Is One Week Enough Time to Recover from Active FX?

I am scheduled for the ActiveFX this Tuesday. I am 50 years old and looking to smooth fine lines around my eyes and mouth area.

I plan on taking 6 days off from work to recover. Realistically, is this enough time to recover? I really do not want anyone to know I had this procedure done. Please advise. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 12

Active FX on the face usually heals by day 7

Depending on how aggessive the Active FX settings are and how many passes are done, treatment of the face usually heals by day 5-7. Once the skin heals, you can start wearing makeup. Your face, however, will be pink. It typically takes 1-2 months for this redness to fade. The fairer you are, the longer it takes. I think your family and friends will know you had something done - but it's worth it because you want the results to be natural and noticeable.

Long Island Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

1 week for Active Fx.

Active FX laser treatments typically run a similar course.  The first few days the patient is swollen, following by a 2-3 day period of brownish discoloration.  The last phase is at the 6-7 day period when the new skin starts to show through.  Make-up can be worn at this time.  Of course, deeper more aggressive treatments will take longer to recover from.

Benjamin Bassichis, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Active Fx takes a week to heal.

I ask my patients to set aside a good week to recover from Active Fx.  If I do the treatment on a tuesday I will see the patient the next day to make sure everything looks good.  At that point you are red and swollen.  After about 3 or 4 days the swelling is gone but the skin is red and often itchy.  At 7 days the redness is better but the skin is dry and irritable.  At this point I have my patients come in for a wonderful hydrating facial and counseling on the proper skin care.  Make up is almost always well tolerated and can hid any residual pinkness.  Bottom line is if you don't want anyone to know you might give yourself and extra day or two if you are having aggressive Active Fx laser resurfacing.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Active FX downtime

The downtime associated with fractionated carbon dioxide lasers is dependent upon the settings, but in my hands generally you need 7-10 days off social activities to be able to go back.  It does depend on the makeup you use and how good you are with makeup.  You will be pink for months, but that is fairly easy to cover with good use of green-tinted cover-up applied before your foundation.

The great thing about fractionated CO2 lasers, such as Active FX, is that the results are noticeable.  You skin tone and texture will be significantly more uniform.  So relish the fact that you will look noticeably better!  Good luck.

Michael H. Swann, MD

Michael H. Swann, MD
Springfield Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Healing time for ActiveFX

I tell my patients it will take them one to two weeks to heal after the ActiveFX procedure. It depends on several factors:

1. Settings of the laser. The more aggressive the treatment, the longer the recovery

2. Patient factors. Some patients heal really fast, and some will take much longer with similar settings.

3. Male vs. female patient. While it might take about the same amount of time, it is usually much easier for women to cover up residual redness and go on with their life. Men usually don't wear make-up, so this is something I discuss with them in details. They have to be prepared for the downtime, especially if they are busy executives, customer service specialists, etc., and are in the eyes of the public. For them I recommend at least two weeks before they can be back at work, dealing with customers, clients, and colleagues.

4. Proper post- surgical skincare is very important. Your doctor will instruct you on the proper regimen.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Active FX recovery depends on many things

This depends on many things.

First, it would depend on the settings of the laser. For example, if you are have a light treatment for tone and texture, you should be fine by one week with only a hint of redness which can then be concealed with makeup.

If you are having a more agressive treatment (eg. Total FX), you could still be a bit swollen and have a few crusted areas.

There is also a great deal of individual variation.

You should visit with your physician.

Hope this helped.

Peter Malouf, DO
Dallas Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Is One Week Enough Time to Recover from Active FX?

Thank you for your question.  you need 7-10 days off social activities to be able to go back.  It does depend on the makeup you use and how good you are with makeup.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Active FX Recovery 7-10 Days

Each person who undergoes treatment with this laser will heal differently, though as a general rule of thumb, it is advised that patients recover from the treatment for 7-10 days. That means that you usually cannot apply makeup until 7 days. However, this depends on the strength of the treatment given. During this time, it’s normal to experience facial pain, discomfort, swelling, and skin peeling. If you’re planning to return to work or social activities before one week, be advised that you will most likely still appear to be in the recovery stage and your face will most likely still be red and peeling.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

ActiveFX Recovery Time

The recovery time for ActiveFX really depends on the settings used and the aggressive of the treatment.  It can range from a 2-3 days to 7-10 days.  There can also be post-procedure redness or pinkness that can last several weeks after treatment.  You should discuss this with your treating physician.  

Timothy G. Rodgers, MD, FAAD
Frisco Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Active FX recovery time

The recovery time after Active FX is highly dependent on how aggressive the procedure will be. A typical Active FX treatment will heal in 5 days. After five days there will still be some redness to the face which can last for weeks, but can easily be concealed with makeup. More aggressive treatments (higher densities) will require a longer recovery time. If your procedure will be combined with Deep FX, the you will need between 7-10 days to recover. An experienced surgeon or dermatologist will be able to predict your recovery time pretty accurately, taking in consideration the depth and density of the treatment.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 141 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.