Tag Archive: dermatologist singapore

Best Dermatologist’s Guide to Chemical Peel Treatments

October 13, 2017

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel treatment is designed to improve the appearance of the skin by gently stimulating the top layer of skin cells known as the epidermis by applying a solution composed of fruit derived acids such as alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, lactic and salicylic acid. This stimulates the skin to regenerate, to be smoother and less wrinkled.

Who is Chemical Peel for?

Chemical peels are helpful for acne prone as well as normal skin, as a regular form of anti-ageing treatment to maintain one’s youthful appearance. In general, patients with fairer skin and lighter hair are ideal candidates. However, depending upon the type of skin problem encountered, darker skinned patients may also experience good results. If you are looking to minimise or eliminate the lines around your eye or mouth area, wrinkles that are caused by sun damage, aging and hereditary factors, aging spots, mild scarring, certain kinds of acne, skin pigmentation such as sun spots, age apots, liver spots, freckles or splotching due to the consumption of birth control pills or dull skin texture and colour, chemical peels are effective treatment methods. It is also good to note that chemical peeling can also be seen as a cost-effective solution for those who are currently undergoing other treatment modalities such as lasers for a skin rejuvenation purposes. Chemical peels are also more beneficial than beautician facials, in terms of skin rejuvenation and as an adjunct to acne treatment.

What should I know about Chemical Peels?

Chemical peels were developed and should be performed by a dermatologist, rather than an aesthetician or a beautician. Find out more about what a dermatologist is here. A thorough evaluation is imperative before embarking upon a chemical peel. In Singapore, if you are not a medical doctor, you will not have access to prescription strength chemical peels which actually work. Hence, it is not recommended to visit beauty parlors or aestheticians who offer chemical peels that either may be dangerous (it should only be performed under medical supervision) or provide not much benefit.

After a chemical peel, one’s skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun. It is pertinent to avoid overexposing the areas that have been treated with chemical peels to the sun as the new skin is fragile and more susceptible to complications. It is advised to protect your skin from the sun with an application of sunscreen and minimising direct contact with the sun by wearing hats or seeking shade with umbrellas.

To prevent any side effects, visit an accredited dermatologist for your chemical peels. Dermatologists will prescribe the proper follow-up care to reduce the tendencies of skin discolouration.

What to expect during a Chemical Peel?

The eye area is protected during the chemical peel and skin is first thoroughly cleansed to remove excess oils. During the procedure, one or more chemical solutions such as glycolic acids are used. As the chemical solution comes into contact with the skin, most patients would experience a warm sensation which lasts about three to seven minutes. Depending on the indication for the peel,  the dermatologist will select the proper chemical peel agent and apply the selected solution to  the skin. As these applications produce a controlled environment whereby a small amount of damage is induced on the skin, to trigger off new collagen formation.

What to expect after a chemical treatment?

Patients usually experience a reaction similar to a sunburn. There generally is no downtime beyond  superficial peeling of the skin which presents as redness and mild flaking. See your skin become less greasy, more radiant and healthy after your first peel!

© 2017 twlskin.com. All rights reserved.

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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Effective Hair Loss Treatments? A Dermatologist’s View

October 10, 2017

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Hair loss at any age affects one’s self confidence and esteem. It may also lead to depression and anxiety, conditions that affect work productivity and fitness. Unfortunately, way too many hair loss sufferers go an entire merry-go-round of trichologists, medi-spas, scalp treatments by aestheticians, hair salons before deciding to see a dermatologist, by which time a lot of their hair (and money) has already been lost. In this article, I start by tackling the commonest misconceptions of hair loss, what causes hair loss and finally, any treatments that are effective for hair loss.

If you are an expatriate that’s recently found yourself losing hair after moving to a new city, you are not alone. I have met many patients who are convinced that since moving to hot and humid Singapore they have started losing their crowning glory. Some attribute this to work stress, or the stress of relocation overall. Many report similar experiences from online forums and friends who have developed hair fall since moving to Singapore, with all sorts of speculations including water supply issues. So if you’ve moved to a new city recently, started experiencing hair fall, fret not because I hope to debunk some myths from a dermatologist viewpoint on hair loss happening to many mid-life career professionals.

1. Commonest Misconceptions of Hair Loss

It’s not in the water, the wrong shampoo or hair care 

Hair loss is not linked to using an inappropriate shampoo. Using organic or baby shampoos doesn’t help hair loss problems either. How shampoos work is by means of lathering agents, like sodium or ammonium-laureth sulfate which grab dirt, grime, bacteria and oil from scalp and hair. and the foam is then rinsed off with water. The so-called degreasing shampoos are those that contain higher amounts of Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). Water, as long as it is potable, should not affect the condition of your scalp or hair. Unsanitary water not complying with WHO guidelines could be teeming with bacteria which is a different case.

Chemical hair treatments causes hair loss by breakage only, not from the roots 

Bleaching, perming, rebonding and dyeing hair all count as chemical treatments that alter the structure and the bonds of the hair to change its appearance. Essentially, these chemical processes damage the hair shaft, leading to parts of the hair shaft being broken off and causing hair loss by breakage. If you have bleached or permed hair, you should adopt grooming practices such as a wide-toothed comb and soft bristled brush using gentle detangling motions rather than harsh combing which can result in even more breakage.

2. Hair loss problems are best treated by an accredited dermatologist

A google search on “hair loss treatment” throws up myriad trichology, herbal aesthetic and medi-spa centres offering solutions to treat all scalp and hair problems. As a patient once remarked “ I wish I had known to see a dermatologist earlier for my hair loss.” Before I go on, lets first qualify what counts as hair loss. Anything between 60–100 strands of hair a day falls within the normal range but if you are used to losing say 30–50 strands usually and suddenly notice an increase in hair fall, that’s something to be alert to. Some symptoms: more hair in the drain, floor, on combs and the pillowcase. Ladies may notice having a wider parting and a thinner ponytail. Do you have a family member suffering from hair loss? Be alert to early symptoms of hair loss and seek a dermatologist’s advice for prompt diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

3. It’s not always the stress. Some other causes of hair loss 

In my practice, some of my hair loss patients come to me with their own lists of diagnoses of medical conditions that lead to hair loss, usually from a medical website that isn’t written for the layperson. Some research on forums and beauty websites which may boast causes and cures of hair loss which is simply unscientific.

If you’ve just had a stressful period such as relocation or adjusting to a new job, you may be experiencing telogen effluvium, which is when scalp hair is pushed to the end of the growth cycle and falls out, typically 3 months after the stressful event. Illnesses such as high fever, viral infections and crash dieting can cause telogen effluvium.

Male and Female Pattern Hair loss is one of the commonest causes of genetic hair loss, due to the hormone testosterone, and is also known as androgenetic alopecia. This is likely if you have a family member with hair loss, especially at an early age.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, the cause of it is unknown although there is some evidence that it is influenced by one’s genetics as well. This is a non-scarring type of hair loss that results in multiple patches of hair loss, and can be effectively treated with steroid injections and oral medications.

Bacterial infections of the scalp, such as scalp folliculitis, more severe forms known as dissecting cellulitis and folliculitis decalvans cause scarring hair loss if left untreated.

Excessively tight hairstyles on the hair such as corn-braiding and tight pony-tails can cause a form of hair loss known as traction alopecia.

Some medications can also cause hair loss, for example, anti-cancer drugs and anticoagulants can cause hair loss.

4. Do you have other scalp symptoms?

Do you have itch, redness or pain on your scalp? An undiagnosed inflammatory scalp disease such as seborrheic dermatitis, scalp eczema or psoriasis can be responsible.

Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by a yeast known as malessezia furfur in an individual with excess production of oil and can be worse in tropical and humid climates such as Singapore. Malessezia under normal conditions does not cause disease of the skin or scalp. Under humid environments, it can cause moderate to severe scalp inflammation and flaking and when it is severe, even hair loss. If you have tried over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos and are not better, promptly seek the care of an accredited dermatologist rather than self medicate or DIY.

Scalp eczema, an excessively dry scalp/skin condition is another cause of scalp inflammation. If one has a family history of psoriasis, scalp psoriasis can also cause scaling on the scalp similar to dandruff.

If you had contact with a cat or dog with ringworm -infection, have your scalp and skin checked by a dermatologist. Animals carry a type of fungal infection known as dermatophyte infections which are contagious. This type of scalp inflammation is commoner in children and presents as a red, scaly and itchy patch with hair loss.

Hair loss can occur due to one or more of these factors. Dermatologists evaluate by taking a thorough history, a physical examination and may recommend laboratory tests and microscopic tests before diagnosis. They also are trained to distinguish between scarring alopecia, a permanent type of hair loss, and may also offer a scalp biopsy, for a microscopic samples of the scalp.

5. Risks of not getting prompt medical treatment 

I had a patient who had spent over two decades on numerous hair and scalp treatments promising to treat hair loss until a colleague recommended her to see a dermatologist instead. By the time she had come to see me, she had lost about 50% of her natural hair ( she was only in her mid-thirties).

A lot of people are not even aware that dermatologists are the specialists in treating scalp and hair problems, including hair loss. In the case of the patient above, while her hair loss did get better, she turned out to be having a combination of telogen effluvium, scalp inflammation from seborrheic dermatitis as well as underlying genetic hair loss, known as female pattern hair loss. Her treatment was gradual, as over such a long period of time her hair follicles had undergone miniaturisation, meaning that she had an advanced stage of hair loss. Compared to if she had sought appropriate medical treatment, which could mean overall a slower, or less optimised outcome with treatment.

6. What treatments are available?

When it comes to hair regrowth treatments, it is important to follow evidence-based methods of encouraging hair growth. Light treatments, such as red light and yellow light, used in combination with active ingredients such as minoxidil and copper peptides, have evidence that supports hair re-growth. However, the more important issue is not to dismiss hair loss as a cosmetic concern as severe underlying medical conditions like lupus( an autoimmune disease), chronic illnesses, thyroid disease, anemia are causes of hair loss and needs to be medically treated. A trained dermatologist differentiates both non-scarring and scarring alopecia, the latter is irreversible hair loss that can be promptly diagnosed and requires medical treatment.

7.What is the outcome like?

Most cases of hair loss are age-related and due to androgenetic alopecia ( influenced by the hormone testosterone). Such cases have a strong genetic component and early detection, prevention measures can help retard hair loss. Discuss with your dermatologist what options are available, especially if you are aware of a strong family history of hair loss at an early age.

Mild scalp inflammation caused by scalp folliculitis, psoriasis, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis do not cause hair loss. However, if uncontrolled, it can force the hair growth cycle into telogen effluvium which is the cause of hair loss that occurs after a major illness. These conditions are all fully treatable with medications and should be diagnosed promptly to prevent worsening which may eventually lead to hair loss. For other causes of hair loss such as alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder affecting the immune system whereby hair follicles are destroyed, it appears as round patches of hair loss and can be treated in early stages effectively with steroid injections. Left ignored, such may progress and require oral steroids for control. Some causes of hair loss result in scarring, whereby the hair follicle is destroyed and may not regrow. Such cases when treated early have better prognosis and outcome. Examples include folliculitis decalvans, which is a severe form of type of scalp folliculitis, leading to constant inflammation and infection. Tinea capitis is a contagious fungal scalp infection generally affecting younger children that can lead to scarring hair loss if untreated.

If you have an underlying more serious health problem such as hyper or hypothyroidism, an autoimmune disorder or anemia, hair loss may sometimes be the first presenting symptom. Your dermatologist will evaluate if a blood test is necessary to detect such conditions.

© 2017. Dr. Teo Wan Lin. All rights reserved.

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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, founder and Specialist Consultant Dermatologist of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, an accredited dermatologist specialising in medical and aesthetic dermatology. She integrates her artistic sensibility with her research background and specialist dermatologist training, by means of customised, evidence-based aesthetic treatments using state-of the-art machines, injectables (fillers and toxins) which work synergistically with her proprietary line of specialist dermatologist grade cosmeceuticals Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Explaining Laser Therapy by a Dermatologist

October 7, 2017

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What is Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy is the use of different invisible wavelengths of light to stimulate distinct layers of skin in order to rejuvenate and anti-age skin. Pigmented lesions can also be effectively removed with specific lasers that cause crusting and stimulate pigment cells (known as melanocytes) to disseminate.

Who is Laser Therapy for?

Laser Therapy is indicated for the following skin concerns.

 

What should I know about Laser Therapy?

Non ablative lasers differ from regular forms of laser therapy. Instead of heating and removing the top skin tissue, non-ablative or non-wounding lasers work beneath the surface skin layer. They aim to improve skin texture and tone and minimize fine lines present with minimal side effects and recovery down time. Primarily used to treat facial skin rejuvenation and acne scars, according to a patient’s skin type and condition, non ablative laser therapies computer-control the parameters of light energy delivered from light-based devices.

© 2017 twlskin.com. All rights reserved.

—–

Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, founder and Specialist Consultant Dermatologist of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, an accredited dermatologist specialising in medical and aesthetic dermatology. She integrates her artistic sensibility with her research background and specialist dermatologist training, by means of customised, evidence-based aesthetic treatments using state-of the-art machines, injectables (fillers and toxins) which work synergistically with her proprietary line of specialist dermatologist grade cosmeceuticals Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

Singapore Dermatologist Demystifies Hair Loss Treatments

October 3, 2017

By Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Consultant Dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre

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In my practice, I have seen many men and women who are beset with hair loss, which can occur at any age and is extremely distressing. It is unfortunate that many go the route of medi-spas and scalp treatments by aestheticians before deciding to see a dermatologist, by which time a lot of their hair has already been lost.

I’ve also seen so many expatriates who are convinced that only since moving to hot and humid( and stressful) Singapore they have started developing scalp problems and hair loss. Also with stories that their friends have developed the same issues since moving to Singapore, leading some to even conclude that the water supply must be the cause. So if you’ve moved to Singapore recently, started having hair fall and feeling panicky, fret not because I’m about to share some top dermatologist tips (the first of a series) on hair loss happening on this sunny island. Ever since the media brouhaha about certain hair loss treatment centres’ tactics on selling beleaguered customers their “anti- hair loss” packages, I’ve been wanting to share my dermatologist expertise on this troubling topic, hoping it will help many out there who are searching for an answer to their hair loss woes. So I’ve decided to pen down some the top tips dermatologists offer to hair loss patients in a series, starting with the first.

1. Hair loss is not caused by a wrong shampoo, hair care products or even water supplies

Hair loss is not caused by using the wrong kind of shampoo. Period. The science of all shampoos is that it contains lathering agents, like sodium or ammonium-laureth sulfate based detergents, in varying proportions, to grab dirt, grime, bacteria and oil from the surface of the scalp and hair and the foam is then rinsed off with water. The ones which promise to degrease and deep-cleanse are simply those that contain higher proportions of Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). Put simply, all shampoos perform a similar function and the main difference would really be how well they cleanse the scalp without drying out hair ends.

It is a total myth that what’s in your water (assuming we are speaking about potable water in the first place) can affect the condition of your scalp. Unsanitary water would be teeming with bacteria so using that on any part of one’s body can indeed increase chances of infections but that’s never the case in Singapore. Hence there’s no possibility that the water you are using to shower is causing your hair loss and there’s also no need to spend extra money on specially treated water for showering!

2. Chemical hair treatments like rebonding, perming and bleaching can cause hair loss, but a specific kind

It’s a question that almost every patient with hair loss asks me, “ Is my hair loss caused by bleaching my hair last year?” The truth is bleaching is detrimental for the hair shaft( which is made from keratin, a dead material) but unless one has an allergic reaction ( i.e. allergic or irritant contact dermatitis ) due to the bleaching agent that occurs on the scalp( which is the “living component” where the hair follicles are), bleaching itself should not cause hair to fall out from the roots, which is true hair loss. What bleaching and other chemical treatments i.e.perming, rebonding, hair dyes, actually does is to alter the structure and the bonds of the hair via chemical reactions so that it’s appearance is changed. Essentially, these chemical processes damage the hair shaft, leading to parts of the hair shaft being broken off and causing hair loss by breakage. If you have bleached or permed hair, you should adopt grooming practices such as a wide-toothed comb and soft bristled brush using gentle detangling motions rather than harsh combing which can result in even more breakage.

3. Certain hairstyles can trigger and worsen hair loss

Do you always tie your hair in a tight bun or pony tail? If you find your hairline receding or are experiencing tightness or even a headache around your hairline at the end of the day, beware. Dermatologists counsel that wearing such hairstyles persistently can cause a form of hair loss known as traction alopecia, whereby continued pulling and pressure over the hair roots causes the hair follicles to weaken, miniaturise and if over an extremely long period of time, even die. If you are having hair loss concerns, use a scrunchie or a hair tie that does not rip at the hair or tie it overly tightly. You may want to keep a shorter hairstyle while your hair loss concern is addressed by your dermatologist.

© 2017 Dr. Teo Wan Lin. All rights reserved.

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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, founder and Specialist Consultant Dermatologist of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, an accredited dermatologist specialising in medical and aesthetic dermatology. She integrates her artistic sensibility with her research background and specialist dermatologist training, by means of customised, evidence-based aesthetic treatments using state-of the-art machines, injectables (fillers and toxins) which work synergistically with her proprietary line of specialist dermatologist grade cosmeceuticals Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.

 

Why Your Dermatologist Would Recommend Soft tissue fillers

October 3, 2017

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What are soft tissue fillers?

Soft tissue fillers are injectables that aim to reduce wrinkles, hollows, and furrows or “plump up” or the skin to give the skin a smoother and more pleasing appearance. Derived from either natural or synthetic substance, these fillers are effective at contouring specific areas of the face, such as around the lips and mouth, and correcting depressions and scars.

Who are soft tissue fillers for?

Each filler product is designed for different purposes and effects. For those looking to correct wrinkles, enhance their lips through volume augmentation, correct thin, superficial lines around the eyes, mouth and forehead area, looking to contour the areas around their chin and cheeks area and correct deep folds, soft tissue fillers are an effective treatment method.

What should I know about soft tissue fillers?

Soft tissue fillers come in two forms — natural and synthetic. Synthetic fillers are often a popular choice as they produce immediate results and have a lasting effect in comparison to natural fillers. This is because synthetic fillers are derived from animal and non-animal stabilised hyaluronic acid complex. The sugar chains in these complex are often stabilised for a longer period of time, resulting a lasting effect on the skin when treated with soft tissue fillers. As soft tissue filler are able to create volume for wrinkle, facial folds, lips and lines treatments, you are able to see immediate results.

What are the side effects of soft tissue fillers?

With recent technological breakthroughs, new synthetic and natural filler substances have been created to reduce side effects such as allergic reactions, redness and occasional bruising, swelling, itching, minor lumps, or tenderness which usually resolves quickly. However that being said, one should be wary of the mentioned side effects and consult a dermatologist immediately.

What to expect from the treatment?

The duration of the treatment usually lasts nothing more than 30 minutes. Prior to the procedure, nerve blocks and local anesthetic creams could be used to minimize discomfort occurring during the procedure. An accredited and trained dermatologist will examine your face and then determine an exact location to inject the fillers to achieve optimal results.

Depending on the areas that are being treated, the depth of the lines, the condition of the skin and the lifestyle of the individual, soft tissue fillers can last up to approximately one year. For optimal results, patients may get their fillers topped up every six to nine months, or an alternative combination regime involving lasers can be discussed with your dermatologist for maintenance.

© 2017 twlskin.com. All rights reserved.

—–

Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.

To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email appt@twlskin.com. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.