Pigmentation is a huge concern, particularly in the Asian region where fair, clear, and flawless skin is the golden standard for beauty and attractiveness. Any freckle, scar, spot, or mark on the face is deemed as unsightly so most people go through extraordinary lengths to make sure that their visage is, at the very least, acceptable to the society’s aesthetic requirements. But having to deal with not-so-perfect skin on a daily basis is a difficult and time-consuming feat. Imagine waking up every single day and allotting several minutes of your precious time to conceal the pesky blemishes and as soon as the makeup or concealer is removed, your blemishes are still there, present as ever. Concealment could only do so much and if you resort to other options like using whitening products to lighten the blemishes, you will have to face varying amounts of success, if there is any at all.
The good thing is that there now are available treatments that can permanently remove blemishes or unwanted skin pigmentation. One of the fastest and most advanced way is the use of laser technology. Lasers create a special type of light energy that is absorbed by the pigmented lesions. The light delivers an extremely rapid vibration – at one-thousand millionth of a second – to break the pigments in the skin. If you undergo a treatment for laser pigmentation in Singapore, you will notice that when the laser targets a spot, it will turn grey or white for a few minutes. After one or two weeks, the spot will turn into a scab and will be gone completely. It usually takes three to six treatments for the pigment to fade and lighten and most superficial blemishes, once completely removed, will never return.
This article from Cambridge Medical, a pioneering medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore that offers bespoke medical skincare, face and body shaping and lifestyle optimization services, will tackle the common types of skin pigmentation issues and how to treat them.
Common Types of Skin Pigmentation Issues and How To Treat Them
Pigmentation issues have many causes and can be generally identified by the level of involvement in different layers of the skin. Sun spots and freckles are hyperpigmentation issues that occur in the skin’s upper layer or the epidermis while Hori’s nevus is confined to the dermis layer. Melasma, on the other hand, affects both dermis and epidermis layers.
1. Sun spots
Also called a liver or age spot, this condition is common in fair-skinned individuals and affects areas that are exposed to the sun such as the face and forearms. It appears as a single or a few dark spots that are round in shape and larger than freckles. Sunspots tend to increase in number, color, and size with age and prolonged exposure to UV radiation. You can use a topical solution to improve the appearance of sun spots to a certain level but if you want more effective and faster results, you can opt for a laser treatment.
These multiple light brown spots are often found on the cheekbones and across the nose. Freckles can increase in colour and number under constant sun exposure so it is recommended to regularly use sunblock to prevent more freckles from appearing. If you want to save some money for freckles treatment, you can use medical-grade creams like hydroquinone. While laser treatments are very effective for freckles, a few sessions can be quite expensive.
However, if you have recurring issues with freckles (and sun spots), you should opt for Pico Lasers or Q-switched Nd:Yag laser instead. You will be able to see significant improvements with your skin after two to three laser sessions.
This condition is characterized by blotchy patches of light-to-dark brown pigmentation on the body and the face, particularly on the cheeks and forehead. Melasma commonly affects middle-aged Asian women and its appearance is linked to age, heredity, sun exposure, and hormonal fluctuations. Treating melasma poses a great challenge even to the most experienced aestheticians because it is notorious for being resistant to treatments and has a high chance of recurrence. Topical lightening creams and chemical peels are suitable for mild cases of melasma; for moderate-to-severe cases that do not respond to lighting agents, however, a laser pigmentation removal is a good option. Pico laser, in particular, was cited by one study as the most effective option for treating melasma. If you have melasma and you are considering laser treatment as a solution, you can expect to see results after five to eight laser sessions.
4. Hori’s Nevus
This condition, which is also known as Acquired Bilateral Nevus of Ota-Like Macules or ABMON, is almost exclusively found in middle-aged Asian women. It is identified as clustered flat dark-bluish gray marks on the forehead, nose, or cheekbones. Since the pigmentation in Hori’s Nevus affect the deeper layer of the skin, topical lightening creams will not suffice. Multiple laser sessions are needed because like melasma, this condition is quite resistant to treatment. You may require five to ten sessions to treat Hori’s Nevus and it might take three to ten months for the improvements to be apparent.
5. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
This condition is characterized by discoloured patches or spots on the face. It is common seen after an infection, injury, or inflammation to the skin. There are some rare cases when PIH occurred after a laser treatment, too. Treatment options to manage PIH include topical creams, chemical peels, oral medication, or laser treatments. Due to these identical methods, your doctor’s experience and skill will matter greatly. You also need to remember that it is always better to start treatment earlier rather than later when it comes to achieving good results for PIH.
In general, treatments for laser pigmentation in Singapore are safe and effective if done by professionals. Whatever procedure you will choose to undergo, make sure that it is performed inside an accredited medical aesthetic clinic like Cambridge Medical. The treatment for pigmentation is an arduous journey, thus it is absolutely important that you are in the hands of expert doctors whom you trust and are comfortable to see for months and years to come.
Cambridge Medical Group
91B Orchard Road, #08-05A1,
Tower B, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238874
+65 6733 0777