May 19, 2018

Halo Laser Aftercare

By Dr Kate Jameson

Halo - Hybrid Fractionated Laser close up

What to expect after your treatment

The natural extrinsic consequences of ageing on the skin include sun damage, freckles, age spots, textural changes, fine lines, wrinkles and redness caused by broken capillaries and rosacea.

Some skin defect consequences may arise from intrinsic hormonal factors that create an overproduction of melanin as in melasma or hereditary factors that produce more vessels. 

Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser targets these concerns. The Halo hybrid fractional laser treatment uses hybrid technology of 1470 nm non-ablative laser and 2940 nm ablative laser to create controlled zones of coagulation to chosen depths into the dermis.

This stimulates neocollagenesis (new collagen) and fractionally vaporise (ablate) microlaser channels in the epidermis addressing tone and texture of the skin.

The AURA LASER FACIAL is a modification of the Halo Fractional Laser treatment so please be aware the downtime, side effects, aftercare and recovery will not be the same. Please follow the same guidelines and advice of your therapist. 

A sunburn sensation in the treated area is also normal and expected immediately post-treatment. The skin will appear red and may be swollen. 

The procedure necessitates a post-treatment wound care regime that must be followed. Strict adherence to aftercare is essential and risks of complications occur if not followed. See below. 

The Halo Pro fractional laser treatment may produce pinpoint bleeding in the area of the channels. This event usually subsides in a few minutes to a few hours. In some cases, it can persist up to 24 hours. 

Redness and exfoliation (flaking of the skin) is associated with this procedure and may last from 3-7 days depending on the depth and concentration (percentage) of the laser channels of the treatment performed.

Peeling can continue for up to 10 days with more intense treatments. With the Halo Aura Facial, expect 2-3 days of exfoliation and redness which is much milder.

You may notice a sandpaper texture and bronzing of the skin as the microscopic columns begin to heal. This is treated tissue working its way out as new skin is regenerated. 

Keeping the area moist with a light application of an occlusive barrier e.g. Youth Lab Calm Balm will aid in the healing process. Keeping the skin hydrated is a priority. 

Immediate aftercare – what to do at home

  • The treated area must be treated with care. BE GENTLE! Do not scratch or pick at your skin. No facial waxing, shaving or other procedures are to be performed unless cleared by your practitioner. 
  • Use the provided aftercare creams – cleanse daily (morning and night) with gentle cleanser, regular moisturiser (calm balm), Redless Serum and regular application of SPF 50+. Avoid ALL other skincare products until 7 days post-treatment. Those at risk of pigment changes or with melasma will be advised to continue their pigment inhibitors from day 5 post-treatment. Normal skincare can be recommenced on day 3 post Aura Laser Facial.
  • Oedema (swelling) of the skin may occur and can be minimised by keeping the area upright. This is usually more prominent on day 2-3 post-treatment. Adding cool compress, antihistamines and avoiding exertion is recommended for swelling. Swelling is normal and can vary between individuals, especially those prone to swelling. It is often worse around the eyes.
  • Urticaria (itching) often occurs as the old skin is shed and the new skin is being formed. Please avoid scratching or picking. This can lead to infection and scarring. 
  • If any of the above symptoms intensify, your practitioner should be notified. A cool compress placed on the area provides comfort. The treated area should be cared for delicately. 
  • Limited activity may be advised, as well as no spas, steam, sauna, or hot shower use. No exercise for at least 48 hours post-treatment.  
  • The skin may appear red, swollen and have a sunburn sensation. This is a normal reaction. It can last from a few hours to a few days after treatment. Applying a cool compress for the first 24 hours will help minimise the swelling.
  • Post-treatment discomfort is typically minimal but if the area is very uncomfortable, oral pain reliever; i.e. Paracetamol Ibuprofen, may be used.
  • DO NOT APPLY MAKEUP on the day of treatment or for the first 24 hours (this may be longer but will be advised by your practitioner). Microchannels of injury have been formed from the 2940nm wavelength compromising the protective skin barrier. 
  • PIH or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (browning) and hypopigmentation (lightening) have been noted with laser procedures. These conditions usually resolve within 2-6 months. Permanent colour change is a rare risk. Vigilant care must be taken to avoid sun exposure (tanning beds included) before and after the treatment to reduce the risk of colour change. 
  • Infection is not usual after treatments; however, herpes simplex virus infections around the mouth can occur following treatments. This applies to both individuals with a past history of the virus or individuals with no known history. Other signs of an infection can be a fever, purulent (pus) material, severe redness, swelling in the area, and skin that is hot to the touch. Should these symptoms occur, your practitioner must be notified to prescribe appropriate medical care.
  • Cases of contact dermatitis can occur following any ablative laser resurfacing procedure. These need to be managed medically, so please advise the clinic if symptoms occur.  
  • Breakouts are also common in susceptible individuals, due to stimulation of the sebaceous glands. Please do not pick or touch any breakouts. 
  • An allergic reaction is uncommon from treatment. Some individuals may have a hive-like appearance in the treated area. Some individuals have localised reactions to cosmetics or topical preparations. Systemic reactions are rare. Do not pick at these areas, as this may result in infection or scarring.
  • If the skin is broken or a blister appears, contact the clinic immediately. Keep the affected area moist and avoid direct sunlight. 
  • If you experience an irritated raised rash, antihistamines may be taken to help relieve the itchiness.
  • Strictly avoid any sun exposure to the treated area for a minimum of 14 days after Halo Laser or Aura Laser Facial. The treated area is more prone to sunburn and pigmentation change. Keep the area covered and use a sunblock with a protection factor of 50+. Delayed blistering secondary to sun exposure has been noted up to 72 hours post-treatment.

Treatment follow-up

A review is required at 4 weeks post-treatment following Halo Laser. 

Some clients may require a second or third treatment depending on the severity of their concerns and desired results. 

No follow up is needed following the Aura Laser Facial however please be aware that this is a Facial and multiple treatments and eventually a full Halo laser will be needed for optimal results. 

Results are ongoing and will continue for up to 12 weeks post-treatment. 

Adherence to recommended skincare and product advice will ensure optimal results and maintenance of the skin. Failure to commit to active home skincare will limit results significantly. 

Smokers will generally experience poorer healing and suboptimal results so cessation is recommended.  

Subsequent treatments are based upon your practitioner’s recommendation.

We recommend regular maintenance treatments with Forever Young BBL to be carried out every 3-4 months following Halo, with Halo to be done every 12-18 months. Aura Laser Facial can also be done as maintenance and for a skin “pick me up”.  

Please contact us on (08) 9324 1604 (West Perth) or (08) 9260 6800 (Claremont)  if you have any questions about your treatment or aftercare instructions.