full old school CO2. In my opinion I think there is now no need to do traditional old school CO2.

Make sure you have a skin analysis on woods lamp. For every freckle you have, you usually have 20 more under the skin. No laser procedure will last forever,... well unless you plan to live in complete darkness. Even with sun protection you cannot block 100% of the sun's rays there is reflected rays, so you will continue producing sun spots. Home care cream after FX is critical.

Fractional CO2 done properly by a board certified PHYSICIAN at the right settings
will be "longer lasting" than Fraxel. Why? This is an ablative procedure. You are cleaning or vaporizing skin. Fraxel is NON-ablative. In addition, depth of penetration and heat is far great for new collagen formation. Fact: Dr. Heinrich published an article proving 1 FX produced 50% MORE collagen on punch biopsy slides than 5 aggressive Fraxel treatments! (No wonder why Fraxel is now coming out with there version of FX: Re:pair)

Finally, There are many patient who see me for this procedure, I do not recommend this for everyone and turn people away. As a physician, your health and well being are utmost importance. Do what is right for you. Get good information. This is an ablative device, in certain states ie. Texas, the medical board ONLY allows a physician to perform the FX procedure. Never let price be the sole reason for which office you decide on. Risks and complications may not necessarily be worth the money you saved.


Hi Landa
I also had scarring from the co2 laser(hypo and hperpigmentation). You could also see the pattern of the laser on some areas of my face. I had it done about 9 years ago, and I was tired of having to wear make-up all the time to cover it up. Like you, I also had 5 fraxel procedures (just last summer) to help with the scarring( I got the fraxel 1500, which is the second generation fraxel). I was very pleased at first; my skin was glowing and the hyperpigmentation seemed to have disappeared. However, as time went on, some of it came back and if I look closely I can still see the pattern. I have to say that there was some improvement, but not as much as I initially saw. I am considering the active fx, but I don't want to spend all that money if the results don't last. I would like to know if your results keep lasting months down the road. Which fraxel did you have? If anyone else has gotten the active fx for pigmentation problems (or scarring) resulting from a co2 laser, I'd like to hear from you too. I didn't notice these problems from the c02 laser until 4 months after I had it done. I was told it was a co2 laser, but months later, I was told it was a sciton(what ever that is) I got this done far away from home, so I'm not in contact with that doctor any longer. Thanks, Noreen

Landa Louis

I live in San Diego area and paid $4500 for the active FX which included two oxygen facials after one and then two weeks. On the fourth week a third oxygen facial, IPL treatment and vibrodermabrasion on the face, neck and chest, plus two kinds of creams to appyly before and after the treatments. I'm at two and a half weeks after and it's looking better and better, especially my neck. I still can see some freckles on my chest but the IPL is supposed to fade those out and make everything look finished. My scars from my S lift in front of my ears are gone and the sides of my face after my C02 laser job is also just about gone. I no longer need to wear scar make-up so I'm a happy camper.


I am 1 month out from my Active Fx and I still have red splotchy marks at the corners of my eyes and on my cheeks after washing my face which turn brown after about 10 minutes. I don't know if this is hyperpigmentation or something that will fade with time. I am pretty concerned because my skin looks worse than when before. I am 35 and did this to improve my fine wrinkles and as a "preventative" to build up the collaged in my skin. Has anyone else had this problem?


I am getting Active FX on March 14th. The cost is $2,500. My doc is also doing the deeper wrinkles (for free,it is usually an additional $1,000 for doing that extra step). I live in Michigan.


Debbie: It looks like $3000 is average. I am in SoCal too. Thermage is about $3000 also and I have had both and I think FX is a lot better---much different procedure--- than Thermage. And FX is pretty much "instant gratification" whereas Thermage takes months to show alleged improvement---a tighter face. It is now seven days since I had FX and I have a really new, smooth, clear face now, with only one very small crease under my eyes I can't see unless I'm close to the mirror under bright light. The redness is leaving slowly and I expect even more improvement over the next few weeks. My doctor says the tightening will take place over time and may eliminate the need for more Juvaderm. Pretty amazing for my age of 70, so anyone younger ought to do even better. BTW goes without saying you should use something like Cetaphil every morning and night thereafter to preserve the excellent results over ensuing years. I have never used sunscreen in my life or wear a hat either but now I will.


I'm considering the procdure but it's quite costly, can anyone tell me approx what they paid so I can get an idea if I'm being over charged? I live in Los Angeles, CA.
Thanks for the info.


Deep and Active FX


Hello Active is my 8 week anniversary of having fx treatment..having read comments from people who felt they could not see any discernible change weeks or months later..I began to wonder if the "improvements" I was seeing, e.g. tighter skin tone, crepeyness gone, smaller pores, were really there, or just byproducts of some residual swelling..I think its a combination of I reported earlier, some liplines I have had since age 37 must be pumping up/filling in from underneath, as they are either gone, or much less harsh and "crack-like" in appearance. I have hopes continued collagen building over next two months will bring even more results..the worst of the crepeyness is gone, along with more noticeable smile lines..upon close inspection, there is a little crepey stuff, very minor,I am sure to the average person, its not noticeable..treatment around the eyes was very effective, they look open and not "tired" even when I am tired..and its nice to see all the brown spotty sun damage gone..the flushing or redness of skin is gradually decreasing, and I miss looked so nice and healthy and new.. my biggest concern, as others have noted, was on the chest..the area that does take longest to heal..I would now score left over laser tracks and remaining red spots at a 2..down from higher numbers..still a little left to fade..but it took a hot pan burn on my forearm, from two Thanksgivings ago a couple of months to fade,and that mark is gone now, so think it will be ok.
As far as reaction from "others"..nothing dramatic, but at a wedding last week, when asked my age and I said 56, I could see a very quizzical look on the person's face, as, if "this couldn't be true"..and when I told people I would be eligible to retire in 4 years, some of them looked at me, like "huh? I am a filler freak too, but I think its wise to wait a few weeks to see how your skin responds to the subterranean plumping process.. I have always had thin lips and have had juvaderm, restylane, and radiesse..but my lips are naturally fuller than they were prior to the active fx treatment, and the howdy doody lines are softer..I am planning an appointment to get some filler work, but don't think will need as much.Definitely looking forward to another active fx treatment some first I thought five years, now I am thinking maybe only waiting till two? Overall, rating is very satisfied..feelin good.


Hello Ladies - & Larry,

I posted about 2 months ago about my experience with Active FX and my upcoming Deep FX. I am 36 - My problem is acne scarring on my cheeks and some wrinkles. Though it was a long post, I will summarize by saying I experienced the same 1st week recovery as 90% of the peeps here - pain during procedure, red face, brown spots, etc., etc.

The outcome was that I was very disappointed after that recovery to see NO result. My doctor was not very satisfied with the result and offered to do Deep FX for free the day she was being trained on the new device. I immediately said yes and scheduled accordingly. The machine got caught up in customs, and one month after the initial appointment I was told the day I could get it done. I agreed. Because this is a $2000 procedure and my hopes were high but expectations low, I figured I did not want to invest that. So I got it done despite the fact that it was 3 days before a long scheduled ski trip out west.

Well, the initial response was different than the Active FX in that it was not raw skin at all. However, the skin was red and bumpy - bumpy like I had not seen before. I was okay with the monster face when solo and I used Aquaphor religiously. Well, my face thought the aquaphor was a really bad idea and told me so by having a hellacious acne break out - literally on top of the bumps large that were already there.

I was mortified on the plane and had to withstand a few funny looks. I spent every night wearing goggles and a ski mask...okay, that's not true - but I did use heavy duty cover up. It was mostly healed within 5 to 6 days (as opposed to the 2 to 3 they say).

Sooo, was it worth it??? I think the pain of procedures and the annoyance of recovery is always worth it when there are good results. Unfortunately, I have to say my skin looks no different and in fact a little worse. it has been 3 weeks and I am healed, but the skin is still rather bumpy.nothing lke when I was healng, but still not liking that mirror.

I know they say it takes 6 months for the Deep FX to "work from the inside out"...I will keep you posted.

I was reading the postings voraciously before my procedures and during healing - I admit I slacked off since then. but I will continue to write in my progress - or lack thereof because I think it is really important to hear about the longer term effects to see if this stuff is really worth it, and to share any knowledge.


Hi, The derm. that I see said to have the Mixto SX Micro-Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing. I did ask him about Active FX and he said the machines are the same, just different manfacturer. Has anyone had the Mixto resurfacing. I'm thinking maybe I should go find a new doctor for the Active FX.


Larry the septuagenarian back. Thanks for the kudos on my commentary. And Landa, thanks for the advice on the workouts. I too gain weight if I don't work out daily. I am up by a couple of pounds as of this morning. (Yesterday I made the mistake of eating only one big meal and that was in the evening--- a real no-no.) But the good news is, I can resume the Stairmaster today. So here's the latest roundup of my experience...I mentioned that I had the procedure Friday before noon. I did not shower till Monday morning. I reported in my first entry that I thought my cheeks were shiny and taut after that shower. What I did not realize at the time was that my cheeks had defoliated and what I saw was clear, but still quite red, new skin. I then knew that recovery from all the grunge on my face, once it starts, goes very fast. I actually think some of the old skin must have rubbed off on the paper towels laid over my pillow. By Tuesday (yesterday) morning I decided to shave while I was in the shower. I also used a washcloth for the first time. When I was all done I saw that I was completely exfoliated, even on the neck. (The neck looks better but it's still somewhat of an old person's chicken neck. If I care to, I can have that Botoxed. Had Botox done two years ago and it was no big deal despite recent cautionary news about Botox.) Anyway...saw my doc Tuesday at noon. He took photos. He said they set the FX between the ActiveFX setting and the DeepFX setting---a little deeper here, and little less deep there. He could see that my recovery was going well. I was enthusiastic about the results. The skin now looks definitely new---clear, smooth, and considerably tighter-looking. Still a little red but that will fade. He said tightening should go on for a while. I have a slight jowl line I don't much like but he said that will tighten somewhat. For some people, deep, judicious injections of JuvadermPlus filler may plump up the jowl line a bit but I suspect it is not worth the effort and expense. Even my vanity has its limits. I guess to really get rid of jowls you need the string lift procedure.

They have set me for a follow-up in a week. I am now completely presentable in public, thank goodness. Though the doc told me I should not strain with weight lifting for a week, he said the Stairmaster will be fine. Since the Stairmaster really gets highly oxygenated bloood roilng throughout your entire body, it should bring lots of healthy, healing oxygen-laden blood right into the capillaries of my face and neck and accelerate the healing process. I am probably going to have one injection of Juvaderm done soon since they have a Valentine's month discount special on the price. I have had two Juvaderms and before that several Restylanes for nasiolabial folds and Marionette lines around the edges of the mouth, plus upper lip, and for that stuff you need periodic "refills." Old folks tend to get thin-lipped somewhat. ("Thin-lipped" people of any age are not my kind of people, know what I mean?)

(The NYT had an article recently on the new trend in gaunt, skinny young male models, boys, actually, and they look like famine victims---most distressing. The models they showed were shockingly thin, emaciated, with sunken chests, Biafra-style. We have a terrible bulimia problem in young girls and I hope it does not carry over to young boys as well. Of course to the fashion mavens models of all ages are just meat, and not much meat as it turns out, and routinely discarded to make way for a new crop.)

I digress.

The upper lip---or both lips---hold Juvaderm for quite a long time---longer than Restylane because they inject it deeper and therefore have to use more to yield the same effect.) Therefore Juvaderm is a once- or twice-a-year maintenance thing. If someone wants a pouty upper lip, or lips, which does make one look younger (maybe too young!) a third of a cartridge of Juvaderm is more than enough. (Just look at the lips on all the male and female runway models---they're lips are all plumped up for the so-called, sexy, come hither-and-let-us-ravish-each-other-look. And sometimes they look ridiculously plumpy: grotesque, burlesque; the male runway models with their oh-so-pouty lips in particular look more like Hollywood manufactured robots than human.)

So...when I was setting up my next appointment the receptionist told me they did two other people after me last Friday. The next person in line, a lady, got a "deep, deep" FX treatment and the receptionist said the lady had already phoned in and was "on cloud nine" from the results. So she must have healed really fast. My fears and panic over the weekend turned out to be pretty much unfounded. I am okay to go out in public now, and look great in my humble opinion. The ladies there at the doc's office oohed and aahed over my new face. The doctor himself is more reserved in his remarks. He charges $3000 for the ActiveFX procedure. Some of the gals I see in the cardio room are tracking my progress and I expect my experience to convince some of the ladies to get the procedure too. I of course don't talk about this stuff with the men there except for my trainers. To tell you the truth---don't laugh, please---I judge myself on how I look (e.g. after a workout when I am all pumped up) by the number of glances I get when I drop by the local Costco on the way home from the gym. It's a little uncomfortable to realize that half the glances come from men and not women, and the men are of all ages. They probably look at me---I guess in most all cases I'm older than they---and wistfully remember when they were young men and in good shape. And I am usually definitely older than the ladies. Some could be my grandchildren (No dirty old man jokes, please) My philosophy is this: you can, by years of hard work in the gym, create yourself a body like you used to have when you were a young person. But your face you can't do anything much about on your own. For that you need a talented doctor and, frankly, quite a bit of spare cash, to get something done about that. And so anyone who does the grueling long-term work in the gym might certainly want the same kind of rejuvenation done to their face---which is what they present to the world. (Name me a single woman working in high-end Real Estate who hasn't had work done. Goes with the territory.)

Now the old days of conventional facelift procedures are somewhat behind us because of the new laser techniques and fillers and string lifts etc. (Joan Rivers says her face has seen more knives than Benihana.) In the ancient past facelifts were primarily the stuff of movie stars (and perhaps Park Avenue matrons and Philly Main Line dowagers). The movie stars doubtless had the film studios pay for it. They would disappear---"go on location," and be out of sight for three months, no doubt holed up in luxurious hiding somewhere, all black and blue for many weeks during recovery.)

Some ladies at the gym are tracking my progress because I told them I was going to have it done, and I am sure some who see me will opt for ActiveFX after witnessing my results.

Well, that's my dissertation for today. I have a few theories and practices about nutrients, internal and external---fish oil, for one---that I think help one look good too.

If Moment Magnitude should go into a wider interest mode I am all for it since I used to make my living as a writer and still enjoy doing it and I have no present outlet except for a few e-mail pen-pals, and because writing is in my blood. But don't get me started on the recent political scene. Fortunately there is an army of outraged people already blogging about that. I bet many of the people who post here would also like to address other issues, in a wider forum than ActiveFX alone. Besides, a site such as this has a way of evolving over time, growing larger, and appealing a wider audience. For me personally it lets me get my writing "fix" so that I can get on with the rest of the day and do other stuff.



It has been 11 days since I had the deep/active fx....after a week my peeling is almost all gone...little peeling in the am but I contribute that to the post peel balm I use every nite. Like I said I went in on a Friday & was to work on Monday (red skin but brown spots we almost gone)...I think I truly had a great experience. This is my 2nd active but it was my 1st deep. My skin is much tighter and brighter. I was really satisfied after my 1st active but my doctor wanted to see how much a difference it would make with the deep & the active over it. The main difference is the tightness in my they say you probably won't see the real results for a month or so..I will keep you posted.

HH, author and manager of this here bloggity-blog.

Holy cow, Larry. That is the best comment contributed here so far. You had me laughing out loud more than once. Bravo (and apologies to the myriad other commenters here). Keep 'em coming - everyone. Makes me wonder: should I pitch this post and comments to mass media? Remarkable.

Landa Louis

Hi Larry,

I also like to work out dailey and my doctor said I could resume my cardio on the fourth day. I did feel a little bit of a pin prick like sensations a couple of times on my cheeks which may be due to the extra blood going through my system. I also have a bike, treadmill here at home.. My face is totally exfoliated and I'm on day seven today. I went to the doctor for my oxygen facial and they were astonished at how fast my face is healing. I am 49 and had my neck, face and chest done. I think it might be healing quicker from the cadio? I would ask the doctor but mine said it was ok for me. I still gained a few pounds from sitting around for a couple of the first days. But I'm back on my way to fitness again. Good luck!


I am a 70-year-old male. I have always looked young for my age. I was sometimes getting ID'd into my late forties (Some of those bars have poor light.) But still...time takes its toll. So two and a half years ago at age 67 I decided it was time to make some lifestyle changes. Goodbye booze and cigarettes and red meat and hello to the gym, wild salmon, veggies and more sleep. (Thank You, Ambien.)

Three months into my gym experience I decided to do something from the neck up. First I had three laser treatments to get rid of the spider veins. Then I had a Thermage. Plus Restylane. Now the filler I get is Juvaderm.

Anyway, after some 1200 hours of weights, resistance machines, and that most despised machine of all, the Stairmaster, I have a body to put most 30-year old guys to shame.

Now.....a word about Thermage. When you read about Thermage you'll discover they say you'll have a day or two of redness. That was exactly the case. No big deal at all. But, two years later---did Thermage work? Takes three months minimum to tell, and if you look at yourself in the mirror every day you will not notice any changes and I have no before and after photos in my possession to tell, though my cosmetic doc has them. But I think it worked, though I am single and live alone with my Labrador and he's not talking. And I'm not presently dating and did not tell my friends about this stuff (It's a guy thing not to talk about cosmetic stuff to other men but I did tell my trainers.) But some women at the gym express surprise when I tell them my age.

An aside: Last October we had a 52-year high school mini-reunion at a classmate's home. I wore a tight tee shirt and of course I am now buff as hell, with a 32-inch waist, broad shoulders, vee-shaped deltoids once again, and and an expansive sculpted chest. (No more Man Boobs for me!) One of my classmates exclaimed, "Larry, what have you been doing to look so great?" I mentioned the gym, and then made the mistake of revealing I had had my spider veins removed. And one of my grandpa-type classmates, all decked out with his Beachball Belly and Bassett Hound face, like most of them, said, "That's cheating!" Yeah, right. So what am I supposed to do? "Age Gracefully," as they call it? Sit around and drink beer throughout my "Golden Years?" Not in this lifetime!

So---the cosmetic doctor's office called me a few weeks ago and asked me to participate for free in the ActiveFX program. Terrific! The web sites I looked at said I would have a "few days of redness." I assumed that meant the same kind of experience as Thermage. Silly me...

I had the procedure done Friday Feb 15 before noon. I was so zonked from the Demerol shot I lost track of time but it was probably an hour for full face and upper neck. There were four or five people in the room. One person, not the doctor, was sort of directing. I assume this woman was a factory rep.

After I was driven home by a friend I looked in the mirror. Big mistake! I knew instantly this was no Thermage-type of treatment. So here it is Monday morning Feb 18. I finally just this morning took my first shower. The instructions said to keep hot water off your face so I nixed any kind of a shower for two days. Also this morning I gingerly tried to see if I should shave. I noticed a little exfoliation from the razor so I quit. However the shower (with just warm water, not hot, on my face) seemed to leave me looking somewhat better than the first 2-3 days. But it's still awful. And the line of demarcation between where it starts on my neck above my lower neck/upper chest, is profound. My neck in particular looks like something hot off the griddle at Colonel Sanders. Disgusting. (Where the hell is the Botox when you need it?) But I will say this: The area around my cheeks is totally taut, so much so it is fairly glistening (partially from the greasy Aquaphor) face is definitely tighter---at least for now.

I had to dart out to the supermarket yesterday, Sunday. I kept my head low and moved around swiftly and surreptitiously, like I was perhaps planning to rob the joint. At the self-checkout something wouldn't scan. I was forced to LOOK straight at the young woman who was there to assist in such matters. She registered no particular look of horror but I knew what she was thinking: How did this Creature from the Black Lagoon (or the Depths of Hell) get into our market?

I told my friends at the gym I would be scarce for probably a week---and I told them why. Very prescient of me, but THIS? The way I look is a dead giveaway that I have had "work" done. Or that I fell asleep under a sunlamp (which actually happened to me once in the seventies, but that's another story---in that case I went to work and just joked about it as, over a couple of week's time, my face "fell off.")

I have not started exfoliating yet. The doc is off today---President's Day. I suppose tomorrow I'll go in there so they can see this slab of raw meat that used to be my face. (On Friday afternoon a couple of hours after the procedure I actually saw blood weeping off my cheeks.)

This Aquaphor crap is like Vaseline on steroids. I sleep on lots of paper towels. Probably ruined every tee shirt I've worn too. You could could grease a car with Aquaphor.

I can barely stand being away from the gym. I normally go 7 days a week. Work on different parts of my body on different days and do the Stairmaster and treadmill seven days a week. My question: when can I safely resume at least the Stairmaster, if not the weights? How many days? I intend to go back to the gym by Friday no matter how awful I look. But what I do there will be modified by the amount of time I need to recover before I put great strain on my vascular system when I am, say, bench-pressing 200 lbs. Would I go through ActiveFX again? Ask me in three months.



I am hoping to see a post from Nadine, DeepFx, and how she is looking this week. (I live close to Stanford Hospital.)
I am also looking forward to Diane's updated picture and hoping she gives a close up of the sides of her face.
Today is my 3rd week activeFx and I still have patches of raised red marks on forehead and temple. Laser streaks along cheeks.This is more evident on the left side where I had a few larges brown spots.
Thank you,


I am scheduled to have active fx on my face, neck and chest march 14. I work outside and will go back to work mid may. Out in the sun all day but wear sun block which I re-apply often. Is 2 months long enough to heal before being in the sun again? Also I was told it takes longer for the neck and chest to heal- do you see much improvement in neck saging and wrinkling?


I am 60 y/o. I had the ActiveFx done Jan 28th and I still see red blotchiness and some laser track marks. Has any one else had this experience?
Diane, Your Pictures are very helpful keep up the good work!

Landa Louis

I just had the Active FX done on Monday Feb.11. Six years after having the CO2 laser. I wanted my neck to match my face as well as my chest area. The Co2 left some whiter areas and the sides of my face were left darker due to a different lazer they used because of the lack of capalaries in that area. I have tried 5 fraxel treatments, and 2 IPL's on my neck and never saw any improvement at all. I can now see the new skin underneath is coming in like a babies butt! I hope the sides of my face have the same effect but it hasn't sloughed off yet. L.L.


Hello, I had an ActiveFX done 6 months ago and wanted to give my feedback. My skin looks much better. Alot of my wrinkles have faded and the browns did go away. I did have 5 days of frustrating redness after the procedure. For any woamn in her early to mid-forties, this will save you a lot of time putting on foundation. The laser did hurt, but it only took 25 minutes so it was tolerable. I will get anothe ActiveFX in the future.

Kill me, but make me beautiful...Jen


Alex - I had the procedure done 1 week ago today. Although I was not concerned with scars I can definately see a noticeable differance in skin tone and coloring. If you want to see pics of my daily progress you can do so at


hallo lilia, how are you?
can you tell me about some improvement
on the scars? do you see better new skin?
bye alex from italy


Hey Everyone

I had the procedure Jan 2 - although Im all done healing I do feel like my face looks exactly as it did "pre procedure" I know I am supposed to be patient - apparently the effects can take 6 months to show - so I cant honestly tell anyone at this point if I think its worth it - im just glad to at least have my "normal" face back.... Ill update again in a few weeks......


I just had this procedure done on Feb, 7 2008. It did not hurt at all; next day after the procedure my skin turned brown, dark brown. This is the 4th day and I am peeling and bright red skin is showing. I did the procedure to minimize acne scars. I won't be able to tell until the red skin goes away and little swelling goes down.


Well I had the deep fx around my eyes & my upper lip & then it was topped off with the Active fx...(had my 1st Active in Nov. so I knew what to expect. I had this done Friday evening & I am at work today (Monday). I am peeling alot but 80% of my ugly brown spots are gone...more pinker where the deep was done but I covered it with makeup. My face feels so much tighter especially where the deep fx was performed. I am very satisfied so far and can't wait until a month or so to really see the results. I was alot swollen around the eyes and upper nose but that has gone down except when I first wake up in the morning. Girls...get it done for wrinkles, brown spots...just to get the 20 years or so sun damage off my face.


Yes, I meant Active FX when I said "the treatment" :)


Diane--Great idea! Keep it up. I'll red your blog every day.

I presume you mean Active FX when you say "the treatment"?



In case you want to check out my blog (re: the above comment) just click on my name


I had the treatment yesterday and so far so good. I started a blog with before and after pictures and plan to post a new pic each day. Not to take anything away from Holly or anyone else. I have just noticed that of all the comments I've read on this and other message boards there are no pics other than those provided by the companies that make the lasers. So if you are interested in seeing the complete process from a real person, feel free to check it out.


Hello FX ladies!
I met w/ my DR yesterday about getting this procedure done. I am 41 and feel 25. I want my face to match my mental age, ha! Those of you who have had this procedure, have you had dramatic results, where your friends notice "you've had work done", or are your results subtle where your friends think you look "rested and perhaps are using new make-up?". I don't want everyone to know about this procedure but at the same time, I'm hoping for dramtic results. TELL ME your thoughts please!!


Regarding men, my biased opinion is that a man would have a hard time handling the pain :) Seriously, we women have a thing about being able to hurt ourselves for beauty... but if that's not an issue, go for it. But you must follow the post regimen of healing creams, etc. that they give you. I can't emphasize that enough.

After five days of seclusion (including treatment day last Monday), I am finally heading back to work tomorrow, though I will do so with extremely sunburned looking skin (much more so than any sunburn I've had naturally). My under neck/jawline seems to be slower in healing, still looks like an acne breakout or psoriasis (sp?) or something. But I must say there was tremendous improvement between day 4 and 5 for me. Eyegirl was right when she says the swelling disspates quickly once it starts. I went from unrecognizable- elephant man eyes- to normal in the next 24 hours after my first post. I noticed as soon as I looked in the mirror this morning, my skin, though extremely sickly pink was totally glowing. I can also feel where skin has tightened.

Anyone thinking about this procedure with even slightly sensitive skin should be prepared for 7 days post time. I will wear makeup tomorrow but do not expect to look good- just presentable! I'm still going to look very red and dry. So if you're in any way vain and expect to be fully recovered b4 anyone sees you - give it a full week.

I will give an update in a few more days. Thanks everyone!


I noticed that most of the postings here come from women. Does anyone know of a man's experience with the ActiveFX procedure? We have different skin texture (thicker), grow facial hair, and do not use make up. Any opinions for male experience with this procedure will be appreciated.


Thanks very much eye- I'm sleeping on the chaise lounge tonight. For me, I don't think that the procedure day counted as the first day. My day 3 really seemed like day 2...

At least hiding out makes me get things done. Just did my taxes. Still working on my patience...


Angela, re: swelling -- only sleep on your back with your head raised (two pillows instead of one) is the only trick I know of. And of course stay away from exercise. Other than that, I just gave it time. It was Day 4 when the swelling suddenly went down tremendously for me. I hope you feel better soon!


I had the procedure (Deep & Active FX)two days ago on Monday and fully experiencing the monster swelling described above. My right eye is barely open. Ice doesn't seem to be working. Any suggestions on how to treat or speed up the reduction of swelling?

Maybe the reactions are varied depending on what intensity they use on you... My nurse said she had one on herself at 60% but knowing I wanted results that last (job in TV)... they did me at 80 to 100...


It's been 6 days since I had the Active FX treatment around my eyes. Yesterday I felt okay to go out. It only looks like I have a little "sunburn" in some areas and a light "tan" in others. So no one would ever know.

I have a few pimples since the treatment -- maybe from the ointment I had to use for healing or from the stress to the skin. I'm not sure.

What I'm really curious about are the results. Yes, the brown spots flake off, but these are the brown spots that the treatment itself gives you. What I'm wondering about are the brown spots I have on my skin not due to the procedure.

I will be patient though. I suspect that the old skin has to come off first and maybe that takes time. I will post again when I see results.

By the way, the swelling/monster look is so awful, but it does go away, and when it happens it is surprisingly fast. So don't worry!


Hi Tina and Kathy,
I am the one who had the DEEPFX Day 4-last day of the antibiotic -due to being so deep i have a few open but very small wounds.
Day 3 and 4 have been the toughest so far -my face is burning, brown yellow crusty and the bright lobster red everyone talks about.Yes I am still puffy
but not like day 1,2,3..
I can NOT go outside-people would cringe at the sight of me-and the thought of sun on my face just seems almost suicidal.
(just kidding)-

I just want you both to know that my face is still very much a mess/ I am just praying that this will help with my creping on my cheeks and the lines around my lips.

P.S. My doctor is a dedicated military doctor at the Standford VA hospital- working on the burn veterans of war-Amazing woman!

lmknow if you have anymore questions I can help with.
I wish you both the best!


Hi...I am scheduled to have the deep fx next week...I have already had the active fx in October and was very pleased with the results. I went in on a Friday evening & went to work by Monday (I think because I kept my face well moistureized) my brown spots started falling off by Sunday evening. I am curious how you are making out with the deep fx....any redness or swolleness after 2 days. My doctor is going to perform the deep around my crows feat & forehead & then perform the active on top.


Thanks, Nadine. My doc said that Active FX is better for outer skin layers (lots of good improvement in skin tone, pore size, brown spots, etc.), but Deep FX is better for long-term tightening through collagen production. The spot size of the laser is much larger for Active FX, so more of the skin is actually treated directly.

Keep us posted on that recovery of yours!



Do it!
I have pictures if you would like me to send them to you somehow. I am at day 2 post op and my face is just a mess -though in a good way,meaning I think I am going to get some serious results. I chose deep because I didn't want to fool around and get marginal result for the same price. I wanted to do everything I could to get rid of the all the line around my lips plus i have pretty deep creping on the lower part of my cheeks.I work out of my home so when my doctor asked me about how much downtime i can afford I said as much as I need.

So I chose Deep because it was the same price as Active -which I don't think would have made a dent in my face.

Here are the meds I took

Valtrex 500mg 2x a day-for cold sore
diflucan-for infection
Keflex for bacteria

I hope I helped!



Please keep us informed about your Deep Fx treatment and recovery! I was scheduled to do mine on February 1, but it got moved to Feb 22.

Why did you pick Deep Fx over any of the other FX treatments? What results are you trying to get? What did your doc tell you about recovery?


Regarding waivers, I saw something on my arbitration waiver that said I had 30 days to negate it as long as I informed the doctor's office in writing. Check the laws in your state. The law may give you a certain grace period (which, understandingly, the doctor may not inform you of).

I am on Day 3 following my treatment. I got the Active FX treatment in the **eye area only** at a cost of $1,000. My problem was discoloration/brown spots under my eyes from past sun exposure. It made sense to do the Active FX procedure because with the eye shields they can get right up under the lash line versus in other laser procedures I don't think they can.

I am in my early thirties and have pale skin. Even though I used to tan, for the past 5 years I have stayed out of the sun, so my brown spots are pretty noticeable (to me) since they contrast with my skin.

Recovery: I had no idea my cheeks and eyes were going to swell up like a balloon -- my eyes were nothing but little slits on Day 1. My doctor did not warn me adequately about the downtime. Fast downtime is such a relative term. I'd say plan to take at least a week off of work. This 2 or 3 days bit is just not true.

At Day 3, I still look sunburned, but for the first time the swelling has gone down tremendously. I'm worried about how long it will take for the redness to go away. I have some small scaly brown spots left from the procedure, but most of them have turned to redness. My upper eye area is starting to peel. The lower area has not -- it just looks red.

I would describe the procedure itself as uncomfortable (prickly) but not painful. They used numbing cream (1 hour before) and cool air while using the laser. The recovery period at home, however, is very uncomfortable. Last night I could barely go to sleep with all the itchiness and having to keep my hands off my face. Today I am finally starting to feel better. Expect Day 1 and 2 after the procedure to feel pretty awful.

I will write future updates on how I heal and on the results.


It's been almost a year since I had the treatment and it is the best thing that I have ever done. I continue to get compliments on my skin and it looks better all the time. I would do it again in a heart beat. I'm 58 years old and most people think that I'm in my 40's. It's great! Sheryl


I had the Active FX done on November 15, 2007. I am 52 years old and had alot of sun damage, and I have to say that I do see that the FX has improved my skin texture. The crinkly wrinkles on the side of my cheeks when I smile are gone, the brown spots are gone and in all I look fresher. I am glad I had this done, although, I don't think I would want to go through the pain again, but I do see improvements and glad I did have it done. Thanks everyone for listening! Good luck to you all.

The Beast

I'm at Day 13 Post Activefx now- the only signs left of my Activefx treatment are the cold sores that won't seem to go away. (How gross!) And the horrid DEEP Horizontal Lines that run underneath my eyes.

Perhaps there will be some miracle as they like to talk about in the next few months- and my "skin will continuously improve."

That miracle better come quick because I actually look older than before I had this treatment.

I am fairly young- had decent skin to begin- I with just wanted to get rid of the "crepe-iness" under my eyes....and now I have lines so deep under my eyes I wouldn't wish on anyone. It sucks I signed the damn waiver....

I am a fool so far, unless that miracle they keep bringing up- occurs over the next few months. I'm afraid I shouldn't hold my breath......

Wishing I had my old face back,
The Beast


I am day one after a DEEP FX.
I paid $2000 and let me tell you
my doctor went deep. I had it done in Los Altos, it took 20 minutes and it did hurt because of how deep.I did my best not respond to the pain because i didn't want her to turn it down. But there was a time (hairline) when my leg shook.I am 42 and have terrible craping on my lower cheeks along with freckles and just everything you could imagine that you don't want to wake up to every morning.
Doctor said she will do touch ups for free if need be.
My face is VERY swollen, extremely brown and I am hoping for the best.


Everyone: Just to clarify. The procedure I had was conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon in NYC. I stand by my the initial post I wrote well over a year ago. As always, my very best wishes to all of us who have had or who are considering the procedure.


Wow - sorry sorry to have offended anyone - that certainly was not my intent. What my doctor said about Holly admitting that she was a guinea pig made sense to me in that perhaps the people who performed her treatment were not experienced - that is was not intended insult or hurt Holly in any way.
Good luck to you all and hope that your treatment goes well.


Hi everyone,

Had my initial Active FX done last October 2007, I went primarily to have the sun spots removed from both sides of my face and on my forehead.

My skin does look better but the brown spots on either side of my cheek did not go, they were a little lighter in colour though.

Went back to my doctor in January and she zapped the spots on either side of my face. One side has completely gone now but the stubborn one on the left side of my face is lighter but I can still see it.

The doctor was really lovely about it, she has asked me to go back in two weeks time so that she can take another look at them.

All in all I am please with the proceedure and I hope that she will say that she will just give another zap, not sure when she would do it as I don't know whether you can have it done again so soon.

Watch this space!!!



Hi everyone,
I responded to this blog a few days ago after my treatment and I had planned on following up. I just read the post above mine- and I must say I found it rather rude. "Diane" comes onto this Holly Hodder blog and basically puts down Holly Hodders opinion of the personal experience she had.

First of all, "Diane", how do you know that the place that Holly Hodder went to they were "untrained" and had "no defined skills" etc.?

Everyone has the right to their own opinon Diane, but did you really have to run back here and post your doctors response and then go on to say: "I like his answer- I'm going for it!"

This is distasteful in my book.

Now I will continue writing about my own experience for others who care to listen and learn something:

This is my Day 7 post ActiveFX and (I did go to a VERY reputable plastic surgeon who did mine. One that has many celebrity clientel go to him for procedures, and you may have seen him on a major television show that is currently airing.) I am still slightly swollen, as to be expected, but the worrisome part is that I have these new very deep lines that are underneath my eyes. The doctor wants to let me go another week and follow up with it again to be on the safe side.

I will keep people informed on my progress. Be careful everyone, as I do know this procedure is fairly new and I do believe a lot of what I have been reading good & bad.

My skin is pretty much the same- the pore size on my nose has shrunk, which is the only benefit I have witnessed so far, and I do have some cold sores on my mouth :-(

The bad news is that if these lines do not go away under my eyes, I may actually need plastic surgery for them to fix what the ActiveFx did to my eyes.

Best of luck to you all,
The Beast


After reading this blog I sent it to the Dr. that will be performing Active FX on me and asked him to respond to the negative comments. This is what he said: Diane,

Thank you for the e-mail message. I have seen this blog before and my thoughts are the following.

As the individual points out she was a guinea pig and who ever performed the treatment was not very skilled at the procedure.

You are mainly concerned with brown spots and sun damage. As I mentioned this co2 laser will remove 1 layer of skin possibly a little more depending on you skin type. This should be very effective in removing the brown spots on the surface of the skin as well as even out skin tones and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Generally speaking I don't consider her blog to be very accurate b/c the treatment was done by an untrained RN with no defined skills."
I like his answer - I'm going for it!


I just ran across this interesting source, just when I had my doctor's number out to schedule my ActiveFX. I guess you could say that I am a "frequent flyer" for cosmetic surgery. Ten years ago (at age 48) I had a brow lift and under eye blep. I had the perpetual "tired eyes" mostly due to genetics, that sleepy eye look that I got from my dad and always hated. I was very satisfied. Two years following, I had a face lift, and upper eye blep and the CO2 laser under the eyes for the horrible squinting lines from years of smoking. (I was motivated to stop smoking for the surgeries, and am 10 years clean.) The laser worked wonderfully, and the healing from the face lift, etc. was speedy, I was back at work at 2 weeks, and could have gone sooner.
Now, the reason I am writing: I approached another clinic several months ago, wanting additional rejuvenation and to deal with the old acne scars (that look worse with aging, the holes now kind of droop)and the verticle lines around my mouth, also from the smoking years. I signed up for a package, and had a Thermage, then in mid December, a Fraxel treatment. I always had good results from the so called invasive treatments, found the down times a piece of cake. I did not know until I signed the release, a possible outcome of the Thermage, was "no change." Several days following the Fraxel, I had what I thought was a cold sore outbreak, to be followed by the worst acne outbreak of my life. Here I was seeking treatment to correct the aftermath of acne! The outbreaks and healing went on for several weeks, and I had started a new job right after the treatment! Long story, I know...I returned to the clinic to state my concerns, and he recommended the Active FX, to avoid the acne outbreak and deal with the lines and scars. They also plan to do a filler for this, about a month after the Active FX.
I was ready to call to schedule, since I have already paid for the procedures, and was so happy with the previous CO2 laser. After reading all of the concerns, I am ready to deal with down time, I know what to expect, but the results seem semi disappointing.
Does anyone know, is the CO2 still used? Is it avoided due to the down time? Does anyone have any suggestions for me?


I am 47 years old and am having the Active FX treatment done soon. The clinic tells me I need to "prep" for 2 weeks by putting a bleaching cream on my face each night. I then go for a week without the cream and after that they will perform the treatment. Has anyone else had to do this type of "prep"? I've read many of the comments but didn't find this mentioned.
I was told about the possibility of cold sores and will be prescribed a medication to take 2 days before the actual treatment so this makes me feel better about the clinic and their professionalism.
My main reason for getting this treatment is that I have signifcant age spots all over my face from being in the sun so much when I was younger. I tan easily and have dark brown eyes - I almost changed my mind after reading all of the comments on this page but I am going to give it a try - I'll let you know.

The Beast

Hi Holly (I love your blog btw, and I really enjoy reading your writings. Your picture even reminded me of Meryl Streep, whom is my favorite actress ever :-)

I have been reading this ActiveFX blog for the past month or so, and finally mustered up the courage to take the plunge and get the ActiveFX done on Monday. I am a 35yo female who up until this past year, had been fortunate to look like I was in my twenties. This year however, it was like the clock struck midnight, and I began waking up with these horrid bags/crepey lines under my eyes. Nothing changed in my lifestyle, diet, etc...just the natural aging process I suppose.

Ok, so I am on Day 2 post ActiveFX treatment and I have been going through a lot of what the majority of people are claiming on your blog. (Gosh did I shake out of control towards the end of the "lasering~off~my~face!") I would like to add too- that it smelled like a burning human body. (Yuck- I guess because that is realistically what it is.) Since the treatment, my eyes have suffered a bit- very swollen and slightly reducing in puffiness everyday. The nurse told me she did an extra "pass" over the eyes and they would take a little more time to heal than the rest of the face. Ok, so we'll see what happens.

They never mentioned the cold sore issue- which I do get cold sores a couple of times a year at best. So I'm nervous about those, since I wasn't alerted or prepared for this. (It was also marked on my patient profile, but they seemed to overlook it, or forgot to address the cold sore issue.) I also read on another docs blog that he recommends his patients using Hydrocortisone Cream 1%. I asked the nurse if I could use anything other than the Calendula Cream she gave me and she said "no". She was also opposed to the fact that I may want to put ice on my face lot- because she said that heat stimulates collagen and the cold will counteract that.

Well, I guess I will come back in a few days and give an update to see if this treatment is all its cracked up, or shall I say "smoothed" out to be. I would really like to know if anyone out there besides that lady on the YouTube Video has had such great jaw dropping results?

I think regardless of the outcome people need to be educated thoroughly on what to expect from this treatment. I don't think the Lumenis Company has a right to go around and claim that you will look like the woman on the YouTube video in a week. To me, this is misleading, and realistically results seem to be varying greatly. Also, in that Youtube video- they didn't show how they pull your eyelids over the stainless steel eye covers when they laser your eyes! I bet if they included that part- many people's stomachs would have turned!

Oh well, now I am rambling. Sorry- just want to get down to the bottom of all of this hooplah! Will write in a few days with an update.
For now, I shall remain locked up on my top floor- sneaking peaks out onto the streets below- of life as I once knew it.
Yours truly,
"The Beast" (I gotta find the humor in this somehow :-)


Hello again. I wrote earlier, before treatment with Active FX. Had treatment on Tuesday Jan 15th and am now in day 5 of recovery. Agree with most of reports - had Valium/Vicadin prior to procedure, eye shields, cool air during treatment, anti herpes drug. I thought the procedure was uncomfortable - not intolerable but really did sting on certain portions of face. Had neck and lower arms/hands done as well. Had the shivering thing going on - started after face was complete and they were very careful - gave me oxygen and extra blankets. Wouldn't let me go until it resolved which took about an hour. Doctor very concerned - checked up that night and again next day. Kept cold compresses on face for 48 hours - still had lots of swelling. Am now at day 5 and have had most of top layer of skin peel off face. Using Aquaphor and Biafine together now. Face looks very red and tender - in deep wrinkles where he tried to improve most damage, these areas are really red and stand out like () around my mouth and the one between my eyes looks like this ). Anybody have this? Not sure what this is or if it will resolve? Also, have an infection on the inside of my lower eyelid - sort of a ulcer - not a clogged pore I don't think. Anyone have that? Itching on face was so annoying on Day 4 - better now. Arms and hands look brown, splotchy and crusty to touch - have not peeled yet. Jury still out - will post later as am hoping once I get past day 8, things will improve!


Update: It is now 16 days post ActiveFx treatment. I returned to work this past I had from 12/27 to Jan 14 to recover...still have some minor pink splotches on neck and face..but these were easily addressed with concealer, which I stopped doing by 3rd day back to work. I am relieved that the chest area is also getting better..I would now score it down to a 4 as the red patches are also starting to heal off in a random pattern, few small stubborn spots seem to be taking longer to fade..but they no longer look bright angry red. So, when I walked into work, the first person I saw, was my co-worker who was always so sympathetic about my "tired" appearance. She and other gal immediately said I must have had a good vacation, because I looked younger..and no, it wasn't due to having my hair done, as I suggested. So, I told 'em. Throughout the week, I received random comments about how I must have had a really good vacation..because I looked good or person asked if I had been outdoors alot, because I looked either red or tan, she couldn't figure it out.. ( I think this is due to the increased blood circulation to the zapped the internal process stimulated by the laser continues working, and is growing me some new collagen, hopefully)my ultimate co-worker jury, the daughter of a dermatologist who has had many pre FX laser treatments herself, and our other friend who spends a fortune on face products, who knew I had the procedure, gave a thumbs up when they saw me..they said my skin looked dewy, glowing..It still is sensitive to the touch, especially around I am still slathering up at night with Acquaphor, with lotsa goo all around the eye area. For going out, SPF 45 put on at least 20 minutes before going outside, and to be extra careful, I put a light coat of zinc oxide sunblock on top after the sunscreen has soaked in..wear hats when taking dog out ...I too had wished more people were checking in 4-six months after procedure. I will check back in end of of today, I would say, despite a few moments of worry and doubt, I am glad I did this..if I could turn back time, and get my old face and money back, I would not..and now, I would consider doing this again in 5 or so years, assuming I am still generally healthy and have no health problems that might complicate..and it will be exciting to see how far the technology has come by then. This is a real comment, not a fake endorsement.


Hello. I had mine done nov 23. I can not tell one bit of a difference either. Makes me upset. In fact my face looks more drawn in at my cheeks and i also now have more white spots. the spots are whiter than m normal skin. I had them before after the co2 but was told that this active fx would make my skin even. It all looked better for a week after then worse. so i do not feel it is worth the money. I hope that my docotr will also re do it or help in a way that i do not have to pay. Keri


Just to update you on the above. I went to the doctor today who proformed the proceedure of Active FX. As I said I live in Mallorca. I looked at the pictures of me before and now and there has been some improvement, so what do I know, perhaps I have just got used to this face now and forgot what I looked like before! As for the brown marks which remain on the sides of both my cheeks she said that she was dissappointed at the first results and has said that next Monday 21st January she will redo both my cheeks with Active FX so that the second blast should get rid of them. The best part of all is that I thought that this was going to cost me but to my surprise she said that she is going to do it for nothing and that I should consider it part of the first proceedure which was a real surprise. I will let you all know how it goes in the next month.



Well, I have been reading all the blogs since October when I had my Active FX done. I am now three months down the line and to be honest I see no improvement whatsoever. I still have the brown sun spots on my cheeks that I originally wanted removed. I have a large skin tag on my neck which was not there before the proceedure. My undereyes looks just the same as before the proceedure. I seem to have more brown marks on my face than before. Today I am going back to the doctor who did the proceedure to see what she has to say, I live in Mallorca - Spain. I expect that she will say that I need another proceedure which will obviously cost me more money. I will keep you posted.
What I cannot understand with reading all the above blogs, most of then are from people who have just had their proceedure, where are the people three and six months down the line? Yes, you do get a few but not the amount which should be sharing their views are just not there. I just hope that we are not all being taken for a ride with false blogs.

Sorry to be so negative. Regards


It is now 2weeks and 1 day, since I had the Active Fx treatment. I still feel some tightening (which is hopefully is the promised shrinkage of slagging skin)of the skin around my eyes, cheeks, jaw, and neck). So, still using plenty of Acquaphor to keep these still somewhat dry and now pinkish areas well lubed and comfortable. My chest was similar to other earlier reports on this blog.. a pattern of nickel and quarter size red welts that looked like cigarette burns. If '10' is the worst it has looked, I would now score it at a '6.5-7'. Slowly, but surely, the welts are gradually turning to brown, and then peeling off. I wasn't sure a few days ago, if this area would ever actually heal, thus confirming fears we all have about something go wrong, but now can see, as others have written, it just takes longer.
On the up side, my new skin looks really nice..the crepeyness is noted earlier, eyes and eye area look refreshed..and this is true, some of the lip lines I have hated and endured since I was 37, are..gone..they are really gone, and I inspected this area in the harshest and most real environment of all, the rearview mirror of the car, sitting outside in natural daylight..

Back to work on Monday, will be interesting to see if anyone notices, good or bad..kinda like that twilight zone episode (or was it outer limits) where the person horrifies everyone, after the surgery..and then we see how truly beautiful she our standards..


I am considering have the ActiveFX on the top of my hands and just the moles on my face. After reading these posts, it doesn't seem to do much for wrinkles or tightening of the skin. But I have read where it worked well on the hands. Anyone had any experience with this. Has anyone had moles on their face when they had the procedure? I don't even know if they will do just spots on the face.


Hello all! I cannot tell HH how grateful I am to her for starting this website! I have been considering Active FX for 6 months now, finally signed up for Jan 15th but now am considering backing out after reading all posts. I am 54, blonde, fair with usual sun damage, wrinkles around eyes, lips, mouth. Am getting married this summer so looking for a way to look better - fresher! :) I am becoming deeply concerned, upon reading all of these comments and those of other sites, about the true effectiveness of this procedure when weighed against the downtime. Have you all looked at the website With only a small sampling, only one half of the Active FX recipients would recommmend the procedure! When you go on that site, look at the facelift pictures. They show women my age with facelifts that include laser resurfacing and those without. I find the results more pleasing with the laser - skin fresher, more even. So - maybe the deal is this - Active FX or some such treatment is just a precursor to the next level of intervention. To get a completely refreshed look would take both! YIKES! Now's the time to reflect on why we do this in the first place- can't we just accept ourselves the way we are? - a question that rolls around in me with no answer as I continue along trying to look better... AHHHH!


Today, I had post-op check 1 week and 1 day after having Active Fx tx. There are just a few little red areas left on my face, and some broken capillaries on nose, but Dr says those will also heal. I think the most important thing here is to keep our expectations realistic..especially for people who are older than 25..years of using all the face muscles is going to create some pretty ingrained lines,,unless we have the skin literally burned off to the bone..I don't see that happening..and for those of us unfortunate enough to have those hideous cracks around our lips, that's just the luck of the draw, notice how some people never get them..I saw a before and after of a woman in her 60s, one month later, lip lines gone, after Active Fx..the collegen regenerated, and puffed out those lines from underneath..XX fingers-crossed we should all be so lucky, if that actually happened, and wasn't an airbrush...

Ok, back to the check-up.. I still have some reddish itch patches on neck, and some "hot spots" on the chest..they look like cigarette burns..the Dr said he did in fact reduce the intensity range for the chest, by over half..of whatever he used on the face, but neck and chest skin just responds differently, and takes longer to is better day by day..I think in an earlier post here, someone said it took her about 3 weeks to a month for the chest to, in summary: 1 week and 1 day later, skin is brighter and clearer in tone, crepey tired look around eyes is gone..looks"tigher and brighter" skin overall looks nice and fresh..still have some turkey neck and jawline will not go back to what it was 10 years ago, but my focus is to look the best I can look now..a lot of emotional heavy-lifting here.. I will report back next Sat, two weeks and 1 day after the tx.


Hey everyone - I had the procedure on Weds, Jan 2nd - so today is my day 2. The procedure was no walk in the park, but I feel like i was prepared for it. Besides all the info i got from the dr's office, i read all the posts here - and they went thru everything again the morning of the procedure. I was given Xanax and a shot of a painkiller ( like morphine but non narcotic - but i cant remember the name) i had the numbing cream on my face, and the whole eye contact thingy ( which i was completely freaking out about - but it turned out to be no big deal at all) When i left they gave me a bag with instructions, a face wash, copper peptide cream, cortisone cream and a tinted moisturizer for after day 5. I cant tell yet what the results are going to be - im just puffy and red at this point - i can start to see where areas are turning brown, and im hoping I wake up tomorrow am and start flaking. The first 24 hours were pretty uncomfortable - and i had frozen veggies on my face....but at this point the pain is not an issue for me - im taking advil every few hours, and working from home..... for the record im 39 yrs old.


i am the asian dude who posted last dec 19 for the active-fx on my acne scars. I really dont know if this is going to get better but i just feel like i look nice in just one week and is back to the old skin after that until now. The doctor said there is still some collagen remodelling happening underneath. Well, this time, im beginning to doubt as the acne scars are prominent again. The reason why it look so shallow before is because the new skin is swollen after shedding off the old skin so it looks elastic. Sad as it's quite pricey too. :(


Day 5..the rest of the brown stuff comes off pretty easy now, with just a some gentle nudging, aided by lots of Acquaphor..the combination of Acquaphor and cortaid is helping..and even though its extremely uncomfortable, itching is means we are alive and healing is taking place under those red blotches on the chest. As I look in mirror, I can see what I had hoped to see, just a brighter and more alert "less tired" me. It was pretty discouraging to have my co-worker (who likes me and was trying to be nice and sympathetic) say to me, "You look tired" 9am in the morning, after I knew I had a good night sleep. The healing schedule I was given was pretty right about Day 5 being the for all of you who have just had this procedure or will have it, just keep steady and stay focused on Day 5..with the day of tx being Day 0..while there won't be a complete 100% healed face in front of you, there will be definite signs you are going to be ok, and this might have even brought some benefits..I will report back in after check-up on Friday.


First, I want to thank you, Holly, for running this blog..a great relief to have this place we can all share info, and find support, if not solace..I just got the call from the nurse, checking in..I wondered why they hadn't called me on Friday, like I thought they heard them say they would? Turns out they were transposing the numbers when calling me..anyway, she wanted to know if the staff had properly informed me of the pain and suffering that would follow the procedure...I told her yes, I felt informed, but what I didn't know was that the Dr was going to zap the chest area, which remains quite red and itchy..(and asked if he had used the same setting on my chest, as he did on the face, she thinks he used a milder setting) although its starting to break-up..she said, "Oh, that's a free-bie, that got thrown in for continuity sake" I hope I didn't seem ungrateful...I described the red/itchiness and that I am using a combination of Acquaphor and Cortaid..she offered to ask Dr to write prescription for itching, but I told her its not that severe..(besides it would be more work figuring out to get it, since I can't be seen in public like this). But all in all, readers, I feel like I am turning the corner today, on Day 4, and and can see the old me peeking out of all this goo. Still too early to determine if it was worth giving up all these days to hide out for this..the only way I would recommend this to anyone, is to describe in absolute gory detail what to expect..and let them figure it out, if what they are unhappy with warrants going through this..


I should also say that perhaps one reason we haven't heard much about DeepFX yet is that the systems are just now being delivered around the country to a few doctors. ActiveFX has been around a little longer...

If anybody has tried DeepFX, I'd be very interested to hear how it went!


I'm also scheduled to have the DeepFx treatment--in early February. According to my doctor, and the Lumenis website, it's still a fractionated CO2 laser, like the ActiveFX. The differences are that the columns of skin affected are spaced wider and are much smaller in diameter, and the laser penetrates deeper. The idea, I think, is that this makes the stuff we see on our faces after the treatment less scary, and the recovery faster, while the depth of the laser penetration aids more significantly in collagen formation over time. My doctor did not purchase an ActiveFX system, but he says his review of the results of DeepFX caused him to step up to the plate. He says the DeepFX shows more tightening, better collagen formation and less recovery time (but perhaps not as good as ActiveFX for pigmentation issues and surface wrinkles.) The Lumenis website claims a recovery period of "2-3 days", as compared to "3-5 days" or "4-7 days" (depending on where you are looking on the website) for ActiveFX.

So...if we double that time, as seems to be the average for many of the ActiveFX users here, the DeepFX people should still be "done" in a week. We'll see...


Hi Everyone..sorry for double posting yesterday..I am new to blogging.Relieved to report I am looking a little less frightening today..swelling continues to go down..and like others have described, the brownish-redness seems to flake off around the cheeks, nose, and mouth..starting to see more skin under the fried chest area too..this is tender, and Acquahor has to be appplied very tenderly..especially since its so thick and viscous and drags the skin..I tried clear aloe vera gel, which usually works great on sunburns, but it really stung. The thing about the Acquaphor is that its a magnet for all of the loose dog hair and fuzz in the house..all sticks to the face..I feel like the Shaggy clinic counts the day of the tx as Day 0, and the next day, or twenty-fours hours later as Day 1. So, right now I am on Day 3..all in all still look like a boiled lobster, but can see that some of the smile lines and crepey skin on cheeks is gone..I feel for the other ladies who have gone through the soul searching this process brings about..are we so corrupted and contaminated by this youth-obsessed culture that we put ourselves through this..why we can't appreciate and revere the process of we all want to like like Barbie and Ken dolls forever..? Will I swear never to do this to myself again and just stick with nice facials? I feel cheap and sucked in..and this better work!


OK, so I have just read every comment since Holly's orginal posting, and would like to share my perspective of being 3 months post-procedure...I am 36, fair skinned and have indulged in a little sunbathing in my past. I have acne scarring that is what is horrifically referred to as 'pitted'. For years I went to plastic surgeons and dermatologists for consultations in my quest for something that would help, but would not leave me with red skin for 6 months. As much as I wish I could take 6 months off from life, it has just somehow never seemed realistic option. I was lucky enough to have seen honest doctors who informed me that the improvement would not be worth the recovery. So,I gave up the biannual search for help a few years ago as most people (friends, family)did not quite see the negative aspects of my skin that I saw anyway. Flash forward about 7 years -When the wrinkles started to appear a few years ago, I began to get a little botox here and a little restylene there. I have done this only a few tmes, but always with good results. I moved,so began going to another doctor who recommeded the Active FX. She was very excited about it and felt that I would see excellent results. I like her and trust her, so I went with it. I can relate to those who did not know what to expect as far as pain goes. I pride myself on having high pain tolerance - I had numbing cream, but no pain meds. I can totally relate to The person who posted that it felt like hot grease being thrown on their face. The burning afterwards was incredibly intense too. However after a half hour of that, I never experienced any pain again and had no other problems. Lookin back on that little episode, I am actually a bit amused - if I had done my homework on the procedure itself, as opposed to just the results, and knew the level of pain, a mere pain pill could have prevented all of it. Anywho, the recovery was pretty much like everyone of you has written - swelling, red, brown spots, etc., etc.
Because of the many times I have been told that there wasn't a whole lot of options save dermabrasion and deep peel, my expectations were not that high...3 months later, I can honestly say that I have seen NO improvement. In fact I was frightened last week thinking that the texture of my skin had actually worsened, but I think I will just chalk that up to having a bad face week.
When I went for the one week follow up, every staff member (who are all very sweet and well meaning)gushed at how fabulous I looked with barely a glance at my face. However, though initially she thought she saw improvement, even the doctor seemed a bit disappointed at the results. By the way, I don't blame the doctor or the laser for this, perhaps it just was not the correct treatment for me and did not have the benefits she thought it would.She told me about a new laser that was coming out, the Deep FX. I know it was mentioned a few times here, but I am surprised it has not been mentioned more. It supposedly goes deeper, is more intense, but for some odd reason has even less downtime than the Active FX. Of course this all sounds a little too good to be true, but like I said, my expectations are not too high, however even a little improvement would be good. Also - just in case you are still awake after reading the longest post ever (sorry) - I went to a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening, with no prompting whatsoever, she started talking about my skin and said there was a new laser coming out that might really be helpful. Coincidence? I think not...well, at least I hope not as I am scheduled to get the procedure done later this month. If any one has any input, please share.

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