Pigmentation is a skin condition that presents with brown spots on the face and other sun-exposed parts of the body. They are most visible on the face, which automatically makes them a cosmetic nightmare and a self-confidence issue.
Asian skin is more predisposed to discolouration because it has more melanin than its Caucasian counterpart. That's why it should be no surprise that hyperpigmentation removal procedures are requested frequently at cosmetic clinics in Singapore. There are several ways to treat pigmentation.
Pigmentation on face is caused by an overproduction of melanin, an essential component from where the skin gets its colour. There are different factors for why this occurs.
One of the biggest culprits is too much sun exposure combined with inadequate sun protection. When you spend a lot of time in the sun using no sunscreen, the skin increases its production of melanin to protect itself from sun damage.
Another factor is hormonal influences. The hormone responsible for pigmentation is called melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH).
A question that people often ask is why pigmentation comes on face more readily than on other body areas. The skin on the face is more predisposed to pigmentation since it makes more melanin than other body parts.
More melanin can easily lead to hyperpigmentation. Another reason is that the sun hits the face first and throughout the year, the face is exposed to more sunlight consistently.
Pigmentation comes in many types and they all need a different approach, treatment-wise. Because some of these look quite similar, only a doctor can tell the difference and order a proper pigmentation treatment.
PIH is a reaction of the skin where it produces extra melanin to counteract skin damage. It usually results from inflammation or injury to the skin. One of the common reasons for this reaction is acne.
These are small harmless spots on the top layer of the skin that can be brown or red. They might fade with cold weather and come back once the heat settles. Freckles are not a disease and they are genetic but they can worsen with sun exposure.
If anything, they indicate that you have sensitive skin. In comparison, sun spots are bigger than freckles. Both types are examples of superficial pigmentation.
Age spots, solar lentigines, and liver spots are small dark benign lesions on the skin. They are typically found on the face, hands, and lower legs, i.e. body areas that are often exposed to the sun. Their size varies but in most cases, they are not bigger than 5mm in diameter.
The colour differs as well. Some are black, others may be brown or yellow. Solar lentigines usually grow in number with advancing age. They are similar to freckles but they never fade.
Melasma is characterised by spots and patches on the face that are much darker than the rest of the skin. It is caused by hormonal changes and radiation from the sun. This is a common skin condition similar in appearance to other conditions. Therefore, it requires an individualised treatment plan.
Shens Medical offers several tried-and-tested methods of skin pigmentation removal.
This is an injectable filler developed in South Korea that is based on polydeoxyribonucleotide. The latter activates the self-regeneration properties of the skin and can fade pigmentation.
Rejuran also contains hyaluronic acid and salmon DNA polymers. The injections are given in different parts of the face. There is no downtime.
This type of laser delivers laser beam energy in the form of nanosecond pulses. They shatter the excess pigmentation in a controlled fashion and the broken-down melanin is later on removed by the immune system.
It also serves for laser tattoo removal, seborrheic keratosis, and cosmetically bothersome blood vessels.
The machine operates at wavelengths of 532nm and 1064nm. It takes several sessions to see results. The treatment is performed in a doctor’s office.
Topical treatment with a numbing cream is applied to the skin surface before the laser procedure begins. There is minimal downtime involved.
Fotona laser treatments use different laser technology to rejuvenate the skin texture and create a more uniform complexion. Depending on the desired outcome, they can work externally and internally for skin regeneration.
The laser energy creates micro-injuries in the skin without damaging the surrounding tissues. It selectively shatters the pigmented lesions. This also triggers the skin’s repair mechanism to induce collagen production and elastin fibres.
Fotona pigmentation lasers work for all skin types. The treatment duration is less than 60 minutes. There is minimal discomfort all the way through. Skin rejuvenation can be noticed after a couple of weeks.
A fractional laser is one of the best treatments for pigmentation. It uses small controlled pulses of light and targets melanin pigments precisely, keeping the surrounding skin intact. The skin cells in the treated areas are later replaced by new collagen.
Just like other laser treatments, for this one, the top layer of the skin is treated with an anaesthetic cream beforehand.
1.What can I expect during laser pigment removal treatment?
During your laser pigmentation treatment, your skin will be smeared with an anaesthetic cream so that you don’t feel any pain as the device is working. The technician will pass the device over your face, focusing on the targeted skin area. When the heat hits your epidermis, you will probably feel a quick burning sensation .
2.How many laser sessions are needed for pigmentation?
It’s different for everyone. For optimal results and rejuvenated skin, most patients should have several treatment sessions at intervals of 3-4 weeks. The treatment plan and number of appointments are figured out according to the type and depth of hyperpigmentation.
3.How long does laser pigmentation take to work?
The initial results are visible within 7-10 after laser pigmentation treatment. As time goes by and the skin heals, you will see more pigmented lesions fade.
4.Does pigmentation come back after laser?
Although lasers produce permanent results, it’s not uncommon for pigmentation to come back after sun exposure or hormonal influences. Thus, your age spots, freckles, and other skin conditions might reappear after a while. To minimise recurrence, make sure to use good sun protection every day.
5.Are lasers suitable for darker skin types?
Lasers can be used on dark skin tones. There are different types of lasers, wavelengths, and settings that allow the treatment to be tailored to fit every skin type. That said, if you have a darker skin tone, you should find a dermatologist that has solid experience in treating dark skin tones.
6.Can laser treatments remove pigmentation permanently?
Yes, laser treatment can remove pigmentation permanently and repair damaged skin, but that doesn’t keep new pigmentation from occurring. Things like hormonal changes and sun exposure can still cause hyperpigmentation over time.
For this reason, it is vital to use adequate sun protection year round, including during the rainy months.
7.What is the best laser treatment to remove pigmentation and is laser treatment good for face pigmentation?
Yes, absolutely. Laser treatment achieves the best results in terms of pigmentation improvement and removal.
Now, a lot of people tend to ask, “Which laser treatment is best for pigmentation?” and the answer is Q-switched Nd: YAG Laser. It employs wavelengths of 532nm and 1064nm. Picosecond is also good, generating 1064nm and 532nm frequencies.
8.What is the best laser treatment for melasma pigmentation?
The best laser type for treating melasma is Q-switched Nd: YAG Laser but there are other great options too.
Other methods of treating pigmentation in Singapore involve medical-grade lightening creams, topical creams with retinol, acids, and chemical peels. Some of these can be used at home.
Stronger concentrations penetrate deep into the skin and are unavailable over the counter. People often attempt a wide range of at-home treatments before speaking with a doctor about their pigmentation problems.
In truth, skin pigmentation issues require an individual approach. There are different types of pigmentation and the key to an effective treatment is to know what you are dealing with in the first place.
Thus, it is advisable to go to a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon about it since they can give you an accurate diagnosis and suggest an appropriate treatment.
Armed with knowledge and experience, Dr Shens is going to recommend the most suitable treatment for you. He can use a combination of procedures to achieve the desired results.
The cost of pigmentation treatment in Singapore varies per clinic choice and the type of procedure.
Q-switched Nd YAG laser: $400 upwards
Fotona laser pigmentation removal: $670 (excludes GST).
Fractional laser pigmentation removal: $150 upwards per session.Rejuran HB: $650-$1,000.
Yes, skin pigmentation can be treated with a variety of procedures depending on its type, i.e. sun spots, age spots, melasma, etc.
It depends on the type and severity of pigmentation. Intense pulsed light (IPL), chemical peels, laser treatments, and dermabrasion seem to be the best treatments for pigmentation. Sometimes more than one method might be used since one procedure works great for some areas but is too aggressive for others.
What causes pigmentation on face is an increase in the natural pigment melanin. It’s what gives the skin surface its colour. The production of melanin can be increased by ageing, hormonal influences, excessive sun exposure, inflammation, and skin injuries.
The treatment works by delivering heat to the superficial layers of the skin. The technology is attracted to pigmentation, so it damages the dark patches and leaves the rest of the skin cells intact. It can also treat cosmetically bothersome blood vessels, acne scars, and seborrheic keratosis.
If you want to lighten your lips, chemical peels and lasers are the best in-office treatments to do that. When it comes to home remedies, you can use lemon and sugar, aloe, almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil, strawberry with baking soda, and rose water with honey.
Choose one product and massage it into your lips for a few minutes every day. You need to do this repeatedly over a long period of time to see any results. Do not expect any miracles.
There are three steps that may help you prevent PIH: make sure not to pick your lesions; use skin care products that don’t involve harsh chemicals; and always wear sunscreen.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can take a good while to heal - up to 12 months - and sometimes spots may not fade at all.
Acne pigmentation and acne scarring can be removed with chemical peels and laser treatment. There are some OTC chemical peels and stronger concentrations that can be accessed through a doctor only.
Moreover, peels are effective in treating skin pigmentation problems such as age spots, sun spots, melasma, seborrheic keratosis, etc.