Living through your teenage years with severe acne was bad enough, but now you have scars that no amount of make-up can cover. You’ve heard there is a new technique available that provides noticeable results, but with less downtime than more invasive procedures. Is this treatment right for you?
Eva Hurst, MD, Washington University dermatologic surgeon and director of the Center for Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery says, “There is a new dual laser treatment (Halo™ hybrid fractional laser) that is ideal for treating acne scars, wrinkles, photo damage and sunspots, as well as mild to moderate skin laxity (loose skin due to a loss of collagen).”
What makes it different
The Halo fractional laser is completely unique in that it is a combination of two different wavelengths of light that allows for both non-ablative and ablative resurfacing at the same time.
The non-ablative laser provides for deeper heating of the dermis (the second layer of skin) without breaking the skin.
The fractionated ablative laser creates a grid-like pattern of mild skin breakage in the epidermis (the top layer of skin).
Dr. Hurst explains, “This combination allows for the treatment of a wide variety of textural issues because it targets the top two layers of the skin, with less downtime. The small skin breaks allow for dissipation of heat to minimize swelling and redness as quickly as possible after each treatment.”
What to expect during the treatment
While there is some discomfort associated with the procedure; most patients tolerate it easily with the use of topical numbing medication and cooling spray during treatment.
The procedure usually takes about 30-40 minutes to perform. After the procedure, patients commonly describe some degree of stinging that lasts about an hour.
Patients typically have one to two treatments depending on the severity of their concerns. It is recommended to allow at least two to three months between procedures, as the collagen remodeling improves and occurs for several months following treatment.
According to Dr. Hurst, “Downtime is normally four to seven days to allow for swelling, redness and the minor skin sloughing to subside. The length of downtime depends on the settings used and the patient’s desire for a balance between desired results and the amount of time he or she has available to recover.”