A Pearl from Australia! Dr. Bitter appeared in a recent media interview with Plastic Surgery Hub’s Trish Hammond while at Cosmedicon 2019. He explains how he transforms skin with our most popular combination Treatments, the Fotofacial BBL and Halo Laser Resufacing by Sciton, Inc.. This is the Red Carpet Glow treatment everyone asks for again and again.
Plastic Surgery Hub is a great resource that helps patients research the steps of an aesthetic enhancement journey.
Listen to the interview here: https://bit.ly/2vytJGy
Or read the full transcript of the interview here.
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Trish Hammond: Hello, listeners. It’s Trish Hammond here again from Transforming Bodies podcast. I’m still at Cosmedicon 2019, so I’m still on that hyper-mode. And today, I’m going to talk to the lovely Dr. Patrick Bitter. Now he’s a dermatologist, and he’s from the USA, Silicon Valley, I just found out.
Trish Hammond: Now, I’ve been hearing Dr. Bitter talk for a couple of years now, and he is an absolute advocate for the Sciton products, of the BBL and the Halo, and I have just seen some phenomenal results of treatments that he’s done, and I’m going to have a talk to him about it, because he’s actually … Sorry. I’ve had a Halo treatment, and I just absolutely love it. So today, we’re going to have a bit of a talk about the combination therapy. So, welcome.
Patrick Bitter: Well, hello Trish. Thank you for inviting me. I’m delighted to be here.
Trish Hammond: Pleasure. Nice to talk to you again. This is going to be like an annual thing between us.
Patrick Bitter: I hope so. I love Australia.
Trish Hammond: Now, look. I was watching … I mean I’ve seen you do a few presentations, but tell me. I know that you do the Halo in combination with the BBL in your clinic. Can you tell us what kind of results you achieve, and what kind of people you do it for? Like is there a general kind of audience for this? Or pretty much anyone?
Patrick Bitter: So the combination BBL treatment and Halo is a very special treatment. It’s not a treatment that I do for everybody. It is those people that have changes in their skin, that are a bit more severe sun damage, and they have early pre-cancerous changes. They’ve got more stubborn pigmentation, and they may also have more lines and wrinkles in their face. So that’s one category of people that would benefit from that combination BBL and Halo treatment.
Patrick Bitter: The second category are those people that have pigmentation problems, in particular, melasma. And there, I’ll do a milder, gentle Halo treatment, or a series of those, usually spaced at six week intervals. And then do a mild treatment with light, the broadband lighter BBL in between. And that, I have found, when combined with a proper skincare regimen, to have really the best results that I as a dermatologist have ever found with treating that stubborn pigmentation condition, melasma.
Patrick Bitter: And then there’s a third category. And those are the people in the younger age groups, typically 20s to 40s, where they’d like to have a kind of wow result really quickly. That would be somebody that has a special event coming up, and they really only have time for one treatment, to be able to make a very noticeable difference in their skin. In that particular case, people that have freckling and pigmentation, visible pores, maybe some subtle acne scars, marks left behind from breakouts or blemishes that they’ve had. But they’re younger, and they have otherwise maybe decent kind of skin. I will do a combination of the broadband light, the BBL, plus the Halo. And the result with that is this wow treatment.
Patrick Bitter: I’ve come to really, over four years, appreciate how good this treatment is, because this, compared to many other treatments that I have done, that are ones where there’s either a fair amount of discomfort and a fair amount of recovery time, this one combination treatment with BBL and Halo, is one patients keep coming back asking to do again. They love it, and they love the way it makes their skin look bright, smooth, younger, clearer, healthier.
Trish Hammond: I can totally relate to that, because I have had the Halo. And then I’m like, “Oh, wow. I want to go and just have a bit of a zhuzh up,” for want of a better word, because it looks so good. And I hadn’t even noticed, you know, because your skin looks good, and you just look the same all the time. But then people start to make comments, and that’s when you really start to notice, and you think, “Oh, wow. I’m looking great, obviously.”
Patrick Bitter: But Trish, you … Sitting here next to you, and I can tell looking at you, you’ve been blessed with really, pretty nice skin. But you also have naturally, just more color in your skin. That skin has traditionally … Your type of skin has traditionally been really more difficult to treat with a variety of different treatments that we dermatologists, and aesthetic practitioners have tried.
Patrick Bitter: So the concept, or the belief has been that your kind of skin is special, can’t really treat it. We’ve found that the Halo treatment is a very safe treatment to do it for your skin, especially since it can be adjusted to make the treatment quite mild. And on nice skin like yours, that Halo treatment leaves that kind of bright, smooth, just fresh quality to the skin. And that mild treatment, you know from your own experience, pretty easy to recover from. Can easily be repeated every six months or so. So it’s common for people, like yourself, to just do two of these nice Halo treatments a year.
Trish Hammond: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sounds perfect. So tell us, what is the Halo? What is the technology behind the Halo? What does the Halo do? Like how does it work?
Patrick Bitter: So, Halo is the brain child, if you will, of a company called Sciton. And they are actually in the area where I live, in Silicon Valley. Oh, maybe 20 kilometers away from where I practice. It is … I know them well. And they, what the brilliant minds at Sciton have done, is they’ve taken two different kind of laser colors. One that has been used for a number of decades for a fairly aggressive treatment, that laser resurfacing, that’s the Erbium YAG. And then they’ve taken another, newer laser wavelength that doesn’t get that aggressive effect, but it’s able to penetrate deeper into the skin. And they’ve figured out a way to cleverly make both these laser wavelengths flash at exactly the same time.
Patrick Bitter: So when skin is treated with Halo, the skin is receiving two different laser wavelengths that are doing two different things to the skin. And then, the operator has the ability to really be able to kind of adjust, making the treatment mild, or making it more aggressive. That allows us to treat all kinds of skin, yours, mine, and a variety of people. From people that have just mostly acne scars, to people that have a lot of sun damage and pre-cancerous changes in their skin.
Trish Hammond: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And what about the BBL then? So how does that work with it? Because I didn’t have the BBL when I had my Halo, because they were very conservative. But I know that, when I heard you talking, would definitely have done it, so I was really interested. So tell us about the BBL. What actually is that?
Patrick Bitter: So BBL, which stands for BroadBand Light, is also a device developed by the same company, Sciton. And they introduced it as their version of what people more familiarly know as IPL. So BBL is a version of IPL, but it was introduced about 12 years ago, available now around the world. In Australia, there are probably now 130 practitioners that have Sciton’s BBL. And I’ve come, on this particular visit to Australia really, to train the majority of them in the specialized techniques that we use with BroadBand Light.
Patrick Bitter: So, this is different than laser. It is kind of all the colors of light in the visible range of light, and the infrared range of light. And when you flash this kind of light energy on skin, it has some very interesting effects. The effects are to lighten brown spots, to stimulate collagen, to lessen the appearance of pores, to be able to lessen fine lines. And it also is able to dramatically improve redness in the face, redness in the chest and in the neck area, and conditions like rosacea. In my experience with BBL, it’s the best treatment in the world for rosacea. So I’m delighted that Australian doctors have seen the light. No pun intended. And realized how valuable BBL is for the Australian population. So this is a very special spectrum of light, and it really has, lends itself very well to being able to make sun damaged skin and aging skin look better.
Patrick Bitter: And the other special thing about light, or BBL, is that if you get regular treatments, two to four times a year, it can keep skin healthy, and it’ll slow down the way skin ages. So it made a lot of sense to not just use BBL, but use it also in combination with Halo for people that have a variety of conditions. Either a greater degree of sun damage, or redness with a lot of sun damage, or acne scars and things like that, where we can get the benefits of both BBL and the benefits of the Halo laser and use it in combination.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, got it. And one thing I find really interesting is the fact that like, say for example, my husband’s got a friend. He’s a blokey-bloke, and he has one of those big, red, bulbous noses, and lots of facial red capillary veins, whatever. And up until five years ago, he was just not doing anything. And then he stumbled across a laser therapist who did, I think it’s IPL actually, that she did. And so now this guy, who’s a real macho kind of Aussie bloke, now goes twice a year to go and have his face [inaudible 00:09:31]. And the difference in him, just for the fact that …
Trish Hammond: You know, what I’m trying to say is, you don’t need to go around with all this stuff on your skin, because there’s so many things out there these days that are minimally invasive, and if you just do them regularly, they kind of fix them. That’s kind of what this is, isn’t it? It’s a maintenance program really, isn’t it?
Patrick Bitter: Well Trish, you just shared what is very common, and that is that kind of skin, that we see that commonly in the United States in our Caucasian population. And in Australia, on that skin that ages and also is prone to rosacea. And that skin had typically really been difficult to treat prior to BBL.
Patrick Bitter: And what you shared was really another thing, and that is that the BBL treatments have become very popular among men. In my own practice, 1/4 of all the BBL treatments I do are on men. I do a number of other aesthetic treatments, like Botox injections, and filler injections, and I can tell you that men represent maybe 3% of those treatments, whereas about 25% of the BBL treatments I do are on men. Largely, men are coming because I’ve treated their spouses or significant others. Or, you’ve got that age group of men in their mid-40s to 60s, that are newly single, and now they’re interested in dating, and they want to clean up their skin.
Patrick Bitter: And what is so appealing about a BBL treatment for women and for men, is there’s no downtime with those treatments. So you can visibly transform skin to make it look healthier, make it look clearer, make it look younger, without any downtime. And that’s what really is, I think, propelled the popularity of the procedure I originally introduced. Wow, 22 years ago now.
Trish Hammond: Oh, fantastic. And I’ve got to say, when I had my Halo treatment, because I’m one of those people that’s like, “Oh, yes, yes, yes. I want this, I want this,” and I never bother to actually research what happens after day one, day two. So by the time I left the clinic, I was like burning hot, and I drove home with the air conditioner on in the car just blowing on my face. My son drove me.
Trish Hammond: But then over the next … Day one, day two, day three, day four. I was going into a panic, because I actually swelled up a lot. I am very, very sensitive. I swelled up a lot, and I was like, “Oh my God, what’s happening to my skin?” And you know, by day three I was like, “Oh my God, what have I done? Have I done the right thing? What am I thinking?” But by day five, I was glorious. So I think it’s really important to know that it may not look that pretty for the first few days. You know? But the result, like about day five, you reckon that it’d be right for everyone? Day five?
Patrick Bitter: Well Trish, you’re referring to your experience with the Halo laser treatment. And because the Halo was designed in such a way by Sciton, we practitioners can really tune or adjust how mild or strong we make the treatment. And so from what you’re describing, you had a treatment that was probably a tad more than a really mild treatment. The really mild treatments, there’s redness and swelling, maybe for a day. And then after that, just some dots, and then pretty much by three days, makeup can be put on.
Patrick Bitter: A stronger Halo laser treatment has a bit more reaction. And then a really aggressive one, when people have a lot of deep wrinkles, or a lot more aging, or are older, it has a longer recovery time. But the end result is such lovely looking skin. And I can just judge, I can tell that by looking at your skin, having had Halo treatment, has that nice radiance and glow-
Trish Hammond: Thank you, I like you even more now.
Patrick Bitter: -and smoothness to it.
Patrick Bitter: Well you know, my passion as a dermatologist has always been lovely skin. And so I’m looking at your beautiful skin here, and saying, “Wow, well Halo is a good choice for her.” And now that you know, you can do a BBL Halo combination, and your skin can be safely treated, and I’ve come primarily to Australia to train a lot of doctors who have Sciton’s BBL how to do it, and use it in lovely skin like yours, safely, and for you to get really the anti-aging benefits of BBL. Now you know that that can be done.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So tell me, in your clinic, just before we go. So in your clinic, how many people a day do you reckon you treat with Halo, BBL? Is it like a daily thing? Do you just have people coming in all day to have a treatment? Or …?
Patrick Bitter: BBL has become incredibly popular, and so I personally do ten of those a day on patients. Because BBL lends itself so well to being able to correct skin anywhere on the body, I do a lot of body treatments. So the most common procedure is face/neck/chest in women to do, but I do a lot of arms, and backs, and shoulders.
Patrick Bitter: The combination of Halo and BBL is become, over the last four years, an increasingly popular procedure for those people that really would benefit by doing the combination. So those I do several times a week, as a combination treatment. And I can tell you that what people love doing is, after they’ve had especially a BBL Halo combination, they love doing just their periodic maintenance BBL treatments. It’s called Forever Young BBL, and those treatments just keep skin healthy, and slow down aging.
Trish Hammond: Yep. And look, just one last thing. Because in Australia, like a lot of ladies suffer from that really crepey kind of skin around the chest, and I’ve got quite a few girlfriends that are always like, “What can I do about that?” And a lot of people are saying, “No, that’s nothing. You just got to wear sunscreen now.” But what I want to reiterate is it’s not true. You can pretty much fix almost anything, can’t you? There’s no need to put up with pigmented skin. There’s no need to put up with that burn-y looking chest. You can pretty much fix anything these days. Do you agree with me?
Patrick Bitter: Oh, yeah. You are absolutely right. And of course, it has been my passion in the last 20+ years of my career as a dermatologist. So what you were describing, for example in the décolleté, with the lines, and the crepey skin, and sun damage, BBL works very, very nicely for that, and very safe to do. When there’s a greater degree of lines, when the lines get deeper in that décolleté, then Halo is added. And the combination of Halo, because the textural improvement in Halo treatments. And that’s very safe to do.
Patrick Bitter: And I think where I can see you are going with the things that you really want people to hear, what we can now say to the world, is that if you start with regular BBL treatments when you’re age 40, you can pretty much keep your skin. Or in your 30s. So in your 30s or age 40, you can pretty much keep your skin clear, healthy, and younger looking for next 30 years of your life by doing regular BBL treatments.
Trish Hammond: Yep. I agree. Because I know that you do it on your skin, don’t you? You look pretty good. I don’t know how old you are, but I know that you look pretty good.
Patrick Bitter: Thank you. I’m a grandfather, and I’m very vain, and so I do a treatment every couple months with BBL on my skin.
Trish Hammond: Oh, I’m so envious. I’m so envious. Well thank you so much for taking the time today.
Patrick Bitter: Oh, it’s my great pleasure to join you today.
Trish Hammond: Oh, lovely. Thank you. So listeners, if you want to find out more about the BBL and the Halo, you can find it on Plastic Surgery Hub. You can find some practitioners that offer it as well. Or if you want to, just drop me an email to [email protected] Thank you so much!
Patrick Bitter: Thank you.
Announcer: The Plastic Surgery Hub podcast. Connecting people with practitioners. For more information, visit plasticsurgeryhub.com.au, or email [email protected]
Announcer: The material provided in this podcast is general information, and does not constitute medical advice, nor it is a substitute for consultation and advice from your own practitioner. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical illness. Any medical or surgical decision should be made in consultation with your own doctor or practitioner, and not based on the materials provided in this podcast.