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11 Treatments That Will Fade Your Dark Spots

Xinyi Soh | 11 Jul 2016
How gorgeous is Vanessa Axente's radiant complexion?
Photo: Getty Images/Gary Gerschoff 

Hyperpigmentation. Dark spots. Discoloration. No matter what you call it, the lasting reminder of a bad breakout, rash or sun damage lingering right on your face can be pretty annoying. And in some cases, it can end up being more of a beast to deal with than the initial skin problem that caused it.

WHY DO DARK SPOTS OCCUR?

"The most common cause of dark spots is post-inflammatory pigmentation, which is when any sort of inflammation occurs on the skin, like acne, an insect bite or a rash," explains Miami-based dermatologist Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy. "This happens mostly to people with medium to dark skin tones, and these dark spots also last longer and can be more difficult to treat than the original inflammation — think of it as the ghost of the pimple's past."

During the summer, dark spots can get even worse, since the sun's UV rays can exacerbate them. "UV light exposure causes melanocytes to rev up pigment production darkening the skin," says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. And because some brightening products can increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun, broad-spectrum sun protection is even more necessary.

Credit: Only Clinic

OVER-THE COUNTER TREATMENTS CAN HELP...

The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options, and you can find them in both drugstores and department stores. Look for products that include niacinamide, vitamin C, retinoids, soy, kojic acid, licorice root, daisy or peony extract, all of which can help to fade spots. We've culled some of our favorite hyperpigmentation-treating products below.

...BUT IF THEY DON'T DON'T GIVE UP YET

If OTC products still aren't doing the trick, the best course of action might be to consult a dermatologist, who can prescribe stronger topical medications or administer in-office procedures. "Chemical peels remove heavily pigmented cells from the outer skin layer and lighten spots," says Zeichner, who also recommends laser treatments like Fraxel, a full face treatment that brightens and evens skin tone or individual spot lasers, such as the Nd Yag laser, which directly targets melanin and eliminates dark spots.

Whatever you try, try something. And try it soon. "The biggest mistake I see patients make is waiting too long to seek treatment," says Jegasothy. "Hyperpigmentation becomes much harder to treat after six months. If you've been treating a new or worsening brown spot for more than a month with no improvement — take pictures if you're unsure! — visit your dermatologist. It's critical to rule out any abnormal mole or even melanoma in a brown spot." 

 
BY KARINA HOSHIKAWA
Source: Fashionista
Our Panel of Doctor's Services
DR Celine Leong, Astique Clinic
Acne Treatment Programme, $349
PPx Pore-Cleansing ACNE Treatment™ (PPX) is an advanced technology that combines a gentle vacuum with therapeutic broadband light, to help rid skin of acne-causing impurities, leaving your skin cleaner and clearer. It is combined with laser treatments, chemical peels and blue LED light treatment to bring about more effective results and healthier, clearer, more youthful-looking skin.
Pigment Laser, $350
At ASTIQUE, we use the Medlite from HOYA ConBio®, the latest in Q-switched laser technology. The Medlite has been studied in many clinical trials and is approved by the FDA for the successful treatment of pigmentation disorders.
Pore Toning Laser, $350
The Cooltouch CT3 plus laser is the “gold standard” non-ablative laser for wrinkle and stretch mark reduction as well as acne and acne scar treatment, and is suitable for all who are seeking a non-invasive anti-aging treatment to improve their skin and appearance.
350 Orchard Road, #08-00 Shaw House, Singapore 238868
Dr. Dylan Chau, Celevenus Aesthetic & Wellness Clinic
Revlite, $350 for 1 session
Revlite laser is ideal for the treatment of skin pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, aging skin, enlarged pores (as pore minimizer), and sun damage, and is effective to rejuvenate and refresh skin in the treatment area, firming skin and minimizing pores while offering a smoother texture and more even tone overall.
Sciton BBL, $350 for 1 session
Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) is an innovative non-invasive skin treatment that uses light energy at various wavelengths to correct a broad range of skin conditions associated with aging, active life-styles, and sun damage.
Revlite & BBL, $500 for 1 session
Perfect combination for skin rejuvenation, the Revlite system is designed to remove signs of aging and sun damage such as brown age spot and freckles while BBL Photofacial treatment is an effective procedure for age spot removal, as well as balancing uneven pigmentation and reducing the appearance of freckles.
391B Orchard Road #16-03/04 Ngee Ann City Tower B, Singapore 238874
Dr Ivan Tan, Nu.Reflections Medical Aesthetics
Pigment Laser, from $250 onwards
This highly versatile treatment is used to treat a variety of pigmentary disorders such as freckles and sun spots, melasma and aged spots. This treatment can also help on enlarged pores and gives the skin an overall rejuvenated appearance.
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser, from $600 onwards
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser is one of the most effective treatments for skin resurfacing, to treat wrinkles and fine lines, photo damaged skin and acne scars.
123 Penang Road, Office tower #05-12 Regency House (next to old Cockpit Hotel), Singapore 238465
Dr. Elias Tam Tak Chuen, EHA Clinic
Pigmentation Laser, from $428 onwards
Laser for skin rejuvenation or pigmentation using Q-Switch - starts at $428 for one session
1 Scotts Road, #15-01 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208