As the calendar advances into the cooler months, skin clinics around the city heat up with patients seeking remedy from summer sun damage, skin pigmentation, and the march of time.
While many, myself included, don’t intend to erase proof of a life well lived, taking the next step toward rejuvenating skin health after years of wear and sun damage is an accessible course of action.
At 8 West Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Clinic in Vancouver, the Halo hybrid fractional laser treatment is among the most popular nonsurgical skin procedures, which also include radio-frequency microneedling and broadband light (BBL) treatments. These procedures offer maximum treatment benefit with minimal downtime.
Halo hit the Canadian market in 2015, offering twin laser-action skin rejuvenation, a versatile nonsurgical treatment for patients from thirtysomething to their 70s. The dual lasers fire at the same time but work at different skin depths. The nonablative laser is attracted to water in the tissue, working on fractions of the dermis and creating controlled injuries to the skin. These produce an immune response, new collagen is produced to heal the areas, and injured tissue is pushed to the surface and sloughed off.
The ablative laser operates on a different wavelength and on the epidermis, the skin’s most superficial layer. The higher heat vaporizes the epidermis, rejuvenating cellular turnover and making way for fresh, healthy skin cells.
Suzanne Power, a senior medical esthetician at the clinic for nine years, notes that the lasers work synergistically as lightly or as heavily as the patient requires. Pretreatment consultations are key to educating patients and determining if Halo is the right procedure. “We want patients to enjoy the experience and get excited about the results that will follow.”
In choosing Halo for my treatment, visions of Star Trek crews locking lasers on targets danced through my head. As I submitted my fiftysomething face to the procedure, I was ready to explore a strange new world where many have gone before.
After the application of a numbing ointment that takes about 30 minutes to kick in, the twin fractional lasers are activated for treatment lasting 10-20 minutes, depending on their strength and depth settings.
I was initially startled by the prickly heat sensations and sounds of static electricity as the lasers moved over my face. I began to feel as if I’d spent too long in the sun, though the treatment lasted just 10 minutes.
The immediate effects were visible: redness and facial swelling. I was grateful for frequent ice-cold spritzes of Evian water during the first 24 hours. Within two days, the swelling had subsided, and the peeling began, eased by applying twice-daily healing products from the post-treatment Biologique Recherche skin-care kit.
After seven days, my face was back to its normal size but appeared brighter and felt smoother. Dark pigment spots and my rosacea flare were gone, and I was enjoying the benefits of exploring the new world of Halo.
Note: Optimal results are visible about two to three months after treatment.