Tag Archive: singapore

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.

Singapore Dermatologist Talks Skincare Tips – A Review of Beauty Supplements

October 4, 2017

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

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The Science and Myth of Nutricosmetics

In the last decade, the beauty and cosmetic industry has churned out collagen-boosting oral supplements one after the other that claims to boost collagen with a dose of an edible capsule. They boast fish-derived peptides, collagen, carotenoids amongst a host of anti-oxidant ingredients that claim to anti-age, reduce wrinkles and improve glow. Dermatologists have called these nutraceuticals or nutricosmetics. In my article, I will break down the science and the myth(s) behind these to shed light on the latest dietary supplement that’s supposed to work wonders for your skin and how you can evaluate it for yourself. In the first of a series, I shall discuss a dermatologist’s take on collagen and fish peptide supplements that have been popularised in the beauty and cosmetic industry.

1. What are nutraceuticals or nutricosmetics?

A nutraceutical is a pharmaceutical-grade and standardized nutrient. The FDA and the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore does not recognise nutraceuticals or nutricosmetics as a regulatory category. Rather, they are regulated as food additives and dietary supplements.

2. Do collagen or peptide containing supplements actually promote healthy skin?

These beauty supplements are consumed like food substances and hence they get digested and then absorbed by the body. One recent study showed that in individuals taking a daily supplement containing collagen peptides, there was a reduction in eye wrinkle depth after eight weeks of taking the supplements. However, dermatologists internationally who spearhead the research and testing of cosmetic dermatology caution that overall there is no substantial body of evidence in the realm of dermatological research to support the use of fish-derived peptides or collagen to boost skin health. Ingested collagen/peptide supplements are digested in the same way as food is taken as part of a normal diet and absorbed similarly, with no specific therapeutic benefit to skin or ability to be delivered directly to skin for its effects.

3. Is there any way at all to ensure that they reach our skin ?
Collagen is a protein found in skin and other tissues, there is no evidence that ingested collagen boosts the amount of collagen in the skin tissues as the body breaks down food/supplements similarly in the digestive tract and edible collagen itself has no medicinal/therapeutic benefit. Collagen in the skin is made by specialised skin cells known as fibroblasts. With age and sun damage, this process is slowed down. Dermatologists use a combination of lasers, chemical peels and cosmeceuticals to increase collagen production in one’s skin by stimulating one’s collagen receptors, rather than applying collagen to the skin or by consuming collagen. Collagen itself is a large molecule that cannot be absorbed through the skin surface. Collagen hydrolysates(such as fish peptides) have some early evidence in laboratory studies to have some UV-protective and anti-ageing properties in skin but more research needs to be done.

© 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.

Fillers? The Fountain of Youth

September 27, 2017


Known for her overtly luscious pout, Kylie Jenner has created a buzz around fillers. For those who are looking to enhance their appearance without wanting to go under the knife or suffer the healing downtime drinking pumpkin soups, dermal fillers are an excellent semi-permanent and in some cases permanent option.

Propitious to give you more natural finish compared to botox, dermal fillers are gaining popularity amongst those seeking for youthful perfection. Instead of stopping the muscle movements resulting in wrinkles, dermal fillers aim to plump the skin to smooth out the wrinkles. This does not mean that botox does not have its benefits — read about it here. As both botox and dermal fillers function differently, a combination treatment allows you to walk out of your dermatologist’s office looking 10 years younger.

Setting out to give you a younger face, plumper lips and higher and even nose bridges, dermal fillers come in two different forms – synthetic and natural. Although naturally-derived fillers have a much smaller risk of causing an allergic reaction and risks of migration and lumping and are able to produce an immediate effect, they usually only last from three to 18 months. To maintain your desired result, you will need to go back in and get more fillers injected usually within a year. Synthetic fillers on the other hand, are more of a semi-permanent solution. However, since synthetic fillers provide a more permanent solution, potential allergies and risks of migration and lumping gets harder to correct. To avoid such risks, it is advised that you share your concerns and have a discussion with accredited dermatologist. For an instant youth rejuvenation, fillers are the way to go ladies.

© 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.