Tag Archive: pigmentation

Brightening dark spots

December 25, 2018

Struggling with dark spots? To treat them, you first have to know the kind of pigmentation you have.

Melasma

Melasma is characterized by irregular brown patches on the skin and can typically be found on the forehead, upper lip, nose and the chin. Melasma is the result of an overproduction of melanin (the pigment that gives colour to our skin, hair and eyes).

Excessive sun exposure is one of the greatest contributors to melasma as melanin-producing cells are easily stimulated by UVA and UVB rays. Pregnancy, hormone treatments and genetic predisposition are other causes.

Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

PIH is the result of your skin’s melanin-inducing response to inflammation or injury, and appears at the injured site as a dark brown macule or patch. Such markings usually fade within a few months with appropriate treatment. However, the brown spots may darken or spread if not addressed. Sun exposure may also worsen PIH.

 Skin conditions that can cause the above inflammation include acne vulgaris, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis (red, flaky skin patches).

Freckles

Freckles, also known as ephelides, are harmless small pigmented spots that are frequently found on the face, arms, neck and chest. Freckles are brown due to a diffusion of melanin into skin cells.

In winter, the activity of melanin-producing cells slows down. When exposed to UV radiation in sunlight, melanin-producing cells pick-up. As a result, freckles fade slight in the winter and darken in summer. Often, freckles partially disappear with age.

Genetics contribute to the formation of freckles. They are frequently observed in fair-skinned individuals, especially those with red hair.

Solar lentigo

Solar lentigines are harmless patches of darkened skin that are generally larger than freckles and have well-defined edges. They are caused by an accumulation of sun damage that leads to an increase in the number of melanin-producing cells and subsequent accumulation of melanin.

Solar lentigines are also associated with increased age. While freckles generally disappear over time, untreated solar lentigines are likely to persist indefinitely.

Treatments

For all dark spots, start by avoiding the sun and applying a sufficient amount of sunscreen every two hours. Use a lightweight sunscreen like Dr. TWL’s SunProtector™, which is dermatologist-formulated for the humid climate.

For melasma, consider a combination of topical therapies (outlined below) and chemical peels. Lasers should be considered last.

For PIH, first treat and prevent the skin condition triggering the inflammation. Then use topical treatments followed by chemical peels and lastly, laser and light treatments.

For freckles, use topical or laser/light therapies.

For solar lentigines, use ablative therapy with cryotherapy. Subsequent treatment options include topical agents and laser therapy.

Bleaching agents

 Bleaching agents are often used to inhibit melanin synthesis. The most commonly prescribed ones are hydroquinone, azelaic acid and kojic acid.

Hydroquinone inhibits the production of melanin by binding to tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for the first step in melanin production.

Azelaic acid acts on abnormal melanin-producing cells but leaves the healthy ones untouched, ensuring optimal melanin levels.

Kojic acid binds to copper, which is required by melanin-producing cells.

Retinoids

Topical retinoids are often used in combination with bleaching agents. Retinoids target pigmentation issues by inducing the death of melanin-producing cells, accelerating turnover of new skin cells and inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase.

Chemical peels

Chemical peels refer to the process of applying acids to the skin to destroy the outer skin layers. They accelerate the process of exfoliation by sloughing off dead layers of older skin and promoting smoother layers of new skin.

Superficial and medium depth peels are effective in treating pigmentation concerns. These peels differ in the depth of skin resurfaced. Superficial peels target only the surface skin layer while medium peels target the next layer.

To successfully achieve significant depigmentation, a patient needs to undergo at least 3 to 4 repeated peels. Common acids employed are glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid.

Laser and light treatments

Lasers are notably successful with solar lentigines, but less so with melasma and PIH. Such treatments damage the skin to stimulate growth of new skin cells.

To treat solar lentigo and freckles, use IPL, Q-switched lasers and fractional lasers.

To treat melasma and PIH (and only after topical therapy and chemical peels), try fractional radiofrequency, Q-switched or picosecond lasers, high-fluence/high-density non-ablative lasers, pulsed dye lasers, IPL, microneedling, and spot liquid nitrogen treatment.

If you are considering laser or light treatment, be sure to first consult an accredited dermatologist to recommend suitable treatments for the skin condition you are experiencing.

Cosmeceuticals

Patients who are not ready to commit to laser treatments can consider cosmeceuticals. These are cosmetic products with bioactive ingredients that are scientifically proven to deliver results to the skin. Active ingredients that fight dark spots include vitamin C and niacinamide. As a powerful antioxidant, Vita C GOLD™ Serum can help fade dark spots on your face and neutralise some of the free radicals that damage your skin. Niacinamide, found in Radiance Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion, helps to brighten skin by reducing the amount of melanin.

© 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.

Everything You Need to Know About Melanin & Dark Spots

July 19, 2018

 

Melanin is the culprit behind the dark spots that give us an uneven complexion. It is a brown pigment found in the basal layer of the epidermis.

This pigment is synthesised by melanocytes. The process of melanin synthesis is termed melanogenesis. Melanocytes go through different stages of maturation, becoming more pigmented at each stage.

Certain stimulants trigger a gene to produce more of tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme that converts tyrosine into melanin. Stimulants that activate the melanocyte include hormones, inflammation (such as acne) and external environmental conditions (ultraviolet light that causes the production of free radicals).

One simple way to reduce melanin production is to use broad-spectrum sunscreens with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or iron oxide. These substances help block UVA and UVB light, thus impeding the stimulation of melanocytes.

Pigmentary disorders

Common hyperpigmentation disorders that involve the darkening of an area of skin due to increased melanin include melasma, lentigo, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Melasma is usually caused by chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation or a spike in hormones due to pregnancy or the use of oral contraception. It can be found at the epidermisdermal layer or mixed, depending on the location of the pigment.

A lentigo is a light or dark brown area of discoloration that can range from 1mm to 1cm across, and is caused by an increased number of melanocytes. Its outline is usually discrete, but can also be irregular. Simple lentigines arise mostly during childhood on areas not exposed to the sun. Solar (or senile) lentigines are found on the backs of hands or on the face, most commonly after middle age.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is the skin’s response to inflammatory skin disorders. Common causes are acne and atopic dermatitis. PIH is caused by the overproduction of melanin caused by skin inflammation.

Treating hyperpigmentation

Hydroquinone: For 50 years, hydroquinone has been the gold standard treatment for hyperpigmentation. This compound inhibits tyrosinase activity, thus limiting the amount of melanin to be produced. It also alters melanosome formation, possibly degrading melanocytes.

However, prolonged use of topical hydroquinone has shown to have side effects such as ochronosis and permanent depigmentation. Ochronosis is a disorder with blue-black discoloration. As such, hydroquinone is banned in cosmetic formulations and only available through a prescription that should be carefully managed by an accredited dermatologist.

Retinoids are forms of vitamin A that can treat acnephotodamage and PIH. They have various pathways that lead to skin lightening effects, such as accelerating epidermal turnover, reducing pigment transfer and slowing the production of tyrosinase.

With common side effects being erythema, skin irritation, dryness and scaling, it is recommended to use a retinoid only under the supervision of an accredited dermatologist. Corticosteroids (steroid hormones) have anti-inflammatory abilities and are often prescribed along with retinoids to prevent excess irritation.

Arbutin is a botanically derived compound found in cranberries, blueberries, wheat and pears. Though arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinoine, it has shown to be a more controlled way of inhibiting the synthesis of melanin as it does not permanently destroy melanocytes.

Kojic acid is a naturally occurring fungal substance. Its skin-lightening ability works by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase. However, frequent use can cause side effects of contact dermatitis or erythema (redness of the skin).

Azelaic acid is known to be effective for treating PIH and acne. Azelaic acid depigments the skin in several ways. It can inhibit tyrosinase or reduce levels of abnormal melanocytes. This means that azelaic acid does not influence normal skin pigmentation but only acts on the proliferation of unwanted melanocyte activity.  Side effects are mild and only last for a short period of time. Irritation, burning sensation or mild erythema may emerge, taking 2 to 4 weeks to subside.

Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3. It works by decreasing the transfer of melanosome to keratinocytes. Niacinamide is a stable ingredient as it is unaffected by light, moisture or acids. This ingredient is often incorporated into cosmeceuticals due to its safety profile.

Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant that helps with skin lightening. It prevents tyrosinase from converting tyrosine to melanin. Vitamin C is also favored for its anti-inflammatory and photoprotective properties. However, L-ascorbic acid is highly unstable and rapidly oxidized. It is not used in the treatment of PIH.

Stable forms of vitamin C include magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or sodium ascorbyl phosphate. For safe and effective results, consider a dermatologist-formulated serum VITA C GOLD™ Serum,a formulation tested for bio-activity in a laboratory.

As seen above, there are various treatment options to treat common hyperpigmentation disorders. Recognizing the underlying cause for pigmentation is critical for proper treatment and choosing the best-suited therapy. Visit an accredited dermatologist for effective and safe treatments catered to your condition.

© 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.

Your Guide to Melasma

March 18, 2018

 

What is melasma?

Melasma is an acquired skin problem of hyperpigmentation, frequently faced by women in their reproductive years. The condition is characterized by hyperpigmentation primarily on the face, so we may observe irregular brown or blue-grey macules on the face. Common areas where the brown patches appear are cheeks, nose, forehead, jaw and the chin.

How prevalent is the disorder?

While melasma occurs in all ethnic and population groups, studies have shown that there is a higher prevalence among more pigmented phenotypes. These include Asians, Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern. In the Americas, those who suffer from melasma mostly live in intertropical areas where exposure to UV rays are greater.

What are the different types of hyperpigmentation?

You may be doing your research diligently to find out more about melasma, but there are different types of pigmentation, and they are not all the same. Apart from melasma, your face could be suffering from freckles, sun spots or age spots. Freckles, or ephelides, are small, flat and brown marks that are prevalent in childhood. Sunspots, or solar lentigo, only surfaces in our late twenties and can increase in size and number with increasing sun exposure. Age spots, or seborrheic keratosis, is actually not a form of pigmentation, but a non-cancerous skin growth that kicks in with age.

Melasma, on the other hand, can be identified with a greyish-brown discolouration, at times in the shape of a butterfly.

What causes melasma?

While the cause of the disorder remains unknown, current research point towards sex hormones and sun exposure as the greatest culprits.

These brown patches appear on our face as when there is an excessive production of a pigment called melanin. UV radiation induces the increase in melanin production to protect the skin from sun damage. This causes the development of pigmentation to take place on the skin. A leading cause of melasma is excessive sunlight exposure.

Hormones can also be another cause of melasma. You may develop this condition at the start of your pregnancy or if you are on birth control pills. Pregnant women experience higher levels of increased progesterone, estrogen and melanocyte-stimulating hormones. Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin in your skin.

Other causes can be due to certain medications, scented or deodorant soaps, or your toiletries. These products may contain an ingredient that causes a phototoxic reaction that can trigger melasma.

What are the types of melasma?

There are three types of melasma: epidermal, dermal and mixed.

The epidermal layer affects the outermost surface of the skin, and the easiest type to treat. It can be identified by the presence of excessive levels of melanin in that layer. Patches will be a darker brown colour, with a defined outline.

The dermal layer will affect a deeper layer of the skin beneath the superficial layer, and we can recognise it by the occurrence of melanophages throughout the dermis. Melanophages are cells that ingest melanin. The dermal layer can be more deep-rooted, and may not respond well to treatment. For this layer, patches have a less defined outline, with light brown or bluish colour.

A mixed condition of melasma would be having both the epidermal and dermal types, and improvements on the condition can be expected with treatment.

How to treat melasma? 

The response of melasma to treatment can be slower if the condition has been present for a longer time.

Excessive sun exposure leads to the deposition of melanin cells within the dermis and can persist long term. Coming into contact with UV radiation will deepen the pigmentation as it will activate the production of more melanin, causing your brown patches to turn darker and harder to remove.

Generally, by including sun protection into your skin routine, hyperpigmentation can be resisted. With Singapore’s tropical weather, it is recommended to reapply sun protection every 2 hours with a broad-spectrum sunscreen having at least SPF 30. Consider bringing along sunglasses or a hat when you are outdoors.

For clinical treatments, consultation with a trained dermatologist is recommended. A proper diagnosis of melasma should be conducted, and screened if there are any underlying conditions that may require treatment.

Prescriptions may be given to inhibit the formation of melanin. Hydroquinone is a controlled ingredient that is frequently included in medications to treat melasma, as it allows lightening of the skin. A precise concentration of hydroquinone should be administered for treatment, and may be professionally managed so by your dermatologist.

Procedural treatments for melasma can also be considered, such as chemical peels and lasers. Expected efficacy of each treatment can vary depending on the severity of melasma, with topical combination therapies being one of the most effective treatments for hyperpigmentation.

Speak to your dermatologist for a tailored recovery experience.

© 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.

 

 

 

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.

Best Aesthetic Treatments Singapore
– Get Party-Ready

December 27, 2017

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 treatments 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.

Chemical peel

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. ”

Laser Therapy

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 scars and 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. 

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Sygmalift

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.

© 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.

What you need to know about Melasma

October 29, 2017

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What is Melasma?

Also known as the “mask of pregnancy”, Melasma is the presence of either brown or grayish brown patches, that typically appears on both sides of the face, especially on cheeks, upper lip, nose, forehead or chin area. The excessive production of melanin from melasma causes the pigment in the affected skin area to tan, resulting in a brownish or grayish brown discolouration.

Who does Melasma affect?

Although anyone can have melasma, it is more common amongst pregnant women, women who consume oral contraceptives and people with darker skin types. Even though sun exposure is seen to be a triggering factor, experts believe that the pigmentation is caused by hormonal changes that occur when a woman begins to consume birth control pills or is on hormone replacement therapy or during her second or third trimester of pregnancy.

What should I know about Melasma?

The duration in which the pigmentation fades, varies from individual to individual depending on the intensity and cause of Melasma. For some individuals, pigmentation caused by Melasma may worsen over time. For individuals who have been affected by Melasma during pregnancy or through the consumption of birth control pills or undergoing hormonal therapy, it may fade without treatment after childbirth or the discontinuation of such hormonal treatments. However, it is important to note that, Melasma can return with each future pregnancy, even if it fades after a prior child delivery.

What are the treatment plans available for Melasma?

Before starting any treatment against melasma it is important to consult a trained and accredited dermatologist. This is important to confirm the diagnosis of Melasma and to check that there is no underlying or associated skin disease that would require immediate treatment. Secondly, as Melasma can worsen over time and even become permanent, by having a consultation with a dermatologist this can be prevented. Thirdly, as effective medical melasma treatments require a prescription — as these treatments may sometimes produce mild side effects — these medications need to be consumed under medical supervision.

There are 3 ways that are used to treat Melasma:

  • Cosmetic: The use of cosmetics such as colour correctors, concealers and foundations to cover the dark areas. However, in the long haul, this method does not help melasma to fade.
  • Medical: Prescription medications such as those containing hydroquinone. These medications are aimed at inhibiting melanin production selectively, therefore causing a depigmenting effect, allowing Melasma to fade over time.
  • Physical: The use of topical agents such as chemical peels and lasers.

 

Dermatologists may recommend undergoing ‘combination therapies’ such as creams that combines a few active ingredients, in conjunction with laser treatments and chemical peels. This prescription treatment is able to lighten moderate to severe melasma quickly and effectively.

How to prevent Melasma from getting worse?

As tanning of the skin occurs when the pigment in the skin — melanin — absorbs the ultraviolet rays produced by the sun, with constant exposure to the sun,  Melasma has a tendency to get darker. It is recommended that one avoids exposure from the sun to prevent further darkening of existing melasma as well as the formation of new patches. By protecting your face from harmful UV rays of the sun by either wearing a hat or a sunscreen with SPF30 or higher, the possibilities of Melasma darkening could be reduced.

© 2017 twlskin.com. All rights reserved.

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

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

Explaining Laser Therapy by a Dermatologist

October 7, 2017

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What is Laser Therapy

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

Who is Laser Therapy for?

Laser Therapy is indicated for the following skin concerns.

 

What should I know about Laser Therapy?

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

© 2017 twlskin.com. All rights reserved.

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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.