My Halo Story : Halo® results are intense but the process for getting then isn’t. When I got fractional laser peels in the past, the ablative nature of the treatment, made it evident to everyone– extensive swelling, extreme redness, a burning sensation that lasts for days or weeks, and wearing a thick layer of “skin goop”– makes getting a fractional laser peel a planned event. To get intense results you often have to go deep but that means longer downtime; its a trade off. One you don’t want to make if you’re anywhere near a special event, especially one with pictures. With my Halo® treatment, when I got home, I had to tell my husband I had it done! There was nothing immediately noticeable that would indicate I’d had a laser peel.
I sort of tested the limits of Halo® on purpose so I could tell people what it is like. For example I used a topical anesthetic as is the norm for most laser peels, but because of a busy schedule, I didn’t get around to my Halo® treatment until 2 1/2 hours later when a lot of the anesthetic effect had worn off. Rather than put off the treatment, I figured I’d get a sense for how it felt. Comfort levels differ from person to person, but with nominal anesthesia, the treatment felt like prickly hot needles; certainly nothing to cause me to go screaming from the room. The sensation of intense heat was gone in about a day. If comfort levels are important to you, Halo® with a topical anesthetic and an optional oral medication should help open up laser peels to you if you’re anxious about comfort during the procedure.
The next day, Day 2(see the picture on the right) some patients asked me if I’d been out in the garden over the weekend. My skin was a light pink, like I’d been out in the sun for about an hour without SPF. Swelling is another concern people have and here again I didn’t apply any cold compresses just to see how extensive the swelling might get. I had some swelling under my eyes where the skin is the most thin and sensitive, but this resolved on its own in about 24 hours. Swelling was most noticeable after sleep. My husband noted, “Hey, that was fast.” You could manage your own swelling better with cold compresses and perhaps sleeping with your head elevated, but compared with Day 2 of a fractional laser (see the picture on the left) the swelling after Halo® was comparatively minor. One thing I did learn. You can also cut down on swelling by avoiding sun exposure prior to the treatment.
The other problem I know bothers people is having to wear a heavy layer of gel protection post-procedure, that make you look like you had a head on collision with a large jelly donut. With Halo® you use Cicalfate, which has a cold cream like texture. It acts as a temporary skin sealant but is unnoticeable. Again I had to tell my husband that I had something on my face. It’s not greasy or shiny.
By Day 3 and 4, small brown spots, like mini freckles began to show up on my skin. These were the “dermal debris” coming from the little micro-channels created by Halo®. I know that with Halo® your skin starts the healing effect within 1 hour, but tiny brown spots were confirmation this was happening. My skin got a little bronze looking, as if my skin was healing as a result of the “sun burn” people thought I had a few days before.
With fractional laser, as your skin heals you can get major skin sloughing. Not scary or dangerous but unsightly at times. My husband noticed my brown spots were disappearing but hadn’t seen any heavy sloughing. At most my treated skin developed a fine “mini dandruff” of which only I was aware.
What was most noticeable was the number of unsolicited comments from patients I got from patients a week after the procedure. They asked me what I had done to my brighten my skin. “What have you done? Your skin looks so luminous!” exclaimed one patient when I walked into the room, followed by, “When can I get it?!”
I found the procedure itself easy enough to take even with less than optimal anesthesia, but what I really loved with my busy schedule was the minimal aftercare and the one week to see results. I’ll be getting my next treatment soon so stay tune for more about my personal experience and more pictures.