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Category Archives for "Pigmentation"

Dark eye circles

Dark Eye Circles Treatment in Singapore

Guide to Dark Eye Circle treatment in Singapore

Looking tired?

Stubborn dark eye circles that do not improve despite adequate sleep?

Dark circles under the lower eyelids are common in both men and women.

Often made worse by the presence of eyebags, dark circles can give one a “tired” appearance, even making you look older than you are!


What exactly are Dark Eye Circles?

Dark eye circles refer to the darkening of the skin area below your eyes. Of note, dark eye circles are different from eyebags or the tear trough.

Eyebags are caused by fat or fluid accumulation, leading to a swelling seen under the eyes.

The Tear Trough refers to the hollowing or “groove” between the junction of the lower eyelid and the cheek.

To compound problems, all 3 problems may co-exist together, exacerbating and worsening their appearance.

Who is commonly affected?

Though almost anyone can be affected by dark circles, they are most common in these 3 groups of people.

Older age: Loss of fatty tissue and thinning of the skin occurs around the eyes as part of the natural aging process. These changes can exacerbate the appearance of dark circles in older adults.

Darker Skin Types: Dark circles are more common in people with darker skin tones. It is thought to be attributed to the increased amount of skin pigmentation that occurs naturally.

Genetics: Dark circles can be hereditary. Research has found that dark circles under their eyes run in family members.

How do dark eye circles form?

The formation of dark eye circles can be attributed broadly to 2 factors.

1) Blood vessel congestion leading to pooling of blood and engorgement of blood vessels under the eye. Some of these vessels are found superficially (closer to the skin surface), causing the area to appear dark bluish / greenish / purplish at times.

2) Hyperpigmentation i.e increased or extra pigment formation or deposition in the under-eye area. This is commonly seen in people with darker skin tone or prolonged sun exposure.

Common Causes of Dark Eye Circles

Any factor that worsens blood vessel congestion or increased pigmentation formation can contribute to worsening of dark eye circles.

  • Lack of sleep or poor sleeping habits can disrupt blood flow to the eye area
  • Allergies, including hay fever can cause vessel dilation and accumulation of blood
  • Overexposure to sun light, increasing pigmentation formation
  • Aging leads to reduced collagen and reduced levels of fatty tissue around the eyes as well as thinning of skin under the eyes, causing blood vessels to be more visible
  • Smoking leads to premature aging of the skin
  • Inherited genes

Treatment options

Dual laser program a.k.a Panda Eye Laser Program

To treat both blood vessel congestion and hyperpigmentation, Dr Edwin uses 2 lasers to safely and effectively address both the root causes of Dark Eye Circles.

Laser 1 – Pro Yellow Vascular Laser constricts and minimizes the appearance of blood vessels under the eye, thereby reducing under eye discoloration.

Laser 2 – Spectra Pigmentation Laser reduces hyperpigmentation around the eyes, lightening dark eye circles.

Many a time, patients have complained that they have underwent laser treatment for dark eye circles, but without success. Unfortunately, most are only treated with the pigmentation laser alone which is unable to improve blood vessel congestion and hence, the less than satisfactory results.

Under Eye Fillers

In patients with thin, aging skin, under eye fillers such as Teosyal RD2 can be used to mask the appearance of blood vessels as well as stimulate collagen to improve skin elasticity and thickness.

 Furthermore, Teosyal RD2 contains different types of antioxidants which work to brighten skin and lighten pigmentation around the under eyes.

Rejuran I

Rejuran I (Eye) is an anti-aging treatment specially focused on rejuvenating the eye area. It contains Polynucleotides (PN) derived from Salmon DNA.

Studies have shown that PN extracted from salmon DNA is very safe and compatible with human skin. PN are DNA fragments that repair damaged skin cells and stimulate collagen production.

It is injected in a similar fashion to Skinboosters, with a series of precise micro injections into the skin around the eyes.

More information can be found here.

Peptide Stem Cell Eye Serum

4 in 1 specially formulated eye serum to treat dark eye circles, eye bags, eye wrinkles and promote eye lash growth. Contains Arnica and Caffeine to reduce blood vessel congestion and pigmentation around the eyes.

Peptide blends (Matrixyl, Haloxyl, Eyeliss) stimulate collagen and reduce signs of aging around the eyes such as wrinkles and thinning of skin.

Biotinyl, Myristoyl, Biotin and Grape Stem Cells promote eyelash growth to achieve longer and fuller eyelash appearance.

More information can be found here.

Peptide Stem Cell Eye Serum


Speak to us today to find out how you can improve dark eye circles!


Oral Sunblock Supplements – Do they really work?

Oral Sunblock Supplements - Do they really work?

Oral Sunblocks have been around the market for many years now. Popular brands in the market include Heliocare and Crystal Tomato.

They promise many benefits such as increased Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) protection, skin whitening, anti-oxidant and anti-aging.

With multiple benefits, it is no surprise that many have jumped on the bandwagon in the pursuit of better skin. These supplements cost between $160-180 for a month's supply, not exactly chump change for many.

Hence the question - Do they really work?

TLDR summary - Yes they do!

Want to learn more about the science and evidence? Read on!

Why is Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) protection important?

Before we delve into how oral sunblocks work, let us recap why Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) protection is important.

Prolonged UV exposure is linked to

  • Increased risk of skin cancer
  • Sunburns
  • Premature skin aging (photo-aging)
  • Increased wrinkles
  • Pigmentary disorders

Sunblock is undoubtedly one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to protect one’s skin from harmful UV rays.

However, its efficacy is reduced by several commonly reported factors.

  • Non-compliance in applying sunblock
  • Inconvenience in re-applying sunblock after 4 to 6 hours
  • Perspiration and sweat reduces effectiveness of sunblock coverage
  • Reluctance to have a “white sunblock sheen” over face
  • Make up does not “sit well” over sunblock
  • Fear of acne outbreaks when applying oily sunblocks

Taking into account the above factors, it is no wonder that naturally occurring oral sunblock supplements have been a big hit in the aesthetic market!

Show me the evidence!

Word of caution - This is where the article gets wordy. Skip to the parts that says TLDR Summary for the important bits.

Dr Edwin analysed the active ingredients of popular oral sunblock supplements and performed a literature review to see if research studies can provide evidence and support for these supplements.

Two of the most studied ingredients are Polypodium Leucotomos (found in Heliocare) and Colourless Carotenoids (found in Crystal Tomato).

Polypodium Leucotomos

Polypodium leucotomos is the main ingredient in Heliocare and belongs to a South American species of fern called Polypodiaceae.

It is a potent antioxidant with demonstrated photo- and immunoprotective activities against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 

This fern extract has also been used for many years to treat a variety of skin conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and melasma. 

One study titled "Safety and Efficacy of Oral Polypodium leucotomos Extract in Healthy Adult Subjects" reported that participants experienced a decrease in number sunburn episodes and lesser skin erythema (redness) when exposed to the sun.

They found that “Orally administered P. leucotomos extract decreases UV-mediated oxidative damage to DNA by enhancing the activity of endogenous antioxidant systems responsible for blocking the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).” Damaged DNA affects cell repair and replication, increasing the risk of skin cancer and photoaging.

TLDR summary - Polypodium leucotomos provides photoprotection from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Furthermore, it is a strong anti-oxidant and has an excellent safety profile making it suitable for long-term use. 

Another study done by the National Skin Centre in Singapore titled "Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Polypodium Leucotomos Extract in the Treatment of Melasma in Asian Skin also reported that Polypodium leucotomos" can significantly reduce the severity of sunburn, decrease the risk of UV radiation-induced skin cancer and prevent skin aging.

More interestingly these 2 points were brought up, “patients experienced significant improvement in mMASI scores from the first month of treatment, indicating that Polypodium leucotomos accelerates the pigmentation clearance of melasma compared to those treated with topical 4% hydroquinone and sunscreen alone” and “a systemic photoprotective agent, such as Polypodium leucotomos, can provide uniform, total body surface protection, which might have an advantage over topical protection.

TLDR summary - Polypodium leucotomos improves melasma and has an added advantage and convenience of providing UV protection for the entire body!

Other studies such as Schalka et al have reported that “continued use of Polypodium leucotomos is effective in increasing individual resistance to UV-induced pigmentation and erythema and thus might be useful in treating pigmentary disorders

In another study, 12 researchers concluded that orally administered Polypodium leucotomos also appears to provide benefits in treating vitiligo and melasma and might help with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

TLDR summary - Polypodium leucotomos reduces formation of pigmentation, improves melasma and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Colourless Carotenoids

Phytoene and Phytofluene are the 2 main colourless carotenoids in oral sunblock supplements.

Compared to other forms of carotenoids found in vegetables and fruits, they are uniquely able to absorb Ultraviolet Radiation from sun exposure.

Phytoene absorbs maximally in the UVB region (280–320nm) and Phytofluene in the UVA region (320–400 nm)

The study titled "Skin Carotenoids in Public Health and Nutricosmetics: The Emerging Roles and Applications of the UV Radiation-Absorbing Colourless Carotenoids Phytoene and Phytofluene" reported that colourless carotenoids consumed orally are deposited and stored in the skin, conferring UV protective properties. Furthermore, ample evidence in the study indicated that colourless carotenoids contribute to decreasing the risk of developing diseases such as cancer, heart and diabetes by reducing DNA damage and inflammation through the reduction of free radicals.

Other studies by Von Oppen-Bezalel L. titled "Colorless Carotenoids, phytoene and phytofluene for the skin: For prevention of aging/photo-aging from inside and out" and Von Oppen-Bezalel L., Havas F., Ramot O. titled "Phytoene and Phytofluene for (Photo) Protection, Anti Aging, Lightening and Evening of Skin Tone” reported skin lightening effects and beneficial effects like anti-ageing and anti-wrinkling effects after daily oral intake of colourless carotenoids.

TLDR summary - On top of UVR protective benefits, Colourless Carotenoids have additional cosmetic and health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, skin lightening and anti-aging.

Sounds good - Can we combine both?

Being a typical kiasu Singaporean, Dr Edwin wanted the best of both worlds. 

He collaborated with a local compounding pharmacy for research and development and formulated the Maxi-White Oral Skincare Supplement.

To further enhance skin whitening and lightening of pigmentation, Dr Edwin added a third critical ingredient to the supplement - Glutathione, on top of Polypodium Leucotomos and Colourless Carotenoids, 

Maxi-White Oral Skin Care Supplement

Its unique selling point is the combination of 3 active ingredients into one oral supplement with a convenient once daily dose.

  1. Polypodium Leucotomos
  2. Colourless Carotenoids
  3. Glutathione

Working via different pathways and mechanisms, the supplement maximises the following benefits

  • UVA and UVB protection
  • Whitening
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-Aging

Glutathione? Whats that?

Oral glutathione has been extensively studied and is commonly used both topically and orally in many Asian countries for skin whitening and the treatment of pigmentation.

In the study "Glutathione and its antiaging and antimelanogenic effects", improvement in melanin (pigmentation), reduction in wrinkles and increase in skin elasticity was reported. In another study “Glutathione as an oral whitening agent: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study”, it was reported that “melanin indices decreased consistently at all six sites in subjects who received glutathione” with a decrease in the appearance of UV spots.

TLDR summary - Oral glutathione has been proven to be effective in skin lightening, pigmentation reduction and confers anti-aging benefits.

Conclusion

For those seeking a convenient, safe and effective way to increase UVR protection as well as looking to enjoy multiple benefits such as skin whitening, anti-aging and anti-oxidant, consider an oral sunblock supplement with Polypodium Leucotomos, Colourless Carotenoids and Glutathione as active ingredients!


Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion Questions & Answers

If you still have not tried microdermabrasion, you probably are the minority here. Everyone is doing the treatment these days, from people in their 50s to women in their prime of youth, men included! Their ultimate goal is to acquire a glowing complexion with well-hydrated skin that has minimal imperfections. Since there are many mixed reviews both online and offline, we would like to take the opportunity to clarify some points about microdermabrasion that will make it all much easier to understand. Let’s go over the commonly asked questions.

What is Microdermabrasion Skin Renewal?

Aquapure Facial Microdermabrasion

This is a non-invasive skin exfoliating procedure that gently removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. It is usually done with a diamond-tipped hand-held applicator and patented vacuum technology that gently removes impurities and concurrently introduces specialised serums to deeply cleanse, exfoliates, hydrate and rejuvenates the skin. The treatment is performed in a doctor’s clinic and by a qualified professional.

Is Microdermabrasion Good?

This will depend on the type of skin improvements you desire. The treatment is ideal for all skin colours and types, making it one of the most widely accepted facials out there. Benefits include younger, hydrated and healthier looking skin. However, this all-in-one facial has its limitations. For example, people who wish to target deep expression lines or wrinkles may experience better results with BTX injections. As such, it is important to have the right set of expectations prior to embarking on the Microdermabrasion facial.

Does Microdermabrasion Help with Acne?

Microdermabrasion can be used to improve and prevent acne by unclogging blocked pores, removing sebum, impurities and deeply cleansing the skin. It is beneficial for patients with comedones and mild acne but not ideal for those with large cystic inflammatory acne.

Does Microdermabrasion Hurt?

Patients with more sensitive skin may experience something akin to small ant bites. However, for most patients, the procedure is comfortable and not painful at all! There is also zero downtime for the Microdermabrasion facial making it a perfect lunch time procedure.

How Long Do Microdermabrasion Effects Last For?

The beneficial effects of the Microdermabrasion Facial last 2 to 4 weeks on average. Regular treatments over the span of a few months will increase the effectiveness and longevity of the results. Most of our patients come once a month for the Microdermabrasion facial to maintain the glowing skin that they have grown to love!

How Many Microdermabrasion Treatments to See Results?

After the first session, you will notice right away that your skin is brighter, more radiant and well hydrated. To achieve even more outstanding results such as reduction of fine lines and whitening, we recommend committing to a Microdermabrasion facial regime of 6 to 10 sessions done once every 3 to 4 weeks.

What are the Benefits of the Procedure?

Microdermabrasion brings plenty of benefits to your skin! Aside from the instant glow, it also helps minimise hyperpigmentation, age spots, and blemishes. It deeply cleanses the skin and removes impurities from clogged pores by vacuum suction. Furthermore, it stimulates collagen which helps to tighten pores and improve fine lines and mild wrinkles.

In addition, the treatment promotes lymphatic drainage, which has an added benefit of reducing dark eye circles and eye bags. The Microdermabrasion facial is ideal for all skin conditions and ages, as such, everyone can and should enjoy its multiple benefits!

Are Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion the Same?

dermabrasion

We understand that there is some confusion about the 2 terms as they sound quite similar and yet are actually very different!

Compared to Microdermabrasion, Dermabrasion is a skin resurfacing procedure which is more “aggressive” and typically uses a rotating instrument such as the dermabrader to exfoliate and remove the outer layers of skin to reveal new, smoother skin.

It is suitable for people with uneven texture, acne scars, acne, tattoos, sun damage, and wrinkles. It is performed by a doctor in a medical setting and requires the application of an anaesthetic cream beforehand to ensure a pain-free procedure. There is an estimated downtime of 1 week for this procedure.

Unlike Microdermabrasion, which is suitable for all skin types, Dermabrasion is better suited for fair skinned individuals. People with darker skin tones may experience post inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) after Dermabrasion.

Bottom Line

Microdermabrasion is a safe, comfortable and effective procedure that delivers a healthy and glowing complexion with minimised imperfections. Regular Microdermabrasion facials help improve the appearance of pimples, fine lines and pores. Most importantly, it delivers great results for people of all ages and skin types. If you wish to find out more about how the Microdermabrasion facial can improve your skin, do not hesitate to contact us now!

Melasma Treatment in Singapore | Review on Treatment Options

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a common pigmentary disorder of the skin that is seen more commonly in women. It appears as brown / brown grey patches on the face, most often seen on the cheeks, nose bridge and forehead.

How can I tell if my pigmentation is Melasma?

Based on appearance, there are some telling signs that can differentiate Melasma from the usual form of hyperpigmentation.

Melasma tends to appear as irregular patches / blotches and it may be symmetrical i.e appears on both sides of the cheeks / forehead / nosebridge. Hyperpigmentation on the other hand tend to be smaller in size, circular and well defined.

Factors that worsen melasma

  • Sun Exposure
  • Hormonal Changes – Consumption of oral contraceptive pills
  • Heat
  • Pregnancy (sometimes known as chloasma – the mask of pregnancy)
  • Genetics

Why is Melasma more difficult to treat?

Hormonal influences play a significant role in melasma and it is one of the reasons why treating melasma is challenging as it can be difficult to remove such an instigating factor.

Often times, melasma can also recur even after successful treatment when exposed to one of the above factors such as prolonged exposure to sun during a beach holiday.

When treated incorrectly with Lasers, Melasma may sometimes worsen or even develop post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Some studies have reported that Melasma may relapse after stopping treatment.

Treatment options

Topical Creams

Prescription only combination creams that contain ingredients such as Hydroquinone, Tretinoin, Arbutin, Tranexamic acid and Butylresorcinol are useful and effective in the treatment of melasma.

Dr Edwin has formulated the Advanced Skin Lightener and Pigment Focus Cream which contains the above-mentioned medically proven ingredients to lighten pigmentation and improve melasma by blocking the production of melanin (pigmentation) and increasing cell turnover thereby clearing dark patches of pigmentation.

Oral medications

Oral medications such as Tranexamic acid is able to improve melasma by interfering and blocking the melanin production pathway in UV exposure and hormonal influences.

Sunblock

UV defense is a crucial component in the treatment of melasma. Sun exposure has been reported to be one of the largest culprits in triggering / worsening melasma.

Dr Edwin recommends topical / applied sunblock of at least SPF 30, bearing in mind that sunblock is only effective for 4 to 6 hours. Ideally, patients should reapply sunblock every 4 hours if there is prolonged sun exposure.

Oral sunblock supplements such as the Maxi-White Oral Skincare supplement contain Colourless Carotenoids, Leuocotomos Polypodium and Glutathione as active ingredients.

They have been shown in studies to boost the skin’s defense against UV rays, lighten pigmentation and improve melasma.

Lasers

Lasers when used correctly by an experienced doctor can speed up the process of melasma treatment. Dr Edwin prefers to combine the Spectra Pigment Laser with the Quadrostar Pro Yellow laser.

This dual laser method accelerates the breakdown of pigments as well as inhibits the formation of new pigments, thereby improving the appearance of melasma.

Dr Edwin Lim has successfully treated many cases of Melasma with his multi-modal approach.

Contact us today at 69042218 or 96372218 to find out more!