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OZ Aesthetic

Pigmentation

Picture of a person suffering from pigmentation

What is Pigmentation?

Pigmentation is a broad term for a common skin condition in Singapore that affects people of all ages. The condition causes the skin to appear darker than normal in brown, black, red or pink spots or patches, also known as hyperpigmentation.

What are the common causes pigmentation in Singapore?

Our skin gets its colouring from melanin which is created by skin cells. Melanin gets overproduced when these skin cells become damaged, causing it to clump and making that particular area become darker. 

Certain factors can trigger an increase in melanin production, leading to hyperpigmentation. The common ones are:

  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes and disorders 
  • Skin injury and trauma
  • Acne 

What are the common types and symptoms of pigmentation in Singapore?

Melasma

Melasma often occurs on the stomach and face (although they can appear in any area) and is usually caused by hormonal changes. It may also develop during pregnancy.

Sun spots

Also referred to as liver spots, sun spots are common and usually occur with regular or excessive sun exposure. They often appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin such as hands and face.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

The result of damage to the skin cells caused by injury or inflammation due to acne.

Is pigmentation painful?

Pigmentation is not painful or itchy. However, as it appears in dark patches on the skin, hyperpigmentation may cause feelings of self-consciousness and low self-esteem. 

How is pigmentation diagnosed?

The skin condition can be diagnosed through a visual examination by your doctor or dermatologist. Further tests may be ordered to determine the underlying cause. 

What are the risk factors for pigmentation?

There are a number of factors that put you at a higher risk of developing pigmentation. These include:

  • Sun exposure - spending too much time in the sun, especially for those with lighter skin tone, can cause hyperpigmentation.
  • Hormonal imbalances - hormonal fluctuations can cause melasma, which is more prevalent in pregnant women.
  • Dark skin tone - Those with darker complexions are at higher risk of developing hyperpigmentation. 
  • Metabolic conditions -  Vitamin deficiencies and metabolic imbalances is also believed to be a risk factor for hyperpigmentation disorders. 
  • Inflammation - Inflamed skin caused by injury or trauma can lead to hyperpigmentation.
  • Addison’s disease - If you have this endocrine disease, you may be at risk of developing hyperpigmentation in areas of sun exposure (face, neck, hands), and areas prone to friction (elbows and knees). 

What are the treatment options available for pigmentation in Singapore?

Depending on the severity of pigmentation symptoms, there are varied treatment options for the skin condition. These include:

Topical creams 

Retinoids and creams that include ingredients such as face acids and vitamin C are usually recommended for those with mild to moderate pigmentation.

Whitening lotions and creams

Specially formulated whitening products can lighten the skin and dark patches.

Chemical peels

Chemical peels can also be used to remove a layer of the skin and improve skin colour and tone. However, there is significant downtime and side effects of these treatments such as redness and discomfort. 

Facials and pulse light therapy

Specific facials and intense pulse light therapy (IPL) treatments can help lighten the skin and treat hyperpigmentation. These are often safe on the skin with zero downtime. Facial treatments for pigmentation offered at our clinic include:

Using a microsecond multi-pulse device armed with the latest millisecond technology, this treatment treats conditions such as hyperpigmentation and acne. By targeting certain problem areas with a high level of precision, it is safer than conventional IPL technology and Nd:YAG lasers and is medically approved in Korea. 

This skin whitening programme designed by dermatologists specifically treats pigmentation disorders. The programme includes the HiPL treatment, De:H Brightening Ampoule and De:H Cellulose Whitening Mask to reduce melanin, repair damaged skin and prevent further pigmentation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does skin pigmentation go away on its own?

Some dark spots and patches caused by pigmentation disorders fade over time, usually within six to 12 months. However if it is deep in your skin, it can take several years to fade. 

What removes hyperpigmentation?

Creams and supplements that contain ingredients such as hydroquinone, kojic acid and vitamin C may reduce hyperpigmentation. Pulse light therapy treatments and whitening facials are also effective for long-term reduction and improvement of pigmentation.

Does food cause pigmentation?

Food is not normally a cause of hyperpigmentation. However, consuming too much beta-carotene (found in orange foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes) can cause orange colouring on the skin.

Why does pigmentation appear on the face?

Pigmentation can appear on the face due to sun exposure or inflammation caused by acne.

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Somerset Singapore 238164

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