Pigmentation Treatment & Removal
What is Pigmentation?
Pigmentations are brown spots or patches on the skin caused by an excess production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes at the lower layer of the epidermis and can be triggered by sun exposure. Other common factors that can trigger pigmentation includes, hormonal changes, pregnancy, genetics and skin trauma and inflammation caused by acne.
Types of Pigmentation
- Melasma is often found in Asian skin. It manifests as irregular patches of darker brown discoloration, usually on the cheeks, forehead, nose and even the lips. It is more common in women and in darker skinned people, and can be aggravated by sun exposure and hormonal changes.
- Freckles are small brown spots on sun-exposed areas, seen in genetically more susceptible people.
- Birthmarks can be brown or red in colour. Red coloured birthmarks are caused by a localized area of abnormal blood vessels. Brown birthmarks arise from localized areas of excessive pigmentation.
- Sun spots, also known as solar lentigo, are dark brown spots found on the skin. They are caused by sun exposure and commonly seen in areas of the skin exposed to the sun such as the face, hands and arms.
- Many patients get brown spots after acne. They are also referred to as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), and is due to the skin’s pigment cells overreacting, which produces more pigmentation during the healing process. PIH often appears following other skin injuries like cuts and burns.
Fig 1. A graph showing how pigments were formed and how the laser can remove the pigments on the skin
What Causes Pigmentation & What are The Options To Remove?
Pigmentation Treatment in Singapore
Dr Thean has devoted his years of aesthetics experience in pigmentation. He has designed this treatment to illuminate dark spots with a range of combinations of lasers and that include pico laser and yellow laser. With this method, the majority of visible unwanted skin spots, discoloration or redness (blood vessels) , are rooted in a deeper vascular network of veins that extend beyond the treatable depth of traditional lasers that can be addressed. Patients with pigmentation come in different levels of severity. Dr Thean will permutate the combination of treatments and topical medications to best treat the dark spots.
How many sessions do you need ?
Every individual is different, even for their treatments. Usually you would be able to see some results after one session, but you may need a few sessions to completely clear the pigmentation as it is also dependent on the severity of the pigmentation.
Is there any downtime in this treatment ?
It is a gentle treatment and almost no downtime from this treatment. The possibilities of redness could be seen and the redness should subside in few hours.
Can pigmentation recur?
Pigmentations can sometimes recur even after successful treatments. The recurrence is due to the constant exposure to the sun as well as our hormones. We can prevent pigmentation from recurring by applying sunscreen with at least SPF 50 diligently and adopting sun protection measures to have long-term sustainable results. Treatments can only clear your pigmentations, ultimately, proper skincare routine is equally essential in preventing pigmentation recurrence.