I believe in a sharing community. I believe that everyone deserves to look and feel your very best. I believe that knowledge is power. And I believe in empowering people.
Hence I am starting a 3 part series on common skin concerns in Asian women based on my clinical experience. Disclamer: Many people have written in to ask me about what treatment is the best, what machines are the best etc. The treatments I suggest on this blog are purely for educational purposes and should not be confused with what your primary doctor recommends.
Today we will discuss top 3 skin pigmentation concerns. In the next 2 parts, we will be discussing top skin texture concerns in Asian women, and finally rounding up with skin laxity concerns. I hope you find this helpful.
TOP 3 SKIN PIGMENTATION CONCERNS IN Asian Women
- Sun Damage
- Post inflammation hyperpigmentation – For which we have the brown spots and red spots.
This is common is Asian women. It is a symmetrically distributed, ill defined geographical pattern commonly over your upper lips, cheeks, forehead and jaw. It is notoriously difficult to treat. It occurs in 3-5% of Asians, In my practice, 30% of my laser patients have melasma.
Melasma is due to 3 factors.
- Sun exposure
- Hormones – So those post pregnancy or taking oral contraceptives tend to notice this.
In my clinical experience, majority of patients with resistant Melasma has both a vascular and pigment component. Hence treatment is a combination.
How I treat melasma
- sun protection
- lightening agents
- low dose laser toning
2. SUN – DAMAGE
Sun exposure is a big problem here in Singapore. The temperatures are creeping up and the mid-day sun is blazing hot. This will lead to risk of more sun damage in our population, slowly rising to the levels seen in sunny Australia.
Sun damage is commonly a combination of the following.
- Sun spots
- Fine lines and skin wrinkling
In my experience, treatment is a combination of the following, in order to attain clean and clear skin.
How I treat sun damaged skin
- Strict sun protection ( with spf and hats ) + Lightening agents
- Laser treatment
- Skin repair with Rejuran and Skinboosters
This needs no introduction. It can manifest as angry red pimples, flat red macules or marks, brown darkened pigmentation and finally, acne scars.
- Acne scars
- Acne post inflammatory erythema
- Acne cysts
- Stress. So those of us who work late nights, get little sleep, diet rich in sugary and diary products are at risk.
- Hormonal changes, so it tends to worsen during pregnancy
- Lifestyle. Flying is a stress on the body and in my practice, I do see many air crew suffering from persistent acne.
In my experience, we have treated many women who suffer from persistent acne. Below is my 3 step formula for acne treatment.
How I treat acne
- Lifestyle changes. AVOID your triggers, especially during your menses.
- Creams +/- oratane and antibiotics
- Laser peels
The aim of treatment is to tackle to root of the problem.
- P acne bacteria
- Sebaceous gland over activity
- Dirt and debris clogging your pores
So I hope this has been helpful so you are armed with some information when you visit your doctor. Stay tuned for part 2 of this mini series.
- Dr Daniel Chang
For information on Rejuran.
- Balkrishnan, R., et al. “Improved quality of life with effective treatment of facial melasma: the pigment trial.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 3.4 (2004): 377-381.
- Tannous, Zeina S., and Susanne Astner. “Utilizing fractional resurfacing in the treatment of therapy‐resistant melasma.” Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy 7.1 (2005): 39-43.
- Wattanakrai, Penpun, Ratchathorn Mornchan, and Sasima Eimpunth. “Low‐fluence Q‐switched neodymium‐doped yttrium aluminum garnet (1,064 nm) laser for the treatment of facial melasma in Asians.” Dermatologic Surgery 36.1 (2010): 76-87.
- Lloyd, Jenifer R., and Mirko Mirkov. “Selective photothermolysis of the sebaceous glands for acne treatment.” Lasers in surgery and medicine 31.2 (2002): 115-120.