Uneven pigmentation in the skin can be a serious issue and add years to your face. Combine those age spots with some wrinkling and skin laxity, and you may be looking to fractional resurfacing as a solution. There are many options available now, so which is the best for your skin and desired results? We asked those questions ourselves so we checked in with the people who know best - the doctors who use these devices every day. Board Certified surgeon Dr. Gregory Chernoff offers ActiveFX in Indianapolis along with several other fractional technologies, to provide patients with multiple treatment options.
Beauty Tech Review: Fractional Resurfacing Devices
One feature that sets this resurfacing device from Lumenis apart from the others is the ability to do three separate treatments just by using differing hand pieces. The ActiveFX, Deep FX and Total FX treatments offer different depths of penetration and intensity of treatment.
"This technology utilizes CO2 technology from an ablative standpoint.... We now know that we can have hand pieces that deliver multiple spots of energy to the tissue that leave thousands of islands of tissue untouched. We know that any ablative wound heals both from the periphery as well as from the depth of the wound, and if you have then thousands of exfoliated spots surrounded by thousands of islands left untouched, that's why these wounds heal much quicker as opposed to exfoliating the entire surface," says Dr. Chernoff. "The beauty of this technology is that we can now exfoliate as lightly as we need to for a patient or go as deep as we need to if a patient has deeper lines."
ActiveFX before and after results of Dr. David Kaufman, courtesy of www.aesthetic.lumenis.com
Dr. Chernoff uses the Active FX to assist patients with skin tone and texture. He says he uses it "when patients come in for a consultation, and if they have a lot of unwanted sun damage, a lot of unwanted pigment, a lot of pigment variation, ranging then up to a lot of fine lines, a lot of static ridges, we give them the option of either having non-ablative technology in the office with no downtime, but for that technology to get the results, they have to keep coming back usually once a month for 4-6 months. Sometimes patients say... 'What do you have that you can do for me in one sitting that will give me the nicest results?' And when we talk then about one sitting, the butt is that there's some downtime associated for the patient, anywhere from 3 days to 7 days based upon the depth of the peel. But this technology then we offer those patients who want a one time treatment in an effort to give them the nicest possible result."
He says that this treatment is not for those with darker skin types. "The best candidates for this treatment would be a Fitzpatrick 1 to about a 3, anyone who is a 4 or above is really prone to the same post-type, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation issues that any exfoliation would provide to those patients." The Fitzpatrick scale is a measure of skin's ability to absorb light. The range is from 1 to 6, with a 1 being very pale skin and a 6 being very dark skin. "So the best patient would be the type 1 to type 3 who has pigment variation; that's where we would do an Active FX peel. A type 1 to 3 that has more fine, static wrinkles, they are then the patients that we would do more of a Deep FX or a Total FX peel."
Most of Dr. Chernoff's patients want to improve their appearance all at once rather than undergoing several visits. "Most patients see us to help them with the quality of their skin or they come to see us to help them with excess gravitational or quantitative issues. Most patients today appreciate the ability of having one stop shopping.... It's really rare now that I go to the operating room and do a face lift, do eyes, without doing some form of a peel for them as well, so this goes hand in hand with any surgical procedure that we're doing on the face as well. Patients like to heal once and be done."
Healing depends on the depth and intensity of the procedure performed. Dr. Chernoff says, "For the exfoliative treatments... [the patient is] down for immediately anywhere from 3 days to 7 days." He says collagen reorganization can take as much as 6 months. "Whether they're coming in for a round of non-ablative or having one Active FX done, we like to give the end results 6 months before we make the final judgment."
The cost varies based on the areas of treatment, the geographical location of the physician and the depth of the peel. "I've seen ranges in prices for these types of peels anywhere from $1500 up to $3500." Also, Dr. Chernoff says, "Some centers will charge in the region of $1000 per area, so if patients are wanting a lighter peel involving the face, neck, and decollete, it will be in the neighborhood of $3000 total."
Dr. Gregory Chernoff is a triple Board Certified Aesthetic Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. His practice is exclusively dedicated to cosmetic laser therapies, hair replacement surgery and aesthetic plastic surgery. His laser research has been instrumental in developing and refining accepted laser techniques now utilized by physicians worldwide.
Dr. Gregory Chernoff
He has authored numerous scientific papers and medical laser textbook chapters. Dr. Chernoff has been featured on news programs such as Dateline NBC, ABC and CBS Nightly News, the BBC Worldnews and in Time, Newsweek and W Magazines.
American Health and Beauty, in an effort to provide the most up-to-date information to our readers, presents the Beauty Tech Review. Our first installment in this ongoing series discusses Fractional Resurfacing technology. Join American Health and Beauty editor, Keith Veseleny, as he speaks with leading physicians who share their knowledge on each laser platform.
The Beauty Tech Review: Fractional Resurfacing - will include: Dr. Heidi Waldorf on Fraxel Restore Dual Dr. Etai Funk on Matrix IR Dr. Michael Kaminer on ProFractional Dr. Janee Steinberg on Sandstone Matrix, Dr. Lori Brightman on eMatrix Dr. Deborah Sarnoff on SmartSkin Dr. Christopher Zachary on Fraxel repair and Dr. Bill Johnson on SmartXide DOT Therapy