Dark spots and other hyperpigmentation concerns are generally harmless – if not cosmetically annoying. Unfortunately, dark spots often present themselves in the most visible places such as the face, neck and hands. The good news? You don’t have to live with these blemishes: There are plenty of hyperpigmentation treatment options that are safe, non-invasive and highly effective.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by regular exposure to sun, because tanning is the sun’s way to repair itself against sun damage. Ageing also results to the topmost layer of the skin renewing unevenly, leaving a mottled complexion that is also rough in texture.
Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy) that lead to excess melanin production called melasma. Effective melasma removal during pregnancy requires consulting with a skin care specialist who can create a treatment plan that is safe for both mother and the unborn.
Treating Pigmentation Using Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone has long been an effective pigment removal product in aesthetic clinics in Singapore because it prevents the darkening of the skin from the inside out by inhibiting the production of melanin. It is the active ingredient in Dr. Sylvia’s Skin Lightener 3 that you can apply after cleansing and toning. Skin Lightener 3, which you can use by itself or together with the rest of Dr Sylvia’s Advanced Clear Skin Program (3,4,5), contains 4% hydroquinone, a safe yet effective concentration to slow down the production of melanin. (A concentration of 12% stops melanin production altogether.)
Removing Pigmentation Using AHA and Vitamin C
AHA smooths out skin and evens out texture by breaking down the glue-like substances in skin cells that hold them together, so dead skin can be easily sloughed off and shed. AHAs work best in concentrations greater than 4%, and in a base with a pH between 3 and 4 (anything greater than that and AHAs lose their exfoliating properties). Dr. Sylvia’s Exfoliator Forte 4 contains 14% AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) buffered to 10%, and has a pH of 3.4. It can be used by itself, or after Dr. Sylvia’s Skin Lightener 3.
To round out your skin care routine, use Dr. Sylvia’s Skin Care Balancer 5, which contains an active ingredient of ascorbic acid as well as 4% hydroquinone. Topical vitamin C is also an ideal age spot removal agent because it reduces the production of melanin. The Balancer 5 acts as an enriching agent that penetrates the deeper layer of the skin so skin concerns are addressed at the cellular level.
Laser Pigmentation Treatment Using IPL
Another safe, effective and non-invasive treatment option popular in laser clinics in Singapore is photo facial therapy. Using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), photo facial therapy such as Limelight Facial addresses age spots, freckles, redness, sun damage and even tiny veins (telangiectasia) that might not be resolved by topical creams alone.
The IPL device uses programmable wavelengths so various sun-induced changes on the face (like brown pigmentation), low-contrast freckles, broken blood vessels, rosacea are effectively addressed often in one or two sittings. Laser clinic Singapore patients also get photo facial therapy for their necks, chests and hands (where sun damage is likely to occur).
Treatment procedure may take up to one hour depending on the area treated. Brown spots usually scab and fall off in 3-5 days, while the rest of the results are achieved in one to three weeks.
To learn more about the use of laser for pigmentation, see a dermatologist in Scotts Road and experience changes in your skin from deep within.