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Pigmentation is basically defined as dark colour dots, spots or patches on our face or body. Pigmentation disorders are very common in Singapore due to its intense hot weather.
Skin pigmentation is a common problem that can affect anyone, regardless of age or skin type. While it is not usually a serious condition, it can be unsightly and cause discomfort.
Melanocytes are specialized cells that produce pigments called Melanin. The amount of Melanin produced determines the colour of our hair, eye and skin. When Melanocytes become damaged in skin, it affects melanin production, leading to pigmentation problems.
There are a number of factors that contribute to skin pigmentation. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its colour, and the amount of melanin produced by the body is determined by genetic factors. Sun exposure also plays a role in skin pigmentation, as UV light can stimulate the production of melanin. Other factors that can affect skin pigmentation include certain medications, hormones, and injuries.
In general, people with darker skin have more melanin than those with lighter skin. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes, which are found in the outer layer of the skin. The number of melanocytes a person has is determined by their genetic makeup.
Certain medications can also cause changes in skin pigmentation and can trigger malasma. For example, some birth control pills can cause the skin to darken, or medications used for treating thyroid or ovarian problems.
Inflammation causes a temporary increase or decrease in the pigments for would healing due to the trauma experienced by the skin. For example, scars that form as a result of acne, eczema, burns or other injuries will trigger natural would healing process which can cause the skin to become darker in colour.
The fluctuation in hormones can trigger melasma, which shows up as small, dark patches. This is very common during pregnancy.
The vast majority of people have skin pigmentation that is within the normal range. However, there are some conditions that can cause abnormal skin pigmentation. These conditions include vitiligo, albinism, and melanoma. Vitiligo is a condition in which the body produces little or no melanin, resulting in white patches of skin. Albinism is a condition in which there is no pigment in the skin, hair, or eyes. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can cause changes in skin pigmentation.
While most cases of abnormal skin pigmentation are benign, it is important to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your skin colour.
There are many different types of pigmentation with different causes and treatment modalities. Immediate accurate diagnosis can usually be made on the spot by careful inspection of the pigmentation shape, colour and distribution.
Some of the common pigmentation are:
Freckles are small, flat, brown spots that appear on the skin. They are usually clustered together and most often found on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, shoulders, arms and hands.
Freckles are caused by increased production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to the skin. Although freckles are not harmful, some people may want to reduce their appearance for cosmetic reasons.
Sun spots, also known as age spots or liver spots, are small, dark patches that occur on the skin. They’re caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, and tend to be more common in people over the age of 50.
Sun spots can be treated with a variety of methods, including laser therapy, light therapy, and topical bleaching agents.
Melasma is a type of skin pigmentation that results in brown or grey patches on the skin. It is caused by an overproduction of the pigment melanin in the skin.
Melasma can occur on any area of the body that is exposed to the sun, but it most commonly affects the face. Melasma is relatively common and affects both men and women.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a type of skin pigmentation that can occur after the skin has suffered an injury, such as from a burn, acne, or other inflammation. The pigmentation results from the overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour.
PIH can also be caused by certain medications or treatments, like topical steroids, radiation therapy, or chemical peels. The pigmentation typically appears as dark spots on the skin and can take months or even years to fade away completely.
Nevus of Ota is a type of melanocytic nevus that is characterised by its blue-grey coloration. It is usually found on the face, but can also occur on the neck, chest, and back. This type of nevus is caused by an increased number of melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation.
Nevus of Ota is benign, meaning it is not cancerous. However, it can be associated with other skin conditions such as melanoma. Treatment for Nevus of Ota is typically not necessary unless it is causing cosmetic concerns. In some cases, laser therapy may be used to lighten the nevus.
Hori’s nevus is a type of skin pigmentation that results in a dark patch on the skin. It is caused by an overgrowth of melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment in the skin.
It can occur on any part of the body, but is most commonly found on the face, neck, or trunk. Hori’s nevus is usually benign and does not require treatment. However, in rare cases, Hori’s nevus can develop into a type of skin cancer known as melanoma.
The pigmentation of your skin is determined by the amount of melanin present. Melanin is a dark brown pigment that is produced by cells known as melanocytes. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin will be.
Pigmentation can vary from person to person and also change over time. For example, you may have more melanin in your skin during the summer months due to sun exposure.
While the pigmentation of your skin is mainly determined by genetics, there are certain environmental factors that can also influence it. For example, if you suffer from a condition known as vitiligo, this can cause patches of your skin to lose pigmentation.
So, is skin pigmentation permanent? The answer is that it can be, but it’s also possible for it to change over time. If you’re concerned about the pigmentation of your skin, it’s best to speak to a doctor who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Sun protection. Sun protection. Sun protection.
Almost 80% of pigmentation problems root from the same cause which is sun exposure. We cannot stress enough the importance of sun protection in determining the success of pigmentation removal treatment and its long term prevention of recurrence.
Sun protection can be in the form of physical protection such as bringing an umbrella, wearing covered clothing and masks or chemical protection such as oral or topical sunscreen.
In general most pigmentation can be removed effectively with laser treatment in a few sessions with some requiring prolonged treatment durations. Hence, accurate diagnosis is the key in treatment of pigmentation disorders.
There is no one size fits all solution for pigmentation removal. But there are various options available for pigmentation removal such as aesthetic laser treatments, medical grade skin products or medications.
Pico laser is a laser treatment for skin pigmentation. It uses short pulses of laser energy to break down melanin so it can be metabolised easily. Pico laser can treat all sorts of pigmented lesions such as age spots.
Pro Yellow Laser uses a wavelength of 577nm to treat vascular lesions such as rosacea and post-acne redness, and also pigmentation like melasma and solar lentigine.
Carbon Laser provides instant glow to the skin. It uses carbon lotion as a photoenhancer to gently exfoliate the skin’s surface and breaks down unwanted melanin production that causes the skin to appear uneven.
There are a few risks associated with skin pigmentation treatments, but they are typically mild and temporary. The most common side effects include redness, peeling, at the site of the injection, which will subside within days.
In rare cases, more serious side effects may occur, such as an allergic reaction or infection. If you experience any severe side effects after a skin pigmentation treatment, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Overall, skin pigmentation treatments are safe and effective for most people.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – it depends on the severity of your pigmentation and how quickly you want to see results.
For milder cases, you may only need to treat your skin every month or so. However, if your pigmentation is more severe, you may need to treat it more frequently – perhaps every 2 weeks.
It’s always best to consult with a medical doctor to get the most accurate advice for your individual situation. They can help you develop a treatment plan that fits your needs and expectations.
The recovery time for skin pigmentation treatment can vary depending on the type of treatment you undergo and the intensity of the treatment.
For example, laser treatments may require few days of recovery time for deeper skin pigmentation while superficial pigments may have no downtime at all.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to skin pigmentation treatment and recovery, as each case is unique. In general, however, you can expect some redness and peeling after treatment, which should subside within a few days.
If left untreated, the tan, brown, or dark brown pigmentation and may take months to years to resolve without treatment. Some pigmentation that appears as blue-gray may either be permanent or resolve over a protracted period of time if left untreated.
In serious cases, untreated skin pigmentation may also lead to complications such as skin cancer. It is important to see a medical doctor for regular check-ups, so that any changes in pigmentation can be monitored.
Before treatment, your skin will be cleansed and a topical numbing cream may be applied to minimise discomfort. Once the numbing has taken effect, the laser or rf microneedling treatment proceeds, and you may feel a slight prickling or stinging sensation as the energy penetrates the skin, but this should subside quickly.
After treatment, the area may be slightly red right after the treatment but this will subside within the day. There may be swelling for some treatments due to stronger setting for certain conditions. You can expect the swelling to go down within the week. You may resume normal activities post treatment.
It is best to apply SPF protection daily and avoid prolonged sun exposure, strenuous exercises, active ingredients and exfoliatives to prevent any skin irritation or complication.
You can expect the results of your treatment to last for several months, and possibly up to a year or more, depending on individual. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions on how to care for your skin after treatment.
There are a number of factors that can affect whether or not your skin pigmentation will return after treatment. The most important factor is the type of treatment you receive.
Medical aesthetic treatments like laser procedure are able to cause permanent changes in skin pigmentation.
Another important factor is the size and location of the treated area. Smaller areas of pigmentation are more likely to return after treatment than larger ones. Pigmentation that is located close to the surface of the skin is also more likely to return than pigmentation that is located deeper in the skin.
Your individual response to treatment will also play a role in whether or not your skin pigmentation will return. Some people are more prone to developing new pigmentation than others due their lifestyle. Be sure to protect your skin against pigemntation causing factors to prevent new pigmentation from developing.
If you are concerned about the possibility of your skin pigmentation returning after treatment, be sure to discuss this with your doctor before starting any type of treatment.
V Medical Aesthetics and Laser Clinic has 16 clinic outlets across Singapore, located at:
Novena, Orchard, Somerset, Dhoby Ghaut, Tanjong Pagar, Bedok, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Woodlands, Serangoon, Boon Lay, Jurong East, Yishun and Toh Payoh.
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