As you get older, you start to notice dark spots appearing slowly and as they get darker, make up won’t be able to cover them. Pigmentation is indeed one of everyone’s biggest rivals.
Here are 5 things that you should know about pigmentation.
1. The types of pigmentation
Identifying the type of pigmentation you have is vital to safely and effectively treat it with pigmentation treatments. Essentially, pigmentation can be classified into 3 main classifications – Epidermal, Dermal & a mix of both. The diagram below illustrates the layers of human skin.
- Epidermal pigmentation – (the outer layer of the skin) includes freckles, sun spots, and age spots. Such epidermal pigmentation can be identified as light to medium brown spots with well-defined margins.
- Dermal pigmentation – post-inflammatory pigmentation (pimple marks/chicken-pox marks), hori’s nevus, nevus of ota, etc. It looks more faded under the skin as compared to epidermal pigmentation. They do not have well-defined margins and are sometimes greyish-purplish-brown in colour.
- Mixed pigmentation – an example of mixed epidermal and dermal pigmentation is melasma. It takes a longer time to treat a mixture of both epidermal and dermal pigmentation.
2. Causes of pigmentation
After identifying the type of pigmentation you have, it is also important to know what caused it. A major factor is exposure to the harmful UV radiation from the sun, resulting in increased melanin production. Melanin is the pigment, responsible for giving colour to our skin and protecting us from UV radiation.
Other common factors that can cause pigmentation may include:
- Hormonal changes,
- Skin trauma
- Inflammation caused by acne etc.
These factors can potentially stimulate melanocytes, the pigment-making cells in the skin, to make a surplus of pigment, causing an increase in pigment into the lower levels of the skin.
3. Pigmentation Treatments that work
There are many types of treatments in the market that claim to treat pigmentation. While there are natural home remedies that claim to lighten the dark spots, it is still not as effective as getting medical aesthetic treatments.
At M- Aesthetic Clinic, we offer a full range of laser treatments to effectively treat all kinds of pigmentation. All treatment plans are customised accordingly and done in the comfort of our professional Singapore clinic.
Developments and advancement in technology have introduced more options for non-surgical procedures, especially in Laser Treatments. Apart from being very effective, these laser procedures often require no to almost minimal downtime and are quick and pain-free.
Spectra XT Laser
The popular laser treatment, which has no downtime, is the Spectra XT Laser or also known as the “Hollywood Peel”. This is a one of a kind photo-enhancer based laser treatment that is performed only using the Spectra XT ™ laser.
The procedure is safe on all skin types and is a fantastic way to brighten up your skin without the longer downtimes associated with other procedures!
It uses no harsh formulas or abrasive scrubbing tools, which means no bleeding and adverse chemical reactions; yet promises the instant effects one would expect from a professional face peel.
The Spectra XT Laser session takes about 30 minutes. The Spectra carbon lotion is applied to the skin first and the laser heats the carbon lotion to penetrate into the pores for a deep exfoliation. Then, the laser removes the carbon. With it comes dead skin cells and anything that was clogging the pores, leaving your skin clear, bright and toned.
What kind of improvement can I expect to see with this treatment?
- Improves melasma and other signs of sun damage
- Treats pigmentation
- Improves skin tone, texture and elasticity
- Brightens and tightens skin for a natural, well-rested look
- Reduces all types of acne
- Controls sebum production
- Reduces redness from inflamed acne
For best results, subsequent sessions of the Spectra XT Laser are needed.
Thulium BB Laser
The Thulium BB Laser is a stronger laser treatment that effectively targets facial pigmentation, Melasma, brightens the skin and improves size of pores. In South Korea, many call it the BB Laser because of its ability to improve the texture and tone of the skin, just like when applying BB cream to the skin.
Thulium BB Laser is a unique sub-ablative thulium 1927nm laser for skin resurfacing and rejuvenating. The laser’s wavelength penetrates to a level between the lower part of the epidermis and dermis where it is able to target freckles, sunspots, age spots and Melasma while renewing damaged skin and stimulating collagen production.
The wavelength penetrates the upper dermis while not causing the upper layer to peel.
What kind of improvement can I expect to see with this treatment?
- Improvement in pigmentation & Melasma
- Skin brightening/ Fairer skin
- Smoother, younger-looking skin
- Pore tightening
- Overall improvement in skin texture and tone
- Improvement in fine wrinkles
Thulium BB Laser can be combined with Spectra XT Laser to successfully reduce the appearance of Melasma.
Proprietary whitening creams
The Ultra Whitening Complex is an intense proprietary-only whitening cream that combines multiple, effective proven whitening ingredients to treat pigmentation.
Medication containing Tranexamic acid can help to lighten certain pigmentation conditions.
A well-known supplement that is proven to help to reduce pigmentation is Heliocare Max 240 Purewhite Radiance.
Containing an additional dose of Fernblock®, it has an excellent antioxidant property that is able to reduce free radicals by up to 50%, preventing the formation of hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays.
A recent study conducted in the National Skin Centre, Singapore, showed a 62% improvement in melasma when compared to baseline in just 12 weeks.
Furthermore, Purewhite Radiance Max 240 is enhanced with the exclusive blend of White Tech Complex where it controls and blocks the main enzyme that is responsible for melanin production. The blend in White Tech Complex consists of Pomegranate extract, L-Cystine, vitamin C and B3, all clinically proven to promote skin fairness and radiance
4. Commitment needed to fully treat pigmentation
Pigmentation does not go away or lighten in 1-2 sessions. Averagely, epidermal pigmentation can take up to 6 sessions to treat, and dermal pigmentation takes between 6-10 sessions depending on the severity of the pigmentation.
Patients with a mix of both epidermal and dermal pigmentation might require slightly more sessions.
At M-Aesthetic Clinic, Dr Ho Rui Ming will do a skin assessment to identify the kind of pigmentation you have, and recommend a suitable pigmentation removal treatment.
You will need patience and be committed to the programme. Apart from receiving laser treatments, daily skin regime which includes applying sunblock and whitening cream is also important.
Wear a hat or bring an umbrella whenever you head out to minimise your skin from the harmful UV rays.
5. New Pigmentation can appear again
After completing the series of treatment, if you do not take care of your skin, new pigmentation can appear over time. Hence, it is very important to maintain a good regime to prevent new pigmentation from forming.
As a good skin maintenance treatment, the Spectra XT Laser can be done once a month to keep pigmentation at bay whilst making your skin radiant, bright and glowy.
Pigmentation is a nuisance but with patience and determination, it can be treated. Prevention is better than cure, but even if it does appear, start seeking treatment early to keep it under control.
Dr Ho believes that every individual is unique and he takes into account their lifestyle habits, budget, condition and severity of the pigmentation. He then plans a suitable treatment plan for each individual, tracks and records the process for best results.
Should you wish to treat your pigmentation, contact us right away and schedule an appointment now with Dr Ho Rui Ming so that he can come up with the most suitable and effective plan for you!