The Sciton Halo hybrid fractional laser [Sciton] strikes a balance between nonablative and ablative results, according to Christopher Robb, M.D., Ph.D., a Nashville, Tenn., dermatologist, who conducted the initial patient protocol studies on the Halo.
“It’s a second-generation nonablative laser. It combines a new wavelength, 1470 nm nonablative, with an ablative erbium YAG 2940 nm [wavelength],” Dr. Robb says. “So, it’s combining two different treatments that in the past were done separately.”
This first-of-its-kind technology delivers nonablative and ablative pulses simultaneously. The 1470 nm wavelength delivers between 100 and 700 microns of coagulation to the epidermis and dermis. The 2940 nm wavelength delivers zero to 100 microns of ablation to the epidermis, according to a Sciton press release.
“With the older nonablative lasers, it would take seven or eight treatments to get results, but the downtime is really low, so people didn’t like coming back so often but were willing to do so because of the low downtime. Or they could do an ablative laser, which has a longer downtime,” Dr. Robb says. “This has found a balance. You can dial it in, so you can get an ablative result, but you have a nonablative healing time.”
The Halo is used to treat dyschromia, pores, wrinkles around the eyes and deep wrinkles. While best results are on the face, neck and chest, Dr. Robb says, it can be used to treat the hands and arms, too.
“It’s amazing for poikiloderma on the neck,” he says.
NEXT: Patient Selection & Cost
Patient Selection & Cost
Best candidates for treatment, according to Dr. Robb, are patients who would normally need two or three different lasers in separate treatments. Using the Halo would limit the devices to just one. Other candidates are people who don’t want much downtime. They might want to be treated Friday and be back to work Monday.
After treatment with the Halo, “Patients can wear makeup the next day,” Dr. Robb says.
For patients with skin types one through four, physicians would do a maximum of two treatments, a month apart. Darker skin types, five and six, generally need lighter treatments, and might require three total to achieve results. There is no data on treating skin type seven with the Halo, according to Dr. Robb.
While Dr. Robb says that post-treatment erythema isn’t bad and only lasts a couple of days, he uses an intense-pulsed laser (IPL) device after Halo treatment to get rid of the redness, faster.
Among those who aren’t candidates for the laser:
Patients with chronic illnesses
Those recently treated with isotretinoin
Patients with active infections, such as cold sores
The cost of consumables with this device is reasonable. The only consumable needed, according to Dr. Robb, is a tip, which costs from $45 to $50.
The average cost to the patient for a single treatment is about $1,500. A full-face ablation might cost $3,000, depending on the market.
What sets the Halo apart in a sea of skin rejuvenating technologies? According to Dr. Robb, the Halo offers more dramatic results with little downtime.
“In this case, the differentiation is probably the ability to very effectively treat several conditions at once with a low downtime versus ablation with a long downtime or first generation nonablative technologies where patients needed five to seven treatments,” he says.
Disclosure: Dr. Robb is on Sciton’s scientific advisory board.