Tag Archive: dermatologist

Are Wait Times Necessary in My Skincare Routine?

November 21, 2018

Are you wondering if it is necessary to incorporate a ‘wait time’ between each step of your skincare regime? Read on as we ask a dermatologist, Dr Teo Wan Lin, to find out.

1. Do you agree with the ‘waiting time’ skincare routine method? If so, why? If no, why?

From a dermatologist’s perspective, a skincare routine does not need ‘waiting time’. How well a product is absorbed by the skin depends on the active ingredient and the formulation of the product. It has to be cosmetically acceptable; asking someone to apply a heavy ointment in a humid climate like Singapore is unacceptable.

The ease of absorption is often perceived by users as how quickly the product disappears into the skin. However, this is not an accurate indicator of how well the product is functioning or if it is better absorbed than others.

There is a certain logic to layering your products. For ease of application, I recommend applying the lightest product, such as your serums, followed by lotion and lastly your cream or oilment.

In theory, so long as the product is applied onto the skin, the active ingredient will be absorbed by the skin. Yet, the perception of ease of absorption is subjective, simply because in a humid climate, users may not feel heavier creams are being absorbed even when it is already having an effect on your skin.

It is more important to consider the active ingredient of the product and how comfortable it goes to the skin rather than the waiting time.

2. There are clearly several steps to this ‘waiting time’ skincare routine method that is recommended, but is it even possible for our skin to absorb so much product? How much product are we able to absorb? Does it differ from person to person?  

In my line of cosmeceuticals, we also advocate layering. Certain active ingredients are better delivered in a serum rather than lotion/cream as it is more effective. As long as one is applying products that are accurately formulated with evidence-based science such as in a dermatologist tested line, the active ingredients will be delivered to the skin and the user can enjoy its therapeutic benefit.

Instead of relying on ‘waiting time’, users can focus on how to enhance absorption of their product. A tip I tell my patients often is to apply skincare right after a shower, when the skin is slightly damp as it helps to enhance the skin’s ability to absorb the product.

Also, rather than considering the amount of product our skin is able to absorb, the more relevant question is to consider the environmental humidity and the formulation of product (cream/serum/ointment). The absorption of product is subjective on the environmental humidity.

Someone who applies an ointment will receive the therapeutic benefit of the medication but will not feel the product is being absorbed due to the greasy layer that is left on the skin. Consider again someone who applies a serum that contains nothing but the simplest of moisturizers, say glycerin. The user will feel this serum is very well-absorbed by the skin simply because it evaporates into the air.

3. What are the key steps/products/and or habits one should have to maintain a good complexion?

I always advocate proper skin cleansing. Most women do wear makeup. Yet, many makeup removers contain harsh astringents that can disrupt the skin barrier. Leaving behind makeup residue is also not desirable as it can cause bacteria and grime to build up, especially in our humid climate. For this reason, I always advocate the double cleansing method, such as with the Milk Cleanser and Honey Cleanser, for a thorough cleanse.

The second thing I would advocate is the use of cosmeceutical serums. The two must-have serums are Hyaluronic Acid serum and a stabilised Vitamin C serum. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin to retain moisture whilst Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that helps to fight free radical damage.

One should also never forget sun protection. Your sunscreen should have UVA/B filters, an SPF of 30 to 50, and broad-spectrum protection. Above all that, a good sunscreen should contain antioxidants too. Another key thing is the amount of sunscreen applied, as people often apply too little sunblock needed. Reapplication every 3 to 4 hours is also advocated, especially when one is outdoors.

4. Do you feel that there are any skincare hacks out there that actually work?

Skincare ‘hacks’ can be dangerous as the skin is our largest organ and should be respected. There are no shortcuts to maintaining the health of your skin. When you visit a dermatologist, we often share with you the use of cosmeceuticals and retinoids for anti-ageing. Cosmetic procedures such as lasers are also available to help reverse effects of skin ageing.

A tip that everyone can abide by is to have a good diet rich in antioxidants, adopt a healthy lifestyle that has a sufficient amount of physical activity and to get adequate sleep every night.

© 2018 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.
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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an 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.

Why See a Dermatologist?

May 29, 2018

 

What is a dermatologist?

A dermatologist (skin specialist) is a qualified medical specialist who has obtained qualifications to specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin, nail and hair diseases. Dermatologists are trained in cosmetic skin problems and aesthetic procedures. Only doctors listed as dermatologists by the Ministry of Health are recognised dermatologists. Cosmetic lasers, treatments, botulinum toxin and filler injections were developed by dermatologists. Aesthetic doctors are not skin specialists, they are family practitioners(GPs) who need to be accredited by the Dermatological Society of Singapore to carry out these procedures. Having a diploma in dermatology (Dip Derm) or a diploma in family practice dermatology (Dip FP Dermatology) does not qualify a doctor to be a dermatologist.

— Dermatological Society of Singapore

In this article, we break down some common FAQ, tips that have helped our patients and media friends navigate their way in their skincare journey with us. We hope it can help you to make the right decision about the health of your skin.  Find an accredited dermatologist here.

 

  1.       What can a dermatologist tell you that an “aesthetic doctor” can’t about your skin?

There are a few layers to answering this question actually. Firstly, there is actually no such thing as an aesthetic doctor, either a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or a general practitioner as aesthetic medicine is not considered a medical speciality.

The public should refer to the Singapore Medical Council guidelines with regards to the “aesthetic doctor” label, which actually is not an approved qualification or title, as the practice of “aesthetic medicine” is actually the realm of specialist dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Procedures such as chemical peels and lasers, botulinum toxin and fillers re developed and used by dermatologists, but are increasingly practised by non-dermatologists such as general practitioners (GP, family practice doctors). Having a diploma in dermatology (Dip Derm) or a diploma in family practice dermatology (Dip FP Dermatology) does not qualify a doctor to be a dermatologist. In Singapore, GPs require additional Certifications of Competency (COC) to carry out such treatments in Singapore, which is administered by the Dermatological Society of Singapore.(Source: Dermatological Society of Singapore)

So the real question should be.. what a GP who offers treatment for dermatological conditions can’t tell you, compared to a dermatologist.

A dermatologist (skin specialist) is a qualified medical specialist who, through additional years of special training, has obtained qualifications to specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin, nail and hair diseases affecting persons of all ages. Dermatologists are also trained in cosmetic skin problems and aesthetic procedures. In Singapore, to qualify as a dermatologist, a doctor needs to obtain a post-graduate degree in general internal medicine or paediatrics which may take up to 5 years before acceptance into a full-time dermatology training programme in a recognised dermatological institute lasting 3 years. At the end of this training, the Ministry of Health certifies the doctor as a dermatologist. Only doctors listed as dermatologists by the Ministry of Health are recognised dermatologists.

Dermatologists are experts in the treatment of skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin infections, skin allergy, skin cancers and hair loss. Dermatologists also treat all kinds of cosmetic problems of the skin and provide advice on skin health. Special treatments such as surgery for skin cancers and pre-cancerous skin conditions, the use of ultraviolet light therapy, laser therapy, intense pulsed light (IPL), radio-frequency therapy, botulinum toxin and filler injections and hair transplantations are also carried out by dermatologists. In fact, many cosmetic lasers and treatments were initially developed by dermatologists.

At the end of the day, be it in skin or other specialities, the public should just be discerning as to the qualifications of the doctor, and what a medical specialist accredited by the Ministry of Health is trained to do for specialised conditions, as long as they are not misled to believe that they are seeing a skin or an aesthetic specialist when they are seeing a general practitioner.

 

  1.   “Aesthetic Doctors (General practitioners) and Dermatologists – Are treatments offered the same?

The practice of medicine is really as much an art as well as a science, meaning that while many general practitioners would say they have experience treating say dermatological conditions in the family practice setting, there is a real difference in training, knowledge and experience of a dermatologist. A specialist dermatologist takes additional years (at least 5 years) and goes through specialist accreditation managing complex medical and cosmetic dermatology conditions as well as complications associated with treatment. Certainly, for straightforward cases of any medical condition, family practice doctors are able to treat but would not be able to distinguish or diagnose conditions as accurately as a specialist dermatologist.

 

  1. Tell me about an example where it mattered to see a qualified dermatologist

         A case study in point: Adult Patient with pimples

If you are an adult and still struggle with pimples, then be warned your case would not be as simple as the on-off breakouts that teenagers have, which is physiological acne. Both would respond to some degree to conventional acne medication such as topical and oral antibiotics but would have a limited effectiveness if the true underlying cause is not considered. There may be a much more serious underlying medical condition, for example.

When acne persists into adulthood, dermatologists are trained to consider and work with specialist gynaecologists to diagnose and rule out secondary factors such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is associated with irregularities of the menstrual cycle, excess facial hair growth, weight gain as well as acne, which is actually treated most effectively with a hormonal contraceptive pill. Dermatologists would also perform adjunctive treatments like chemical peels for a quick response, to remove existing blackheads (open comedones)  and whiteheads( closed comedones) and reduce the appearance of scars. While one may wonder if the beautician or aesthetic doctor could perform the same peel, be warned that if you struggle with sensitive dry yet acne prone skin, your condition could get much worse when it is not managed by an accredited dermatologist. The choice and duration of the chemical peel (concentration, composition and source) are operator dependent.

In addition, your dermatologist may suggest that chemical peels may not be suitable for you at all if you have underlying facial eczema, and may treat your eczema at the same time as acne. Anecdotally, I have had experience with patients who attended my clinic and were purportedly recommended with “oxygen facials” by “aesthetic doctors” for their sensitive skin for years. They actually were diagnosed with facial eczema, which is a medical condition managed by dermatologists. There is no evidence for using oxygen facials or any type of “facials” to treat facial eczema and in fact, could worsen the condition. If left untreated, it could spread and lead to severe infections and scarring.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an 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.

 

The Beauty Routine for Bridal Skin

March 25, 2018

Planning for your big day? Yes, you have finally found your dress, and you are beyond ecstatic. Only to be bogged down with issues about the wedding venue, sending invitations, your flowers and finding suitable photographers. Nevertheless, don’t let all the stress get to you, and your skin! You would certainly want to walk down the altar with glowing radiant skin after all, so here’s a guide to prep your skin just in time for your D-Day.

When it comes to wedding beauty, women tend to get more hardworking with their regular masking and night-time routines. Changing your beauty routine two or three months before your big day can give you ample time for your skin to reach its optimal condition. Apart from religiously looking after your skin, keep a lookout for your lifestyle habits. Start exercising, take regular meals, and cut down on the alcohol. Make sure you are sleeping well; a lack of sleep will certainly play no help in skin recovery.

Treat those dark spots and wrinkles with a chemical peel

If a major skincare concern such as hyperpigmentation has been troubling you, visit a dermatologist to see what your options are. You can go for chemical peels to reduce the appearance of sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores and acne scars.

Performed by a dermatologist, a chemical peel treatment improves the appearance of the skin by gently stimulating the top layer of the skin cells by applying a solution made of fruit-derived acids. Such acids include alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, lactic and salicylic acid. This treatment can stimulate the skin to regenerate, revealing a taut, baby-smooth skin.

Chemical peels are more cost-effective compared to other treatments such as lasers, and more beneficial for the skin than beautician facials. A thorough evaluation is required before proceeding with a chemical peel. It is not recommended to undergo chemical peels with aestheticians or beauticians. In Singapore, only medical doctors have access to the prescription-level peel strength required to allow results.

Consult your dermatologist for an assessment for a chemical peel treatment plan catered for best results leading up to your wedding day. After the treatment, you may experience a reaction similar to sunburn where redness can be seen. Commence your chemical peel treatment plan at least three months prior to the wedding, for time buffer in particular, for your skin to be optimally renewed ahead of time and avoid any potential redness.

Common beauty concerns before a wedding include back and chest acne. Being in a wedding dress means your back and neck area will most likely be exposed. Acne at these areas as well as the face, may be well managed and controlled with chemical peels by your dermatologist, for your most radiant self to be presenting on the big day. Do avoid the sun as much as you can and stick to complete sun protection, such as sunscreen and sunglasses to reduce the sun damage.

Makeup may have varying results on camera, so it’s probably unwise to count on that to capture your best on the wedding day. To ensure that radiant glow on photos, a little more effort now on your skincare routine, could be a very worthwhile investment to yield super glowing and almost flawless (if not flawless) skin on camera on your big day.

Pre-wedding skincare routine at home

Go for a rich, nourishing serum like the Elixir-V™ Total Recovery Serum for hydrating, lifting and tightening of your face for the sculptured V-face look. Such a serum is perfect for pampering your face before your big day. The Larecea™ extract found in the serum supports skin regeneration and helps in reversing signs of aging. Hyaluronic acid is also included to preserve and replenish moisture, working to keep our skin hydrated. Antioxidants such as Resveratrol protects the skin against sun damage and lowers incidence of skin disorders. Infused in the Elixir-V™ is also Oligopeptides, which are essentially protein molecules that can help to repair and lift the skin, giving brides the perfect V-face look.

Vitamin C should also be an imperative component in your pre-wedding skincare regime. Try the Vitá C Gold™ Serum if you are guilty of living without Vitamin C previously, as a proprietary formulation with a super-stabilized form of Vitamin C that delivers more anti-oxidant efficacy than the conventional ascorbic acid which deteriorates quickly. Vitamin C is a superstar ingredient that helps fade pigmentation and uneven skin tone. The ability of this vitamin to aid the skin in healing and resist acne, keeps it a top favourite ingredient, and you can also bid farewell to errant sun spots and scars from your youth. It also protects skin cells from damage, keeping the skin healthy and bright for your wedding day.

Other miscellaneous tips you will need

It’s a proud moment, and you have the right to flaunt it. Everyone will be throwing glances at your rings, so ransack your vanity drawers for that spare hand cream you never used. Toss it in your hand bag and perhaps another on your bedside table. Start a habit of lathering your hand cream on, and that will be one problem crossed off the list.

And if you are rocking a backless wedding dress, you would want to keep your back acne far away. It can be nerve-racking, but if you start a regimen early, you can still bring back the sexy back. Apply a minimum SPF30 sunscreen liberally, as clothing does not block all the UV light. Keep your sunscreen lightweight with like the SunProtector™ to avoid the greasy feel whilst ensuring that the sun does not cause more damage or breakouts. For mild acne, even on the back, commencing a diligent skincare routine with cosmeceuticals could yield very tangible results ahead of your wedding day. For best results and in cases of more severe acne, however, consult your dermatologist for peels, topicals and a complete treatment plan to help in skin renewal, to unclog pores and reduce back acne.

Lastly, to avoid looking greasy on camera, dust some good setting powder to limit the shine while still keeping the glow.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an 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.

 

A Dermatologist’s Guide to Skin Resurfacing

February 9, 2018

What is skin resurfacing?

Regardless of the technique employed, skin resurfacing is a form of controlled, targeted injury to your skin. By stimulating your skin to heal from the injury, the new skin cells that form after would be smoother, tighter and more youthful. Skin resurfacing can be achieved through different techniques to treat different aspects of skin damage and conditions, mainly laser, dermabrasion and chemical peels.

Are you suitable for skin resurfacing?

These treatments can help skin that suffers from acne, damage from sun exposure, ageing effects, hyperpigmentation, scars and wrinkles. Any skin condition that you wish to treat likely has an appropriate treatment at your dermatologist, go for a professional diagnosis before having any skin resurfacing treatments done.

Chemical Peel

Before the peel, your face will be cleansed thoroughly to remove oil and to prep the skin for penetration. A gentle, medically formulated milk/fruit acid solution is applied, which removes the epidermis layer, allowing the acid to penetrate into the first layer of the dermis. Various acids can be used in different combinations to remove the surface layer of the skin. Note not all acids are the same nor are all chemical peels the same, best to have an accredited dermatologist assess and recommend the most suitable peel for your skin.

According to Dr Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she says: “A chemical peel removes the damaged epidermis to reveal a brighter complexion. You may experience a warm sensation after the chemical application, and stinging when the peel is removed. Depending on the concentration of acids used, you may need some time to recover before resuming activities.”

Dermabrasion

To smoothen scars and wrinkles, dermabrasion is a surgical technique that uses anesthesia and/or a freezing agent before smoothening skin surface irregularities. With a high-speed rotating brush, the surface layer of the skin will be removed till ideal results are obtained.

Laser Resurfacing

A wand is passed over your skin and emits a pulse of high-intensity light to damage the surface layers of the skin. The different invisible wavelengths of light stimulates various layers of skin for rejuvenation. Shield goggles will be provided to protect your eyes during the treatment.

Two types of lasers are commonly used in laser resurfacing: carbon dioxide and erbium. Both lasers work to vaporize damaged skin cells in the epidermis.

What can I expect after the treatment?

Follow-up care is essential to ensure a smooth progress for skin healing and resurfacing. Patients may experience uneven pigmentation of the skin at the treated area after the treatment, but this effect will subside when the skin restores its original level of pigment. Meanwhile, sunscreen is an absolute must to protect the skin as chemical peels along with other resurfacing treatments will render your skin temporarily more sensitive to the sun. At this stage, it is also imperative to use skincare catered for sensitive skin, which are dermatologist-tested, to mitigate risk of irritation and flare ups during the course of recovery post-treatment.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

—–

Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an 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.

Explaining Hair Loss by a Singapore Dermatologist

January 19, 2018
Hair loss (alopecia) can be a major source of distress and is a common problem.
 
Is my hair loss normal?
 
We may experience changes to our hair such as hair loss or thinning as we age, so be sure to distinguish the difference between normal changes and alopecia. 100-150 hair strands lost in a day is normal and they usually show up when you brush your comb through or after washing your hair.
 
Bald patches on your scalp or more than 150 strands a day can be classified as abnormal hair loss.
 
The hair cycle
 
Normal hair grows through a hair cycle that has three stages. The growth phase, or the anagen phase, is the longest phase of the hair cycle, with 80 to 90% of the hair on our scalp in this phase. In the next stage called the catagen phase, the hair bulb detaches from the blood supply and is pushed from the scalp. In the last stage, the telogen phase, shedding occurs as the hair is released, leaving behind an empty follicle.
 
Each hair follicle is independent, going through the cycle at different stages as the other hairs. Hair problems occur when there is a disruption in the hair cycle.
 
How do I diagnose alopecia?
 
According to Dr Teo Wan Lin, accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she says: “There are two major forms of hair loss – scarring or non-scarring alopecia. If follicular orifices are absent on the scalp, and the underlying scalp has a shiny white color, the hair loss is scarring. Follicular orifice is the opening of a hair follicle on the surface of the skin. If follicular orifices are present, it is a form of non-scarring alopecia.”
 
Non-scarring hair loss is the loss of hair without any presence of scarring in the scalp. Scarring alopecia leaves scar tissues on the scalp and may show signs of inflammation, redness or swelling.
 
Another common type of hair fall problem is androgenetic alopecia, or female/male pattern hair loss. Patients with androgenetic alopecia have high levels of androgen, a type of steroid hormone. Effects of androgen include miniaturisation of hair follicles by increasing the rate of cell division, shortening the hair cycle and increasing the duration of the telogen phase.
 
How can I treat my hair fall problem?
 
A multifaceted approach is recommended, as there are likely to be multiple factors that cause your hair condition.
 
For topical agents, either a minoxidil solution or ketoconazole shampoo can counter female/male pattern hair loss. Oral ketoconazole has anti-androgen effects, while topical ketoconazole can suppress androgen activity. Minoxidil shortens the telogen phase, and increases the duration of growth phase.
 
Low-level light treatments, in combination with active ingredients such as minoxidil and copper peptide can encourage hair growth by triggering inactive follicles or increasing blood flow to follicles.
 
Any tips on hair loss problems?
 
Avoid combing your hair when it is wet, as wet hair is most subject to trauma. Hair should only be combed when mostly dried with a wide-toothed comb. Also, the less that is done to thinning hair, the better. Stay away from bleaching, rebonding or perming your hair to reduce damage done.
 
Dermatologists also specialize in treating scalp and hair problems, so head to your dermatologist if your hair condition deteriorates.

Anti-Ageing Eye Treatment with Nitrogen Plasma Technology

January 1, 2018

 

 

As a dermatologist, one of the first signs of ageing I observe shows in the eye area, what we call the peri-orbital or peri-ocular region. The commonest complaints I hear from my patients old or young are “Is there anything I can do for my eye bags, dark circles and eye wrinkles?” This is tricky because while so many spas, medi-spas, aesthetics providers and skincare companies confidently brag about their treatments erasing eye wrinkles and waving eyebags goodbye,  I often have to burst bubbles in my clinic when I tell my concerned patients their hopes may be misplaced in  a single miracle product which probably doesn’t exist.

In my practice, I use a multi-dimensional approach to work the aged eye area— a combination of skin resurfacing (plasma nitrogen over laser for sensitive areas such as the eye region), injectables like botulinum toxins, dysport and Botox. This, in conjunction with an eye cream that I formulate for my patients to use on a daily basis for before and after care, with specific active ingredients to brighten, tighten, moisturise and anti-age periorbital skin, besides being tested for safety and efficacy to complement medical aesthetics treatments around the eye area.

Men and women alike are affected by concerns of ageing and looking older, there’s nothing vain about wanting to look like a younger version of one’s self. In fact, it has been shown that your skin starts to age at around the age of 25. Main areas of wrinkles are at the forehead, nose, mouth and especially around the eyes. Eye wrinkles are often noticed first and more evident as the skin in this area is thinner, making it susceptible to wrinkling. Regardless of gender, you are prone to getting wrinkles so start taking care of your skin to maintain your youthful appearance!

 

What is Plasma Skin Regeneration?

It is a non-laser treatment that uses a device to convert nitrogen gas into plasma energy, to rejuvenate skin by improving facial lines, wrinkles and pigmentation caused by photoaging. This technology offers a wide variety of single pulse energy levels with different options of frequency that can most efficiently improve the precision of plasma delivery. This function allows accurate temperature irradiation to drastically improve topical drug delivery for a variety of dermatological indicators. Personalisation of settings to cater to different patients is available, as patients’ skin conditions differ in terms of downtime and receptivity to treatments. Through deep tissue re-modelling, the energy delivered by plasma skin regeneration is non-fractionated. This allows for even energy absorption, ensuring the consistency in treatments done to the skin. The high energy also supports significant skin tightening. With deep tissue re-modelling and accelerated healing, plasma skin regeneration usage is versatile and effective.

 

Plasma Delivery

  1. The handpiece first releases the nitrogen plasma pulses.
  2. This causes it to transfer thermal energy to the skin, allowing for controlled heating of the tissue.
  3. The controlled duration of the pulse and temperature then allows the treatment to happen optimally.
  4. This then leads to the possibility of treatments of many dermatological conditions due to the carefully controlled time frame.

 

Reliable Technology

Nitrogen plasma technology has been tested and backed by evidence. It has over 3 years of pre-clinical and clinical testing, 16 separate studies conducted, more than 450 clinical study treatments which proved to cause no scarring or pigmentation, and one year of clinical histology. This intense and detailed level of testing is uncommon in the industry, whilst clinically proven to perform skin resurfacing and regeneration using plasma energy.

Drug Delivery Effect

There are many treatable indicators like anti-aging effects, pore size reduction, wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, stretch marks reduction, acne scar reduction and more. However, one key effect is the drug delivery effect. When the skin is exposed to the nitrogen plasma, the permeability of the skin increases. This allows for better absorption of the drug, enhancing drug delivery and making the drug more effective during and after treatment.

 

Key Specialities

Advanced Technology

Plasma skin regeneration converts nitrogen gas into the fourth state of matter, plasma energy. It then emerges from the handpiece in controlled pulses and causes rapid heating of tissue. This allows for the transmission of thermal energy to the tissue.

Minimal Damage

The treated photodamaged skin layers undergo controlled thermal modification without additional harm. This allows for speedy healing and a natural layer of protection for the skin. At high temperature and energy, the skin epidermis breaks down and sheds, but only after a new healthier skin layer forms beneath. Plasma skin regeneration is non-invasive and will not cause any open wounds.

Treats the Whole Skin Structure

Plasma skin regeneration can treat the entire skin structure. It ensures that the entire skin surface is regenerated and produces conditions favourable for optimal results. It is associated with neocollagenesis and neoelastogenesis. Neocollagenesis is the process of making more collagen while elastogenesis refers to the mechanisms that drive elastic fiber formation for our skin.

Ideal for Eyelids Treatment

The skin around our eyes, our eyelids, are especially sensitive and thinner than the rest of our skin. Thus, not all treatments are suitable to prevent eye wrinkles and eye bags. However, plasma skin regeneration, with its precision safety and efficacy, is suitable for treatment of the eyelids to reduce wrinkles and achieve an anti-aging effect, whereas previous technologies might be less safe for sensitive thin eyelid areas or even deliver inconsistent and ineffective results. In addition, due to the significant skin tightening effect from skin regeneration, deepening of the eyelids (with a look of deeper-set double eyelids) is also achieved.

Long Lasting Effects

Plasma skin regeneration has been proven to show neocollagenesis and reduce elastosis (abnormal elastic tissue in the skin which is a result of excessive sun exposure). Elastosis can cause your skin to have wrinkles and even pigmentation. The nitrogen plasma technology has post treatment effects that can last for more than a year.

 

With its reliable and advanced technology, plasma skin regeneration can produce anti-aging and long-lasting effects with its non-invasive methods, helping you to achieve a bright and youthful appearance.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an 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.

Acne Guide: Dermatologist Truths

December 23, 2017

 

What is acne?

Acne vulgaris is an epidermis inflammatory disease of the human sebaceous follicle and is a common dermatologic condition. Typically beginning in adolescence, it may persist into adulthood when left untreated.

How is acne developed?

The development of acne is not fully clarified, but it is agreed upon that the causes are multifactorial. A major cause of acne is related to a bacterium called Proprionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

As a bacterium that grows deep inside of pores, P. acnes feeds on the sebum produced by sebaceous glands surrounding the base of the hair shaft. P. acnes grows best in an environment with accumulated sebum. P. acnes uses sebum as an energy source, causing the breakdown of sebum by the bacterium to produce byproducts that are inflammatory.

According to Dr.Teo Wan Lin, a dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre, she says: “To combat this inflammation, your body releases destructive enzymes to fight the infection. This immune response can cause damage to surrounding skin cells and is responsible for symptoms observed in acne as it permanently damages the skin and leads to acne scars.”

What are the causes that trigger acne?

One major cause is our genetic predisposition. Other factors that aggravate acne include:

  • Oil-based cosmetics and facial massage
  • Medicates that promote acne development e.g. steroids, lithium and iodides
  • Food with a high glycemic number e.g. dairy products, candy
  • Severe anxiety or anger may aggravate acne as it can stimulate stress hormones

 

Where does acne occur?

Acne occurs most prominently at skin sites with high density of sebaceous glands e.g. the face, back and chest.

Are there different types of acne?

Generally, acne can be divided into comedones, cystic acne. Comedones are hair follicles that are formed by the blockage of pores with sebum, debris and dirt, causing the pore to become infected.

Open comedones are blackheads, caused by an overproduction and buildup of oil that is oxidized, thus explaining its blackish appearance. Closed comedones are whiteheads, where the follicle is blocked completely. As the opening to the skin is obstructed, the rupturing of closed comedones can lead to skin inflammation.

Cystic acne is angry, red bumps filled with bacteria and pus. Caused by inflammation, it can start off as comedones that were left untreated, leading to an excessive growth of P. acne.

How can I treat acne?

Current treatments include topical formulations in the forms of creams, gels, lotions such as antibiotics, antibacterial agents and retinoids. Yet, patients need to be cautious of such treatments as it can lead to dryness, peeling or erythema. Different forms of acne would require alternative treatment techniques.

To treat open comedones, a mixture of carbon laser peels and chemical peels can be considered. For closed comedones, be sure not to pick those whiteheads as it exposes the skin to bacteria.

If you suffer from cystic acne, oral medication is likely to be given to shrink oil glands or prescription creams that contain tretinoin.

The use of lasers to treat acne is also increasingly popular due to minimal complications involved to allow benefits of treating acne scarring. The lasers will target the colonization of P. acne and high levels of sebum production on the face, chest and back.

If you may find it confusing to face acne alone, talk to a dermatologist. It is also important to visit your dermatologist before the acne gets severe and prevent scarring.

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. All rights reserved.

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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an 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.

 

HIFU Sygmalift vs Ultherapy

December 15, 2017

People have been increasingly conscious about aging and the effects of aging on appearance. Skin aging will cause facial wrinkles and decreased collagen. Maintaining a youthful appearance seems to be the trend and many have resorted to skin treatments. There are many treatments like chemical peels, fractional laser and more but recently, ultrasound has been used in new treatments. HIFU and ultherapy are examples of ultrasound treatments. It has been introduced as non-invasive and effective in having anti-aging effects on the skin.

 

What is High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Sygmalift?

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound also known as HIFU Sygmalift, is used for rejuvenation, lifting and tightening of the facial skin. Research has been done to demonstrate the efficacy of HIFU Sygmalift. It has been found that HIFU Sygmalift is a safe and effective method for facial skin tightening. It can be used not only to improve skin texture, but also contour the upper arms, knees and thighs. Besides facial skin, it can be used for other parts of your body.

How does HIFU Sygmalift work?

HIFU mainly causes cellular damage and reduces volume of the designated area by coagulation and generating instant microthermal lesions. This is done by using high frequency ultrasound waves targeted at the tissue area without causing any damage to the skin epidermis and surrounding tissues. The targeted skin tissues get heated up which causes cells to be activated, generating new collagen to produce a skin lifting and anti-aging effect.

 

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a new Food Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment that tightens and lift facial skin. The treatment is mainly for the eyebrow, chin and neck area but can be used anywhere where the skin is lacking tightening. Follow up treatments are recommended once a year to maintain the effects. The procedure has been used as it is non invasive and hence does not require anesthetic or sedation. However, it has been said to be painful and it would be better for some to use local anesthetic. It has been said to have no foreign substances or drastic changes but achieves to improve the health of the cells beneath your skin surface to result in a subtle, natural and healthy effect on the outside.

How does Ultherapy work?

Ultherapy is different from the common laser techniques that target the outer layer of the skin. It penetrates the surface and transmits energy to the deeper skin layers. This way, it causes damage to the collagen layers to stimulate more collagen production as the cells are tricked into repairing the collagen. It uses ultrasound technology which has been used in fat burning treatments. With collagen production, it produces skin tightening and anti aging effects.

 

How are HIFU Sygmalift and Ultherapy different?

HIFU Sygmalift and Ultherapy sound similar in terms of their methodology. Both use ultrasound treatment, a popular choice for non invasive and non-surgical face lifting and tightening treatments. Their main goal is to produce anti-aging effects, helping you to preserve your youthful look. However, there are still some small differences between the two which can impact your decision is choosing the most suitable treatment.

Extent of Pain

One of the main complaints about ultherapy treatment is that it is known to be painful and some people require local anesthetic. However, HIFU Sygmalift is mainly painless because it uses fractionated HIFU. Instead of traditional HIFU techniques which use one concentrated beam, HIFU Sygmalift breaks up the beam into fractions and penetrates the skin at precise extents. People who use HIFU Sygmalift may feel a small sense of tolerable pain but it is definitely less painful that Ultherapy.

Extent of Skin Penetration

HIFU Sygmalift targets the dermis and connective tissues to stimulate collagen production. Meanwhile, Ultherapy can penetrate deeper even into the muscle tissues, which is why some people feel pain. However, both result in skin tightening and lifting effects.

Post Treatment Maintenance

For Ultherapy, most people may see visible results even after the first or second session. To follow-up, they are recommended to go for treatments once a year to maximise the effects. On the other hand, HIFU Sygmalift is used once a month to maintain your skin. Patients of HIFU Sygmalift are recommended to use anti-aging products that contains peptides to complement the treatment, supporting a gentler type of treatment.

 

Both HIFU Sygmalift and Ultherapy use similar technology and methods with very subtle differences. However, these differences can make a big impact on your comfort with the treatments. Both methods are still safe, striving to produce anti-aging effects on your skin. With the similarities and differences explained, you can now make the best decision for yourself and choose the treatment that suits you the most.

 

© 2017 TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre. 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.

A Dermatologist’s Best Guide to Hair Loss Treatments for Your Sensitive Scalp

October 5, 2017

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

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In the third installment of my series on dealing with hair loss in Singapore as a dermatologist, I’m going to discuss dandruff and scalp sensitivity. This is one of the commonest scalp complaints that my patients have in conjunction with hair loss symptoms and leaves many of them wondering if it is the cause of their hair loss problem.

1. What is dandruff and what causes it?

Flaking on the scalp and white scales found on one’s clothes are one of the first symptoms of dandruff, which is lay speak for any form of scalp inflammation that causes the cell turnover rate on the scalp to increase abnormally. There are several medical conditions that can result in this, the commonest being the following: scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and scalp eczema.

2. Do I have a sensitive scalp or is it a symptom of another condition?

Do you have itch, redness or pain on your scalp? You may have an undiagnosed inflammatory scalp disease. Scalp “sensitivity” without any underlying scalp condition is a very rare condition attributed to abnormal nerve sensations known as scalp dysaesthesia.

It is far more common to have an underlying cause such as seborrheic dermatitis, which is due to proliferation of a yeast known as malessezia furfur in an individual with excess production of oil. It is also commoner in tropical and humid climates such as Singapore, as it encourages this yeast to grow. Otherwise, malessezia is an inhabitant of one’s skin and scalp. Under normal conditions, it does not cause any issues, however under humid and sweaty environments, this yeast can proliferate to cause scalp inflammation and flaking. If you have scalp flaking which does not respond to over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos, which usually contain zinc pyrithone which is anti-fungal, promptly seek the care of an accredited dermatologist rather than self medicate or DIY.

Other causes of scalp inflammation would be scalp eczema, which is due to an excessively dry scalp/skin condition, scalp psoriasis, which may be the case especially if one has a family history of psoriasis or rashes on one’s body. If you have been in contact with a ringworm infected cat or dog, also do have your scalp and skin checked by a dermatologist as these infections are contagious and could also cause a form of scalp inflammation presenting as a red, scaly and itchy patch with hair loss.

3. Is my sensitive scalp causing hair loss?

Most cases of scalp inflammation due to eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, scalp folliculitis or psoriasis should not cause hair loss. However severe inflammation can push the hair growth cycle into a stage of telogen effluvium which is when hair reaches the end of its cycle and falls out, similar to hair loss that occurs after a major illness or post-pregnancy. In addition, if one picks and peels off crusted areas over the scalp this can also cause damage to the hair root and lead to hair loss. There are other causes of hair loss such as alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder causing one’s immune system to attack hair follicles, leading to hair loss. This usually has no symptoms other than the appearance of round patches of hair loss over one’s scalp. Scarring causes of hair loss include folliculitis decalvans, which is the end-stage of a type of scalp folliculitis, whereby the hair follicles themselves are constantly inflammed and infected. Children may be more susceptible to tinea capitis, which is a fungal scalp infection that can lead to scarring hair loss if untreated.

© 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.

Top 3 Tips on Hair Loss Treatments Reviewed by a Dermatologist

October 4, 2017

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

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One of my patients who came to my clinic for hair loss treatment once remarked that “Why is it that everyone thinks of seeing hair loss treatment centres, hair spas and their hair salons offering anti-hair loss treatments before consulting a dermatologist for their hair and scalp problems?” Hence in part 2 of my article, I will be using this as a case-study in point in my discussion on hair loss.

However, before that, I would like to qualify what exactly counts as hair loss. It’s normal to lose about 60–100 strands of hair a day, however, anything more than what you are used to losing should be monitored carefully. Here are some symptoms: more hair in your shower drain, on the floor, your combs and pillow, having a wider parting and thinner ponytail for girls. If you have a family member with hair loss, also be alert to early symptoms of hair loss.

1. Who do you see for hair loss and scalp problems?

My patient spoke from experience, having gone a merry-go-round with numerous hair and scalp treatments promising to treat hair loss for over two decades, emerged none-the-better nor wiser until a good friend of hers recommended her to see a dermatologist instead. She had, at that time already resigned to her fate of having a troubled scalp and also lost 40 to 50% of her natural hair at the age of 35, blaming it on bad genetics and oily scalp.

She wasn’t even aware that dermatologists are the specialists in treating scalp and hair problems, including hair loss. Do a google search of “hair loss treatments Singapore” and one is instantly inundated with a multitude of trichologist, herbal remedies, anti-hair loss treatment centres, salon listings, aesthetic centres run by general practitioners and with that a few listings of dermatologists which seems buried under all the other ads. So, if you have a true hair loss problem, stop self-medicating or visiting spas or salons and instead find an accredited dermatologist here.

2.What causes hair loss?

In my dermatological practice, almost all patients suffering from hair loss had also done their due research online about possible causes of hair loss before seeing me. The real problem though, medical websites are not written for the layperson and the lists of diagnoses of conditions that lead to hair loss simply leave the hair loss sufferer worried and fearful. Those that do their research on forums and beauty websites are none the wiser, as they suggest many non-evidenced backed methods of hair growth or causes of hair loss which is simply unscientific and wrong information. There are many different causes of hair loss, which can occur at the same time or individually, and dermatologists need to conduct a thorough history taking, medical evaluation/examination and may recommend some blood tests and microscopic tests before diagnosing the cause of hair loss. For some rare causes of hair loss, especially of what is termed scarring alopecia, a scalp biopsy, which is where samples of the scalp are taken for microscopic examination may be required.

3. Can hair loss be treated?

The good news is, my patient’s hair loss did get better, she turned out to be suffering from a combination of telogen effluvium, scalp inflammation from seborrheic dermatitis as well as underlying genetic hair loss, known as female pattern hair loss. The bad news? Her treatment took a while, while her hair loss was controlled, a lot of her hair follicles had become miniaturised (think the shiny glossy scalp that you’ve seen in older men with androgenetic alopecia, which is hair loss influenced by genetics and the male hormone testosterone). What this means is that it is a more advanced stage of hair loss which could mean a slower or less optimised outcome with treatment. The take home point is, while there are multiple evidence-based methods of encouraging hair growth (for cosmetic reasons in age or genetics influenced hair loss i.e. androgenetic alopecia) such as light treatments, in combination with active ingredients such as minoxidil and more recently, copper peptides which I prescribe in my practice. The real issue is that more severe underlying medical conditions like lupus (an autoimmune disease), chronic undiagnosed illnesses, thyroid disease, anemia — these have serious underlying health implications which need to be treated on top of the hair loss problem. In addition, a trained dermatologist can pick up causes of both non-scarring and scarring alopecia, the latter is irreversible hair loss that can be promptly diagnosed and requires medical treatment.

© 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.