Every individual’s skin contains melanin which determines the pigment of the skin, eyes and hair. The amount of melanin increases when skin is exposed to UV rays, as melanin is meant to protect our skin from the burns and damages caused by sun exposure. This is pretty unavoidable in Singapore, where it is constantly sunny. Hence, we are more proned to having hyperpigmentation, freckles, aged spots, or melasma over the areas that are highly exposed to the sun such as forehead, cheeks, and nose bridge. Apart from sun exposure, accumulation of pigments is also affected by hormonal changes, use of certain medications, or skin inflammation. As we age, pigmentation will be more obvious and it will be difficult to tackle if pigments are left untreated for years.
A non-ablative laser that is commonly used to remove age spots, freckles, melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or even tattoos. The laser energy is able to penetrate more deeply into the skin and manage to destroy melanin more effectively compared to other light device such as IPL.
Like the Q-Switched ND-Yag laser, the wavelength of the light energy is able to target pigmentation. However, BB thulium laser is a sub-ablative laser whereby tiny fine scabs will form over the treated area and skin renewal will take 5-7 days to complete.
Apart from exfoliating effect, chemical peel can brighten pigmented skin and promote skin renewal. Minimal downtime such as redness, dry peeling skin for 3-5 days is expected. Sun exposure should be avoided during such period and application of sun protection is essential.
Whitening and brightening products play a major role in reversing or control melanin production on a daily basis. A combination of skincare and laser treatments helps in pigmentation removal.
Popular supplements such as Crystal Tomato and oxithion is commonly used to improve generalised skin tone and speed up removal of pigments.
Pigmentation removal can be achieved by using laser devices or chemical peels. Laser treatments work by overloading the pigmented areas with light energy set at a various wavelength and causes the melanin to breakdown into smaller particles. These particles will then shed away naturally when new skin regenerates. Multiple sessions of treatment is required to remove pigmentations successfully. Q-switched laser treatment is a non-ablative laser and one will feel prickly sensation all over the face throughout the treatment especially the pigmented areas. Some may notice mild redness, burning sensation and peeling right after laser treatments. However, downtime is rather short, only lasting for a few hours.