Dr. Wong's Recommended Treatments for Pigmentation

Assurance Skin, Laser & Aesthetics | 13 May 2015

Dr Wong considers accurate diagnosis as the most important step in the management of facial pigmentation.

Facial pigmentation include freckles, sun spots, melasma, Hori’s macule and etc. It could be due to many different reasons e.g. sun, genetic predisposition, pregnancy, contraceptive pills and aging.
Dr Wong considers accurate diagnosis as the most important step in the management of facial pigmentation as it affects the decision and selection of treatment plan. 

What are the treatments for Pigmentation?

1. Sunscreens

The simplest treatment to protect the skin from the development of and worsening of the pigmentation is the use of a sunscreen. Sunscreen is also important after all lightening treatment  so that the pigmentation will not recur.

2. Topical creams

Most prescription creams used to lighten the skin contain hydroquinone. Hydroquinone lightens and fades darkened skin patches by slowing the production of melanin so those dark spots gradually fade to match normal skin colour. Non-hydroquinone creams are also available but they are generally weaker. Treatment normally takes anywhere from three months to a year or longer to be effective.

3. OPT

Optimal Pulse Technology (OPTTM) is an advanced and improved version of Intense Pulse Light (IPL). Each light pulse penetrates tissue and creates a controlled destruction to the pigmentation while leaving the surrounding healthy skin and vessels unaffected.
The body’s natural process will then remove the charred and damaged pigmentation from the treated area. According to published data, physicians’ rating of improvement of pigmentation after 3-4 OPT treatments is 84.6%.

4. Q-Switched ND YAG laser

Q-Switched ND-YAG laser is the Gold Standard for pigment lightening treatment. Pigmented skin lesions like solar lentigines, freckles, Hori’s macule, nevus of Ota and tattoos can all be effectively treated with Q-Switched ND-YAG laser. Q-Switched laser beam delivers high power laser energy  into the skin in super quick nanosecond speed. This results in pigment destruction with minimal injury to the surrounding skin. 
The laser targets skin pigment with a photomechanical action to effect their destruction and eventual elimination from the body. 

5. OBAGI Blue Peel

OBAGI Blue Peel uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) as the active ingredient. Dr Wong will mix the TCA with the patented Blue Base from Dr Obagi and coat the Blue Peels on the facial skin based on the level of skin damage and the desired level of improvement. The procedure takes less than an hour and a burning sensation will occur that lasts only 10-15 minutes. A bluish tint will stay on the facial skin that usually washes off in 24 to 48 hours. 
Within 2 to 3 days, the skin will begin to peel and this peeling continues over the next several days. By Day 7 to 10, the skin should be healed, rejuvenated and pigmentation lightened or removed.