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C02 Laser in San Diego, CA

CO2 laser treatments have long been used to resurface the skin and reduce wrinkles. La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic offers treatments with the Active FX™ Deep system for men and women in San Diego, Encinitas, La Mesa, El Cajon, and surrounding areas of California.

ActiveFX And The More Intensive DeepFX Both Are “Fractional Lasers”

These lasers utilize a treatment technology called Bridge Therapy. This means that tiny laser beams penetrate the skin in a dot-like pattern which leaves “bridges” of untreated skin around each treated microdot. This is important to understand because this is what makes these lasers so much kinder.


The FX lasers by Lumenis are the new gold standard CO2 laser skin tightening and resurfacing systems. They both offer immediate wrinkle reduction as the skin resurfacing technique induces collagen formation and tightening of the skin. You see immediate results — continuing for up to six months due to this new collagen formation.

Skin Improvements

  • Smoother tighter facial skin and contours
  • Tighter and more lifted eyelid skin
  • A smoother, tighter and more wrinkle-free neck
  • Softening of smokers’ lines and vertical lip lines
  • Fading of skin discoloration
  • Scar reduction

This patient had 4 ActiveFX laser treatments to reduce scars from a motorcycle accident. These treatments were performed in our clinic by Dr. Jasmine McLeod who has particular expertise in CO2 Laser.

Why CO2?

  • CO2 is the “gold standard” in skin resurfacing since the early 90’s
  • CO2 can be customized to treat more superficially as is required in the case of pigmentation issues
  • Superficial treatment is friendlier to darker skin tones and incurs less risk.
  • Clinical benefits persist for considerable time post treatment


Wrinkles and scars have a dermal component and are most effectively treated by penetrating deep into the problem areas. Higher percentage of untreated skin enables quicker healing. The ActiveFX is ideal for treating mild to moderate levels of wrinkling and will improve pigmentation issues. For acne scarring, the ActiveFX allows a moderate level of improvement, though may require adjunctive laser treatment using Fraxel II (new upgrade to latest technology to the Fraxel DUAL). Due to the variation in scar depths, acne scars typically require several procedures for best response. Fraxel II offers a low to no-downtime alternative if your preferences dictate.


DeepFX reaches deeper into the skin to create a more intense thermal response. Heat is the catalyst for new collagen tightening and collagen production. Just as a cotton t-shirt will shrink in the dryer from the heat, the collagen strands in your skin will “shrink” when sufficient heat is introduced. The DeepFX laser beam is very narrow and reaches the stimulatory levels of the deep dermis. Besides the immediate collagen shrinkage, new collagen growth begins with your treatment and this collagen growth continues for months. After 3 to 5 months you’ll reach your “best response” with skin that is tighter, smoother, and more luminous.

CO2 Laser – Active FX Deep FAQs

Is ActiveFX/Deep FX Right For Me?

  • ActiveFX / DeepFX is ideal for you if your lifestyle demands a short healing time
  • Minimal downtime fits most schedules
  • Multiple address of pigmentation, wrinkles and skin texture problems
  • ActiveFX and DeepFX can be combined to provide dual-level effects – called TotalFX
    • (Ask Dr. Mani if you are a candidate for TotalFX – our most comprehensive laser procedure)
  • If your skin is not sun damaged and you only suffer from skin laxity, zero downtime skin tightening with Thermage may be your treatment of choice. Dr. Mani will help you make the best decision.
  • Younger skin with pigmentation-only issues may well require little more than Cosmelan skin lightening program

What Is ActiveFX / DeepFX?

ActiveFX and DeepFX are both micro fractional CO2 laser procedures which are performed in a single treatment session. Downtime is comparatively short – usually a few days to a week.

Fractional laser is very unique in that only a percentage of the entire surface is treated. This makes healing much faster, reduces the risk of infection and maintains normal pigmentation. The laser beam is broken up into thousands of tiny dots which then penetrate the selected area. Small areas of untouched skin, referred to as “bridges” provide active healthy cell generation much more quickly than that of full tissue removal in older resurfacing lasers.

What Are The Benefits Of ActiveFX/DeepFX?

  • Both treatments are capable of delivering dramatic outcomes with DeepFX creating more pronounced tightening
  • DeepFX delivers immediate tightening of the skin
  • Reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and a subtle softening of deeper wrinkles
  • Skin tone is more even and texture is smoother
  • New collagen is formed as a response to the treatment, firming and “plumping” skin tissue
  • Treatments help skin revert to a healthier appearance
  • ActiveFX and DeepFX laser treatments provide enduring results. With proper protection from UV, the effects can last for years.  Early effects are nearly immediate with improved skin tone and appearance. Gradual deep tissue tightening continues over the next 3 to 5 months and most patients notice a continuing improvement during that time.

What Can You Expect After Your ActiveFX DeepFX Treatment?

Dr. Mani will perform the procedure in the office with a topical anesthetic cream that is applied 1-2 hours before the laser procedure begins. Most patients experience a warm feeling similar to a sunburn. With our gentle post-laser skincare regimen, the photo-damaged skin begins to flake off within 2 days. After about 4 to 5 days, make-up can be applied to the skin. Pinkness should be gone in about a week.

What is Active FX Laser?

The Active FX laser is a CO2 laser used for skin resurfacing. It is one of the most advanced laser devices on the market, offering unparalleled results when it comes to wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, dark spots and other skin irregularities.

How Long Does Active FX Last?

The Active FX laser stimulates collagen production in the skin to produce long-lasting results. Optimal results are seen about six months after treatment, and will last for years longer.

How Much is Active FX Laser?

The cost of Active FX laser treatment will depend on the size of the treatment area and the number of treatment sessions needed for optimal results. The exact cost can vary by patient, but it is made more affordable thanks to the availability of financing options.

How Long Does it Take to Heal After Laser Treatment?

After the Active FX laser treatment, the full recovery takes only about one week. The skin will begin to peel about two days after treatment. About four or five days after treatment, makeup can be applied to the skin to conceal any minor side effects. After one week, the majority of skin redness and sensitivity should be completely healed.

Which is Better, Chemical Peel or Laser Resurfacing?

The choice between a chemical peel or laser resurfacing will depend on your treatment goals. Laser resurfacing is ideal for the deep rejuvenation of the skin, as it reaches deeper layers of skin to stimulate collagen production. Chemical peels, a more customizable treatment, may offer results sooner for patients who are looking to address concerns on the skin’s outermost layers and surface.

The CO2 laser – Active FX™ Deep treatments at La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic for men and women in San Diego, Encinitas, La Mesa, El Cajon, and surrounding areas of California, offers many advantages over traditional CO2 laser treatments. To learn more, contact us today to schedule a consultation.