PROS: Brightened and evened out skin tone; no pain; quick procedure; minimal downtime; no scarring
I am a 41-year old Caucasian female. I have noticeable scars from a dermabrasion done wrong in my 20s, acne scars, crows feet, sun damage and discoloration. In November 2009, I was scheduled to have Total FX (Active FX + Deep FX) procedure. On the day of the procedure, doctor changed her mind and only performed Active FX but said it was at highest level she could go. She told me that she noticed hypopigmentation on my dermabrasion scars and that she no longer considered me a good candidate for Deep FX because I could get scarred. I was very disappointed but after botched dermabrasion, I'd rather be safe than sorry.
In 2007, I had series of Fraxel treatments (no improvement with Fraxel at all, waste of $$) where only topical anesthesia was used on my face and felt intense pain like rubber bands snapping all over my face. I had topical anesthesia for Active FX and felt no pain at all. I even had to ask if she was working on me because I felt no pain. I was expecting equal or worse pain than Fraxel. I did not need any painkiller/anxiety medication at all and did just fine.
I initially used Aquaphor on skin post-procedure but milia appeared. My skin looked pink. To get rid of milia, doctor told me to stop using Aquaphor and prescribed Biafine and it disappeared overnight. My skin then healed very rapidly, it peeled on Day 4. The peeling phase was not at all what I expected. What happened was when I washed my face with Cetaphil, no flaking but when I rinsed the cleanser off my face with my fingers, the flakes came off. I thought that was odd since no flaking took place as I was washing my face, it only happened while rinsing the cleanser off. I also noticed more flaking took place when I rinsed my face in the shower vs. bathroom sink. So by Day 5, all flaking was gone and was left with fresh skin and it was pretty much back to my normal color, no red/pink tone. I still continued to use Biafine and I credit the Biafine for the speedy healing/normal skin color.
I noticed an immediate difference in my skin. As I said, in the "cons," I still see scars/crows feet but for the first time in a long time, I have been told my skin looks "refreshed" and "glowing." I even have family and friends asking me what I did to my skin, where they can get it done, etc. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE received a compliment on my skin so that definitely says something for Active FX.
The doctor said that the final results will be evident 6 months post-procedure. I am even considering getting another Active FX treatment after I save up some $$. In the meantime, I am going to explore Jessner Peels and Dermaplaning.
Overall, I do not feel Active FX is the answer to deep scars and wrinkles but I would consider it a deep exfoliating treatment that is geared more towards sun damage/discoloration.