Halo treatment - I am brown skin individual who just revived aggressive halo treatment for the first time yesterday.

I'm freaking out now because my face is filled with brown spot like rough texture which looks like coffee grinds and my face is swollen. Is that normal. Will these coffee grinds supposed to be there? Will they go away. There is no way I can walk out of my house in public and I thought there was I down time with Halo treatment so I'm confused and hoping it's not bad reaction or anything.

Doctor Answers 5

Healing course for Halo

Try to relax. This is normal for Halo healing time.  You stated you had an "aggressive" Halo but wanted no downtime? Unfortunately, there is no "aggressive" laser treatment that has no downtime.  The most aggressive Halo (done by typical providers) should have the following downtime:

Day of treatment: swelling and a sunburn-like redness
Day 1 after treatment: pink or red. sometimes swelling. Brown dots may appear.
Day 2: pink still, brown dots appear.
Day 3: brown dots should start to slough off. Do not scrub them. Pink mostly gone.
Day 4-5: brown dots continue to slough. 

When providers refer to no downtime, they do not mean with aggressive treatments. For example, with Halo treatments from mild to moderate you are able to wear makeup the next day. It doesn't mean you are healed the next day, but that you can wear mineral based makeups and go out in public.

Finally, some people swell more than others. If you are the type of person who gets big mosquito bites, for example, you might swell more.  Also, if you get a combination treatment with BBL and Halo you might have more swelling.

The best thing to do is stick to the post laser skin care your provider recommended. Do not use any other products over the counter this is where many people make a mistake. just follow the guidelines given to you. You can use cool compresses on your face as much as you want. Never scrub. Keep your hands away from your face.

Best of luck! 


Nashville Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Healing Times

As mentioned before, during consultation we explain procedure and expected recovery time table.  Coffee grounds on your face are tiniest scabs from resurfacing ablation by Halo.  Frequently, almost all gone by the end of 6-7 days.  Patience becomes a virtue when it comes to see results, since the body takes time to rebuild itself.  By 3 weeks, you will start seeing that beautiful glow of new and healthier skin. Recovery and repair continues for many weeks to come.  Family and friends will see the changes before you get to notice them.  Happy Halo Glow!

Odemaris Santiago-Young, MD
Kerrville Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Halo - Don't worry

We instruct our patients in our practice, that swelling may occur depending on how aggressively they are treated. The skin treated will dry up, creating patches of rough areas.  The process will appear to darken and sloughing will occur.  The result will be healthy glowing skin.

Rakesh Nanda, MD
Columbus Physician
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


Those brown spots are expected after Halo. After two days, patients are able to cover up those spots with makeup and go to work. Those spots will naturally flake off on its own and do not pick or scratch them. It takes about a week for all those spots to fall off.If it's 9 days out from today you should be looking pretty normal by now. If you do have any concerns, then contact your treating physician.  

Robert G. Aycock, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Halo Recovery

Hello and thanks for your question. The rough brown spots and swelling after your Halo treatment are very normal and you shouldn't be worried about them. The brown speckles will start to flake off on day 4-5. The swelling will also go down as the days pass. Here at Refined Dermatology we typically like to do these treatments when patients have a few days to take off work/school/social life so they can stay home. Again, what you are experiencing are normal side effects of having a Halo treatment. Regards, Dr. S. 

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.