What is the Difference between “HaloTM” Erbium Laser and “AcuPulseTM” Carbon Dioxide Laser*?
*Hint: CO2 can go 10X deeper!
Halo is touted by some dermatologists as “one device that does it all, for all patients,” but here at The West Institute we believe that having three different resurfacing lasers gives you more options for a customized treatment plan, and here’s why:
First, The BASICS: 4 components to aging changes in the skin:
- Volume loss – Skin sagging with age results in a tired look and underye hollows/circles because you lose bone, fat, muscle and collagen – all of which were holding up the skin! Dermal fillers are used to fix this (and can look very natural if administered by an experienced injector).
- Furrows from muscle movement- Facial expressions used over and over cause vertical lines between the brows, forehead lines and crow’s feet. Neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport are used to fix this.
- Skin laxity– You lose collagen and elastin with aging, which is worse if you’ve had a lot of sun exposure. Skin tightening devices like Ulthera® and Infini® are used to tighten skin.
- Sun damage- Brown and red blotchiness, broken capillaries, scaly spots (that may be precancerous), and fine lines/accordion type wrinkles on the cheeks/upper lip from cumulative sun exposure. Laser resurfacing is used to fix this.
What Is Laser Skin Resurfacing?
Lasers send tiny columns of energy into the skin to addresses No. 4 above. Lasers are used to “resurface” skin that shows signs of aging and sun damage such as blotchiness, brown spots and dullness. Skin resurfacing is a common procedure and one that we perform every day at the West Institute.
In 1996, Dr. Tina West co-authored the first article ever published in the medical literature on laser resurfacing of acne scars. Back then, the only resurfacing laser available was “fully ablative,” meaning all of the skin was targeted at once, resulting in prolonged healing and downtime. These days, we have a lot more choices and technology has advanced to the point where you can get rid of blotchiness, brown spots, acne scars and fine lines, as well as brighten skin and shrink pores with minimal to no downtime.
At the West Institute we have 3 different skin resurfacing lasers (20 lasers and energy devices overall), so we are able to provide an ultra-customized treatment plan for each patient based on what we see and on each patient’s goals.
How Do You Choose Which Laser To Use?
There’s a lot of hype out there about the “Halo” laser, which is a specific brand-name Erbium (not CO2) skin resurfacing laser. This technology is touted to be a “one device does it all” treatment. At the West Institute, we believe that having 3 different lasers gives us a better ability to individualize treatments:
AcuPulse Carbon Dioxide laser (CO 2): The “gold standard” in ablative resurfacing and skin tightening. This laser is a fractional ablative laser, meaning that it uses tiny columns of laser energy (delivered in a pattern like pixels on a digital image) to drill very small holes in the surface of the skin (epidermis and down into the dermis).
Your body responds to this controlled injury by “neocollagenesis,” the production of new collagen. The CO2 laser tightens skin, and we use it most frequently around the eye area to smooth undereye skin, and along with volume replacement, erase dark undereye circles. The downside of CO2 laser treatment is that you need a week without makeup which often means a week off, but the results are worth it.
***While both AcuPulse CO2 and Halo target the surface and the layer beneath, Halo can reach a maximum depth of 100 microns while AcuPulse CO2 can go to a depth of 1000 microns – 10 TIMES AS DEEP to stimulate collagen and tighten skin!
Fraxel® Dual laser:
Fraxel Dual is a non-ablative laser that is working all day every day at our office. With minimal downtime (2-3 days of sunburn-llke effect), most people don’t even need time off.
The result is skin that needs no makeup. Patients rave about their skin after Fraxel, and often also decide to treat their neck, chest and hands. After Fraxel, brown spots are gone, pores appear smaller, and skin glows.
Clear + Brilliant® laser:
Clear + Brilliant is best described as a “baby Fraxel.” It is a milder non-ablative laser that is used preventatively in younger people (build up collagen early on) and also as maintenance following Fraxel laser and other laser treatments. It’s not as good for under the eyes because it doesn’t tighten crepey skin.
Come in for a consultation to find out what treatment options are best for you… THE AGE YOU START IS THE AGE YOU STAY!