Skin pigmentation and dark patches on the face are very common, especially in Asians, and particularly more so in our hot sunny tropical weather with constant sun exposure.
Common types of skin pigmentation include melasma, and solar lentigines (sun spots), sun exposure being the main cause. Hormonal changes (eg pregnancy) can also cause melasma. Previous inflammation or rashes on the skin may also result in pigmentation issues (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Some people may have other types of pigmented dark spots, such as freckles and Becker’s nevus (during childhood adolescence period), and Hori’s nevus (middle age).

How can pigmentation be treated?

Our dermatologist will need to assess the skin for the types of pigmentation issues, so that the treatment plan can be tailored and individualised. Some people are more prone to recurrences of pigmentation, or experience difficult to treat and more stubborn pigmentation.
There is also individual variable response to treatment, but in general, most pigmentation will lighten with combination treatment.

Sun protection

Proper sun protection measures and the use of a good sunblock every day is still the most important first step. Avoid excessive and prolonged sun exposure during mid-day when its UV radiation is at its most damaging.

Lightening creams

There is a wide range of prescription and non-prescription pigmentation lightening cream formulations, which use substances to help reduce pigment formation on the skin and to lighten existing pigmentation. These creams may contain prescription-based hydroquinone, or a variety of other cosmeceutical lightening substances.

Oral medication

For resistant melasma, there are oral tablets such as tranexamic acid which may be effective treatment for some people.

Pigment laser treatment

There is a range of pigment lasers which can be used, such as the latest pico (picosecond) laser which can be very effective in treating different types of pigmentation issues, with minimal downtime and side effects. Several repeated sessions are often needed to achieve gradual lightening of the pigmentation, without causing side effect of post-laser darkening.
Complete rejuvenation of the entire face can also be achieved using combination lasers to lighten pigmentation, reduce pore size, improve skin texture and fine lines, for an overall brightening effect.
The information written and published on this website is not intended to substitute the recommendations of a trained professional and does not replace a professional consultation.
It is advisable to undergo a formal consultation to help establish a relationship between the doctor and yourself, accurately determine your concerns/problems, and get the appropriate treatments for them.
It is also imperative to note that the contents of the website with respect to treatments, results and pricing can vary from individual to individual, and can only be accurately determined by the doctor upon diagnosis.
Do note that all medical treatments will only be administered upon proper consultation, with the requirement that patients be above 21 years of age to provide legal consent.

Cosmetic Dermatology

Meet your Dermatologist

Dr Tay Liang Kiat

Dr Tay Liang Kiat is a fully accredited Dermatologist who specialises in skin cancers, Mohs micrographic surgery, dermatologic and nail surgery, aesthetic dermatology and laser procedures. With more than 20 years of clinical experience, he also manages other aspects of general ambulatory and inpatient dermatology, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, urticaria, hair loss, children skin issues and other complex medical dermatology. In addition, he has expertise in the use of the latest immunotherapy (biologics) treatment for severe eczema, psoriasis and urticaria.