Does Active FX Treat and Prevent Future Acne Breakouts?

Hi, I went to a Dr. in Beverly Hills to talk about getting rid of my acne scars while treating my acne. He recommended the factionated Co2 laser. The treatment costs $5000 at this office. I have already had photo laser treatments twice, following numerous microderm treatments over years. I don't want to spend another large chunk of money only to see my acne worsen and create new scars.

In all of my online research I have found little evidence to support the notion that the fractionated Co2 laser treatment will treat and prevent future acne, as claimed by this Dr. Does the Active Fx/Fractionated Co2 Laser treat current acne and prevent future acne? Please advise.

Doctor Answers 3

Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing can treat acne scars but will NOT prevent future acne

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Anyone who tells you that fractional laser resurfacing (whether it is Erbium or CO2) is incorrect.  While CO2 laser resurfacing can be very effective for treating scars from acne, it does not prevent future outbreaks of acne itself.  In fact, because of the topical ointments and creams that we recommend for patients following these laser treatments, many patients who have had acne in the past will actually experience temporary breakouts during the healing period due to clogging of their pores.  To address this, all of our acne scar patients who undergo laser resurfacing receive hydrafacials after their treatment to keep the pores open.  We have found that to be a very effective way to reduce the overall breakouts and improve their early healing period.

I hope that helps!

Active Fx and Fractional CO2 laser effective for Acne scar but meant to treat active acne

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Fractional CO2 laser such as Active Fx, Fraxel Repair, and Mixto can be quite helpful for acne scarring by resurfacing uneven skin texture and stimulate collagen production. However, if the acne is not under good control prior to laser resurfacing, there can be a flare of cystic acne after the procedure due to emollient application and inflammatory response from the laser. You should work with a board-certified dermatologist making sure that your acne is under control prior to investing in laser resurfacing for acne scarring.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Active FX is good for acne scarring, not active acne treatment. Save your money.

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We use Active FX frequently, and I absolutely love this laser. Our office charges $2500 for a combination of Active FX/ Deep FX treatment. We use it frequently for acne scarring with really good results. It helps to rebuild and remodel collagen in the skin.

However, it is unlikely to treat current acne or prevent future acne. In fact, you may get some short term acne outbreaks after the procedure due to laser action itself and post-laser skincare which is usually a vaseline-like ointment.

If you have active acne, you may need a different treatment now, but you may benefit from Active FX in the future if you have residual acne scarring. Of note, microdermabrasion can be irritating to the skin and exacerbate your acne as well.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.