Do you ever wonder how a lot of women of Asian descent look younger than women from other races despite being of the same age? You have your skin to thank for that. One study mentions that Asian skin shows evidence of skin ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines, slower as compared to Caucasians. While Asians can look like they have unlimited access to the fountain of youth, they do not possess immunity for pigmentation problems. Hence, effective treatment options for pigmentation in Singapore are always in demand. If you are one of the many Asians that suffer from the bane of skin discoloration, then this article can highly be of help to you. Read on.
Why are Asians more prone to skin pigmentation problems?
Melanin is the substance produced by the body which gives colour to the skin, hair, and eyes. One study done among Asians, specifically Southeast Asians, showed that melanin production in the body increases with age. This explains why many Asian adults complain about the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone as they become older.
What are the common pigmentation problems among Asians?
As the Asian skin tends to produce more melanin as the body ages, various pigmentations can occur in the surface of the skin when it is not properly cared for. The most common pigmentation problems that numerous Asian adults have are:
- Nevus of Hori
- Nevus of Ota
- Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
Let us take a look closer on the characteristics of each skin pigmentation condition.
How they look like: Tiny spots that can be brown or red in colour.
How they develop: Freckles occur in the skin when the body protects it from sun damage by producing more melanin as an area of the body gets exposed to the UV rays of the sun. Other causes of freckles include genetics and a rare disease called Xeroderma pigmentosum.
Where they appear: Arms, back, face, hands, neck, and upper chest
How they look like: Spots that is anywhere from 5-20 mm in measurement and can be black, brown, dark brown, or tan in colour.
How they develop: Most types of lentigines are caused by exposure to the sun.
Where they appear: Arms, face, hands, scalp, and upper chest
How they look like: Can appear freckle-like or in patches that can be bluish-grey or brown in colour.
How they develop: Melasma is a pigmentation condition that causes the skin to darken. It happens when the body produces too much melanin as a result of the skin’s exposure to external factors, such as light, heat, or UV rays. In women, melasma can also be triggered by hormonal changes due to pregnancy.
Where they appear: Cheeks, face, forehead, and forearms
NEVUS OF HORI
How they look like: Tiny spots that can be bluish-grey or greyish-brown in colour and appear in a bilateral and symmetrical manner in the skin.
How they develop: Hori’s Nevus is believed to be influenced mainly by genetics that can be triggered by sun exposure and ageing resulting to the overproduction of melanin in the skin. This pigmentation condition can also be due to medications that regulate hormones or pregnancy in women.
Where they appear: Cheeks, eyelids, forehead, and nose
NEVUS OF OTA
How they look like: This skin pigmentation appears as patches in bluish-grey colour.
How they develop: Nevus of Ota is typically a hyperpigmentation that is present at birth. In women, this condition sometimes develops as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Where they appear: Cheek, eyes, face, forehead, nose, and temples
POST INFLAMMATORY HYPERPIGMENTATION
How they look like: PIH appears as spots or patches of skin discoloration that can be bluish- grey, brown, dark brown, or tan in colour.
How they develop: Extra melanin are produced by the body as a way of protection following inflammation or injury in the skin. This is usually caused by certain skin conditions, such as acne and eczema.
Where they appear: Any part of the body that has experienced damage or inflammation.
What is done to diagnose hyperpigmentation in the skin?
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask for some information regarding your medical history to be able to diagnose the kind of skin pigmentation that you may have. To get a more accurate diagnosis for instances when the characteristics of your skin pigmentation are akin to other medical diseases, your doctor may request you to undergo skin biopsy.
Based on your doctor’s evaluation, a treatment plan will be set in place. Your doctor may recommend the options mentioned previously or, if you are taking medications that trigger the development of skin pigmentation, they may recommend you to stop and seek for further medical advice or alternative medications that can help improve your health as well as your skin’s appearance.
Aside from your skin pigmentation treatment plan, you should be taking extra care of your skin. Limit your exposure to the sun, especially during hours when the UV rays are intense. Always use SPF 30 or SPF 50 sunscreen. Shield your skin from the direct heat of the sun by using hats, caps, or umbrellas. If your activities require you to be under the sun for an extended period of time, try using SPF or UPF clothing.
What are effective treatment options for pigmentation in Singapore?
There are plenty of effective treatment options for pigmentation problems available in Singapore. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend any or a combination of the following:
- Acid and chemical peels
- Best for: Freckles, Lentigines, Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
- Examples: Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), glycolic acid, phenol, salicylic acid
- Laser therapy
- Best for: Freckles, Lentigines, Melasma, Nevus of Hori, Nevus of Ota
- Examples: Picosecond-switched laser, Nd-YAG laser, Q-switched nanosecond laser
- Oral and topical medication
- Best for: Freckles, Lentigines, Melasma, Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
- Examples: Hydroquinone, retinol, azelaic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
It is important to remember that treating skin pigmentation should be done by medical professionals to rule out any other skin conditions or diseases with symptoms that may look similar to a certain pigmentation.
Skin pigmentation treatments in Singapore are available at Veritas Medical Aesthetics.
Veritas Medical Aesthetics
13 Stamford Rd, #B2-35 Capitol Singapore, Singapore 178905
+65 6283 3885
+65 8129 9789