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Cosmetic IPL Laser Reviews & Comparisons > Alma Lasers

I am meeting with a rep of Alma Lasers on friday to review the systems that they provide. Before I go I was wondering if anyone has any feedback on this company and their systems such as the Harmony.

Thank you,
Dr. Leckie
Dr. Leckie,
I met with a rep today about Alma. I went through Health Teck Solutions (4hts.com) who are independent of 'Alma'. I was impressed with the 'discussion' of the Harmony platfom, but can't really formulate an opinion until we have our demo.

They garunteed our handpieces to 30,000 pulses. A replacement is $1500 after that. If we choose to add on another handpiece in the future to serve an alternate purpose, they are $5000. They also have preventative maintanance into our plan.

I am with you though...I'd love to hear what other users think so far.

How did your meeting go and did you decide on Alma?

01.24 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest
What other equipment have you looked at? We demoed the Alma system and once you dig deep into the specifications of handpieces you will find they are underpowered and not built that well when compared to some other manufacturers.
01.24 | Unregistered Commenterdexter
Dexter,

Thanks for the heads up on Alma. I feel like I'm trying to navigate my way through the Congo with all of these lasers. I do not trust reps at all and take everything they have to say with a grain of salt. At least some of the companies are going public.

I also demo'ed' Cynosure. My mom had a horrible reaction (ie...blistering on her cheek panels...all good down) and their follow up was HORRIBLE! I liked their LHR laser, but very difficult to keep a straight line on large surface areas. Also...not to be a snot...but their marketing materials are incredibly outdated..very 1989 ish. So, in terms of customer sevice...big thumbs down, but I do believe their techonology has its niche.

And what the deal with Alma's AFT (advanced flourescent technology)? I am leary of the way they explained this technology of 'filtering' a spectrum of light and omitting 'heat'. Please comment if anyone has utilized their AFT modalities...

01.25 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest
We have Harmony platform. We use our Candela....
01.28 | Unregistered CommenterSC
Thanks again SC...lol...

I have used the Candela Gentlase for a year for laser hair reduction and love her! It's a massive laser that takes up a lot of space, but I just TRUST it. The handpiece is designed to be so user friendly too. I don't like that she takes so long to warm up in the morning (15min) or that it's a big pain in the rear to change the cryo halfway through a treatment and recalibrate, but I have seen the results Candela gives and I can't argue. I don't trust light based hair removal. You seem to need twice as many treatments with the Palomar Starlux Red Handpiece as the Candela.

Are you using the Harmony for IPL? Any good?

Thanks for your input again SC!
01.29 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest
I do use it, but with ify results. I am now considering Candela's new IPL.
SC
01.30 | Unregistered CommenterSC

Wondering if anyone has any follow up info on the harmony system?

07.24 | Unregistered Commentersev

We've been using the Harmony system for almost a year now. We use three of their heads the Pixel, AFT 570, and ST heads. When we were comparing systems we looked at the Cutera Xeo, Fraxel, Syneron EMax, mainly because the other laser companies have zero presence in our area so we doubted the support would be very good. We've been pretty happy with the system particularly the Pixel and 570. Clients have been extremely pleased with their results and the results have been pretty consistent. Pixel is much more comfortable than Fraxel, so we get lots of Fraxel converts. No services issues yet, so I think it's a solid system.

I agree that their marketing was pretty outdated but their new materials are definitely getting better. I have seen their ST featured on ET, their new Super Hair Removal (silly name) in the recent New Beauty magazine, and was told they will be shown in a future Dr. 90210 so those are positive signs that marketing support is improving.

07.25 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Greetings to you all,

I realize that this is a board for professional practitioners who wish to share their experiences regarding laser purchases and treatment. I was “googling” for information on the Alma laser platform for use in the treatment of rosacea and stumbled upon your discussion. I am not a practitioner, but I have been through the ringer with IPL treatments and rosacea (Starlux, Quantum etc). I have a new doctor that wants to use the Alma Harmony (IPL) on me versus another doctor who wants to do the V-Beam (PDL).

I am reading the posts about the Alma being “underpowered” and it seems to get lackluster reviews elsewhere. After reading this, I am skeptical of going to a doctor who owns the Alma platform.

Given that you all have experience with the Alma laser; would you be willing to comment on your experience with the Alma system and your treatment of moderate to severe flushing with rosacea (no pustules)?

If I have intruded or “spammed” please pardon me and ignore this and forgive me!

Hello RedFace, You're probably not going to get the answers you're looking for here. It's nigh impossible for any physician to give you an 'answer' since most of this stuff is opinion. Medicine, at least good medicine, can't be conducted this way.

The Alma is in wide use, it's FDA approved, etc. This technology is changing so fast that there are almost no physicians anywhere who use everything touted as the fastest and greatest. Sorry, but I hope this helps.

07.26 | Unregistered CommenterFingerDoc

We own and use the Alma Harmony plus several other systems. We shopped, tested and compared the Harmony for several months before making the purchase. We are extremely happy with it's performance and the results we get. It is a great system and you should be very happy with your results if the person treating you has proper training and knows the machine (as with any system). There are several good systems out there, we find the Harmony to be one of them. You may also find the treatment expense to be a little less because there is less disposable costs per treatment than comparable systems. The Alma is not "underpowered". Some docs may just be very cautious and not want to produce a burn. We use the Harmony more than all of our other lasers combined (we have 6 systems) but other lasers are also very good.

Just remember this: With many (most) lasers there is a razor thin line between a setting that produces a great result and a setting that produces a burn or bad result. Sometimes it takes, even the most experienced doc with the latest and best equipment, a couple of treatments to find the right setting for you because you are unique. There is no one in the world exactly like you. If you do not get the desired results on the first treatment it is not necessarily the fault of the doc or equipment. Sometimes the exact setting for your unique problem can be determined on the first treatment, sometimes not. Choose a doc and be patient. But, the Harmony is a great system.

07.26 | Unregistered CommenterPro Docs

Wondering if you use the 570 for reds and browns? Certainly looks like the pixel does exactly what it`s supposed to.

07.29 | Unregistered Commentersev

Pro Docs,

How high to you go on your 540 handpiece? I was told to go no higher than 17J. So far I've been afraid to go past this. What about your 570?

08.8 | Unregistered Commenterdoc3

What is the difference between Thermage and Pixel Laser?

11.7 | Unregistered Commentereba

I agree with ProDocs. I use both the 540 and the 570 at 16+ joules and at 10 ms on types 1-3. I titrate up to 18+ joules if I can and like to template at 20jcm2/10ms. I find you can't really get a great result under 16 joules with the harmony. That said, I am constantly eyeballing the skin in front of me and I like to use the zimmer, especially with the 540. I usually do a double pass with the 570 and then a single with 540 if the skin is not too erythematous and no hot spots. I only make one pass of either on the neck even if they have poikiloderma. I found the Harmony is great if you know how to work it. I like the tophat shaped pulse, very tolerable, pretty safe but with all things start easy and use extreme caution. redface, i don't want to tell you what to do but v-beam may be a better choice.
By the way, the pixel sucks, I prefer fraxel or affirm.I like the Harmony but I wouldn't pay for the Pixel.Too irritating. I've seen alot of post inflammatory hyperpigmemtation with it.

11.10 | Unregistered Commenterpurespa

I also hated the harmony's HR hand piece. What a pain and you can't get the ms short enough.
I use the cynosure elite for HR. Love it, BUT what a pain breaks down and super expensive to fix. Goes thru windows like nothing and have a really hard time getting the techs to keep the windows clean so they don't pit. Also even with the extra cooling fan you have to keep the tx room at about 67 degrees to keep 'em running well. If I had my way I'd love to have a Candela to use untill you get patients down to the shorter/lighter hair and then turn them over to the Elite to finish them off. At my clinic I get lots of clients from other clinics that still have all the downy stuff left. I've had some great long term results using the Elite for that within reason.

11.10 | Unregistered Commenterpurespa

I'm new here.

I bought a Alma Harmony about a year ago. It fell over in transport. It is now at the Alma Company in Illonois. I have to pay in cash. They are charging a labor cost of $200/hr and capped the repair cost at 25,000.

What do you guys think about that?

11.21 | Unregistered CommenterCG

Hello-Is Anyone Out There??

Did my question touch a nerve or was my question to general or... Why am I getting no feedback??

Waiting in HB, Calif.

CG

12.11 | Unregistered CommenterCG

Did you file a claim with the shipping company? Also, for a very reasonable price it is usually possible to get additional insurance in case this sort of thing happens.

The repair cost for the Harmony unit sounds excessive to me. Did they give you a detailed breakdown of exactly what parts need to be repaired or replaced?

When did this happen? Alma had some of the most horrible cutomer service I have ever encountered (being hung up on by the receptionist? The laser repair tech that was supposed to be troubleshooting with me on the phone put me on hold and then WENT TO LUNCH?) but supposedly they've revamped that part of their company-call the VP of Sales -seems like they shipped- they should be responsible- just my opinion -good luck

CG - What do you mean it fell over in transport? If Alma was shipping the unit to you, then of course it should be their cost to repair. If you were moving it between offices, then your shippers should be responsible for it. As for the repair costs, it does sound a bit high, but then again I don't know the extent of the damage/fall.

Purespa - We actually have been getting pretty good results with our Pixel and haven't seen the hyperpigmentation issues you've had. I do agree with ProDocs that it is very operator dependent. We've had a number of clients who felt that our single Pixel treatment was more effective that 3 Fraxel treatments they got elsewhere.

Overall, we've been happy with our Harmony (540, ST, Pixel) and Soprano (LHR) systems. There was a bit of a learning curve (2-3 months) before we really hit our stride with them. I would have to say that their servicing & repair services are inconsistent. Haven't had any repair issues with our Harmony system, but our Soprano has needed constant maintenance. Not sure if this is due to us being a relatively heavy user.(Usually in use 7 hrs/day & 6 days/wk.)

12.12 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

RedFace: In general, the gold standard for treating rosecea is Pulse Dyed Laser
PureSpa: I agree with you that for "permanent" hair removal, you need the pulse width down to 5ms or even 3ms in fine fine hair. I believe you can only get these on the Candela or Cynosure machines.

12.12 | Unregistered Commenterpmdoc

pmdoc,

We can get down there with the Cutera 1064.

I agree the pulsed dye laser is the gold standard for rosacea but we have seen nice results using the 1064 for the larger telangectasias and the BBL by Sciton for the more diffuse redness. The nice thing about this is that the patients do not have the down time from the purpura associated with the PDL. The disadvantage is that you often need more than one treatment.

12.12 | Unregistered CommenterLH

LH

Best results in rosacea if you using first BBL and then the 1064 at the same session.Your target is oxyheamoglobin and deoxyheamoglobin and by this combination you can do it with very little number of treatments.The same combination i am using in PWS.

12.13 | Unregistered CommenterCharry

LH and Charry:
I am not familiar with the Sciton BBL. Is it the same as IPL?? I agree with you about using 1064 for telangectasias.
Charry:
What kind of settings do you use for PWS using your BBL and 1064??

12.13 | Unregistered Commenterpmdoc

pmdoc

BBL is a very good IPL with filters.For PWS I am using first BBL (590nm filter,10-12 J/cm,15-20msec) and then 1064nm 3spot,130-160 J/cm,10msec).The clinical endpoint is darkening of PWS.

12.13 | Unregistered CommenterCharry

Charry:
Thanks. One question is why do you need to do BBL before 1064 for PWS?? If so, do you do them together on the same day??? How many passes from BBL?

12.13 | Unregistered Commenterpmdoc

pmdoc

The BBL has very good results with 590 filter(1 pass) in superficial red PWS which are full of oxyheamoglobin.For deep PWS with BBL i convert oxyheamoglobin to deoxyheamoglobin which is been absorbed by 1064nm.So you can treat succesSfully either the superficial either the deeper PWS.

12.14 | Unregistered Commentercharry

Richard, glad to hear you are doing well with the pixel. What Fitzpatrick types are you using it on? I have that hand-piece languishing in a corner and was just wondering the other day if I had been a little hasty in my judgment of it. We are in Texas so we have to be super careful with the sun. Even II-III's have alot of incidential sun exposure and I think this may have been responsible even though they weren't tan. I love my Fraxel, but every once in a while I hear someone that just LOVES their Pixel. What do you think?

Dear Purespagirl: Just a heads up. I would encourage you to take a look at the Texas statutes concerning the legal operation of lasers. As I recall, the use of ablative lasers in Texas is restricted to licensed physicians only. I do not think they are allowed to delegate ablative procedures. I would advise you to check with an experienced Texas attorney to make sure you are not putting yourself in jeopardy.

I am a laser doctor with 6 different lasers and IPL. We went to a doctor for a treatment for my girl friend with Pixel 2940 the other day, I am very impressed about the machine and wonder where I can buy used one which do not cost me arm and leg? esheut@aol.com. I do not have a Harmony base machine. Thanks

Okayy...that last post was not mine. I have no idea who that was!
I will re-register with a different name.
In TX, technically anything can be (and unfortunately is) delegated. The use of ablative goes against nursing board and TXDLR regulations though. But still, if it's delegated....doesn't that trump those rules?
I don't know, and I don't want to know. Certain things best left to those with the initials M.D. after their names. In our practice, only the physician performs ablative.

I have been reading everyone's post about Alma Lasers and first let me say that I am not a doc or nurse and I have never operated the Alma system. However I recieved Alma treatments and with my results I have very very satified. I recieved the SHR Soprano treatment and I was very satified with my results and it's could have not been any more of a painless proceedure. Another treatment I receieved was the Accent XL. I had my face done and you could see the results immediatly! My face was smoother and it looked liked I just had a mini facelift. Great products and I have referraling all of my friends and family. Alma is A+++

05.25 | Unregistered CommenterPatient

Alma Lasers Accent is just another version of Thermage. The Thermage manufacturer has sued Alma Laser for patent infringement.

05.27 | Unregistered CommenterDrSmith

planning to buy harmony .with st ,shr,pixel and sr handpieces. options in place of pixel are palomer and fraxel .any one advice

Asian roots.

I don't think you will find a lot of support for Alma on here.

11.2 | Unregistered CommenterLH

Alma the flagship of Kaiser, Generic, Copy. MeToo, Cheap, "We do the same thing" laser company in the world. Great place for beginners in lasers and lawyers who may sue you...

How good of job does the Harmony do with facial hair removal? I'm not a doctor but I just started treatment and I would love to hear feedback from professionals!

02.13 | Unregistered CommenterButterfly

I am hearing a lot of buzz about pure plasma treatments with no rf or laser aspects,
benefits purported to be variable and low temp treatments. with no burning or scaring
any help sourcing info. would be greatly appreciated!

Elder of zion, do you mean the portrait system? But i would not say this delivers "low temp treatments". If you can describe the buzz you have heard a little i would be greatful. Thanks

04.22 | Unregistered CommenterRT

We have purchased a used (2005) Alma Harmony laser/IPL machine about 10 months ago and it worked relatively well for us, if not counting the occasional "water error" requiring to add colling water to it. However, recently after changing the head we got "FlowSW OFF error" and the Alma is refusing to start. Has anyone had any experiences with this kind of problem? Unfortunately, Alma manual says only "no water flow". Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

07.28 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I have Harmony system for 3 years and since 1 year ago I have bought another Harmony XL. I m very happy with the system : very good results, no disposls, easy to use, very fast treatments. I have Pixel handpiece( the fractional laser ) the strongest version which is very powerful. I use it for the acne scars, melasma, strech marks and sun spots. Also I have AFT 540 and 570 nm which works very good. I use max power up to 22 J with 10 ms. Mainly I have skin type I-III. It works good for the sunspots. melasma, rosacea, acne, poikiloderma Civate, photorejuvenation. Generaly I woud recommend that system. Recently I started to use the handpiece for the tatoo removal and the results are good. With other handpiecese I don t have experience

Hi Peter,

That's the problem when you buy used. The repair bill is hefty and service could be hard to come by. Have you approached Alma laser?

07.28 | Unregistered CommenterCanMD

Peter, I have worked with the Harmony for the last 4 years. First, make sure that the platform water tank is full, remember to use only distilled water. You may have to turn it on and off a few times using the key to get any air out. Also, make certain that the handpiece is completely attached. Try attaching another handpiece there are flow switches in the handpiece as well as in the platform itself. All lasers need maintenance, such as weekly vacuuming and water tank filling, the machines are water cooled and this is essential. Alma does have a tech support and they have always been very helpful. Hope this helps.

Hi CanMD and Sandra,

thank you for your comments and suggestions. I still think that buying used equipment makes sense given the astronomic prices of the new one. The former owner of the laser gave me a practical low-tech suggestion to solve the problem: bumping the control valve inside with something blunt. I was sceptical but it worked! I am sure this one is not listed in any of the Alma's technical manuals ...


07.28 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I SUGGEST TO USE NOT DESTILATED WATER BUT THE DEOIONIZIED WATER ( WATER WITHOUT IONS ) BEACUSE THAT S BETTER FOR THE DEVICE. IF YOU USE AFT HANDPIECESE TAKE CARE TO USE COLORLESS GEL.

i am in process of starting spa business . what skin treatments to start with as a new business ? is it advisable to buy expensive laser machines and equipments ?

09.1 | Unregistered Commenterjay

What is the efficacy of the 640 HR handpiece for LHR vs. the 810 diode? I've had so many reps tell me that there IPL system or 1064 will work will for LHR, but the results are NOT impressive. Need help with this answer before I buy my new system. Thanks,

Flowswitch error means the flow switch is stuck in a position that stops water passing from the water reservoir to the hand piece. You said it was a new hand piece so sometimes if it the hand piece is assembled with the water connectors upside down this will happen. Try dismantling the hand piece and turning the water connections around. Alternatively you need a new flowswitch.

11.9 | Unregistered Commenterray

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