Will One Active FX Treatment Reduce the Risk of Future Skin Cancer on my Face?

I had a basel cell skin cancer removed from my back last summer and my dermatologist told me that Active FX would reduce the possibility of getting a similar skincancer on my face. In all the literature I've read about Active FX, I haven't seen this benefit mentioned. I'm 50 and fair-skinned.

Doctor Answers 8

Active FX and Skin Cancer

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There is some evidence that laser resurfacing of the skin with a Co2 laser like Active FX may remove or decrease the amount of premalignant lesions in your face such as actinic keratosis. By decreasing the amount of premalignant lesions which usually occur from sun exposure, your risk of skin cancer in the treated area may decrease. Attached is a web reference.

Will One Active FX Treatment Reduce the Risk of Future Skin Cancer on my Face?

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Thank you for your question. The FX will help only if a precancerous lesion was targeted in an ablative mode to burn the lesion off.  With fractional treatments, there is skin left untreated so complete lesion removal is difficult unless an ablative modality is implemented. I hope this helps!

Actinic Keratosis Reduced Clinlically

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Clinically one can see reduction in Actinic Keratosis ( pre malignant skin growths) and there are few reports out there now supporting its use as a viable treatments option for Actinic Keratosis. However, its important to note that Active Fx is not a FDA approved for treatment of Actinic Keratosis. Therefore one should not go through with this procedure if the indication is only for removal of premalignamt lesion.

Hooman Khorasani, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Active fx can reduce your recurrence rate for skin cancer

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Active fx may reduce your recurrence rate for skin cancer. However, you should know that active fx is a fractionated approach and will get a percentage of your affected cells. Most of the studies on reducing the recurrence of skin cancer are based on complete resurfacing through either chemical peels or laser resurfacing. So, if you really want to reduce your risk of skin cancer I would suggest more complete chemical peels or laser resurfacing.  For Active fx, the term would be max fx and this would be more traditional resurfacing and riskier in some sense but safe in qualified hands and a person with experience.  We have a tremendous amount of information on our website on these subjects with a photo diary of someone who underwent this procedure.

Thanks for reading, Dr Young

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Active FX Laser helps prevent skin cancer.

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When you think about it, it only makes sense.  The skin on your face most that is likely to go through the mutation from pre-cancer to cancer is on the surface.  Therefore, any resurfacing therapy is likely to reduce the risk and "nuke" the skin that is about to go through cancerous change.  This is based mostly on anecdotal evidence, rather than large double blind studies.  It's a hard thing to study because skin cancer takes years and decades to occur.  I would not hold it out as "cancer prevention", but if you are having resurfacing for cosmetic reasons, it's an added bonus to know you are possibly avoiding skin cancer.

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Active FX and future skin cancer reduction

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There is certainly removal of superficial actinic keratoses and skin rejuvenation with the active Fx.  There have not been any controlled studies to show that one treatment will reduce your chances of another skin cancer, but results and followups have been encouraging with our patients.

David J. Sire, MD
Fullerton Dermatologic Surgeon

ActiveFX Fractional Laser Resurfacing and Facial Skin Cancer.

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CO2 Laser Resurfacing and ActiveFX Fractional Laser Resurfacing have been shown to decrease the amount of premalignant lesions, superficial skin cancers, sun damage, age spots and pigmentary changes in the skin.

One ActiveFX treatment may be sufficient to facilitate reduction of your risk of facial skin cancer, depending on the extent of current lesions on your face and ensuring judicious, daily, liberal use of a broad spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen, and other sun protection devices such as wide brim hats and sunglasses.

Active FX reduces skin cancer risk.

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It is well established that laser resurfacing with Active FX reduces pre cancers and sun damage and therefore reduces skin cancer. I personally developed a skin cancer at age 36. Shortly after that I had CO2 laser (a precursor to the Active FX) and am happy to report I have never even had a pre cancer since, nearly 20 years! Understand that one person's experience means very little unless supported by research, and there is good research to support my experience.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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.