Home Blog

IPL Hair Removal in Singapore: Suitability, Side Effects, Misconceptions

Hair removal

In this day and age, the concept of hair removal no longer boils down to shaving only. Thanks to technological advances, we can now use techniques that leave us with smooth skin for more than just a day. But even sugaring, epilating and waxing have descended the list of the most popular depilating methods to make room for the ones that offer permanent results. This post will focus on IPL hair removal in Singapore and its highs and lows. We will take you through the basics, clear a few misconceptions, and answer the most burning questions. Take a look.

What Is IPL Hair Removal?

IPL Removal device

IPL is a hair reduction and skin rejuvenation method used by medical and cosmetic practitioners in Singapore. The full name reads intense pulsed light and, contrary to popular belief, the treatment is not a laser, although there are some similarities. The technology relies on a handheld flashgun which employs high concentrations of non-coherent light, roughly similar to 400 to 1,200nm.

The objective is to damage unwanted hair at its root in a relatively pain-free way and thus ensure smooth skin control. Most devices come with a cooling gel that soothes the affected area, making it all more comfortable for patients.

Apart from hair removal, IPL also comes in handy against sun damage, pigmentation and thread veins. It may help to reduce eczema outbursts as well. Overall, it acts as a minimally invasive facial treatment that has both therapeutic and aesthetic purposes.

IPL vs Lasers

laser hair removal

The difference between lasers and IPL is that the former manipulation operates a single wavelength to heat the cells, hence it can treat one condition at a time. Whereas the latter is pure broad-spectrum light which not only allows the use of interchangeable filters but also addresses more skin concerns at once. One of the downsides is that the light is dispersed in different directions and can damage surrounding tissues in the process.

In comparison, with lasers, only small controlled zaps go into the skin. They single out the skin pigments in the hair follicle, leaving the rest of the tissue alone.

Areas Where IPL Works

  • Legs
  • Armpits
  • Bikini area
  • Face

Number of Treatments You Need

When it comes to reducing hair growth, IPL will be most effective if you do 8 to 10 appointments overall. It is important to let some time in between to make sure there is new hair that can be destroyed. The frequency of application varies between 2 and 8 weeks. The dermatologist will tell you how often you should have a session during your treatment.

If you want to use intense pulse light for other skin problems, the timeframes vary as well. When it comes to acne, you can schedule your sessions fortnightly or even weekly. For skin rejuvenation, you had better space the visits to salon four weeks apart. You will generally need 4-6 manipulations to get things going.

Side Effects

After the procedure, your skin will likely turn pink and there is nothing wrong with that. You may feel like you have gotten a sunburn - the treated area will swell and start peeling but that won’t last more than a few days. As a whole, if you get any reactions, they will be minor and easy to handle.

Suitable Candidates

The procedure works best for people with fair skin whose hairs are dark. The reason for this is self-explanatory but let’s clarify for the sake of staying informed. The light emitted from the device will be generally attracted by any dark spots on the body. If your hairs are bright, the gadget will miss them.

Misconceptions About Intense Pulse Light

Below, we leave you with a few fallacies surrounding IPL.

#1 Completion of a package leads to permanent hair removal

IPL does deliver long-term results if you stick to it till the end. But don’t get the assumption that your body hair will be gone over the next few weeks. Or that you will never have to deal with it ever again. Yes, you can achieve a 90% reduction when you finish your treatment plan, which will probably require at least 10 sessions. However, this will not remove the hair once and for all. Instead, you will begin to notice that the remaining strand growth is slower, lighter and finer, therefore much easier to maintain.

#2 Darker skin is not suitable for the treatment

Truth is, it is possible to adjust the device so that it releases longer wavelengths and smaller amount of energy. This helps to prevent burns all the while targeting the right areas. However, less power generally means you need to undergo more sessions for an effective result than you would have to if you had a lighter skin tone.

That being said, you also should be aware that you will be more vulnerable to hyperpigmentation following the procedure. To make sure the treatment will produce the coveted outcome, consider doing a test spot first before you focus on larger areas.

#3 You can stop your treatment halfway through

Many people are tempted to call off their remaining appointments once they notice no hair growth in the targeted area. This usually happens on the fifth or sixth session when they still have a few more to go. It is understandable considering that permanent hair removal doesn’t come cheap. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it. Think about antibiotics. Do you stop taking them on the third day just because you feel better? No. You continue your course of treatment as prompted by your doctor, regardless. It’s the same with IPL hair removal. If you want it to work, you have to trust that it takes a certain amount of time to get it right.

Frequently Asked Questions

young woman with question marks.

And now, let’s answer some of the burning questions regarding IPL.

Is there something I should consider before undergoing the treatment?

Yes, actually. It is not recommended to drink alcohol before the manipulation, as this will increase the pain factor and compromise healing at that. Another thing to keep in mind, specifically for women, is that doing IPL while on your period is a no-no. Your skin will be more sensitive as a result of which the procedure will feel painful. Last but not least, you should know that antibiotics can make you more responsive to light. Ensure you have none in your system when going to that hair removal clinic.

Is it painful?

More often than not, it causes slight discomfort. Due to the cooling technology, you should not experience any pain, but do keep in mind that these things vary widely from person to person. Some patients have reported that the procedure did not go that well for them, while others claim they went completely pain-free throughout the whole process.

Why is IPL hair removal better than waxing?

For one, intense pulsed light hair removal is permanent. With just five sessions, you will wave goodbye to 70% of your fur. Increase that number to 10 and it might be just enough to get everything. On the other hand, waxing needs repeated visits to your cosmetician. The same hair will keep on growing back over and over again. What is more, IPL does not cause ingrown hair.

Can I undergo IPL without shaving?

It is recommended to shave some of the hair beforehand, but don’t remove all of it. You will need to have a good deal of strands left to attract the light from the machine. Otherwise, it may not be effective. It is also important to hydrate your skin well 48 hours prior to having the procedure, as this will ward off irritation.

Is it possible for men to get rid of facial hair with the help of IPL?

man undergoing facial hair removal procedure

This is a serious step to take and you should give it a solid consideration before you walk into a hair removal salon. Men who cannot grow any facial hair are occasionally perceived as adolescents. We assume most adults don’t really want to evoke that image in women.

Remember IPL is nothing like shaving, which only cuts the hair on the surface and keeps the core intact. Light technology generally works to destroy the follicle so that there is nothing left to grow. You need to be sure you understand the consequences of this act before you buy a package.

All things considered, intense pulsed light might be able to work on your face but there are some better alternatives.

What should I do after the session?

Stay out of the sun, get a soothing cream onto the treated area, and avoid heat for 24 hours. That involves saunas, hot showers, and just about anything you can think of. Just follow your technician’s advice and you will be fine.

Facial Treatments Types, Cost in Singapore

Beautiful face

Let’s face it, we Singaporeans are no strangers to the bad habits that cause skin problems in the other hemisphere. Layering too much foundation to cover imperfections? Staying up late at night, raiding the fridge for the least healthy snack? Guilty as charged. For this and other reasons, and just because we are human beings, we are not immune to oily skin, acne or dermatitis. To make up for the damage we unconsciously or knowingly do to our complexions, we like to pamper ourselves with spa procedures. With the number of beauty salons constantly rising, the choice seems nothing short of impossible. Is it hard to tell which is the best facial treatment in Singapore? Bear with us as we are unfolding the manipulations that will restore the glow of your skin.

Thermage - Maybe the Best for Fine Lines and Saggy Skin

This is a specialised therapy that uses non-invasive radiofrequency to tackle fine lines and contour the skin. A single treatment can take anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes and provide satisfactory results. It is suitable for all areas of the face, including around the eyes, as well as the whole body. It can be part of an annual routine targeted towards achieving a younger-looking appearance. There is no downtime.

Who is a good candidate for Thermage Treatment?

People with lax, loose skin, wrinkles and sagging jawline. Those who are over 35 will greatly benefit from this procedure.

Is there any pain or discomfort?

There may be some temporary discomfort that will manifest itself in heating sensation as the device is being run over the skin. Luckily, the vibration system that is incorporated into the system helps to provide comfort right away.

Is Thermage permanent?

No, but if you undergo Thermage sessions annually, the results can be pretty astonishing and long-lasting.

Can you overdo it?

Sure. You don’t want to have too much heat on your face or anywhere on your body. In fact, a single session will deliver a good outcome and the effects will continue to unfold over the next few months.

What are the Thermage side effects?

Some people report minor swelling and redness after the procedure, which usually resolves within 24 hours.

Doctor and Patient

Thermage cost in Singapore

Thermage price can range anywhere from $900 to $5000, with an average cost of $2000 per treatment.

Where to have Thermage?

At a certified clinic.


Laser Resurfacing - the Best Facial Treatment for Acne Scarring and Wrinkles

Laser procedures work on a wide array of skin concerns. Depending on the type of machine and the intensity it is set to, you can address acne scars, fine lines, uneven tone, rough complexion, and more. There are two main types of lasers - ablative, which are more suitable for skin lifting and tightening, and non-ablative that target the problems indicated above.

Who is a good candidate for Laser Resurfacing Treatment?

Those who make great candidates include anyone with fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and acne scars. Depending on laser type, some people may have to opt-out of the manipulation, such as those with very dark skin. Also, patients with acne or stretch marks will generally not be approved.

Is there any pain or discomfort?

Your doctor will smear anaesthetic cream on your face if the manipulation is intense. Some laser procedures do not call for any kind of numbing, but cold compresses will help to soothe the treated area and minimise discomfort.

Is Laser Resurfacing permanent?

Since your skin will age over time, undoing the results of the treatment, there is no way to achieve smoother complexion permanently without subsequent appointments. Life maintenance is essential for the most optimum outcome. The sessions need to be carried out once every 3-4 weeks so that the tiny wounds get the chance to heal fully.

Can you overdo it?

If you don’t space the procedures apart by a couple of weeks, there may not be enough time for the skin to heal. This will make it more sensitive and vulnerable to certain conditions. That said, if you go to a qualified professional, they will never let you have too many treatments at once.

What are the Laser Resurfacing side effects?

The most common reactions that patients have reported throughout the years are itching, swelling and redness. These are normal, especially with fractional laser resurfacing. However, in rare cases, the treatment can give rise to skin discolouration and infection. That being said, if you go to the right doctor/aesthetic clinic, it shouldn’t be a concern at all.

Laser Resurfacing Treatment Price in Singapore

The price depends on the types of lasers so in Singapore it could vary from $250 to $1500 per session. You will need at least 3 up to 6 sessions for effective results.

Where to have Laser Resurfacing

At a certified clinic, definitely.


Ultrasonic Exfoliation: Works for All Skin Types

This is a procedure that is delivered through spatula emitting ultrasonic soundwaves. First, the skin is sprayed with water to loosen dead skin cells. Then the device is slid across the face as 28,000 vibrations hit its surface.

Who will benefit best from it?

The best part is that all skin types are suitable for this treatment.

Is there pain or discomfort?

It is not painful at all. Should you experience an unpleasant feeling, talk to your therapist about it.

Is Ultrasonic Exfoliation permanent?

You have to receive a series of ultrasonic exfoliation treatments to remove all impurities and smoothen out your complexion. Some liquid should be applied on the face beforehand or as the device is going through the skin to avoid friction burn. The Ultrasonic Liposuction works similarly for fat cells.

Can you overdo it?

Like every other manipulation, you should make sure to let some time pass before you have another session. You can have too much of ultrasonic exfoliation or any other type of exfoliation for that matter. It can irritate the skin and make it more prone to infections and pimples.

What are the Ultrasonic Exfoliation side effects?

There are no known adverse reactions to this facial treatment. Technically, there is no downtime, redness or discomfort, which is what makes the treatment so great. What is more, it can be customised to fit your particular needs and skin type.

Ultrasonic Exfoliation Price in Singapore

Single Ultrasonic Exfoliation treatment cost is something between $75-$100, so the average is $90.

Where to have it

At a beauty salon or clinic.


Light Therapy: Best for Psoriasis

This is a manipulation that aims to stimulate the natural processes of the body that trigger skin repair and rejuvenation. It is delivered in a non-invasive way using a handheld device, and it works on dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, and sun damage. The reason it helps with these conditions is that it is technically capable of calming down irritated tissue. Other than that it can also brighten the skin.

Who will benefit best from the Light Therapy?

People with psoriasis, acne and inflammatory conditions will see the biggest difference. But generally speaking, anyone interested in giving their complexion a radiant boost will be happy with the results. You better consult with your dermatologist first if you have psoriasis.

Is there pain or discomfort?

There is absolutely no pain associated with this treatment and in fact, it should feel refreshing and calming.

Is Light Therapy permanent?

A single session will likely produce satisfactory results in and of itself, but if you wish to see major improvement, you have to commit to a couple of appointments. You will be increasing the intensity gradually over the course of 2-3 months. During this time, you may need 3-5 sessions per week.

Can you overdo it?

You can have too much light therapy which will generally present itself as discomfort, itching and redness. Specialists advise patients to undergo no more than 150 sessions of phototherapy for their entire life.

What are the Light Therapy treatment side effects?

Each skin reacts differently to the therapy but the majority of people experience minor itching and redness the first time around.

Light Therapy Treatment Cost

The average price is around$50 per session, it could vary depending on the clinic/beauty salon. You need to have at least 3 sessions to see any significant results.

Where to have it?

At a beauty salon or clinic.


Microdermabrasion: Best for Skin Imperfections and Wrinkles

facial therapy treatment

This is another minimally invasive facial treat that tends to improve the texture and tone of the skin. We do it often here in Singapore because it works on everything from age spots and sun damage to wrinkles and melasma. There are two main techniques. The most popular one uses an applicator that gently scrubs the surface of the face, dealing with dead skin cells and impurities. It encourages healing, which then promotes collagen formation.

With the other technique, called crystal microdermabrasion, a dermatologist sprays the skin with sodium bicarbonate or aluminium (only fine particles). Then, they use a handheld tool with a suction mechanism to vacuum up the substance. See more about Microdermabrasion explained by Singapore doctor.

Who is a good candidate for Microdermabrasion?

Almost all skin colours and types are suitable for this procedure. People who will benefit from it the most are those with acne, enlarged pores and uneven texture. If you have stretch marks, fine lines and the like, it will work too.

Is there any pain or discomfort?

No. Since it only addresses the top layer of the skin, it should not be painful. If the technician who is performing it is applying more pressure than you can take, let them know immediately.

Is Microdermabrasion permanent?

Periodic maintenance is the only way to go if you want to yield long-term results. Initially, though, the specialist will probably assign a series of treatments to accomplish for the best outcome.

Can you overdo it?

Yes, you can. This is why it is wise to do the sessions with a 1-2 week interval in between.

What are the Microdermabrasion side effects?

Like other minimally invasive manipulations, this one is followed by redness, swelling and mild tenderness in the treated region. The good news is that they go away pretty fast on the same day. There is no downtime and you don’t need to stay home.

Microdermabrasion cost in Singapore

The price could vary depending on the living area and specialist/clinic and the range is between $80 up to $250 in Singapore.

Where to have it?

At a beauty salon or clinic.

Migraine: Causes, Symptoms, Cure & Treatment

migraine

Migraine is a detestable health condition well known in Singapore and it's connected with the nervous system and general anatomy of the body, which is normally associated with heavy, persisting headaches. However, it can also be accompanied by a number of other symptoms and warning signs. In this article, we provide an overview of the problem, revealing the most common causes and treatment plans.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms can be divided into three stages according to the time they occur. The first one is called the prodrome stage. It involves the following signs: irritability, hyperactivity, low energy that may or may not be accompanied by food cravings and depression. That being said, fatigue is common too.

The next phase, which goes by the name of the attack stage, is characterised by vomiting, nausea, and throbbing head pain. Other things sufferers experience are dizziness and growing sensitivity to sound and light, not to mention disturbing vision. These can continue to appear for a few days before the third phase takes over. It is called the postdrome stage. It comes with quick mood shifts, from one extreme to the other. One minute you could be feeling apathetic and fatigued, the next you will be overjoyed.

The intensity and duration of each phase will be different for everyone. In some cases, not all stages are present, such as the first one.

The pain that migraine brings about can be described as debilitating, throbbing, and pulsating.

What Triggers Migraines?

bad sleep

It is still not clear what causes migraines but there are certain triggers that might be to blame, including but not restricted to:

  • Insufficient sleep, overexertion, poor posture, jet lag, etc.
  • Anxiety, depression, and stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain medications: contraceptive pill, sleeping pills, etc.
  • Food and drinks like alcohol, citrus fruits caffeine, chocolate, etc.
  • Loud noises, stuffy rooms, etc.
  • Dehydration
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Strong smells

Genes might make some more susceptible to the above triggers than others. Scientists are inclined to think that migraines occur as a result of abnormal brain activity which messes with certain blood vessels, chemicals and the manner in which nerves communicate. But that is just guesswork, as there is no strong evidence to back it up.

Types of Migraines

  • Stress migraine
  • Menstrual migraine
  • Cluster migraine
  • Abdominal
  • Hormonal
  • Chronic

Are There any Treatments?

Unfortunately, no cure is currently available for migraines; however, there are ways in which you can manage the symptoms as they occur. This will not only improve your life but also make the health condition less severe, allowing you to continue with your daily activities without disruption.

For the most part, the type of treatment you are prescribed will be contingent on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The kind of migraine that you are suffering from
  • Your age
  • The frequency and intensity of your migraine flare-ups
  • Other conditions you (might) have
  • The presence of other symptoms, as in vomiting and nausea

If you have chronic migraine, the best strategy to diminish flare-ups is by avoiding the common triggers.

In order to detect which ones are causing the problem, you had better start a migraine diary where you will write down stuff day in and day out. The information that you will put in there should include the following:

  • How long the episode of migraine was (the time it started and ended)
  • What food or drinks you had before the flare-up
  • If you took any medications
  • If you were emotional right before the headaches began
  • How you were feeling in general
  • Which day of your period you currently are on

Conservative and Alternative Options

Here are the things that may work to mitigate your migraine symptoms.

Pain relievers

Migraine can really get you out of your element and even make it impossible to go to work or school. This is why medication is usually the first line of treatment that patients think of. Non-prescription drugs have been proven to reduce the level of pain but of course, you should be careful how much of these you use. Going overboard can actually make your headaches worse. Common ingredients of over-the-counter drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

Biofeedback techniques

Those can help you acquire knowledge about how your system responds to different stimuli like pain and stress. Then, a therapist walks you around some exercises that can help you get more positive reactions.

Acupuncture

This is an alternative to traditional medicine that focuses on pressure points in the body to treat different conditions and encourage relaxation. Thin needles are slid into the skin to trigger those points. Like everything else, there are mixed opinions about this method. While some studies indicate that acupuncture is indeed a promising treatment for chronic pain, others are not so affirmative.

massage on head

Massage

Some migraines respond well to massage therapies. Rubbing your muscles and joints with your fingers can promote circulation, relieve tension and spasms, and decrease trigger points. Not only that, it increases the levels of endorphins, the hormones related to joy, and diminishes those of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

Herbs and nutrients

Some herbal products (feverfew and butterbur) have shown positive results with regard to reducing migraine severity. Vitamins (vitamins B12 and B2), minerals (magnesium), and coenzyme Q10 are effective as well. In case that doesn’t work, antidepressants are also an option.

Minimally Invasive Procedures and Surgery

Botox

You may have thought that Botox only works for wrinkles but surprise, surprise - it has other benefits too. The injectable is actually touted as a migraine fighter. However, it won’t work every time. The treatment is endorsed for people who experience persisting headaches for more than a fortnight in the month. Thus, if you haven’t been diagnosed with migraine, it won’t be effective.

Another factor to consider is that botulinum toxin takes time to work, hence more than one treatment is necessary to see maximum results. This is because the effects of each shot last anywhere between two and four months overall.

Surgery

This one is still in the works, but it has been researched that decompressing the nerves responsible for headaches may, to some extent, reduce severe migraines where no other treatment has been effective.

In order to find out which option will work best for you, you need to try them all and see what is more beneficial. Sometimes a combination of several treatments yields better results.

LASIK in Singapore: Candidacy, Recovery, Cost/Price, Side Effects

LASIK

Click To Check LASIK (Corrective eye surgery) cost in Singapore

You will find that each clinic has put a different price tag on the surgery based on the skills of their team, the technology used, plus any additional procedures you want to have on top of it. The cost ranges from $2,850 to $6,000, with or without evaluation. It should be noted that a LASIC treatment would run more than $10,000 in the past, so these days it is much less expensive to correct your eyesight than it used to be.

This guide will focus on a life-changing refractive surgery technology that has been used for almost three decades to permanently correct vision problems. Called LASIK (also spelt Lasik), it has garnered worldwide recognition and not without good reason. With over 40 million patients across the globe, there are definitely amazing qualities of this procedure. Let’s check out what it really is all about.

What is LASIK?

This is a corrective surgery performed on the eyes to fix health conditions like astigmatism, long-sightedness (hyperopia), and near-sightedness (myopia). It works by raising part of the corneal surface and eliminating a thin layer of tissue with the help of a laser. The treatment was first introduced in the 1990s and has since become one of the most sought-after methods of correcting vision problems. The name is amalgamated from Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.

How is it performed?

The procedure lasts about 15 minutes per eye and is entirely pain-free. Both eyes are numbed with drops and the area to be treated is marked with a water-soluble pen to aid in realignment once the treatment is over. A suction ring is then placed over the eye socket to hold it steady during the operation.

The surgeon begins by cutting an ultra-thin fold or flap in the cornea with the help of a femtosecond laser or, in some cases, a small instrument named microkeratome. (For a bladeless experience, specialists often turn to laser technology.) A small section of it remains uncut so it doesn’t fall off or displace, just like a hinge of a door. After that, the flap is pulled back so it provides access to the cornea.

The operator then cuts away some of the corneal tissue in order to reshape it. This will allow light to more accurately focus on the retina which is what will ultimately improve the vision. The last step is to put the flap back in the place where it will have the chance to heal properly.

The end goal is to make the cornea steeper (for the farsighted) or more flattened (for the near-sighted). When it comes to those suffering from astigmatism, some smoothening needs to be done in order to correct the problem.

What to expect before LASIK in Singapore

eye examination

There are some things you can do to prepare for the procedure. I’ll only touch on them briefly, as your doctor will go into as much detail as required prior to the procedure, so don’t worry.

Every individual is different, but for the most part, you will be instructed to cease using hard contact lenses for two weeks before the operation and soft lenses for three days beforehand at the very least.

You will be withheld from taking huge amounts of vitamin C seven days prior to the treatment, especially if you need additional procedures on top of LASIK. On the day before the procedure, you want to restrain from using any perfumes, lotions, creams, or makeup since they can leave debris into your eyes and cause an infection.

Additionally, it is important to take a couple of days off from work as necessary to allow enough time for your eyes to heal. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home from the clinic once they release you since vision will be blurred and your eyes will be extremely sensitive to light. There are also additional services you might want to opt into, like corneal strengthening through crosslinking, so you might want to take note of that while budgeting for a Lasik procedure.

Moreover, choose casual and comfortable clothes and skimp on accessories. The less stuff you have on you, the better. You wouldn’t want anything to get in the way when the surgeon commences work.

And finally, you can have a light meal on the day of the surgery and you will probably be allowed to take your medication if any, as normal. Do as you are instructed and everything will be all right.

What to expect after the procedure

When the surgery comes to an end, you will have to rest for a while. The specialist runs a quick post-operative exam to make sure you are good to go and then someone can come and pick you up. Note that you will not be allowed to drive immediately after the procedure. Before this can happen, your doctor needs to make sure your vision complies with the existing standards for driving as dictated by the law.

In the beginning, your vision will likely be blurry but it will gradually get to improve. A temporary itching and burning sensation could appear. You may feel pain in the treated area coupled with irritation and the feeling of having sand in your eyes. Although this is a normal occurrence, it will certainly cause some sort of discomfort. Ask your doctor for instructions on what to do.

It will take a few days for your eyesight to improve until it finally stabilises and reaches its optimum state. On the day after your LASIK treatment, you will return to the clinic for an evaluation. This is when the doctor will measure your visual acuity and inform you whether it is good enough for you to drive a vehicle.

It is vital to refrain from rubbing your eyes so as not to force the flap out of the organ or cause further complications. Oftentimes, doctors will require you to wear protective goggles to sleep so that you don’t end up rubbing your eyes whilst half-asleep.

Preventive measures to take

To ensure a fast recovery and fascinating results, you should follow these precautions:

  • Do not spend time in front of the TV or computer; eschew prolonged reading (up to 12 hours after the procedure)
  • Stay away from operating heavy machinery (1 day)
  • Do not drive vehicles (1 day)
  • Be careful not to let water into your eyes when bathing (1 week)
  • Do not visit dusty or smoky places (1 week)
  • Do not use makeup around the eyes (1 week)
  • Steer clear of contact sports (1 month)
  • Avoid heat (hot tubs, saunas) and swimming (1 month)

Is LASIK suitable for people who have dry eyes?

It depends on the case, but for the majority of patients with this condition, LASIK is possible. The doctors will need to check just how severe the dryness is and whether it tends to be reversible. The reason the treatment might not be appropriate for everyone is that it can inhibit proper lubrication of the eyes that will last for a couple of months. This is why the first thing they are going to do is to diagnose your condition and have it treated before the surgery is due. To make sure everything goes well, you should take your prescribed medication and eye drops as instructed by your doctor.

How do I know if I am a good candidate?

In general, the ideal candidates are those with:

  • Astigmatism that runs over 350 degrees
  • Long-sightedness that amounts to 300 degrees or less
  • Short-sightedness that ranges from 100 to 1,000 degrees

As you can imagine, not everyone is eligible for the procedure despite being touted as a one-size-fits-all solution for those who want to get rid of their spectacles. There are a few reasons why some individuals get rejected, and here they are:

  • Their corneas are steep, irregularly shaped, or too thin
  • They are not in good overall health, which may compromise healing or put them at risk for further complications
  • They have an eye disease that is making it impossible to undergo LASIK: e.g. glaucoma or cataracts
  • They have severe dry eye syndrome
  • They are either pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Their eye prescriptions have proven to be quite unstable for the last 12 months
  • Their eye prescriptions do not meet the requirements/treatment ranges (see above)
  • They still have not turned 18 years of age (individuals who are below 21, by all means, need parental consent)

Your doctor will inquire about medications that you might be taking and will want to know about your general health. It is imperative that you mention all of the problems you have had in the past as well as the ones that you are suffering from now. Withholding information from your surgeon can be dangerous, so ensure that you vocalise anything and everything that is related to your health, then let them figure out whether you are eligible for LASIK.

How long will it take for my eyes to heal?

Recuperation following a LASIK surgery is more often than not short-term, but, of course, each patient will experience varying recovery times. You will probably notice a considerable improvement in your vision on the second or third day. And things will only get better from there. You will even be able to go back to work almost immediately. However, keep in mind that it will take about six months for the eye to heal completely.

Can I wear my contact lenses after that?

Due to the corrections made to your cornea, it is highly unlikely that your old contact lenses will fit your eyes as well as they did before. If you want to wear decorative ones, you will probably need to get a new pair. Consult an optometrist to understand more about the size and shape that will better match your cornea.

Can I do one eye at a time?

Laser surgery for vision correction

Years ago, when the treatment was conceived, it was common for patients to operate one eye at a time. The reason for this was twofold. First, lasers at the time were not as accurate as they are today, hence, doing only one cornea at once would allow for any adjustments to be made to the procedure so that it suited the patient’s needs better in terms of the other cornea. Second, the risk of infection was higher, so surgeons would prefer to treat one eye at a time to limit complications and speed up healing.

These days, there is no need to carry out the surgery in two rounds because the technology is safer and more precise than ever. Notwithstanding this fact, if you think that you will be more comfortable to get one eye operated at a time, then feel free to express your concerns and requests to your doctor and see what they can do about it.

Are there any side effects or risks?

Although this treatment has been available for decades, it is not uncommon for complications to develop. These can be:

  • Glares
  • Haloes
  • Vision fluctuation (mild)
  • Dry eye
  • Infections or complications of the corneal flap (it happens seldom)
  • In very rare cases, 2% to 5%, the surgery may lead to under or over-correction of the eyesight; an additional procedure might be needed to enhance the previous one
  • Astigmatism - if the tissue is left uneven, it may cause astigmatism
  • Excess tears - when the operator folds the flap back, this may cause excess tears to develop in the organ

How much does LASIK cost?

You will find that each clinic has put a different price tag on the surgery based on the skills of their team, the technology used, plus any additional procedures you want to have on top of it. The cost ranges from $2,850 to $6,000, with or without evaluation. It should be noted that a LASIC treatment would run more than $10,000 in the past, so these days it is much less expensive to correct your eyesight than it used to be.

If you want to get a better deal, it is best to research the different clinics in Singapore. Of course, don’t forget that this is a serious procedure that will influence your whole life and bargaining down the price is not an option. Be careful where you are getting treated and make sure the equipment they use is top notch.

What is ReLEx SMILE and how is it different from LASIK?

This is a refractive surgery which is done without creating a flap in the cornea. It offers a much faster recovery and is minimally invasive. There are two main steps to this. A laser cuts a lenticule beneath the surface of the organ and then makes a tiny incision into the cornea. This eliminates the lenticule and helps to do the necessary reshaping. The treatment is more appropriate for people who are likely to be exposed to an eye or head trauma. It carries less risk of causing dry eyes. However, it is not capable of correcting long-sightedness.

I Had Another Go At Nose Fillers And I Am Happy With The Result

nose filler patient

Nose filler is a well-known non-surgical procedure, otherwise known as rhinoplasty, which uses injectable fillers to make the nose appear higher and more pointed. This is a common procedure among many Asians for cosmetic enhancement. The Asian facial structure has a flatter nose as compared to Westerns, which makes this a popular cosmetic procedure. Nose fillers were initially popularized in Korea and Taiwan, but now more and more Asian countries adapt to this procedure mostly because of its non-surgical nature.

Dermal fillers may vary on how long it can last depending on the contents of the filler used. For nose fillers, the common duration lasts about 11 to 14 months, or about year, depending on the metabolism of your body and processing the tissue-filler agents.

nose filler patient

I already had a nose filler job done more than two years ago. Dr. Israr Wong, my trusted cosmetic doctor, used Restylane® for my nose filler. It had a good effect on me and I was satisfied with the result. It added a natural lift to my nose and with the botox done to my jawline, I was happy with the overall result.

The Restylane® filler lasted its effects for about nine to ten months. After that, the body’s metabolism started melting away the fillers, but it was gradual and I initially did not notice the changes. I am very keen on the possible painful effects but I knew the results that I wanted to see after the nose filler job.

Dr. Wong fully understood my concern and was very supportive. He shared that many of his patients have the same fear of pain and downtime after a nose filler procedure. Dr. Wong added that chances of pain and downtime after the session is very minimal to non-existent. He assured me and made me feel comfortable throughout the session. This is when Dr.Wong introduced the Ellansé™ Dermal Fillers brand as a nose filler product.

before-after nose fillers

How Nose Fillers are Administered

Generally speaking, nose fillers are administered by injecting the filler using a fine needle along the bridge of the nose. Numbing cream is applied before the injection so the as not to feel any pain or discomfort. On that note, should there be any pain, it is very much tolerable and minimal. Nose filler is a lunchtime type of cosmetic procedure. This means you can basically get it done in less than an hour and there is no downtime after the procedure.

You should be able to see results right after the session, but it can be gradual as the fillers will settle with your tissues in the next days. Optimal results should be visible about a week after the session. Should you experience unbearable pain that does not go away, itching on the area or uneven results, see your cosmetic doctor immediately to have it treated right away.

Who can get the Ellansé™ Dermal Fillers treatment?

Ellansé™ is a well-known dermal filler product used by many Singapore cosmetic doctors. The Cosmetics Europe association has certified and approved this filler brand in 2009, which makes it a world-class product not only used for nose fillers but also chin lifting and face lifting.

The eye-catching feature of Ellansé™ that makes it a good choice is its variety of formulations at how long they can last. Their variations are:

  • S, can last for one year
  • M, can last for two years
  • L, can last for three years
  • E, can last for four years

Ellansé™ brand is appealing, but there are still considerations on who can use this product for its best optimal results. It is more suitable for:

  • If you already know what result you want to see after the procedure, provided that these results are achievable by a nose filler job (to be determined by your doctor)
  • If you have a trusted cosmetic doctor that knows your history and cosmetic experiences. This is important so as to prevent skin reactions that your skin is not accustomed to.
  • If you have an experience or have gotten a nose filler job before
  • If your previous nose filler job is not effective anymore and if it is longer than a year
  • If you prefer a longer-lasting effect on nose fillers and you do not want to undergo the treatment every year

Costs and Recommendations

Ellansé™ price range depends on the variation you prefer or from a doctor’s recommendation. Price range may vary from $1,200 to $1,700. This may seem like a more pricey cost as compared to other nose filler products, however, you can take into consideration the lasting effects and the efficiency of the product.

In my opinion, Ellansé™ is much preferable because of its quality which has passed world-class standards. In the subject of costs, Dr. Wong recommended this product because it may seem like a pricey investment at first, but the lasting effects and variation means it actually costs less. The L and E variations which can last three to four years means you do not have to re-do your nose filler job every year, which takes off cost annual costs of the procedure and, in some minimal instances, recovery treatments.

recovery treatments

Why Ellansé™ Dermal Fillers are the best choice for nose fillers:

A successful nose filler job has several factors to consider: (1) using the best or most recommended dermal filler product, (2) working with your doctor who knows what you want and can give you a comfortable procedure, (3) you know what you want to achieve, and (4) the nose filler results are exactly what you had in mind.

Ellansé™ Dermal Fillers are highly recommended by many cosmetic doctors in Singapore. Its world-class quality is an important factor for consideration. This product is used in many other Asian countries, and even in Europe. Ellansé™ Dermal Fillers are the best choice is you want to have a re-do of your nose filler job because of its long-lasting effects which can last for up to four years, and because it is more practical. Be sure to talk to your cosmetic doctor and discuss the use of Ellansé™ on your next nose filler session.

Dr Israr Wong’s credentials are impressive. He is the first accredited Ellanse trainer from Singapore, and one of the pioneering members of the first and only Ellanse Asia Advisory Board (other members include the famous Dr Lin Shang Li from Taiwan!).

Ellanse trainer

Ellanse Asia Advisory Board

He is also the first South East Asian doctor to win the Ellanse + Silhouette Soft Combination Therapy award in World Experts Meeting in Barcelona in 2018.

Soft Combination Therapy award

He holds many Ellanse and Silhouette Soft workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines regularly and is an international speaker for Sinclair Pharmaceuticals.

Dr Israr Wong is definitely the go-to man for Ellanse and Silhouette Soft in Singapore!

These are some of his before after photos of nose Ellanse taken from his Instagram:

Ellanse nose augmentation

The Only Guide You’ll Need to Hair Transplants in Singapore

Six months after hair transplant

Chances are, you’re going to experience some hair loss during your lifetime. It’s a condition dreaded by every middle-aged person, male and female. It’s this dread that fuels the demand for miracle hair growth solutions. You know the ads - Those glitzy animations of hair follicles sprouting out of nowhere like magic beanstalks. Here’s the truth of the matter; most of these elixirs and creams have very little if any scientific research to back their efficacy up. In fact, I’d say much of the anecdotal evidence my patients feed me is generally negative.

Here’s one procedure that’s actually guaranteed to work – Hair transplants. If you’re considering getting one done, here’s a quick primer on what you need to know before you go through with it.

What causes hair loss anyway?

Genetics, really. Male pattern baldness affects about 19 out of every 20 Singaporean males who experience hair loss. Other causes of hair loss include:

  • Illness
  • Ageing
  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Deficiency in Nutrients
  • Excessive Pulling
  • Side Effects of Medication or Hair Products

It’s imperative that you get an actual diagnosis from a doctor about the cause of your hair loss. The cliché that prevention is better than cure is actually really accurate. For example, if you’re losing hair mainly due to stress, then I’d strongly urge you to address that issue instead first before considering an actual transplant. Any hair loss treatment that doesn’t address the actual cause is potentially a huge waste of time and money.

What is a hair transplant?

Hair transplantation steps

A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that takes hair from one part of your body and transplants it to a  different part of your body. The first hair transplant was done in Japan in 1939 using individual scalp hairs.

Which type of hair transplant is best for you?

There are two types of hair transplant available in Singapore: follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT).

Follicular Unit Extraction

FUE involves the surgeon shaving the back of your scalp, after which he/she will remove hair follicles individually from it. This area of your scalp will heal in time with some minimal scarring, which almost always will be obscured by the existing hair in that area.

After the extraction, the surgeon prepares the grafts and will create holes with a scalpel on the target transplant area. He/she will then insert each graft in the holes carefully. This is a long and delicate process which will take approximately 5 to 8 hours to finish, depending on the size of the transplant area.

Generally, FUE is generally more in demand due to it not requiring invasive scalp removal.

Follicular Unit Transplantation

In a FUT hair transplant, the surgeon removes a 6- to 9-inch strip of scalp from the back of your head. He/she will then set this strip aside and will sew your scalp closed.

After this, the surgeon and his/her team will divide the removed scalp into 600 to 2000 grafts, each containing 1 to 3 hairs. The procedure after this is then identical to a FUE where the surgeon carefully inserts each graft into the target transplant area. This whole process will take about 5 to 8 hours.

FUT is not as popular as FUE due to Asian skin being thicker and tighter compared to Caucasians, which makes it more prone to scarring. Hence, for the purposes of this article, I’ll be primarily discussing the FUE method only.

Are you a suitable candidate for a FUE hair transplant?

I usually recommend a hair transplant to my patients who:

  1. Have had a bad, ineffective or unsatisfactory experience with other hair loss treatments.
  2. Have hair loss on the front of the scalp or on the temples.
  3. Desire more facial hair, such as a fuller beard or thicker eyebrows.

Suitable candidates for a hair transplant procedure are those that:

  1. Have no major medical conditions
  2. Have a healthy donor area with enough hair for extraction
  3. Have a target transplant area with healthy blood vessels

What things should you expect from an FUE hair transplant procedure?

hair transplant

First of all, one thing you should remember before undergoing the procedure is that it will take a long time. As I’ve previously stated, the whole FUE hair transplant process will take about 5 to 9 hours in total depending on the size of the transplant area and other factors. One reason why it takes so long is because each hair follicle must be extracted individually by hand.

There are many steps to the procedure, but the whole process can be divided into 4 general steps:

  1. Shaving and Anesthesia

The procedure starts by shaving off the hair from the donor area to at most 1mm in length. Possible donor areas for hair include the back or sides of your head, underarms, and other parts of the body with hair.

After this, an antiseptic solution is applied to cleanse the area followed by a local anaesthetic to numb the area for extraction. This is the only part of the procedure that you will a bit of pain.

  1. Hair Follicle Extraction

The surgeon uses a special pen (diameter of about 0.6 mm) to extract the individual hair follicles. These hair grafts are then dipped in a special solution and stored for use later in the procedure. There will be some mild discomfort during the process but should be completely painless.

  1. Hair Follicle Inspection

The surgeon and his/her team will inspect each hair follicle using a microscope. They will then choose the best and highest quality hair follicles to ensure their survival after the transplant.

  1. Planning and Hair Follicle Implantation

The surgery team will then plan on which hair grafts will go into which part of your scalp. This is to make sure that the resulting hair will look as natural as possible. The surgeon will create holes with a scalpel on the target area and will carefully insert each of the good-quality hair follicles.

After the procedure, you might feel some burning sensation on your scalp for 1 to 3 days. This can be easily managed by taking some painkillers. There will also be some scabbing that will happen on the donor and transplant area but will usually fall off and disappear after a few weeks.

When will you expect your hair to start growing?

Six months after hair transplant

After the hair transplant procedure, don’t panic when the implanted hair starts shedding. This is a normal result of stress during the surgery and your hair will start growing back gradually about 3 months after surgery.

You will experience natural-looking hair about 5 to 7 months after surgery, where you should have a good amount of hair growing on your scalp. The best results happen in about 9 months, where you should a full head of hair due to the hair follicles developing fully.

If you have an important event coming up, make sure to have your hair transplant surgery at least 6 months before it.

Is a hair transplant procedure completely safe?

As long as you choose an experienced surgeon to do the transplant, the whole procedure should be safe. Hair transplanting has existed since the 40s and several breakthroughs have been made since then that has made it a very safe and reliable procedure. Just make sure that your doctor has the credentials and experience to perform the procedure and you’ll be safe in his/her hands.

There are risks only if the procedure is done by inexperienced hair technicians. Avoid them as much as possible as the procedure could lead to some bleeding, pain, and infection.

How can you manage your transplanted hair?

It is of utmost importance that you take good care of your hair in the first 14 days after the surgery. This will help prevent infection and also lessen the chance of your hair falling out.

Here are a few tips in managing and caring for your transplanted hair:

  • Wait a few days before washing your hair. Recently transplanted hair and scalp will be very delicate so let your scalp heal first before you start washing your hair.
  • Wash your hair very gently and use a mild shampoo to avoid damaging your hair.
  • Avoid swimming and exposing your hair to the sun.
  • Don’t brush or comb your hair for about 3 weeks. Mild pulling of your hair follicles can cause them to dislodge from your scalp.
  • Avoid dirty and sweaty environments, as they can infect or irritate your scalp.
  • Avoid wearing hats or hoodies until your doctor tells you it’s ok.
  • Stop exercising until about a week after the procedure.
  • Avoid smoking and/or drinking alcohol. These substances reduce the blood supply to your scalp, which can slow or stop hair growth.

How much does FUE hair transplant procedures cost in Singapore?

You have two options when it comes to FUE procedures, either a manual FUE (done by a surgeon and his/her team) or the ARTAS Robotic FUE (done by a machine). ARTAS costs a bit more, about 50% higher compared to a manual FUE.

In general, a hair transplant in Singapore will cost you from $6000 to $12000. Other factors that influence the cost of the procedure are:

  • The total number of hair grafts ($5 to $12 per graft) needed
  • The surgeon’s fee

How do you find the best doctors for hair transplants in Singapore?

  • The most important contributing factor to the success of your hair transplant is the doctor that will assess, diagnose and operate on you. It is important that the doctor you choose for your hair transplant has experience and expert knowledge on hair loss treatments and has a portfolio of past patients who have experienced success in his guidance.
  • Look for doctors who have built a degree of trust with his/her patients and who have a good track record when it comes to hair transplant procedures.
  • You should also ask the total cost of undergoing an FUE hair transplant procedure under him/her and compare it with other doctors. If you have a GP that you trust, you can also ask him/her if he/she has any recommendations for a good hair doctor. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons to the best of your ability.

Are Thread Lifts that painful? – A Singapore Doctor explains

thread lift lines on face

In Singapore, thread lifts are one of the sought-after cosmetic treatments for a wide range of skin conditions as well as for its aesthetic purposes. There are many things to consider when picking a clinic for your thread lift – materials used, specific techniques, overall procedures, etc. Even patients who have gone for thread lifts rarely understand the pertinent aspects of these differences.

Based on my many years of experience, there are patients who had bad accounts of their thread lift procedures that were very painful. They even developed swelling and bruising afterwards. Painful thread lifts are one of the major concerns that patients raise during consultations and one of the factors that patients consider before committing to the treatment.

Over my many years performing thread lifts for all variety of patients, I’ve encountered first hand many of the concerns that inevitably arise during such a procedure. I’m writing this in hopes that I’ll be able to clear up many of the clarifications that patients commonly have and help demystify this particular procedure for all of you guys.

What are thread lifts?

thread lift

Thread lifts are non-surgical, minimally invasive cosmetic treatments that use dissolvable sutures or “threads” that slightly pull the skin back thus creating a visible “lifted” or a tightened appearance on the skin. These threads also increase collagen production in the target areas where the threads were inserted resulting in tightening and rejuvenation of the skin.

This cosmetic procedure has become increasingly popular because it saves you a lot of procedure and recovery time. Compared to surgical facelifts, thread lifts are:

  • More cost-effective – Surgical treatments require general anaesthesia and extra care from your doctor, which translates to higher costs
  • Safer – By nature it is a non-invasive procedure which does not require going under the knife.
  • Produces more natural-looking results

What do thread lifts treat?

Although there is a wide range of skin conditions that are treated with the use of thread lifts, one of the most common conditions is saggy skin. These skin condition may be caused or influenced by a lot of factors such as:

  • Ageing
  • Weight Loss
  • Genetics
  • UV rays from the sun
  • Unhealthy lifestyle practices
  • Pollution and other factors from the environment

Usually, thread lifts are the top choice for patients who do not want to go under the knife. In addition, thread lifts also tend to be more effective than Thermage, HIFU and Ultherapy treatments that are machine assisted procedures.

What are the different types of thread lifts that are available in Singapore?

In Singapore, there are several types of thread lifts available. Depending on the type required or the available type used by your doctor, the threads can be barbed or non-barbed.

Threads can also come in different thickness and length—all these qualities affect the strength; effectiveness and the cost of the thread lift treatment.

What is the recommended size of threads?

thread lift lines on face

Thread size is highly dependent on doctor preference and size of your brows. Here are some important determining factors -

  1. Smaller and Thinner Threads

Pros:

  • Can effectively induce collagen production
  • Easier to inject because of its size
  • May only require numbing cream to ease discomfort
  • Minimal downtime and aftercare is needed

Cons:

  • More number of threads are required to achieve the desired results
  • Can not be very effective in lifting skin with heavy sagging
  1. Larger and Thicker Threads

Pros:

  • Can be effective in lifting skin with heavy sagging
  • Minimal threads are needed to lift the skin
  • Can be combined with threads with barbs and hooks for better strength

Cons:

  • Can cause dimpling and tethering if not inserted correctly
  • May damage the deeper layers of the skin because of deep placement
  • Requires proper anchoring technique from the doctor

Important to Know:

Different types of threads may be applicable to patients and most of the time may vary depending on your doctor. The key is to have a proper consultation with your doctor so he/she can assess your condition properly.

What is the best thread lift material for me?

Typically, threads are made from different materials such as Polydioxanone (PDO), Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA), polycaprolactone (PCL).  These materials are biocompatible with human tissue and can be easily absorbed by the body over time.

  1. Polydioxanone (PDO)

PDOs have similar material with sutures—the threads used for stitches during surgical operations. Therefore, PDOs are safe and have been used and tested for many years already.  From experience, PDO threads can effectively and safely improve the contour of the face, lift the skin in the face, jowls, neck and also increase collagen production in the injected area.

  1. Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA)

PLLAs are made of a biodegradable material that can be easily absorbed by the body making them a medically safe option. PLLA is a newer option for thread lift material and from experience, I have not really seen a lot of PLLA thread lifts studies and clinical trials yet.

  1. Polycaprolactone (PCL)

Similar to the other two materials, PCLs are also easily absorbed by the body therefore can be safely used for thread lift procedures. Like PLLA, this material is also a relatively newer option and there have not been a lot of reports to support its effectivity to compare with the well-established material like PDO.

Personally, I advise my patients to go with the more established and scientifically proven material like PDO as their top choice for their thread lifts. Practice-wise, there is more familiarity with PDOs compared to newer options therefore, best results can be achieved without the risk of complications.

How are threads injected into the skin?

Typically, your doctor injects the threads into the skin (usually the face) with the use of a:

  • Sharp long needle
  • Blunt cannula
  • Cannula with a rounded tip

What to expect during a thread lift procedure?

The procedure aims to lift the skin and add contour to the face. A general step by step thread lift procedure are as follows:

  1. First, the treatment area will be carefully cleaned, and numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area.
  2. Then, your doctor will inject localized anaesthetic on the treatment area.
  3. The thread will then be injected into the subcutaneous layer of the skin under the dermis.

Overall, depending on the number of threads to be inserted, the whole procedure takes less than an hour to be completed.

Are thread lifts painful?

Even though it just really comes down to a person’s individual pain threshold, I personally do not recommend general anaesthesia for thread lift procedures because of the inevitable risk profile involved with GA, not to mention the costs.

Generally, an injection of local anaesthesia is sufficient for a painless and comfortable procedure.

When will I see results?

An immediate facelift result can be observed right after the procedure—a similar outcome without going into surgery in an operating theatre and general anaesthesia at a fraction of the price and with zero to minimal downtime.

Optimal results can be observed a few weeks later after the procedure to give time for the new collagen to be produced. Best results will give you a tighter, firmer and rejuvenated skin.

How long will results from thread lift last?

The visible effects of the thread lifts can last from 6 months up until 2 years and it is advisable to undergo thread lift treatment again when you start to feel the effects wear off as your skin will continue its natural ageing process.

How much does thread lift cost in Singapore?

thread lift cost

Typically, the cost of thread lifts in Singapore can range from $1,500 - $4,500.

The cost thread lift treatments may vary depending on different factors such as the type and brand of threads, the material of threads, number of threads required to achieve the desired results, doctor’s professional fee and post-treatment medication.

How do I make the best of thread lift treatment?

  1. Combine Thread lifts with other non-surgical procedures.

Due to the fact that thread lifts are so low-risk and have zero to minimal downtime, they can be combined with other non-surgical procedures to achieve over-all, satisfying results. Ask your doctor what other safety procedures can be used in combination with your thread lift without having to endure the recovery time brought about by surgery.

  1. Pick the right doctor.

In Singapore, there are a lot of doctors and clinics that offer thread lift treatments. Before committing to one, make sure you are well-informed about the procedure and the doctor has a credible background and extensive training on the procedure. Keep in mind that the success of your thread lift procedure depends mainly on your doctor’s skills and expertise.

A Short Guide to Finding Your Dermatologist in Singapore

choosing dermatologist

We, dermatologists, have a shared identity – as your first step forward in the long, winding road of skincare. This is true especially here in Singapore, where skincare is a necessity thanks to the tropical climate, which often leaves our skin feeling dry.

Dermatologist Specialist Training in Singapore

I was pretty excited to have finally graduated from med school – until I realised that to specialise in dermatology here in Singapore, it requires at least 6 years of specialist training post-graduation. That’s 3 years of training in internal medicine plus another 3 years of advanced dermatology specialist training. This means that nearly all dermatologists in Singapore have trained at the National Skin Centre (NSC) for at least a few years. Once specialist training for dermatology is completed, they are now recognised as associate consultants in dermatology.

Choosing a Private or Public Dermatologist

Pros and Cons

When choosing a good dermatologist in Singapore, you have two options – whether to see a dermatologist in private practice or go and consult with a dermatologist in a public hospital such as the NSC. Each of the two options has their pros and cons, specifically in the aspects of cost, time, and convenience.

If you decide to go the private route, the one advantage is that it much, much easier and quicker to see a dermatologist in private practice. In these clinics, usually, an appointment can be given in as fast as 1 to 3 days. There are even doctors who accept walk-in patients as long as it can fit in their schedule. The only downside is that private doctors usually charge more for their services (as much as 2 to 4 times more) than doctors in public hospitals. If money isn’t much of an issue, or if you value your convenience and time more, then finding a dermatologist in private practice is your best bet.

Your other option is to look for a good dermatologist in a public hospital or clinic, such as the NSC. The total costs for appointment and treatment are subsidised, which means that costs are about 40 to 60% cheaper compared to private clinics. The downside is that wait times are longer. Appointments are usually set a month or more after and they don’t accept walk-in patients. Because of this, one tip I give my patients and friends is to take a picture of the skin condition when it appears. There are times where a patient’s skin will look perfectly normal during the appointment day but then show up again afterwards. It is important to collect as much information as you can for you and your dermatologist’s convenience.

There is the option of setting up an appointment with an NSC dermatologist (or any other public dermatologist) without the subsidies and it’s pretty much an identical process.

Consultation, Medication and Other Fees

dermatologist consultation

Private Route

For a first-time consultation with a private dermatologist practice, it costs about $110 to $150, which is affordable. Follow-up consultations cost cheaper at about $100 to $140 per follow-up appointment. Including medication, a visit to a dermatologist in private clinics will cost you about $300 or more in total, which is not the best option if you are price-sensitive.

Public Route

If you’re consulting with a dermatologist in a public hospital such as the NSC, due to subsidies it would cost you about $35 to $60 for a first-time consultation, which is the best price, I would say. Then, follow-up consultations run about $3 to $5 cheaper. Drugs and medication are also subsidised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and would cost you a fraction of the price compared to buying from a private pharmacy or clinic. Total costs of consultation plus medication would be about $100 to $200. As you can see, this proves to be much less expensive than the other option.

Procedure and Treatment Costs

Whether or not you are eligible for subsidies or Medisave claims on skin procedures and treatments depends on the assessment of your problem. Unfortunately, if it is deemed a purely cosmetic procedure by the MOH, you will not be given any subsidies. This drives the costs of procedures and treatments up and would almost always comprise the bulk of your total costs. The procedure or treatment cost difference between a public or private dermatologist is negligible. My best advice is to choose a hospital or clinic that has a good and proven track record with the procedure of your choosing. These procedures or treatments include:

However, if your procedure is deemed by the hospital or clinic to be a necessary one, then subsidies and claims may be given on a case to case basis.

Obtaining Subsidies for Public Dermatologists

There are two requirements for you to be qualified for medical subsidies in Singapore:

First, you must be a Singaporean citizen or a permanent resident (PR). Secondly, you have to acquire a referral letter from a polyclinic.

If you are:

  • a foreigner,
  • referred to consult with a specific dermatologist, or
  • referred by a private doctor, hospital or clinic

then you do not meet the requirements for medical subsidies.

Polyclinics and polyclinic GPs (general practitioners) are equipped to treat and manage common skin disorders such as allergies, acne and eczema. They also usually have the proper medication needed to treat these skin conditions.

For more serious skin conditions (e.g., skin cancers or melanoma) however, the polyclinic may refer you to consult with an NSC dermatologist. The National Skin Centre are much more experienced in dealing with skin diseases and conditions and can offer treatments and procedures that are unavailable in polyclinics.

Types of Dermatologists in Singapore

type dermatologists

There are 2 main categories of dermatologists here in Singapore:

  1. Dermatologists that focus on medical dermatology. These dermatologists are the ones that have a lot of knowledge and experience when it comes to diagnosing, managing and treating skin diseases and conditions such as:
    • Melanoma
    • Skin Cancers
    • Acne
    • Psoriasis
    • Eczema
    • Pediatric Dermatology
    • Skin allergies
    • Autoimmune skin disorders
    • Hair loss
  1. Cosmetic Dermatologists. These dermatologists focus on providing cosmetic procedures and treatments for various aesthetic problems. Usually, their clinics provide at least one of the following services to their clients:
    • Botox
    • Thread Lifts
    • Fillers
    • Excision Surgery
    • Laser Surgery

Usually, there is a lot of overlap between these two categories, with a lot of dermatologists being able to help with skin disorders or cosmetic skin matters. More often than not though, doctors specialise in one of these to be able to give their patients the best care and treatment for the patient’s specific problem/s.

Dermatologists at the National Skin Centre usually belong to the first category, but a lot of them also provide cosmetic services for their patients. Dermatologists in private practice are more varied with plenty of them offering both services to their clients.

Tips on Choosing the Right Dermatologist for You

So now that I’ve introduced some general heuristics towards understanding dermatologists in Singapore, such as their specialisation training and their categories, here are a few tips to help you to find good dermatologists suitable for you:

  • Determine whether the doctor is, in fact, a dermatology specialist. There are some doctors that have a Diploma in Dermatology, which is different from having a specialist qualification. Becoming a dermatology specialist requires a lengthy training period. One way to check is by going to the Dermatological Society of Singapore website and looking for the doctor’s name in their list of members.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of choosing a public vs. a private dermatologist. Make a decision about which of money or time/convenience is more important to you. If you value money more, then check if you are qualified for subsidies and set up an appointment with public dermatologists. If you prefer more convenient and faster appointments, you might prefer a dermatologist from private practice.
  • Determine whether you need a cosmetic dermatologist or a medical dermatologist. Depending on your purpose for looking for a dermatologist, choose one who has specialised experience. There are a lot of cosmetic dermatologists if you want to have better skin, whereas if you need to manage a specific skin disease or disorder you have to search for doctors who have a history in dealing with the specific skin problem.
  • Choose a dermatologist whose clinic offers the skin procedure that you need. Dermatology clinics offer a variety of different skin treatments and procedures, but not all of them have the specific treatment or procedure that you want. Call their clinic or check their website if they offer the type of treatment you require.
  • Choose a dermatologist that you can communicate well with. During a consultation, observe if your dermatologist can talk to you easily about advice and can also listen well to your needs. It is important to form a good rapport with each other to build trust. This is probably one of the most important albeit underrated traits that a person needs from his/her dermatologist (or any doctor in general) – an ability to communicate well with his/her patient.

That’s basically it. Hopefully, you’ll be more than equipped with the requisite info to find the dermatologist who can solve all your skincare needs!

Cost of Mole Removal in Singapore (by aesthetic doctor)

laser mole removal

Click To Check

Mole removal costs in Singapore vary in accordance with the methods used. For example, electrocautery is about $100 a mole. It is usually used for bumps that appear above the surface. Cyrotherapy is another option for raised moles and it runs around $200 per mole. For moles that are flat, laser mole removal treatments are valued approximately $150 to $450 per session. The price varies a little depending on the number, size and shape of the tissue that needs to be removed. This already factors in the cost of aftercare (topical cream) and potential followup sessions.

Recently, a couple of patients of mine were concerned about moles and were thinking of having their moles removed. I told them that it’s perfectly normal for any person to worry about this issue. It could be a health risk or a symptom of deadly diseases such as melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer. Most are generally harmless, but it can never hurt to have them checked.

There were also a large number of patients that wanted to have their moles removed for cosmetic reasons. A host of them confessed they’ve struggled with their self-confidence and felt insecure because of that particular skin concern. I reassured them there is no need to worry since they can choose from several procedures here in Singapore to address the issue.

Whatever your concern is, it is important to stay informed and be able to make the correct decisions. Keep reading to learn more about moles, their risks and how you can get rid of them.

The ABCDE Rule

Moles are caused by a high concentration of melanin produced by cells called melanocytes in a specific spot of your skin. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there are indications when a mole is cancerous or abnormal. One way that doctors identify potentially dangerous moles is by applying the ABCDE rule. It stands for:

A – is for ASYMMETRICAL. Using a pen or any straight implement, try to line it up on top of your mole. See if you can divide it into two equally shaped albeit flipped parts. If you can’t, then the pigmented dot might be dangerous and you should have it checked.

B – is for BORDER. Your mole should have a border that is a well-defined, continuous line with no irregular pattern. If it comes with a scalloped border instead, it may be a symptom of a skin condition like melanoma.

C – is for COLOR. Each mole typically has a single, even colour - usually tan, blue, red, pink, brown or black. If you can see different colours in a single mole, this is not okay. Do regular tests to see if it presents such problems or if it changes over time.

D – is for DIAMETER. Moles are usually small, with diameters of less than 6mm. If yours is unusually large, it may be a good time to talk to your dermatologist.

E – is for EVOLUTION. Usually when a mole forms, its appearance is set and does not change drastically. This is why if you notice any alterations over time, anything regarding size, colour, shape or height, it may be potentially dangerous. Has it checked immediately as this can indicate melanoma? It shouldn't be confused with skin tags, though.

If your family has a history of skin cancer, have yourself checked as well, no matter the appearance of your moles. Some dangerous moles can appear normal and harmless.

Monitoring and Managing Moles

Protect yourself from the sun!

applying sun lotion

One thing I always preach to my patients is to always have a form of sun protection. The sun is a giant ball of light and energy that stimulates your melanocytes to produce more melanin. In turn, this causes moles to appear. Not to mention, it radiates harmful ultraviolet (UV) light that can bring about cancer cells.

Make sure to always wear sunscreen (SPF 30+) and bring an umbrella or hat when you go outside. People with light skin complexion are more prone to sun damage and would need extra care.

Check and monitor your moles periodically.

If you are concerned about your mole and are planning to have it checked, one thing you can do is monitor and take photos of it. At least once a month, lookout for new pigmented spots and if there are changes in size, shape and colour on your preexisting ones. This data will be especially valuable for your dermatologist and can assist in getting an accurate diagnosis. If you notice anything unusual, call your doctor about it.

Home Remedies that Might Help in Facial Mole Removal

None of these home remedies has been shown to be effective by scientific research, but a lot of people swear on their effectiveness. It wouldn’t hurt to try these out and see if they work:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Apply a few drops of apple cider vinegar on your mole using a piece of cotton. Also, add some petroleum jelly on the skin around it to protect it from the acidity. Set the cotton in place using some tape and let it soak for 1-2 hours. Do this 3 times a day for 4 weeks or more.
  • Garlic Paste – If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar lying around in your house, you can alternatively use crushed or ground garlic paste. Apply petroleum jelly around the mole and wrap a bandage around the paste to secure its position. Leave it on for 3 to 4 hours before you remove it. Do this once a day for 3 weeks or more.
  • Banana Peel – Cover the targeted area with a banana peel and secure it with some bandage or tape. Do this every night until its appearance becomes lighter.

Aside from these home remedies, there also are mole removal creams. Again, I do not claim that they will work for you. If you’re looking for a sure and permanent solution to mole removal, then there are multiple options available right now.

Mole Removal Procedures in Singapore

Mole Removal

Before you proceed with any of these treatments, make sure that you consult your dermatologist so that he/she can suggest the best options for you.

Mole Removal Surgery

If you’re considering surgically removing a problematic patch of skin, your doctor may subject you to a series of tests to ensure you are healthy. There are three main surgery options right now:

  • Shave Excision (Surgical Excision)

This procedure is usually done if the mole protrudes or looks like a bump on the surface of the skin (raised moles). A local anaesthetic (numbing cream) is first applied to the surrounding area. The doctor then uses a small scalpel to "shave" off the mole from your skin until it becomes flat and level with the rest of your skin’s surface. Some bleeding will occur, and the specialist may apply pressure and topical medicine to stop it.

  • Punch Biopsy

If your mole is small, circular and its pigmentation goes under the skin, then your doctor may recommend a punch biopsy. They will administer local anaesthesia into the affected site using injection. This may cause a mild burning sensation on your skin for a few seconds. The doctor will then use a circular tool that “punches out” a small area of your skin that includes the mole and the underlying layer of tissue. Upon closing the skin, some stitches may be needed. After that, a dressing or bandage is applied over the site to protect the wound from bleeding. Minimal scarring will occur but will disappear eventually. The healing time is about 2-3 weeks.

  • Excisional Biopsy

This is similar to a punch skin biopsy where it targets moles that affect underlying skin layers. However, this procedure can also be used for irregularly shaped moles. Instead of using a circular punch tool, the medical professional opts for a scalpel and cuts off a deep lump of skin including the mole. Local anaesthesia is required to minimise the pain and discomfort felt by the patient. The lesion from the surgery will require stitches. Quite possibly it will leave a scar after a few days when the wound healing process is at full speed. Don't worry, it will be faint and almost invisible.

Surgical methods for general and facial mole removal cost around $100 to $500 per mole depending on its size and shape.

Non-surgical Options

  • Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a non-surgical procedure that involves the use of liquid nitrogen (or some other cooling substance). The purpose is to freeze and destroy the skin cells that are responsible for the appearance of moles. After they die, your body’s natural processes will eventually flush them out.

This may cause parts of your skin to peel off and will lighten the appearance of the treated segment. A single mole may require 2 or more sessions of cryotherapy before it can be fully removed. The price is based on a variety of factors such as skin type and mole size. Cryotherapy costs around $200 per session.

  • Electrocautery

Electrocautery is a fast, cheap, non-surgical procedure. It works by heating the mole with a handheld device powered by an electric current. Without the need for anaesthesia, the session done in only a few minutes. Another advantage is that there are almost no scars left. However, electrocautery is only effective for the removal of small, flat moles. The price runs around $100 and more.

  • Laser Treatment Options

laser mole removal

If you want a non-surgical and almost painless procedure, then a laser mole removal treatment may be your best bet. Similar to electrocautery, it can only be done on flat, superficial moles. The same principle is used wherein the problematic tissue is heated using a laser instead of an electric current. The heat, in turn, destroys the skin cells which are naturally flushed out by the body during recovery. A scab will form around the area but it will eventually fall off. Each laser session will lighten the pigmentation, and 2 to 3 appointments may be required to fully remove the mole. Laser treatments cost about $150 to $450 per session. The price depends on the number, size and shape of the tissue to be disposed of.

Mole removal in Singapore can be done for a variety of reasons and there are procedures that can cater to your specific needs. Even if it’s just for cosmetic reasons, talk to your aesthetic doctor first. This is the best way to ensure that your needs are taken into consideration when choosing a procedure.

Local Aesthetic Doctor Answers Questions about Eczema

man with eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, affects about 20% of Singaporeans. It is a condition that causes your skin to itch and redden. Because Singapore is a tropical country, Singaporeans are exposed to the sun which is one possible trigger for eczema to flare up. Although it can appear at any age, it is especially common in children. For now, there hasn’t been any cure for eczema and the condition will flare up periodically throughout your life.

In this article, I have answered a few questions that my patients have often asked about eczema. Read and be informed so that you too can take the proper steps in managing the condition.

What is eczema?

dermatitis or eczema

Healthy skin is able to act as a natural barrier that helps retain moisture and protects the skin from irritants such as allergens, bacteria and other microbes.

For patients with eczema, their skin loses the ability to retain moisture as well as protection from external environmental factors resulting in skin dryness and rash (inflammation).

Eczema is characterized by red, scaly lesions covering the skin. These lesions can be persistently itchy and can sometimes cause cracks in the skin making the affected area at risk for infection.

What causes eczema?

It has been widely believed that eczema is an autoimmune disease where a certain type of gene variation makes the immune system overactive which renders the skin unable to provide a natural barrier and protection.

Eczema can also be inherited or passed on down the family line so if you have a personal or family history of eczema, allergies and severe skin dryness, you may be at high risk of developing the condition.

In which parts of the body does eczema occur?

Unlike other skin conditions which are usually confined in specific parts of your body, eczema can occur on any part of your body. It most commonly appears on the face, back of the knees, hands, wrists and feet.

Eczema produces a rash which appears very dry, cracked or scaly. The rash is itchy and can be worse at night. Some small, raised bumps can also appear, which can leak fluid when scratched.

What are the triggers for eczema?

woman scratching arm

Typically, eczema is triggered by irritants, allergens and microbes. However, eczema can also be triggered by a lot of other factors that causes the skin to become dry. These factors include:

  • Intense heat
  • Humidity (very high or very low)
  • High fever
  • Stress
  • Certain chemicals
  • Hormonal changes (especially in women)

Since Singapore is almost always basked in sunlight, heat and humidity is always part of a Singaporean’s daily life. This is also why a lot of patients have recurrent eczema outbreaks and flares triggered by intense heat. To help avoid the triggers, always make sure you have extra protection from the sun. Make sure also that you are careful with everything you touch or come in contact with because certain triggers like chemicals and irritants can be found anywhere in the environment.

How can eczema flare-ups be prevented?

Eczema can flare up when it is triggered by an external factor such as sweat and stress. Here are a few tips that you can follow to prevent these flare-ups from happening:

  • Identify and avoid the triggers that can cause eczema flare-ups. As these flare-ups are usually caused by an external trigger, the best way to prevent it is by determining these triggers and avoiding them as much as possible. Whenever you have an eczema flare-up, list down all the possible triggers (check the previous section) that you experienced before it happened.
  • Use moisturizers at least 2 times every day. Moisturizing creams and lotions are available in any pharmacy or grocery store and they go a long way in the prevention of eczema flare-ups. Dry skin is one of the possible triggers of eczema and it is important to keep your skin moisturized at all times. Always remember to moisturize your skin immediately after a bath.
  • Avoid long baths or showers. Use warm water and reduce your bath time since baths can strip your skin of natural oils which keep your skin from getting dry. The less time you spend showering or bathing, the more of these natural oils your skin can retain after.
  • Avoid harsh soaps. Instead use only gentle soaps, as antibacterial or deodorant soaps strip away more natural oils from your skin.

What are the available treatments for eczema?

exzema treatment

1. Topical Steroid Creams

My patients always became wary when I tell them that steroid creams are used to treat eczema because of these two beliefs:

  • Topical steroid creams can cause skin tightening
  • Topical steroid creams are absorbed into the bloodstream

But I always tell them not to worry because topical steroid creams have been proven to be very effective in reducing scaling and lesions caused by eczema. These creams are also safe to use given that they were properly prescribed by your doctor.

I always make sure that the appropriate strength of steroid creams are given to the patient depending on the location of the treatment area and the thickness of the patient’s skin. Typically, if the treatment area is the face, weaker steroid creams are prescribed to treat eczema while stronger ones can be prescribed to other parts of the body.

The proper prescription is very important so the risk of skin tightening is prevented. Another thing that I assure my patients is that topical steroid creams are not absorbed into the bloodstream so there is really no need to worry.

2. Oral Medication

When topical steroid creams do not work, patients are prescribed oral medication to effectively treat eczema. Usually, oral medications include antihistamines, steroids and medications for infections.

  • Antihistamines are mainly used as an anti-itch medication with no side-effects.
  • Steroids work by temporarily suppressing your overactive immune system, and help to reduce both itch and rash.
  • Antibiotics, antifungal and antiviral medications are prescribed to treat bacterial, fungal and viral infections, respectively if there are any.

These oral medications are only taken for a short duration, as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you follow the prescribed oral medication regimen because if not properly followed and taken for a longer period, these may have severe side effects and can be very harmful for you.

Are there any ways to relieve eczema besides medication?

  • Keep your skin moisturized. Dry skin will worsen your eczema, which is why moisturizing your skin is very important. Moisture will also help in reducing the itchiness and prevent more flaking from occurring. Moisturizing creams, ointments and lotions are available in your pharmacy and do not require a prescription.
  • Avoid scratching the rash. When the rash gets very itchy, it can take a lot of self-control to avoid scratching it. One tip I give my patients is instead of scratching the rash, they can try pressing repeatedly on it. This technique relieves the itch but does less damage to your skin compared to scratching it. Another thing you can do is to cover the rash if you can’t stop scratching it. It can also help to trim your nails to lessen the damage that scratching does to your rash.
  • Cover the rash with bandages. Covering the rash will not only prevent scratching, but also protect the skin from drying or infection. Remember to replace the bandage at least once per day.
  • Use a humidifier in your home. Your skin can be sensitive to hot, dry indoor air and can intensify the itchy sensation. A humidifier adds moisture to the air and will help reduce the dryness.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are tight, rough or scratchy. You can reduce the irritation felt from eczema by wearing clothes that are smooth and comfortable. It is important also to wear the right clothes for the season, especially during hot weather which can worsen your condition.
  • Avoid things that make you stressed or anxious. Eczema can be worsened by stress and anxiety, so it is important that you address them to also relieve the effects of eczema flare-ups.

Will avoiding certain types of food prevent eczema flare-ups?

It is true that there are some food that can trigger eczema. However these foods are specific to each person, and there is no definitive, comprehensive list of food that are known to trigger eczema for the whole population. Thus, the belief that a dietary restriction can prevent eczema flare-ups is just a myth. No scientific evidence has been found that supports this statement. Only the methods mentioned above for prevention

Will I need to be hospitalized if I have eczema?

Most skin conditions do not require hospitalization, however, eczema can become dangerous in some extremely severe cases. In these cases, the rash can appear on most of your body and can cause infection and/or loss of heat or moisture. In these extreme cases, hospitalization is needed as it can possibly threaten the life of the patient.

Is there an eczema treatment that can make it disappear completely?

My patients often asked me if there’s a way to cure eczema so that it doesn’t recur. Unfortunately, no cure has been found yet that will completely eliminate eczema. There are ways to treat it when it recurs but there is always a possibility that it recurs when you experience any of its triggers.

One of the best tips I can give when it comes to eczema problems is to always moisturize your skin. As long as you take the time to apply a moisturizer on your skin each day, there will be a small chance that your eczema will recur. Observe proper care and protection of your skin and eczema doesn’t have to be a big problem.

Singapore Doctor Shares Fractional CO2 Laser Prices

laser cost Singapore

Click To Check

Fractional CO2 lasers cost in Singapore is priced between $400-700 for one round of treatment. This price might vary due to factors like the clinic or doctor you choose to go for. There might also be slight variance in the price caused by factors such as the size of your treatment area, number of areas targeted and severity of your condition. Prices for Fractional CO2 lasers shouldn't vary too much as it's a fairly straightforward procedure, so don't be afraid to ask your doctor if there are any extra charges.

Oftentimes, the face is the first thing other people notice about us. Unless you are very lucky, at some point in your lifetime, you experience different skin issues that affect the quality of your skin. These may include fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars and age spots among others.

So, when it comes to skincare, it is always a goal to maintain a smooth, glowing and young-looking skin. This is why a lot of my patients carry out the necessary steps to take good care of their skin.

There exists a wide range of products and treatments that promise effective solutions to skin issues. Everything from simple over the counter commercial skincare products to topical creams and different medical procedures is readily available in the market. What is more, a lot of clinics in Singapore have these things available too.

One of the advanced technologies that are used presently is laser treatments. In this article, I will talk about a specific type of laser technology - the fractional CO2 laser.

To begin, let me answer the primary question…

What is Fractional CO2 Laser and what does it treat?

The fractional CO2 laser is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that uses advanced skin revitalisation and resurfacing laser technologies to treat a wide range of skin issues. Over the years, CO2 lasers have always been proven to be effective and this one is no exception.

Fractional CO2 lasers can treat different skin conditions such as:

  • Age spots
  • Blotchiness
  • Skin laxity
  • Stretchmarks
  • Fine lines and deeper wrinkles
  • Age-related pigmentation
  • Skin texture changes from sun damage
  • Acne and other trauma-related scars

Fractional CO2 technology is designed to provide better skin resurfacing and correction of different skin conditions. After just one treatment, your skin will look significantly healthier, rejuvenated, smoother and younger-looking. Studies and clinical trials have shown that fractional CO2 treatment helps to reduce the effects of ageing as well as reverse the existing signs of ageing. Also, fractional CO2 treatment is widely acknowledged in numerous studies as the gold standard for the treatment of acne scars.

Which leads to me to my next point…

How does Fractional C02 Laser technology work?

Fractional CO2 Laser treatment is used to treat a ’fraction’ of the skin with textural changes and severe scarring caused by acne.

It works by emitting a pattern of carbon dioxide laser beams to treat the skin below the surface. This laser energy then fractionates or pixelates into microscopic holes or shafts into the skin and induces collagen production.

This process removes the older, damaged layer of skin cells and replaced by new and fresher skin cells. This replacement of skin and collagen production lightens acne scars and smoothen skin texture over time.

Fractional CO2 laser can deliver energy to the target areas on the skin in a precise manner, therefore the surrounding skin will not be touched and damaged making this procedure more effective and safer.

In addition, compared to other types of laser technologies available in the market, CO2 lasers have the longest wavelength. Therefore, with proper adjustments in the settings, it can be safely used on a wide range of skin types.

Are curious how the procedure is performed? To help you know what to expect with Fractional C02 Laser procedure, refer to these succeeding questions: 

What should you expect BEFORE Fractional C02 Laser procedure?

  1. First, a consultation is a must so your doctor can make a proper assessment of your condition and will be able to recommend the correct treatment regimen and give you a heads up of what results to expect after treatment.
  2. After consultation, the clinic may snap pictures of you so the progress can be tracked and monitored. These before treatment pictures will help you see the difference and the effectiveness of the treatment over time.
  3. Before the start of the procedure, you or a nurse will wash and clean the area to be treated (usually your face). Then, the target area will be applied with numbing cream to help lessen the discomfort you may feel during the procedure.

As a tip, make sure that you tell the nurse to apply generous amounts of numbing cream to sensitive areas like the hairline, chin and the area around the mouth. Based on experience, I usually recommend leaving it on for at least an hour or two to achieve the best effect of the numbing cream.

What should you expect DURING Fractional C02 Laser procedure?

laser treatment

Most patients say that they experience slight discomfort and prickling sensations when the laser beams hit the skin. It may even be more painful on sensitive areas like the hairline, chin and the area around the mouth. Though this may not be applicable for everyone because tolerance for pain and discomfort can vary among different individuals. Just make sure you communicate with your doctor regarding your discomfort level so he/she can make necessary adjustments.

Also, during the procedure, you might smell some kind of burning but you do not need o worry because these are typically normal and when done by a trained professional, burning and scarring will be avoided.

The laser procedure itself is a relatively quick procedure lasting for about 15-30 minutes depending on the size and severity of the treatment area.

What should you expect AFTER Fractional C02 Laser procedure?

  1. Right after the procedure and for the next 24 hours:

Expect the treated area to feel though as it is sunburned. Also, the treated area may experience a stinging or itching sensation but nonetheless tolerable. Some patients who have high discomfort tolerance are able to drive home or come back to work without any hassle at all.

  1. After a few weeks:

During the next few weeks, your skin may start to peel and become more pinkish as the outer skin layer start to shed. During this time, consult your doctor if you can use make-up to cover up the peeling and pinkish appearance. The duration of healing will depend on how deep under the skin the laser energy has penetrated. Deeper treatments have more healing and downtime while or shallower treatments have less healing time. However, the deeper the treatment, the more effective the results are.

What aftercare tips and treatments are needed to ensure the best results?

  1. Pain Relievers

After the procedure and depending on your doctor’s recommendation, you may be given ice packs or pain relievers to help soothe the pain. If pain becomes intolerable, talk to your doctor right away.

  1. Sunblock

The most common side effects of fractional CO2 laser treatment are irritations and infections brought about by sun damage. To prevent this from happening, always protect yourself from the sun by applying appropriate sunblock (at least SPF 30) everyday especially when you are going out. If possible, stay away from direct sunlight to protect your skin from the UV rays.

  1. Moisturiser

To help speed up the recovery process and to protect your skin from irritations, make sure you moisturise your skin all the time. Ask your doctor if he/she can recommend a good moisturiser to help soothe and hydrate your skin while it repairs itself.

  1. Self-Control

During the recovery process, your skin will peel off and it may appear unflattering causing you to peel it with your own hands. If you can help it, let the natural peeling process take place to avoid scabbing and infections.

When can you see results?

Clean Fresh Skin

After each session, results are practically immediate. Noticeable improvement on skin conditions such as scars, wrinkles, age spots can already be observed. However, for best results, it may take about 3-6 months after treatment to achieve 50-70% improvement. This time allows production of new collagen to replace the damaged ones.

Fractional CO2 laser treatment produces long-lasting results and reduces the need for the use of over-the-counter topical creams and products. Over time, you will notice that your skin will become tighter, smoother, more moisturised and glowing.

Are you now sold on fractional CO2 laser treatment? Consider this last question first before getting you to make an appointment:

What are the important things that you need to know before committing to Fractional C02 Laser treatment?

  1. Make sure that you are a suitable candidate.

Though fractional CO2 laser technology is backed by numerous studies and is generally safe, you cannot just simply say that this treatment is appropriate for you. To ensure safety and effective results, it is best to know if you are a suitable candidate first. Some reasons why Fractional C02 Laser may not be suitable for you may include:

  • very sensitive skin
  • chemotherapy
  • pregnancy
  • history of delayed healing and bleeding disorders
  • use of specific medications that can cause complication with the treatment

This is why I always advise my patients to have a proper consultation first. This is to help assess each individual’s needs and help determine if the treatment will be effective for a particular case. Most importantly, consultations are very helpful to manage expectations.

  1. The cost of fractional CO2 lasers may vary.

laser cost Singapore

In Singapore, the cost of fractional CO2 lasers is around $400-700 for one round of treatment. This price might vary due to factors such as:

  • The doctor’s consultation fee
  • The size of the treatment area
  • The number of target areas (up to 2 areas at a time can be treated with varying prices)
  • The number of sessions required to achieve best results
  • Aftercare medications if complications develop

It is also important to note that since fractional CO2 lasers are considered as a cosmetic procedure, the treatment sessions will not be covered by your insurance.

During your first consultation, I strongly suggest that you get a specific quote from your dermatologist so you can already have an idea about the total cost of the treatment.

  1. Laser settings matter.

A laser with a low energy setting is not capable of reaching deeper layers of the skin rendering it less effective. Because of this, more sessions may be required to achieve optimal results.

While lasers with higher settings are generally more effective because they can reach increased depths underneath the skin resulting to lesser sessions and zero to minimal downtime.

Before committing to a clinic, make sure first that you know the different settings that they can offer. Choosing the right laser settings can really make a difference on the expected results and can save you money in the long run.

  1. Allot appropriate time intervals in-between sessions.

After every session, your skin may need time to regenerate, heal and replace the damaged skin. As a personal recommendation, only go for fractional CO2 laser treatment once every 2-3 months.

If a doctor or clinic requires to get laser too often, I would be suspicious. Trustworthy clinics and physicians will make sure you get the best treatment without compromising your safety.

  1. Your choice of doctor matters.

Before committing to any treatment, make sure first that your doctor have the necessary credentials and training to perform the fractional CO2 laser procedure.

To help you decide to choose the right doctor, make sure that he/she have the following qualities:

  • have extensive training and experience with a fractional CO2 laser procedure
  • can identify different types of skin conditions and acne scars
  • helps you understand everything you need to know about the procedure
  • able to provide you with expected results and the number of sessions required
  • willing to show you before and after photos of his/her previous work

At the end of the day, the main factor that will determine the best results for your treatment would be your doctor’s skills and experience.

Pico Laser Treatment Pricelist (revealed by Singapore Doctor)

laser skin resurfacing machine

Click To Check

Pico laser treatments in Singapore cost around $250 to $1,000 per session. These prices may vary depending on a number of factors, such as the number of sessions, complexity of the medical concern and the patient's skin type. There's a reason for Pico lasers to have a high price; Picosecond laser technology is a modern technology and is extremely effective. It is important to note that some clinics may charge hidden costs that are not discussed during your consultation period, so it is better to ask for a detailed calculation of your total treatment fee to avoid inconveniences in the future.

In the world of aesthetic medicine, laser treatments are a favourite go-to procedure for solving a lot of skin problems. Spot fat reduction and hair removal included. One such type that has been gaining popularity recently is the “pico laser”. Pico lasers have been advertised as “faster, safer, and better” than traditional ones. Because of all the fuss, several patients of mine have been curious about this great piece of technology.

But what exactly is this procedure? Is there really any truth to the claim that it’s more effective for solving skin problems than the traditional one? What exactly can a pico laser treatment do for you?

To answer these questions, here are 15 things you need to know about pico laser treatment in Singapore.

1. The “pico” stands for a picosecond or 1/1000000000000 of a second

A picosecond laser, shortened as “pico laser”, is a type of laser that emits optical pulses at a speed of 1 pulse per 1 to 10 picoseconds. This means that each second, a pico laser emits 1 trillion optical pulses!

Because of its really fast speed, it belongs to a category of lasers called ultrafast lasers or ultrashort pulse lasers. It is an improved version of Q-switched nanosecond lasers, which emit 1 billion pulses per second.

2. Pico lasers have a greater advantage over traditional lasers

Compared to traditional lasers that use a single Q-switched technology, picosecond lasers are distinctively different. They release laser energy at higher peaks with a shorter pulse period, which results in safer and more effective treatment. That is why the conventional technique may require as twice the number of sessions to achieve similar results. In some cases, even after six rounds older technology lasers do not produce results at all.  Think of all the money and time you must spend with traditional laser treatments.

In addition, if not performed by a well-trained professional, the traditional laser may cause reactions such as hyperpigmentation, swelling and blisters. Developing these may require you to undergo more sessions to address the issue.

3. Pico lasers are guaranteed safe

Picosecond lasers are FDA-approved and therefore, they are certified safe. For additional safety, picosecond laser technology minimises damage to the surrounding skin by controlling the amount of heat discharged into the target area. Thus, there is less downtime and zero to minimal side effects.

4. Pico laser treatments can only be performed by a qualified doctor

qualified doctor

In Singapore, only qualified doctors are permitted to treat medical concerns with the use of lasers. Be extra cautious and don’t be fooled by scams who offer cheap pico laser services in beauty salons or spas. These treatments are usually performed by a non-qualified individual. Not to mention, they are illegal and extremely unsafe.

5. Pico lasers are effective in treating skin pigmentation problems

One of the main selling points of picosecond lasers is their effectiveness. This is especially true when it comes to skin pigmentation issues such as melasma and solar lentigines.

Ultrafast lasers, in general, are great for targeting melanin (which causes the skin pigmentation) underneath the skin for two reasons:

  • The high intensity of each pulse is strong enough to destroy the melanin pigmentation in the skin. Picosecond lasers are precisely calibrated to be able to deliver the right amount of energy to shatter and destroy the melanin under the skin.
  • Because pico lasers deliver pulses at ultrafast speeds, there is just enough time to destroy the melanin all the while keeping the surrounding tissue undamaged. A longer pulse would mean a bigger chance for the beams to damage the surrounding area.

Since picosecond lasers are faster than traditional lasers, it is a safer and more effective solution for pigmentation removal.

6. Pico lasers are also great for tattoo removal

laser tattoo removal

Ever regretted your decision of getting a tattoo when you were younger? Don’t worry because picosecond lasers are effective in removing tattoos. The science behind skin pigmentation removal is similar to tattoo removal. And this makes picosecond lasers wonderful tools for the latter. The only difference is that instead of targeting the secreted melanin of melanocytes, they get to the tattoo ink under your skin.

7. A pico laser can also assist in treating wrinkles and scars

In treating wrinkles and scars, the usual laser treatment utilised is an ablative or non-ablative laser procedure. These laser treatments work by stimulating your skin to produce more collagen, thereby rejuvenating the skin and making it tighter and firmer.

A pico laser can be used in conjunction with these treatments to reach a deeper area of skin. This allows for better and more pleasing results compared to without the pico laser. When opting for pico lasers to treat scars and wrinkles, a higher intensity setting is chosen which may cause redness.

8. Pico lasers are often used in conjunction with nanosecond lasers for better results

The one advantage of nanosecond lasers over picosecond lasers is that they can target a larger area of skin in each pulse.

Thus, for larger pigment spots (such as a big solar lentigo) or tattoos a doctor can first use a nanosecond laser to dissolve the pigment into smaller spots. Afterwards, a picosecond laser may be used to further dissolve these into tinier pieces. This strategy can save both time and effort for the specialist performing the treatment.

9. The cost of pico laser treatments may vary

The cost of pico laser treatments in Singapore may range from $250 to $1,000 per session. There are numerous factors involved, including:

  • The number of sessions (usually 4-6)
  • The type of medical problem to be treated (e.g., pigmentation, tattoo removal, wrinkles or pimple scarring)
  • The complexity of the medical concern and the procedure to be performed
  • The patient's skin type (sensitive skin may require more rounds)
  • Doctor’s fee
  • Follow-up check-ups and medications if you develop side effects (though extremely rare)

This product is expensive for a reason. Picosecond laser technology is not only the newest advancement in the cosmetic world, but also one of the most effective cosmetic treatments available.

It is important to note that some clinics may charge hidden costs that are not discussed during your consultation period. So, it is better to ask for a detailed calculation of your total treatment fee to avoid inconveniences in the future.

10. Pico lasers treatments have minimal discomfort

For pico laser treatments, minimal discomfort and heating sensation may be expected during the delivery of energy into the skin. The extent of this really depends on the tolerance of each person.

As a word of advice, it is important the patient speaks up if there is any unpleasant feeling, so the doctor can try to address the issue right away. They will employ different methods such as numbing cream, ice packs ,and anaesthetics.

After the procedure, people may also get some sort of discomfort, but nevertheless tolerable, that will go away in a few hours.

11. Pico lasers also have minimal to zero downtime

Pico laser treatment is naturally non-invasive - meaning, there is no surgery needed.  Therefore, patients can expect minimal downtime. Some even say that after each session, they can effortlessly proceed to their normal everyday routine without experiencing any issues.

12. Minimal side effects can be expected after pico laser treatments

Some patients report minimal side effects like dry skin and minor hyperpigmentation after every session. The good thing is these disappear in a couple of days. With pico lasers, you don't have to worry about scarring. Truth is, the risk is insignificant compared with conventional laser technologies.

For those who have undergone tattoo removal using pico lasers, some mild scabbing may be expected but will also go away after a few days. While recovering, make sure you keep yourself from exposure to direct sunlight to prevent further complications.

13. Pico lasers can deliver satisfactory results

After the treatment, instant results can already be felt and after a few weeks, the effects will be more evident. After pico laser treatment, reduced wrinkles, smaller pores, lessened hollowness, lesser pigmentation and an overall tightening of the face can be expected. These effects of pico laser are long lasting and very effective.

For tattoo removal using pico lasers, 75%-90% development in tattoo removal can be expected within 4-6 rounds. Other traditional machines such as Q-switched lasers may require twice as many sessions to achieve the same results. This also applies to laser machines unlawfully used in salons and spas.

For patients with acne scars, an average of 70%-80% improvement can be expected after the treatment. The number of sessions will depend on different factors such as the severity of the scaring, the size of the affected area and the patient’s responsiveness to the manipulation. The optimum result is achieved over a period of 2-3 months to give the skin time to produce new collagen.

14. There are many brands of pico lasers in Singapore

laser skin resurfacing machine

In Singapore, there are several existing brands of Pico laser technology that are offered by different clinics. However, not all of them deliver the same level of treatments. As a result of continuing advancements in technology and medical research, newer generations of picosecond lasers are now emerging.

Due to the highly technical differences between the various brands of pico lasers, it can be very difficult to decide which one to choose. The best way to ensure that you are getting the correct pico laser technology for you is to discuss it with your doctor. During your consultation, you can ask them about the type of brand he/she is using and what wavelengths are available.

Usually, different products offer specific treatments (i.e., pigmentation treatments). What is more, a picosecond laser that can produce more wavelengths will be able to address a wider range of medical concerns.

It is also essential to note if there have been published medical researches and trials with the specific brand. This way you can have a better understanding of its quality and effectiveness.

15. There are numerous clinics in Singapore that offer a wide range of pico laser treatments

Before committing to a doctor and clinic, remember to do your research, read reviews online. Be sure to check for the doctor’s qualifications and related training, the type of treatments offered, and the type of machine to be used. Also, ask for opinion from other people who have tried the treatments before, so you can have an informed decision.

Keep in mind that pico laser treatments are medical procedures and they require utmost care by a qualified medical professional. So, it is crucial to choose a doctor you can trust.