Thank you for your question. Laser resurfacing is best for textural irregularities and loose skin. For skin under the chin things change and one has to look at whether there is muscle involvement or fat deposits in the area. See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for an evaluation and see if a simple resurfacing will help or whether something more invasive is needed. I rarely find resurfacing adequate for under chin issues. Regarding pain, the discomfort is similar to a sunburn or more depending on the energy levels used. I hope this helps!
Is Active FX Painful? Does is Work to Tighten Under Chin Drooping Skin?
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Active FX versus Exilis
At South Beach Dermatology, we use the Active FX to improve wrinkles and sun damage on the face, neck, and chest. Active FX is a fractionated CO2 laser that creates microthermal zones of damage while sparing surrounding skin. Limiting damage to controlled zones allows for faster healing time and less risks of pigment changes and scarring than the old, non-fractionated CO2 lasers. While collagen stimulation does result in some tighening, radiofrequency devices, such as Exilis and Thermage are often more effective for tightening.
There is some discomfort associated with Active FX
Active Fx does involve some discomfort however we take measures to alleviate some of the pain with the use of a topical numbing cream and oral pain medications and sedatives.
The improvement of "under chin skin drooping" would most likely be minimal with Active FX as the neck area can not be treated as aggressively with Active FX as the face.
An alternatvie to Active FX for under chin skin droopiness would either be a surgical lift or possibly Ulthera. Depending on the degree of laxity and extra skin, Ulthera has the potential to make a noticable difference.
For skin issues such as hyperpigmentation, crepeyness, and fine lines of the face as well as laxity, Active FX can be combined with Ulthera which can offer the resurfacing benefits as well as the deeper lifting and improvement in contour benefit. Ulthera is color blind to skin type but Active FX is not and whether or not you are a candidate for Active FX would depend on your own skin type.
In any case, you would need to have a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon to see what is recommended for your skin type.
To find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area, you can get a list from the web site of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
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Active FX laser skin resurfacing.
It is true that laser skin resurfacing can be quite uncomfortable. To make the experience easier we routinely administer a strong topical anesthetic as well as oral sedation (pills such as percocet to reduce the sensation of pain and valium to ease anxiety). In addition, we use a steady stream of cold air to chill the skin during treatment. With this combination approach, discomfort is not a significant problem. Pain after the procedure is minimal and generally controlled with ibuprofen alone.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.