Top Pigmentation Removal Techniques in Singapore
Benign pigmentary disorders can be classified into congenital (from birth) and acquired (developed later in life). Examples of congenital pigmentary disorders include: Naevus of Ota, Café au lait spot (birthmark). Examples of acquired pigmentary disorders include: freckles, lentigo (sun spot), melasma, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and tattoos.
Unwanted pigmentation is amongst the top 3 concerns for which a client would visit a Medical Aesthetic clinic. Asian beauty standards place great emphasis on fair, clear and smooth skin, compared to Western beauty standards where freckles are considered attractive and tanned skin associated with status. Recent advances in laser technology have made removing unwanted pigmentation safer or easier.
The Power of Pico Laser Treatment
Picolaser is short for “picosecond laser”, which refers to pigment lasers which fire a rapid burst of light measured in trillionths of a second. This small and intense burst of energy allows the targeting of microscopic pigment particles in the skin- melanin (skin pigment), hemoglobin (blood pigment) or tattoo ink, while sparing the normal skin. The target pigment rapidly heats up and shatters into fine particles which are then cleared by the scavenger cells of the skin. Using special settings, picolasers can generate areas of Light Induced Optical Breakdown (LIOBs) in the skin- numerous microscopic controlled wounds that stimulates skin regeneration. The end result is removal of unwanted skin pigmentation and skin rejuvenation. PicoSure is the only US FDA approved 755nm Alexandrite Picolaser- the 755nm wavelength optimally targets melanin in the skin. With over 80 published clinical studies, PicoSure is the picolaser of choice for many clinics around the world.
Exploring Alternative Pigmentation Treatment Options
An accurate diagnosis by a medical professional is required to treat pigmentation appropriately. To establish a treatment baseline and track progress, good quality clinical photographs should be taken. Treating pigmentation starts with daily skincare and UV reduction habits- Daily use of sunscreen, avoiding direct sun exposure and application of skincare that contains antioxidants (such as Vitamin C) will address mild cases of sun damage and milder pigmentation. For more severe cases, prescription strength depigmenting creams, oral medications, skinbooster injections and laser treatment may be required to achieve a good outcome. Every patient’s skin is different- at Bay Aesthetics Clinic, clients undergo skin analysis with the LifeViz 3D camera followed by a customised treatment plan after a detailed doctor’s consultation.
Melasma: Challenges and Considerations
Melasma is a long term skin condition that is challenging to treat and typically requires multiple treatment options including topical medication, oral medications and laser treatment for a good outcome. Melasma may also flare up due to various triggers including hormonal flunctuations, stress, heat and UV exposure. While Picolasers are an important treatment for melasma, it needs to be part of a holistic treatment plan- depending on laser treatment alone may not give optimal results. In Melasma patients with darker skin types or those with recent suntan, the MOXI Laser would be a better option. MOXI Laser is a 1927nm diode laser which targets water in the skin, making it “color blind” and safe for darker skin types, recent suntan and superficial melasma.
Factors Influencing Treatment Choices
Treatment plans are individualized to the patient’s skin type, pigmentation type, lifestyle and medical history. For example- a fair skinned patient with freckles would benefit from PicoSure laser treatments, while a patient with melasma would benefit from MOXI Laser (which is safe for Melasma). Treatment costs typically range from $2000-4000 for a series of laser treatments, medications and skincare. Monthly treatment sessions are recommended with results in 4-6 months.