Male pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, is exceedingly common. Hair thinning and hair loss can begin as early as late adolescence and progress with age. Understanding why it happens, including its strong genetic element, can help men counter its effects.
Characteristics of male pattern hair loss (MPHL)
MPHL typically begins first with bitemporal recession – triangular, usually symmetrical, areas of recession at the frontal hairline. Thinning starts in the temples as well as the crown/vertex and slowly progresses to encompass the entire top of the scalp.
The disease onset and progression vary from person to person. Initial signs of male pattern hair loss usually develop during teenage years and lead to progressive hair loss and thinning of the hair across the scalp.
Causes of male pattern hair loss
A genetic predisposition is considered a major risk factor for male pattern hair loss, as genetics determine the activity level of the androgenic hormones that lead to MPHL. However, this condition can also be present even in individuals without a family history.
In the hair follicle cells, a male hormone called testosterone converts into an active form and binds to the androgenic receptors in the hair follicle. Individuals with male pattern hair loss have abnormal sensitivity of hair follicles, allowing easier binding to receptors.
This specific bonding triggers cellular processes that cut short the anagen phase of the hair cycle, the stage where hair follicles grow. For this reason, the hair follicles enter the telogen phase earlier where programmed cell death happens.
In normal hair follicles, the duration of the anagen phase lasts from two to seven years. Individuals with male pattern hair loss have an anagen phase that ranges from a few years to just weeks.
With the decreased duration of the anagen phase, more hair follicles enter the telogen phase. Telogen hairs are more easily plucked than anagen hairs. Thus, individuals will notice increased hair shedding as they comb their hair.
An increased amount of androgen also causes hair follicles to be transformed into thin, vellus-like hairs. As a result, hairs are finer and lack pigmentation.
Topical and oral treatments
Topical and systemic drugs are often used in treating MPHL. The most common topical drug is minoxidil. Originally developed as an oral medication for hypertension, its common side effect of excessive hair growth has led to its use as a treatment. Minoxidil 2% or 5% solution is often used in topical application to prolong the anagen phase.
Other anti-androgen drugs include fluridil and finasteride. A topical application of fluridil helps suppress androgen receptors in hair follicles. Finasteride is available as oral medication and reduces the conversion of testosterone into its active form. Finasteride has also shown to reverse the effects of follicle miniaturization.
Copper peptide is another ingredient that stimulates hair regrowth. Made up of amino acids, copper peptides have regenerative properties that work to increase hair follicle size and reduce hair loss. By fighting inflammation and free radicals, copper peptides also protect the hair follicles from being damaged.
All treatments for MPHL are for long-term use, which means stopping the treatment will cause your hair loss condition to return. Before committing to any topical treatment, it is recommended to consult an accredited dermatologist for professional advice.
Light therapy as treatment
Low light, intense pulsed light, and red light treatment can initiate hair regrowth. Red light treatment, with wavelengths between 630 to 670 nm, stimulates an enzyme called cytochrome C. This enzyme encourages our genes to produce more hair and lowers the cell death of hair follicles.
Using a laser comb for 15 minutes, three times a week, also increases the number of hair follicles in the anagen phase, the stage in which our hair grows. The comb is available as a stand-alone or adjunctive therapy.
Our skin is the largest organ in the body, and the most visible. Yet, few of us really understand how it works. When searching the internet for causes and treatments of our skin conditions, for example, we often come across terms like ‘epidermis’ and ‘dermis’ that are literally Greek and hard to understand.
As a result, it’s difficult to know exactly how to care for the largest organ in our body. As our outer layer endures harsh external conditions such as environmental pollutants, UV rays, pressure, temperature, and others, how can we best protect and keep it in good health?
To answer this question, let’s start with a skin 101 primer.
The outermost layer of the skin is known as the epidermis. It consists of four layers of closely packed cells. Cells found in these layers are called keratinocytes. They manufacture and store keratin which is the protein that makes up the main structure of our hair, skin and nails.
From deep to superficial, the four layers in the epidermis are stratum basale (deepest), stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum and stratum corneum (outermost).
In the epidermis of certain body parts with larger thickness, such as palms, soles and digits, there is an additional layer of cells called stratum lucidum. It is found wedged between the stratum corneum and the stratum granulosum.
The dermis refers to the inner layer found between the epidermis and subcutaneous (= under the skin) fat. The dermis layers are made of connective tissues, linked by interwoven fibres of collagen and elastin, packed in bundles.
Collagen takes up 70% of the weight of the dermis. Collagen fibers provides the skin with structural support and tensile strength. Collagen proteins also bind to water, keeping the entire organ well hydrated. Accounting for 2% of the weight of the dermis, elastin fibers allow movement and are responsible for elasticity of the layer.
Caring for the skin we see
In the outermost layer, known as the stratum corneum, the keratinocytes are actually dead cells pushed up from deeper layers. As these cells travel to the surface, they undergo keratinization, the process whereby the contents of the cell develop tough keratin proteins. Other components such as cholesterol, ceramides and free fatty acids in the stratum corneum also work together to give a toughness to the skin that can withstand all sorts of chemical and mechanical insults.
In this way, the stratum corneum becomes a barrier that prevents dehydration of underlying tissues and serves as a mechanical protection for the more delicate layers below. It is also the layer most crucial in maintaining moisture.
The stratum corneum layer is usually replaced with cell division and renewal in a cycle of 4 weeks.
Ageing and exposure to ultraviolet radiation can stress the skin, leading to poor barrier function and an increase in water loss. The barrier function can also be affected by other factors such as a deficiency in fatty acids and lipids, detergents (usually from harsh cleansers) or dehydration.
Caring for your skin then should involve a regimen of protecting it from the sun with UV protection, using cleaners and other products that do not dehydrate, and maintaining the moisture in skin through moisturizers. Cleansers, in particular, can contain harsh surfactants that emulsify to remove grease and dirt. These however can irritate the skin. Use a gentle cleanser with a natural emulsifier instead. For example, Dr TWL’s Miel Honey™ Cleanser uses medical-grade honey as a natural emulsifier, leaving the epidermis both clean and gently moisturized.
Many cosmetic treatments work by causing a change in the epidermal layer, thereby encouraging it to renew itself faster. Procedures targeting the epidermis include some forms of chemical peels, lasers, intense pulse light (IPL), microneedling or topical drugs.
Caring for the skin beneath
The dermis, the layer beneath the epidermis, gets thinner and loses its elasticity over time.
Various cosmetic treatments available often aim to restore the amount of collagen lost during the ageing process, such as medium and deep chemical peels, microneedling, microfocused ultrasound and ablative lasers. Fillers can also restore the volume of collagen in the dermis layer, correcting fine lines and wrinkles.
Lasers, IPL or resurfacing treatments can differ according to the skin layer that it targets – the epidermis or dermis layer. Non-ablative treatments focus on the dermis while leaving the epidermis intact. Ablative lasers treat both dermis and epidermis layers.
Chemical peels can reach different levels depending on the frequency, the peeling substance (typically an acid), the concentration of the substance, and dermal condition of the patient. In a controlled manner, skin cells are destroyed in a chemical peel to stimulate regeneration of a smoother epidermis and new collagen in the dermis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (nitrogen plasma 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.
The handpiece first releases the nitrogen plasma pulses.
This causes it to transfer thermal energy to the skin, allowing for controlled heating of the tissue.
The controlled duration of the pulse and temperature then allows the treatment to happen optimally.
This then leads to the possibility of treatments of many dermatological conditions due to the carefully controlled time frame.
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.
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.
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.
With the festive season just around the corner, we can expect our time spent hopping from one party to another. Eating one too many nibbles, and all those glasses of fizz – we want to look ready when we hit the party scene. You may have got what to wear sorted, so turn your focus to your skin. Whether you are celebrating with family and friends or getting ready for the office party, get your party-ready skin and look your best this festive season with these beauty upgrades.
With multiple treatment types available, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the options available before making the best decision for your concerns. Cut through the confusion and get the facts that you need for an informed decision.
Improve and smooth the texture of your skin with a chemical peel, which removes the outermost layers of the skin with a gentle peeling solution derived from fruit or milk acids. When performing the treatment, this solution is applied to the skin for a duration of time ranging from three to seven minutes. The solution can include alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, lactic and salicylic acid.
With the application of the acids, the skin undergoes microscopic peeling, whereby dead skin cells which are usually shed with time, are induced to shed earlier, resulting in a fresh and radiant complexion. One should know part of the normal skin ageing process results in a longer duration of skin cell( keratinocyte) turnover, resulting in slower shedding, and this can contribute to dull looking skin. Skin cells from the deeper layers of the epidermis regenerate after the peel, allowing smoother skin with fewer wrinkles, as well as stimulating collagen in skin.
According to Dr.Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist, “I recommend the chemical peel for those experiencing acne, or as a form of anti-ageing treatment to maintain youthful skin, either alone or in combination with lasers and cosmeceuticals. My patients who come for chemical peels also look to minimize damage caused by sun damage, such as wrinkles, or other problems such as dark spots, dull or uneven skin texture, freckles and fine lines. As compared to other treatments, chemical peels can be more cost-effective as a form of maintenance and as an adjunct treatment.”
Ensure that this treatment is performed by a medical professional, and go for a professional evaluation before going for the treatment. The concentration of the acid solution applied to the skin has to be controlled, and results may vary according to either commercial brands used. A specially compounded in-house chemical peel solution is used at the clinic, tailored either for lighter, caucasian skin types, or darker asian or hispanic skin types as each as different requirements. Darker skin types should be particularly cautious as stronger peels, when used inappropriately can result in pigmentation instead.
According to Dr. Teo, ” One should be wary that over the counter DIY cosmetic skincare which tout various acids, such as lactic, salicylic acids, and AHAs all contain sub-therapeutic levels of the ingredients, as higher concentrations are illegal to be used at home without medical supervision.What this results in is simply drying out the skin, which very often does not treat acne, result in antiaging but merely causes a form of eczema known as irritant contact dermatitis. I would avoid using skincare with any of these ingredients on a long term basis without consulting a dermatologist. “
For facial rejuvenation and reversing signs of ageing, you may consider going for laser therapy. This treatment can help to reduce wrinkles, age spots, acne scarsand help to tighten your skin. When a laser is used, a concentrated stream of a invisible wavelength penetrates the skin. The laser treatment can target either the surface layer or deeper layers of your skin, depending on the results you are looking for. Lasers that work beneath the surface skin layer are called non-ablative lasers.
Non-ablative lasers help to remove skin discolouration, reduce redness from rosacea and improve fine lines and wrinkles. With multiple treatments, it can also help to stimulate collagen production.
Ablative lasers work by targeting the surface layer of your skin by ‘ablating’ the surface of your skin. Such lasers can make a greater difference in your skin replacing damaged skin from sun damage with healthier, new skin. Follow-up care is necessary with ablative lasers to ensure smooth result and needs at least two weeks for full recovery. If you are rushing to be all ready for the festive period, it is recommended to postpone your ablative laser treatment.
In the hands of accredited dermatologists, laser treatment will help to dramatically improve your skin appearance. Lasers advertised by spas or aestheticians may not even be medical grade, as the HSA does not allow therapeutic lasers to be operated by aestheticians. Such “laser facials” may hence be ineffective or even outright dangerous.
HIFU is ideal for the tightening, lifting and rejuvenation of facial skin. It is safe and effective and is a popular alternative to a surgical face lift to help improve lines and wrinkles. With high intensity focussed ultrasound energy, two particular layers below our skin are targeted – the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and the dermis. The SMAS is a layer of facial muscles that is tightened during a facelift, while the dermis layer is made up of collagen and elastin fibres that provide the skin with strength and elasticity.
Using the power of ultrasound, HIFU is able to this energy to safely tighten and lift the skin. The safety of the treatment comes from being able to protect the surface of the skin whilst still penetrating precisely deep into the skin to treat beyond the surface layer. No damage will be done to the surface layer or any adjacent tissues.
Targeted skin tissues will be subjected to thermal heat that promotes healing, stimulating optimal levels of collagen production. Response to the thermal heat can lead to the desired effects of lifting and tightening, allowing HIFU to be a viable alternative to surgery. Energy emitted from ultrasound lasers would also melt facial fats during the treatment.
Finally, are you tempted by those advertisements offering aesthetic treatments like an ‘a-la-carte’ menu? One word of warning by our dermatologist though, “For safe and effective results, all these aesthetic treatments are regarded as medical interventions still and a trained dermatologist will not administer any of these without a thorough consultation discussing risks, benefits, costs involved and the overall maintenance required for a proper anti-ageing regimen, so as to ensure the treatment is tailored to your needs.” Armed with this guide, you are well on your way to look party-ready this festive season.
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.
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.
Chemical peels are 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.
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 chemical peels?
Patients usually experience a reaction similar to a sunburn. There generally is no downtime beyond with superficial peeling of the skin, which presents as redness and mild flaking. Use a cosmeceutical moisturiser to soothe and maximise the post-treatment benefits on your skin. The Radiance Fluide contains phytoceramides to repair the skin barrier and oligopeptides to enhance collagen growth. See your skin become less greasy, more radiant and healthy after your first peel!
By Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Consultant Dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre
What are brown spots?
Brown spots or pigmentation on the skin, are not all the same. A dermatologist will be able to diagnose accurately the cause of the condition after a thorough skin examination. Causes of brown spots can be due to freckles, melasma, sun damage, age spots or irritation from unsuitable cosmetics or medications.
Am I at high risk of pigmentation?
Genetically, fairer skin types may be more prone to developing freckles, as with those with a family history. Increased exposure to the sun also increases the chance of and darken existing pigmentation. Some forms of the condition, such as melasma, is influenced by hormonal changes such as menopause and pregnancy.
Can I erase these spots?
Depending on the underlying cause, when correctly diagnosed by a dermatologist, pigmentation can be successfully treated with advanced laser treatments, chemical peels using glycolic acids, prescription only lightening creams in various combinations.
While you may be genetically susceptible to brown spots such as freckles, the best way to prevent it is strict adherence to sun protection, including daily use of sunscreen. Regular use of cosmeceuticals containing stabilised Vitamin C has also been proven to lighten such spots and often used as adjunct treatment.
By Dr. Teo Wan Lin, Consultant Dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre
What is sensitive skin?
Patients with sensitive skin are likely to have atopic dermatitis, which is a genetically determined condition whereby the skin is deficient in fatty lipids that act as a barrier to the environment.
If you experience an acute episode of “sensitivity”, you may actually have a form of allergic contact dermatitis to a topically applied substance, for which you need to be reviewed by a dermatologist and receive appropriate medical treatment. Sometimes a patch test will be recommended.
I have dermatitis – can I still use anti-aging cosmeceuticals and go for laser treatments?
After their inflammation is treated, patients should switch their skincare to cosmeceuticals (ie. antioxidant, hydrating, anti aging products) and cosmetics permanently to a dermatologist tested and formulated line.