Active/Deep FX Overview

Before and after oblique image of Active/DeepFX treatment on a female's face performed by Dr. Goldman at our San Diego medical clinic

The Lumenis UltraPulse Encore laser resurfacing treatment is a combination of Active FX and Deep FX. These lasers offer fractional CO2 resurfacing and are excellent at treating deeper wrinkles, severe textural issues from sun damage, blotchiness, acne scars and surgical scars, pearly penile papules.

Not only does the Active/Deep FX decrease the appearance of sunspots and scars, it stimulates the production of collagen, which will lead to gradually improving results as time goes by. Our doctors in San Diego uses the high-energy laser to target the unwanted spots or wrinkles on the face, leaving some areas untouched. By treating just a “fraction” of the skin on the face, the healing process is much quicker.

When used together, Active and Deep FX offer a full range of fractional resurfacing.

Active FX

This treatment stimulates collagen production and resurfaces the skin’s superficial layers, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.

Deep FX

Deep FX is a micro-ablative treatment that targets deeper layers of skin, promoting collagen remodeling and addressing moderate to severe wrinkles and acne scars for a more comprehensive skin rejuvenation.

Total FX

Total FX combines the benefits of Active FX and Deep FX, providing a dual-action laser treatment that addresses both surface imperfections and deeper skin concerns, resulting in overall skin improvement.

Not only can it be used alone, but it can be used with the Sciton Erbium laser for a combination laser resurfacing treatment that significantly improves fine lines, pigmentation, sun damage, etc.

What Does Active/Deep FX Treat?

The San Diego Lumenis Active FX treatment is used to treat a variety of skin conditions with great success. The board-certified dermatologists at CLDerm commonly use the laser to treat patients with:

The Lumenis UltraPulse Encore Active FX has proven to be effective in treating the superficial layers of the skin, often having the greatest impact on reducing the appearance of sun damage, thus giving the skin a more youthful glow.

What Are The Benefits Of Active/Deep FX?

Active and Deep FX are fractional CO2 treatments that reduce downtime and deliver dramatic results. Both procedures require only one system, one pass, and one treatment.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced wrinkles and fine lines
  • Softens deep wrinkles
  • Improved skin tone and texture
  • Removes brown spots, sun spots, and sun damage
  • Stimulates new collagen production

With over 60+ lasers, the doctors at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego are experts in resurfacing treatments.  The UltraPulse Co2 is a favorite to use because not only is it well-tolerated, but it provides patients with excellent results. Contact us today to book a personalized consultation.

What to Expect

laser resurfacing san diego

Our experienced dermatologists can perform Active/Deep FX procedures in one session. After a comprehensive consultation, we can recommend the appropriate device for your needs.

Active/Deep FX treatments typically last between 30 minutes and one hour. During your consultation, our San Diego dermatologists can tell you how long they expect your treatment to take.

Step 1: Prepare Your Skin

Before the procedure, we will apply a topical anesthetic to the area that is going to be treated to minimize pain. Depending on your ultimate goals, our doctors in San Diego will use either the Active FX laser hand-piece, Deep FX laser hand-piece, or both lasers to treat your skin.

Step 2: Apply the Laser

As the laser is applied you might experience a warm, tingly sensation, which many patients compare to the feeling of a sunburn. The Active FX only treats a fraction of the skin’s surface, leaving small “bridges” of untouched skin, allowing for the skin to heal quicker. With a Deep FX treatment, the laser penetrates deeper into your skin to improve deep wrinkles and lines. Combining Active and Deep FX treatments for the best possible results is called Total FX.

Step 3: Recovery after Active/Deep FX

Immediately after the Active/Deep FX laser treatments, your skin will appear red and slightly swollen, but this should go away within a day or two. The recovery time after an Active FX treatment is quicker than the recovery time needed for a Deep FX treatment because the Active FX is a more superficial treatment. Within a week your skin should start looking smoother, but your skin will progressively improve over the next few months before you see the full results.

Read our pre/post treatment guidelines for Active/Deep FX.

Professional skincare products you can use daily at home will promote skin healing and prolong the positive results of your procedure. We offer the best medical-grade formulations available today and we will work with you to design a personalized treatment program that meets your needs and goals best.


Laser resurfacing for skin rejuvenation by Dr. Loyal. Disclaimer: Results may vary from patient to patient. Results are not guaranteed. Laser resurfacing for skin rejuvenation by Dr. Loyal
Laser resurfacing for skin rejuvenation by Dr. Loyal. Disclaimer: Results may vary from patient to patient. Results are not guaranteed. Laser resurfacing for skin rejuvenation by Dr. Loyal
CO2 laser to rejuvenate skin underneath the eyes of a female patient by Dr. Groff. Disclaimer: Results may vary from patient to patient. Results are not guaranteed. CO2 Laser to Rejuvenate Skin around the Eyes by Dr. Groff
Actual unretouched patient before and after Active/DeepFX to rejuvenate the skin by Dr. Goldman. Disclaimer: Results may vary from patient to patient. Results are not guaranteed. Before and after Active/DeepFX to rejvuenate skin by Dr. Goldman


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Q: What is Active FX?


Active FX is a fractional laser procedure. A high-energy beam of laser light smooths out lines, wrinkles, and scars and removes brown spots. Active FX treatment stimulates the growth of new underlying collagen, promoting skin improvement over time.

Q: What is Deep FX?


Deep FX is a fractional laser procedure used to improve the appearance of aged, sun-damage or scarred skin. The Deep FX laser penetrates deeper into the dermal layers of the skin than the Active FX and is a better treatment for deeper wrinkles. Deep FX stimulates the regeneration of new collagen growth throughout the entire treatment area.

Q: What is Total FX?


Total FX treatments are a combination of both an Active FX and Deep FX treatment. While Active FX treats the more superficial wrinkles and color issues, the Deep FX targets the deeper wrinkles, providing overall skin improvement.

Q: How long does an Active/Deep FX procedure take?


Active/Deep FX treatments are generally quick, lasting around 30-60 minutes. However, you will need to arrive early to the appointment to have a topical anesthetic cream applied to reduce discomfort during the procedure. The length of the procedure depends on how many areas of the face, neck, or chest are being treated and if you are doing a Total FX treatment or just one of the laser treatments.

Q: How many Active/Deep FX treatments will I need?


Patients generally receive a series of Active/Deep FX laser treatments in order to see the best results. During a consultation our doctors will analyze your skin and recommend a personalized treatment plan, usually 3-5 laser treatments every 3-8 weeks. The exact treatment plan depends on the needs of the patient and factors such as age, skin type, etc.

Q: When will I see the results of the Active/Deep FX?


Visible results from Active/Deep Fx treatments come in two stages. Immediately after your first laser treatment, there will be noticeable improvements in your skin tone and texture. Your skin will continue to improve over the next few months. Your wrinkles and fine lines will continue to reduce as new collagen growth plumps the skin.

Q: How long do the results of Active/Deep FX last?


The results of the Active/Deep FX laser treatments are long-term but not permanent.

As long as you take care of your skin and protect it from sun exposure, you should be happy with your results for quite some time. Because Lumenis Active FX stimulates collagen production, you will actually continue to see improvement in your results for several months after the treatment.

Q: How much downtime should I expect after a Active/Deep FX laser treatment?


There is minimal downtime after Active/Deep FX laser treatments. Right after the procedure, your skin will be red and slightly swollen, but this fades within 1-3 days. Many patients are able to cover up the redness the next day and return to work or daily activities. Additionally, many patients experience some skin peeling within the first week after the treatment. Using a moisturizer will help reduce the appearance of flaky skin.

Q: What are the side effects of Active/Deep FX?


Like most laser treatment side effects, Active/Deep FX side effects are mild and can include some swelling or redness after the procedure. You will also experience some skin flaking around the treatment area, which you can treat with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer.

Q: How much does Active/Deep FX cost?


The cost of Active/Deep FX laser treatments is unique to each patient. We would be more than happy to give you a personalized Active/Deep FX treatment plan and cost estimate during a consultation with one of our expert laser dermatologists.

Q: Is the treatment painful?


Our doctors do everything they can to ensure the pain associated with any of their laser treatments is minimal. Prior to a Lumenis Active/Deep FX treatment, the doctor will apply a topical numbing cream that will set on the skin for up to 60 minutes before the laser is used. This will keep the patient from feeling much of the laser during the treatment. After the procedure, the patient may experience some redness and/or burning that will diminish within a few days and that can be soothed with an ice pack.

Q: How many treatments will I need?


While it does depend on your exact case, most people will want to get 3-5 treatments to see ideal results. Your skin type, skin condition, and other factors will help your doctor determine the right number of treatments for you.

Q: How expensive is the Lumenis Active FX procedure?


The number of treatments and length of treatment will vary from one individual to the next; therefore, we cannot give one flat rate. Cost will be determined after visiting the doctor for a consultation and getting your treatment plan.

Q: Who makes a good candidate for Lumenis Active FX treatment?


A good candidate is typically anyone looking to reduce the appearance of sunspots, scarring, and/or fine lines. During your consultation with one of the renowned San Diego dermatologists at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology, your doctor will examine your skin’s particular condition and recommend the treatment plan they feel will best meet your needs and give you the youthful appearance you’re looking for.

Other Options

Fraxel Restore Logo in San Diego

At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, our skincare specialists offer many fractional laser alternatives for Active/Deep FX, including:

Contact our dermatologists today to schedule a consultation, where we will develop a treatment plan ideal for your goals and desires.


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