HOW THE HALO LASER REPLACED MY SNAPCHAT FILTER
By: Kelley Pargmann
The second I heard that Georgetown Plastic Surgery was getting a Halo laser I hopped right online to see what this could mean for my future. Straight to the source, my first stop was the Halo official website: www.halobysciton.com where the words “youthful, healthy glow” and “minimal downtime” jumped right off the page at me, luring me right in like the haggard, tired and eternally hopeful woman that I am.
I refuse to state my exact age, but let’s just say that I remember a time when phones had cords and aging gracefully was pretty much left up to good genetics. That said, anything that slows or, fingers crossed, reverses the aging process is now on the top of my wish list. I admit that the last few years of aging have really taken their toll and as a result, I have turned into a bit of a skin care junkie with a pile of lotions and potions in my bathroom cabinet. I’ve also invested in peels and fractional Co2 lasers in the past, so I have some experience in trying to combat the aging process.
Here’s what makes the Halo treatment different and very appealing:
Halo is the world’s first hybrid fractional laser, which delivers both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths to the same microscopic treatment zone. What’s particularly interesting about this new technology is that delivers fast results with very little downtime and more comfort than alternative treatments like the Co2.
Upon reading this, the first words that came to my mind were: Sign. Me. Up.
Fast forward to treatment day, here is how it all went down:
Upon arrival, the staff at Georgetown Plastic Surgery whisked me back to an exam room where I was given the option of taking light medication to address anxiety and pain, just in case. My experience is that the staff there does their level best to ensure the comfort of patients so when I was reassured that this procedure is far more comfortable than the Co2 treatment that I had several years ago, I declined the pain medicine. A staff member placed a generous amount of numbing medicine over the entire treatment area, which included both my face and neck. I was then left to rest and peruse social media on my phone for the next 30-45 minutes while the numbing medicine took effect. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my lips were also numb, which felt strange, but I was informed that this was normal.
Once the numbing process was complete, I was escorted to a cozy treatment room and asked to lay down on what turned out to be a very comfortable table. The staff offered a blanket to keep me warm (nice touch) and then Dr. Staebel arrived to begin the procedure. It is worth noting that this procedure is relatively simple and extremely safe with very low risk, so the Halo treatment is not performed exclusively by Dr. Staebel, but also by other healthcare professionals on his team. This means that it is easy to book an appointment that works with your schedule.
The procedure began with Dr. Staebel confirming the areas to be treated and my goals for the end result. Taking this into account, along with my unique skin type, he was able to dial in the right settings and take my facial measurements in each zone by rolling the laser wand to map my face (this machine really is incredible!) He also gave me a pair of goggles to wear in order to protect my eyes, which I jokingly told him made me look extra stylish.
Some of the issues that Halo can help with are listed below, and my goal was to get help improving all of them. Dr. Staebel and his knowledgeable staff were able to assess my skin in advance of my appointment in order to be sure that the Halo laser was the right treatment for me and that something more aggressive or different wasn’t preferable in order to achieve my desired result(s).
- Sun damage
- Visible signs of aging
- Uneven skin tone
- Enlarged Pores
- Poor texture
- Appearance of fine lines
- Appearance of Scars
I’ll admit that I was slightly nervous since I didn’t really know what to expect. Like most people, I am not a fan of pain and even though I’ve given birth to three children (including twins) I would still put myself on the high end of “wimpy” in terms of tolerance. However, once the treatment began, my anxiety was put to rest. I would liken the feeling of the laser treatment to tiny little sparks that, in all honesty, kind of tickled more than anything. The machine blows cold air as the laser does its thing, so I would describe this treatment as extremely tolerable. The machine calculates the settings and the measurements to tell the practitioner when a certain area has reached “full energy” and it is time to move on to the next. Until then, it is basically a matter of gently moving the laser back and forth and in several different directions in each zone to ensure even coverage. The procedure itself took about 35-40 minutes.
In the interest of full disclosure, there was a period of time directly following the completion of the procedure was a tad uncomfortable. My skin felt really hot, like I had stuck my face in a pizza oven. This is when the staff provided me with a cold air hose from the laser machine to wave over my skin and cool it off. The cool air felt like heaven and the discomfort only lasted approximately 10-15 minutes, after which the heat subsided.
I spent the next 24 hours feeling like my skin had experienced a light windburn (similar to when I’ve gone snow skiing in the past) and it was completely tolerable. I also had some slight swelling, which is apparent in the pictures posted below. As for downtime, I’m not prone to letting vanity get in the way, so I would have been okay going out in public the next day if I had to. At most, people might have thought I was getting over a sunburn. My advice to others would be to plan on staying in the next day, if possible. Dr. Staebel gave me some laser gel to put on my skin and advised me to wait one (1) day to wash with a gentle cleanser. He also advised me to hold off on moisturizers or make-up until day three (3).
Two days post-procedure my skin was pink and felt like sand paper but I would have been fine to go about my day and run errands. This is about the time that I noticed small black sandy (let’s call them coffee grounds) began to appear on my skin, although they could only really be seen with a magnifying mirror. This was followed a period of a couple of days where there was a fine, nearly undetectable flaking of skin.
I am posting pictures below to show how I looked at one (1) day, three (3) days and five (5) days post-Halo so that you can see not only how fast it heals but how terrific the results are.
This is slightly embarrassing to admit, but I was actually digging around in my selfies on my phone for a “before” picture that wasn’t filtered or touched up and couldn’t find a single one. I have gotten to a point where I don’t take pictures, ANY pictures without a filter anymore. Apparently, I’ve embraced complete aging denial. Snapchat is my favorite “go to” tool for making pictures look amazing, something I learned from a teenage daughter and her friends. However, at day five (5), I was astounded at how amazing an unfiltered picture could look!
Best of all, I am told that the dermal regeneration phase is still happening and that my skin’s tone and texture will continue to improve over the next few weeks.
And that is the story of how the Halo replaced my Snapchat filter.
Please note that the description above is my unique account, written in my own words and do not reflect those of Halo by Sciton or Georgetown Plastic Surgery.
Patient pictured above left to right: In-office pre-op; At home post-op: Day one (1), Day three (3) and Day five (5). Natural light, no make-up, except lip gloss on day five.
To speak with a member of Dr. Staebel’s team for more information about the Halo laser, or to book your appointment, please call Georgetown Plastic Surgery at (512) 686-1650