Sunshine and UV radiation can wreak havoc on your skin — and the worst part is that it doesn’t matter whether or not the forecast is sunny. UV rays penetrate cloud cover, so your skin is receiving low-dose radiation constantly. The effects of long-term sun exposure include wrinkles, enlarged pores, laxity, scars, discoloration, melasma, and stretch marks.
Luckily, there’s a way to treat these effects and more. The HALO fractional laser addresses the effects of long-term sun exposure, the aging process, and environmental pollutants on the skin. It can be used on all skin types, and some popular treatment areas include the face, neck, arms, hands, and legs.
Most laser resurfacing treatments require several sessions to generate optimal results, but HALO creates visible improvements to the skin in just a single treatment session. This is because HALO is the first hybrid fractional laser ever developed, combining non-ablative wavelengths to coagulate tissue, stimulating collagen regeneration, and ablative wavelengths to vaporize damaged tissue.
While other laser resurfacing treatments treat only about 5% of skin, HALO treats 25-30%, yielding more dramatic results in less time. You’ll begin to notice an improvement in about 2-5 days following the treatment, and you will continue to notice improvements to your skin over time as the treatment helps your body generate new collagen.
The result? Your skin will have an even tone and texture. It will appear younger, and you’ll get your natural glow back.
If you’re considering HALO to treat your skin, there are a few things you need to know about pre- and post-treatment care.
You should start preparing for your HALO session 2 weeks before treatment.
Avoid any and all sun exposure on the skin of the treatment area. This also includes sunless tanning beds, tanning creams, and spray tans.
A week from treatment, stop using skin resurfacing products, exfoliating scrubs, bleaching creams, or any product containing the following active ingredients: Retinol (Retin-A, Tretinoin, Vitamin A), Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, AHAs (Alpha-hydroxy acids), LHAs (Lipohydroxy acids), Benzoyl Peroxide, differin, or tazorac.
Avoid hydroquinone for 3 days before your treatment. Be sure to let your providers know in advance if you have any history of cold sores or if you have taken any blood thinners recently.
At Radiance, we do skin imaging of your skin prior to doing the Halo treatment. On that visit, we will give you your topical numbing agent. Prior to your actual Halo treatment, cleanse the area to be treated and generously apply the topical numbing one hour before your treatment.
Most patients say that, if they felt any pain at all, it felt like quick zaps of heat to the skin. Each treatment usually takes approximately 30 minutes.
Immediately following your treatment you may experience a burning feeling, but this will subside quickly. Don’t put anything on your skin for the first 4 hours. You can also encourage your healing process by drinking lots of water.
Within the first 12 hours post-treatment, you may notice some warmth or pinpoint bleeding. Not to worry — this is common and expected. The bleeding will subside quickly and the warmth should be gone after a 24 hour period.
Following your treatment, you are likely to experience some redness, swelling, and sensations similar to a sunburn. The swelling will only last 2-4 days. Usually the redness peaks about 3 days after the treatment and begins to subside within a week.
Over the course of the following week, your skin may begin to look darker and flake off. This peeling process lasts for 5-7 days on the face, but may take up to 2 weeks for any other part of the body. The skin that is left behind will be naturally rosy pink and glowing, but this pinkness gradually fades.
To optimize your comfort as well as your results, do not exfoliate your skin or try to peel it manually, as this may result in scarring or hyperpigmentation. Cleanse your skin gently twice a day. Avoid excessive sweating for the following 2 weeks and sun exposure for 4 weeks after treatment.
You may resume your regular skincare and makeup routines after a week. Use sunscreen daily! Then enjoy your Halo glow!