A Fresh Start for Fall: Megan's Halo Experience (Part 1)
If you have been a follower of ARTisan Skin and Laser Center for any length of time, you have certainly heard us mention the Halo laser treatment. There's a good reason for that...the Sciton Halo fractional hybrid laser just happens to be one of our favorite treatments that packs a big punch!
What exactly is a Halo? It's a hybrid laser...that means it combines both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths to target a wide variety of skin issues in one relatively simple treatment. The ablative portion of the laser works to resurface the top layer of skin, while the non-ablative wavelength infuses heat into the skin to enhance collagen production. As a result, the Halo can address anything from pigmentation issues and sun damage to fine lines and wrinkles.
As a provider, the Halo is one of my favorite treatments to perform on patients. Why, you might ask? The reason is simply because the results speak for themselves! While patients consistently see improvements in their skin after a Halo treatment, my favorite thing about the Halo is that it not only improves the appearance of skin, but it also addresses the HEALTH of the skin.
I have shared before that I have struggled (still struggle!) with acne, and unfortunately with acne often comes acne scarring. I also have a very fair complexion that is prone to freckling and sun spots, despite my constant use of high SPF sunscreen, sun hats, AND shade throughout the summer. And of course, the older I get, the more fine lines and wrinkles I'm noticing, despite diligent use of medical-grade skincare. These were my three main goals when I decided to undergo a Halo treatment a few weeks ago. My desire to address my acne scarring (skin texture), pigmentation, and fine lines made Halo the perfect option for me.
The main questions I get when I am discussing Halo with patients:
1. Does it hurt? As a provider, I vow to always be honest with my patients. And the truth is, it doesn't feel great. It's not something you'd want to do every day. But the treatment is relatively quick, and it's tolerable. This is coming from someone with a pretty low pain tolerance. To me, it feels like the tingling sensation that you get after your foot "falls asleep" and it's waking back up. That's the best way I can describe it. But I often say in this job, the difference in peoples' pain tolerance never ceases to amaze me. Some people think it's uncomfortable. One patient told me it felt like a massage (!). The most discomfort is the hot, sunburn sensation you have for the first hour following the procedure. But after this, there truly is no pain. We do numb each area with a topical numbing cream for an hour prior to the treatment, and if you are worried about pain we have specific medication options that can help with this. Don't let the pain scare you away from the benefits!
2. What will I look like after the Halo? Immediately following the procedure you will be red and that redness will persist for the first few days following the treatment. Swelling is also common, most often in the mornings, for a few days as well. This is very patient-dependent on your body's natural swelling response. Consider what happens when you get a bug bite...does it turn into an angry, itchy welt? You will likely experience a little more swelling after your Halo. After the first few days, the skin starts to darken. This is the fun part! You will start to notice MENDs (Microscopic Epidermal Necrotic Debris). This is essentially all the pigmentation coming out from the skin. This eventually flakes off and leaves your complexion with a healthy, even glow! Overall, the healing process takes about 5-7 days, depending on the treatment depth.
In the next part of this blog post, I am going to take you through my healing process, so you can see how my skin looks each day, and I'll give you my honest take on how I felt on each day of the healing process! Stay tuned...