04/18/15: I have my appointment next week and I...
04/18/15: I have my appointment next week and I don't really have any expectations going in ... I have heard mixed reviews about this type of laser treatment, so I think it's important to go in with an open mind and see where it goes. My goal for the treatment is to remove a couple brown spots that have gotten bigger overtime (one is dime-sized, and the other about the size of a pencil eraser), and to get an overall "refreshed" look. I'm 33 years old, married, no children, and I currently get minimal sun exposure and since December 2014 wear SPF 55 sunscreen on my face, neck, arms, and hands daily; however, I did play tennis in high school and college without regularly using sunscreen, and I tanned via tanning booth for about one year in my early 20s.
04/18/15 - Halo Laser Treatment Day!
18 Apr 2015
Day of treatment
My husband and I arrived at the doctor's office just before 10 and just like before, the medical staff at the front desk were super friendly and welcoming - which is nice when you're not used to this kind of thing like me. They took several pictures of my face (hopefully I can get copies of these), and then proceeded to put numbing cream on my entire face and left me to let it do it's thing for about 45 minutes, checking on me every 10 minutes or so - which again, wasn't necessary, but really nice. About 20-30 minutes before the procedure I was also given an Ativan and some pain relievers by the doctor himself before the procedure began, so I was feeling pretty relaxed. He checked for the third time if I was allergic to any medications, described the medications he was giving me, etc.
So the procedure itself wasn't anything you probably haven't heard before - and what's the point in lying about it: it stung like a sonofab****. I wouldn't be able to handle it without the numbing cream and drugs. But I definitely lean toward the weenie side of the spectrum. Dr. Khattab was awesome; he explained what he was doing, and checked on how I was doing throughout.
After the procedure I was able to use a hose that blew ice cold magical air on my face which felt AMAZING because my face was on FIRE. I remember really wanting to put my face in a bucket of ice water. Totally bearable, but best prepare yourself.
I noticed that my most stubborn brown spot was totally gone and a large mole I've been wanting to get rid of what also totally gone. GONE!!! ('scuse me while I dance a little jig) I am SO excited to see what it looks like completely healed. :)
I couldn't tell you how long the actual procedure took, but I left the office after 1pm, and we started around 11 (got there at 10 for prep). My husband drove us home and I immediately took a nap (I was still really groggy from the meds), but when I woke up several hours later, I felt 100% fine. I had some minor swelling on my face, some lingering grogginess from the medications, but no stinging or discomfort to the face at all. There was also some minor redness, brown and blood spots, which I knew might happen, so it wasn't surprising. And that's it for the procedure! I'll post updates of the next few days' progress!
Day 1 Post-Procedure
Washed my face for the first time this morning (the day after the laser treatment) and just using warm water and my hands made it sting like a bad sunburn (boo!). It stung even more when I used the cleanser (doctor prescribed), but it only last a few seconds before I washed it off and used cool water to help sooth the area. I did not use any devices (e.g. Clarisonic) or a wash cloth - I only just my hands to gently clean.
I took the pictures attached to this point directly after washing, so no moisturizer had been applied yet. Right after the pictures I used disposable medical gloves to apply moisturizer. I'm using Avene Restorative Skin Cream and it's awesome. Any stinging sensations go away as soon as I put the cream on. I like using the gloves because I feel like its more sanitary, the cream glides on my face better, and I don't risk scratching my delicate skin with my own fingernails - especially around the hard to reach nooks of the eye area.
There's probably a little more swelling today around the eye area, but the swelling in my cheek area has gone down. I've noticed several tiny brown spots throughout my face, which was expected. So far, so good! :)
9 Days After Halo Laser Treatment - Yay!
I've almost healed completely - just a little scab left where a mole was removed, and some redness, but otherwise my skin looks great. I really liked this procedure and I think the results are worth the time and money. Next time however, I would take the week off of work because eh ... I was kuh-ray-zee looking for the first few days and I really couldn't wear makeup. "They" say that Halo treatment is unique because there's essentially "no downtime" but that wasn't my experience. I wouldn't do it again and expect to go back to work the next day. I would hide out for at LEAST 4 days. So that was a minor obstacle, but not really a big deal to me since I'm not exactly an avid makeup wear-er anyway. But I would definitely do this again - my skin looks great. It's hard to tell in pictures (I'm not using a high-end camera here), but a lot of my smaller dark spots are gone, and my skin is super smooth and more even in tone. The best part of this procedure for me was it lessened my under eye circles and some light wrinkles under my eyes. I feel it makes me look more youthful and awake. I plan to do it again in a year or so. :)