You may notice patches of skin on your face that has turned slightly darker than the rest of your complexion. Sometimes, the darkened patch is very prominent, and other times less obvious. In some instances, there may not be just one patch, but multiple patches all over the face and neck. If you see such darkening, you may be experiencing hyperpigmentation. The term hyperpigmentation refers to unusual darkening of the skin, often due to the increased production of pigment (usually melanin), but it may also be due to other substances such as iron deposition in the skin.
There are many causes for hyperpigmentation. Some are harmless and may be due to ageing or excessive and unprotected sun exposure in the past. This darkening of the skin is caused when too much melanin is produced. Melanin is the pigment that is responsible for giving our skin, eyes and hair its colour. Other more serious causes include Addison’s disease (due to a problem in the adrenal gland), Café au lait (a genetic condition that may have increased risk of neurofibromatosis), or photo-allergy.
Hyperpigmentation can affect anyone, regardless of ethnicity and skin colour.
The most common form of hyperpigmentation is known as age spots. Age spots are caused by the skin’s prolonged exposure to the sun. They are most commonly found on the face or hands, or other areas often exposed to the sun.
Another form of hyperpigmentation that may occur is known as Melasma. Melasma, unlike age spots, are more diffused and larger. It is linked to genetic predisposition and is aggravated by hormonal changes, in the case of pregnant women, or those on hormonal medications. The hormonal changes cause the melanocytes to enlarge and this leads to the overproduction of melanin, which results in the darkened areas.
While hyperpigmentation is often harmless, the dark patches on your skin can make you look older. Discovery PICO laser treatment is a good choice to help even out and improve the skin tone.
Discovery PICO is an aesthetic treatment that uses lasers that makes contact with the targeted area every picosecond, or one-trillionth of a second. The treatment targets the pigments that occur due to hyperpigmentation, and causes them to be removed by the body. Unlike the previous generations of nanosecond lasers, picosecond lasers generate minimal heat, allowing for less downtime and reaction, and generating a photo-acoustic effect on the treated areas.
The photo-acoustic effect also stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that gives the skin its strength. The skin on the treated area would thus become tighter, and more youthful-looking.
Within a few weeks, clear skin will surface within the treated areas.
Discovery PICO treatments are quick, usually taking only one hour per session, and relatively comfortable, due to the minimal heat generated. However, patients may need to return for multiple sessions, depending on the type and degree of their pigmented lesion.
EHA Clinic in Singapore, recommends Discovery PICO for the treatment of pigmentation. Dr Elias Tam, our resident doctor who has over 20 years of medical experience, will ensure your treatment goes smoothly and successfully. He will also gladly answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding this new treatment.
Before your first session, you will have a short 15 to 30 minute consultation with Dr Tam. During this pre-treatment consultation, Dr Tam will be able to ascertain your suitability for the procedure.
For queries about Discovery PICO or to book an appointment, call EHA Clinic at 6235 3325.