Aesthetic Dermatology

Dual fractional laser offers advantages for facial rejuvenation



MIAMI – A device that combines nonablative and ablative laser energies can promote mild to moderate facial photo rejuvenation and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, according to Jason Pozner, MD.

Clinicians can tailor the depth for the 1470 nm nonablative diode and the 2940 nm Er:YAG lasers for each individual patient, Dr. Pozner said at the Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic and Clinical Conference. Advantages of resurfacing with the device, the HALO laser, include a cost-effective disposable tip and the ability to combine treatment with other therapies, he noted.

Before treatment begins, clinicians use the device to take facial measurements. Many patients find this precision reassuring, Dr. Pozner said during a live patient demonstration. Also, the device uses the information to help clinicians deliver the appropriate duration of therapy.

At this stage, it is a simple procedure, said Dr. Pozner, a plastic surgeon in a group practice in Boca Raton, Fla. Suction is turned on and the probe is then slowly advanced back and forth until the zone is finished, and “the laser beeps at you and you know you’re done,” he explained.

The HALO laser is useful for rejuvenation with little downtime. Most women treated with the device can wear makeup the same day, although more aggressively treated patients generally wait 1 additional day, Dr. Pozner said.

“I’ve never seen anything in our practice that gives this good a clinical result with this little downtime,” he added. He initially expected results to fall in between those associated with typical nonablative and ablative fractional laser treatments. But “in our experience, we get better results than ablative fractional [laser therapy], a story of one plus one equals three,” he said. “No matter what laser setting you use, patients are better by 5 days.”

When combined with intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment you can get a “double whammy effect,” Dr. Pozner said.

A meeting attendee asked about the appropriate order of IPL and HALO treatments. “When you combine the BBL (IPL) and HALO, yes, you do the IPL first,” Joel L. Cohen, MD, a private practice aesthetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in Denver who moderated the session at the meeting and also gave his own lecture on resurfacing options for the face.

Aside from the laser itself, the HALO system contains two tubes integrated into the handpiece, one of which is a Zimmer to deliver cooling during the procedure and the other is an air evacuator, he explained. “By having all of this integrated into the handpiece itself, it makes it much easier for the nurse who is circulating in the room to assist.”

Patients may feel warm for about 90 minutes post procedure, Dr. Cohen said. Make sure patients’ hands are clean and that the circulating nurse has given them an ice pack to minimize discomfort. “Even though I practice in Denver, where it is freezing cold right now, I’ve had patients drive home with the air conditioning on – just to try to cool down in the hour or so immediately following the laser treatment.”

Dr. Pozner said that a decrease in pore counts was an unexpected effect of HALO treatment, and he estimated that patients end up with about 20% fewer pores in treated areas, which can be advantage because “nothing else works on pores.” In his experience, most of the pore reduction persists over time.

A HALO disposal tip costs approximately $50, which he said was inexpensive, compared with other devices.

Dr. Cohen said that in his practice, using HALO, “We can give patients a significant improvement in overall photodamage and mild improvement in wrinkles with only about 5 days of redness and swelling, and on the last few days, some coffee-ground appearance.” The nonablative component can promote coagulation, so there is less bleeding when you turn up the erbium component, “offering synergistic results for the patient,” he added.

Next Article: