UltraPulse CO2 Fractional Laser Treatments: ActiveFX | DeepFX | TotalFX

Dr. Rajagopal now offers UltraPulse CO2 fractional laser therapy, the newest and currently most effective skin-resurfacing laser treatment, at her San Francisco practice. Fractional laser treatments work well for reducing skin pigmentation (brown spots/age spots, redness, and uneven skin tone), the appearance of scars (especially from acne), minimizing fine lines, and softening deep wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Each fractional laser treatment is custom tailored by Dr. Rajagopal to suit the patient’s individual needs depending on their skin type, tone, and texture.

How does fractional laser technology work?

UltraPulse CO2 Fractional laser treatment is a non-ablative procedure that uses new application techniques for powerful carbon dioxide lasers. The term non-ablative means that the tissue does not experience any scarring or damage during treatment like with other skin laser procedures. UltraPulse CO2 fractional laser treatment penetrates deep into the skin and leaves microscopic “holes” on the surface of the skin. These small laser induced holes in the epidermis and dermis (skin’s top and middle layer) naturally jump start collagen production. Collagen is responsible for giving skin a smooth, youthful look and feel. Collagen naturally diminishes overtime due to age, sun damage, and exposure to pollution. During the healing process after the laser treatment, the skin automatically regenerates collagen in the healthier skin layers, which replenishes the dull and damaged surface of the skin. The top skin layer appears and feels softer and smoother.

Other skin laser treatments only treat the epidermal layer (top layer of the skin). The Fractional Laser has the ability to treat both the dermal layer (middle layer) and epidermal layer without damaging the skin. The result is a one time laser procedure with a much faster recovery time when compared to conventional skin laser treatments.

How many treatments are needed?

Only one session of UltraPulse CO2 Fractional Laser Treatment is necessary. Unlike other laser treatments that require multiple sessions for best results, Fractional Laser technology is able to penetrate much deeper into the skin. This allows for one treatment to be sufficient.

When will I see results?

Since it takes some time for the skin to regenerate collagen production, the results appear gradually. The softening of wrinkles will appear over the course of a few months after the laser treatment. Full results can be seen approximately 6 months after the treatment.

What do the terms ActiveFX, DeepFX, and TotalFX stand for?

There are three different “levels” of UltraPulse CO2 Fractional Laser Treatment.

ActiveFX: ActiveFX treats fine lines, texture and dyschromia (discoloration and patchiness of the skin/uneven skin tone). The light beams of energy from the laser penetrate into the epidermis with the ActiveFX laser, which is less invasive than the DeepFX version.

DeepFX: DeepFX is used when treating wrinkles and scars. Since DeepFX is used for treating more severe skin imperfections, it penetrates through the epidermis and into the dermis layer as well.

TotalFX: ActiveFX and DeepFX can be used in combination on the entire face with special attention going towards a specific problem area. For example, if a patient has severe wrinkles around the eyes that require more attention than the rest of the face, DeepFX can be done on the eye area to reduce the deep wrinkles. During the same treatment session, ActiveFX can be used on the rest of the patient’s face to fix minor imperfections like fine lines and discoloration.

How long is the recovery time?

Recovery time is generally 3-6 days. There is some swelling and the patient may experience some flakiness of the skin during this time.