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ALL ABOUT SKIN

Pigmentation

Freckles

These are small light brown spots that appear on areas of sun exposure, usually on the cheeks and nose. They are present when young and increase with age. Freckles can be reduced and lightened by avoiding sun exposure, regular use of SPF 50 sunscreens and skin lightening creams. They can be effectively removed with the new generation innovative picosecond laser treatment.

Solar lentigines (sun spots)

These are brown discrete pigmentation spots that occur on the face, arms, legs and other sun-exposed areas due to prolonged sun exposure contributing to skin ageing. First noted in the 30’s – 40’s, these can get progressively more with age, and some will become slightly thickened with time. Patients with multiple solar lentigines have commented that it gives them a “dirty” appearance.

Regular use of SPF 50 sunscreen and sun avoidance may prevent solar lentigines. Skin lightening creams can lighten the appearance of these brown spots but not remove them. The new generation innovative picosecond laser treatment offers good results to remove solar lentigines. Consult your dermatologist regarding your suitability for this treatment.

Melasma

Melasma is a common pigmentary problem affecting Asians. These are vague brown to greyish patches on the cheeks, forehead, temples, nasal bridge and jawline. It occurs due to genetic, hormonal factors and sun exposure. Women are more commonly affected than men and melasma may worsen after pregnancy and use of oral contraceptives.

It is a difficult condition to treat as risk of recurrence is high. Regular use of broad-spectrum sunscreens, sun avoidance and skin lightening creams may help but the results are variable. Oral medicines and antioxidant supplements are available to improve the skin condition, and these need to be discussed with an experienced dermatologist. Traditionally, pigment lasers have been known to worsen melasma but with the revolutionary picosecond laser, this risk is minimised and skin brightening can be achieved. Additional benefits include skin rejuvenation with tighter skin and a natural radiance superior to the traditional pigment lasers.

Hori’s naevus

These discrete grey to brownish spots on the cheeks affect mainly Asian women in their 30’s – 50’s. It occurs due to genetic and hormonal factors. As the pigmentation is deep within the skin, lightening creams may have limited efficacy. Hori’s naevus can be effectively lightened with the picosecond laser after multiple treatment sessions.

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