As you’re exploring laser skin treatments options, you might’ve come across something called DeepFX™ | ActiveFX™, which is sometimes referred to as a single procedure, and just as often, mentioned as two different treatments. You may have even heard of the TotalFX.

You might be thinking, this sound like more lasers than a Star Wars convention.  Thankfully, it’s really not as complicated as it might seem at first.

In this post, you’ll find a clear, straightforward breakdown of the different terms and a simple explanation of what treatment entails to help you decide which skin resurfacing treatment may be right for you.

What is the Treatment and What’s with all the Names?

ActiveFX and DeepFX are both micro fractional CO2 laser procedures for treating a number of skin concerns. They are typically performed together in a single treatment session, which is why you’ll often see the treatment appear combined as ActiveFX/DeepFX.

While patients can choose to just undergo ActiveFX, it’s generally more common and frequently recommended for patients to also undergo DeepFX to achieve maximum results.

Because the two procedures are usually performed together as a single treatment, someone came up with the idea of just referring to treatment by a single name, TotalFX.

So when you see TotalFx, it just means a treatment that includes both the ActiveFX and DeepFX procedures.

What’s the Difference between ActiveFX and DeepFX?

They both fall under the same category of laser procedures. Fractional laser treatments are unique in that they only treat a percentage of the skin’s surface as opposed to full tissue removal. The laser beam is broken up into a large number of tiny dots that only penetrate select areas of the skin, leaving other areas of skin untouched.  This allows for faster healing, less risk of infection, and minimizes downtime following the procedure i.e. your face isn’t likely to look like a blistered tomato for weeks afterwards.

What makes DeepFX different is that the laser beam is more narrow and is broken up into smaller dots that can reach deeper into the skin. This creates a more intense thermal response, basically, using heat to stimulate collagen production and generate greater tightening benefits.

What are the Benefits?

Both improve wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, skin tone and texture, the appearance of scars, and even stimulate new collagen production.  Both treatments can deliver dramatic outcomes, rejuvenating the skin and giving you a smoother, luminous, healthier and more youthful looking complexion.


Treatment takes about 20-30 minutes with minimal downtime involved, especially compared to many other skin resurfacing treatments. Any flaking and pinkness should generally subside several days to a week following treatment. Results are long lasting and become visible fairly immediately. Firming benefits will continue to develop over the next 3-5 months.

Choosing a Treatment

Whether you choose ActiveFX as a standalone treatment or elect to go for both, they share many of the same benefits. The best treatment choice for you will depend on your individual skin concerns and goals, and essentially, just your skin, in general.

DeepFX offers more intense skin tightening benefits and greater firming benefits for mega results. If you have deeper lines and wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity, and these are primary concerns to you, then choosing the TotalFX may be the treatment to give you the kind of result you want.

Still unsure what the ideal treatment for you might be and want to learn more? Contact our office today. Together we can create a plan to fit your needs that’ll get you glowing, fresh-faced, and full of complexion confidence in no time.