What is Halo®?
Halo® is a new category of fractional laser that is referred to as “Hybrid Fractional Laser” or HFL that combines two pulsed wavelengths the promote both a surface effect while getting deeper, broader results where many skin problems are but without the long recovery time and extensive healing associated with deeper skin laser therapies.
How does Halo® work?
Up to now lasers have basically worked in one of two categories. Ablative lasers work by removing layers of skin. The treatments are more involved, have some bleeding, are more extensive, and better long term results. However, ablative lasers require lots of healing (If any of you have seen my pictures in the hallway at New You or my comparison pictures at My Halo® Story and My Halo® Story 2.0 where I compare my fractional laser to the same day effects of Halo® you know what I mean.) and you have to wear that heavy “goop” to protect your skin. Your skin appears very red and it feels hot for days or weeks afterward depending on how deep the treatment goes.
Non-ablative lasers is the second category and these lasers work by generating heat down into the skin. The treatments are easier and there is no bleeding. However because the skin is less challenged the results are limited and more subtle.
Halo® combines the best of both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths together in one pulsed application. At 2940 nm wavelength, the ablative part of Halo® can work on removing superficial skin at 0-100 microns, to make room for newer, fresher skin replacement. At the 1470nm wavelength Halo® works at 200-700 microns and targets deep skin pigmentation problems as well as stimulates collagen and elastin production and new skin cells.
Halo® works by creating channels in the skin much like when you aerate your lawn. These channels that are created in your skin focuses cell development in hard to treat areas, resulting in rapid growth and increased healing factors. The surrounding skin “tailgates” on these channels getting a “free ride” as the healing factors that are created in the channels generalize to the untreated skin.
- Greater precision. With the hybrid laser I can more tightly control the depth, degree of penetration, and the amount of heat applied not only to the surface but also to the deep skin at the same time.
- Greater customization. I can adapt the laser more readily to each person’s skin category and type, rather than “one size fits most.”
- I have greater control over the portion of the portion of the dermis, or deep skin, I treat nonablatively.
- Healing times are consistently the same. Whether you go to 200 microns, or 400 microns you still end up with the same level of healing on the same day.
- Greater comfort for you. Healing begins in just 1 hour after treatment.
- You can get more aggressive treatment and greater results with only minor differences in appearance.
- No more wearing heavy skin “goop.”
- No more heavy swelling.
- No more heavy skin sloughing.
- No more heavily inflamed skin.
- No more having to be out of the public eye or people knowing what you’ve had done.
- No super dry skin afterward.
- You’ll see tighter pores; from 80% down to 37% have been reported.
- If you have acne scarring you can see improvement in 1 week.
- With Halo® I can go deeper than BBL (150-200 microns) to erase photo aging caused by sun exposure.
- Because Halo® builds collagen and elastin, it can help restore fullness to your skin.
- Halo® smoothes both fine lines and creases.
Based on my own experience I can say (Keep in mind comfort levels differ from person to person.) 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. In addition I can also give you prednisone to control the little swelling that might appear (unless of course it is counter indicated by your past medical record).
After your treatment your face will feel hot for about an hour. Your skin will dry some as it heals. You will look like you’ve had a little too much sun for the first day. (I got kidded for that, “Dr Mudd! You were outside without your sunscreen!) Some minor swelling may occur but cold packs and prednisone can control that. You’ll need to apply Cicalfate, a protective cream that acts like a liquid band-aid to cut down on irritation. But don’t worry it has the same consistency as regular cold cream and no one can see it. (My hubby didn’t even know I had it on!)
On day 2 your skin will start to show little brown spots that look like freckles. These are the dead cells coming up through the little channels the laser created. Your skin will have a really fine dusting of dead skin, sort of a “micro-dandruff” by day 3-4. It is easily wiped away and isn’t obvious to others. Within a week your new results are in place!
Because your skin heals faster on the second treatment I recommend getting two treatments a month apart. This is another benefit of Halo®. Using a pro fractional laser alone you would have to wait 6 months or more for a second treatment. Your first treatment will probably be lighter and serve to get your skin healing factors pumped up. Your second treatment can be deeper to take advantage of the base of newer healthier skin. Of course this is only generally speaking. Each person has different goals in pursuing this type of treatment.