Our skin contain cells called melanocytes that produce a pigment called melanin.

Melanin protects our skin from damage by sunlight.

However when the melanin is deposited unevenly in the skin, they can appear as unsightly and ugly hyperpigmented skin lesions like:

  • Melasma
  • Freckles
  • Age spots/ solar lentigos
  • Post acne hyperpigmentation
  • Seborrheic keratosis
  • Naevus of Ota
  • Hori’s Naevus
  • Birth marks like Mongolian spots

These skin hyperpigmentations can be aggravated by

  • Sun exposure
  • Hormones e.g during pregnancy or birth control pills
  • Genetics
  • Medications like anti epileptic drugs

Skin pigmentation can involve

  • Upper layer of the skin ( epidermis) like freckles and age spots(solar lentigos)
  • Deep layer ( Dermis) like Naevus of Ota and Hori’s Naevus
  • Both upper and deep layers ( epidermis and dermis) like melasma

Melasma is an acquired skin pigmentation disorder. It is characterized by greyish brown patchy discoloration on both cheeks, nose bridge, forehead, chin and above the lips.

It typically affects women and is aggravated by sun exposure, hormonal replacement therapy and birth control pills.

Types of Melasma

There are 3 different types of melasma

  • Superficial ( Epidermis )
  • Deep ( Dermal)
  • Mixed ( Epidermal/ Dermal )

Pigmentation treatment options for Melasma

Dr Lim will carefully assess your skin pigmentation and devise a treatment protocol that is individualized to your needs.

Melasma pigmentation treatment can include the following

  • Q switched Nd Yag lasers.
  • Skin lightening creams.
  • Transdermal delivery of skin whitening and anti aging solutions to reduce the skin pigmentation and improve the skin texture, smoothen out wrinkles and brighten the skin complexion. This will result in a younger, smoother and glowing skin.
  • Oral supplement of Crystal Tomato that has been shown to lighten skin pigmentation like melasma , freckles, age spots and post acne hyperpigmentation.
  • Sunblock SPF 50 and above.

Freckles are flat, brownish spots usually present at the cheeks, nose or sun exposed areas like shoulders and back.

Freckles are easily removed by Q switched Nd Yad lasers.

After treatment, the scabs will usually drop off in 3-5 days, leaving a lighter complexion.

Most patients usually require 1-3 laser sessions to clear the freckles.

Age Spots/ Solar Lentigos

Age spots (Solar lentigos) are benign skin conditions that usually occur after the age of 40 years old.

They are due to the proliferation of melanocytes and accumulation of melanin pigments within the skin cells (keratinocytes) as a result of sun exposure.

Age spots (Solar lentigos) appear as flat, well circumscribed patches. They can be round, oval or irregular. Color varies from skin color, tan, dark brown or black.

Laser treatment can usually remove the age spots (solar lentigos ) in 2-3 sessions.

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis are a very common non-cancerous skin growth in older adults more than 40 years of age. They usually appear as a brown, black or light tan growth on the face, cheeks, shoulders or back.

Seborrheic keratosis have a waxy, scaly, slightly elevated appearance. Seborrheic keratosis can be removed easily using CO2 laser or Nd Yag Q switched laser.

Post acne hyperpigmentation / Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH )

Acne, chickenpox, insect bites and eczema can cause post inflammatory hyperpigmentation in the skin.

The hyperpigmentation is due to the deposition of melanin within the keratinocytes (skin cells) and/or dermis after skin damage. Inflammation in the epidermis stimulate melanocytes to increase melanin synthesis and to transfer the melanin to the surrounding keratinocytes (epidermal melanosis).

If the basal layer is injured (e.g lichen planus), melanin pigment is released and subsequently trapped by macrophages in the papillary dermis (dermal melanosis).

Acne is a very common cause of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. But thankfully post inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne can be removed/lightened by Q switched Nd Yag laser.

It usually takes 3-5 session to clear the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Here in Lim Clinic, Dr Lim has done thousands of laser sessions treating different types of skin pigmentation.

He will assess your skin condition and devise an individualised treatment program consisting of laser, creams, chemical peels or transdermal delivery of whitening and anti aging solutions to suit your needs.

How do lasers remove unwanted skin pigment?

Q switched Nd Yag laser produces a light of specific wavelength. This laser light, when directed into the skin, is absorbed by pigmented skin lesions. The light will shatter the melanin pigment into micro particles. These micro particles are naturally carried away by the blood stream and eventually removed from the body. The skin pigmentation is then lightened after a few sessions.

Benefits of laser pigmentation treatment

Q switched Nd Yag laser can

  • Remove dark pigmentation and sun spots.
    Q switched Nd Yag laser can break down melasma, freckles, age spots, acne, hyperpigmentation and other brown birth marks.
  • Stimulate collagen formation and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
    As we age, collagen and elastin production in the skin is reduced.  This together with dynamic muscle movement results in wrinkles and fine lines.Q switched Nd Yag laser can stimulate collagen remodeling, resulting in reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Rejuvenating your skin complexion.
    Q switched Nd Yag laser can improve uneven skin tone, skin pigmentation, discoloration and pore size. This results in a smoother skin texture, lightens the skin tone, decreases pore size, giving you a younger, radiant and glowing complexion.
What do I need to do before a laser treatment?
  • Avoid sun exposure 1 week before laser treatment.
  • Avoid strong facial products containing Vit C, glycolic acid 1 week before laser treatment.
Is the laser treatment painful?

Most patients tolerate the laser treatment very well.

It feels like the snapping of rubber band on the skin.

Post laser treatment care.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure
  • Always use a sunblock of SPF50 or above
  • Do not scratch, rub or pick at the treatment area
  • Do not apply make up until the crust disappear
  • Avoid swimming
  • Protective clothing, hats and umbrellas are strongly advised if you are exposed to the sun for a period of time
How many laser sessions do I need?

The number of treatment sessions will depend on

  • Types of pigmented lesions.
  • Age of the pigmented lesions. Generally the new lesions are easier to remove than old ones.
  • Depth of the pigmented lesions.

Generally, the deeper lesions like melasma require 5-10 treatments whilst superficial lesions like freckles and age spots usually require 1-3 treatments.

Can the pigmentation come back?

It is important to maintain a good skin care and sunblock regime to prevent or slow down the recurrence of the pigmented lesions.

Maintenance laser sessions every 3-4 months will also improve and prevent pigment from forming.

Disclaimer: Results may vary according to individuals

About Dr Lim...

Dr Lim Heng Wei

With more than 15 years of experience in Aesthetic Medicine Dr Lim has an artistic flair and is able to bring out the best in his patients by combining various aesthetic procedures ranging from lasers, IPL, HIFU, and fillers.

His philosophy is that aesthetics medicine should be SAFE and AFFORDABLE to everyone.

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    Lim Clinic & Surgery (Aesthetics) - Toa Payoh
    Block 109 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh #01-312 Singapore 310109 (Braddell MRT Exit A )

    Phone +65 6252 7473

    Whatsapp 8587 8865

    Email enquirylimclinic@gmail.com
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