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What causes pigmentation?

In Singapore, skin pigmentation is any condition that causes darkening of a general or specific areas of skin. This can range from birthmarks that are found from a young age, to age spots that develop when older.

Skin pigmentation in Singapore can be caused by:
– genetics
– hormones
– sun exposure
– medical conditions
– chronic medication intake
– age

There is a specific type of pigment found in our skin called Melanin. Parts of our body such as our hair, eyes, skin color are all determined by the Melanin content inside them. When melanin production in our skin becomes altered, it might cause pigmentation-related conditions. In general, people who have fairer skin tend to have a lower melanin content in their skin, while people who have darker skin tend to produce more melanin. This is why pigmentation-related conditions in Singapore tend to be more common, harder to treat, and also more recurrent in darker skin individuals.

With pigmentation treatment, it is usually important to rule out dangerous skin conditions before starting pigmentation treatments in Singapore, specifically melanoma which is a cancerous condition.

Common Types of Pigmentation


This surface layer (epidermal) pigmentation problem usually presents as spotted discrete brown marks in the mid-face areas. Usually caused by sun exposure in Singapore, extremely easy to remove with very little risk and with minimal recurrence. Can take as little as 1 session for removal.


Melasma presents as symmetrical, patchy and unevenly pigmentation patches that can happen on the whole face, most commonly over the mid face, but also in the lower face and forehead areas. This condition is extremely common in Asian skin tone and types and can be very difficult to treat without the proper knowledge and expertise (especially melasma around the eyes – periorbital melasma). Many experts will tell you that there can only be mild improvement when you develop this chronic disease, but the truth is there can be substantial improvement in Singapore and even a cure with a precise approach.

Age spots

Otherwise known as lentigenes (plural of lentigo), they happen with aging and sun exposure in Singapore. These are quite similar to freckles but usually deeper and harder to remove completely. More pigmentation treatments in Singapore may be required to remove completely.

Acne and PIH marks

This epidermal and dermal pigmentation (both surface and deep) can occur after any type of skin damage, and it is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Acne-induced post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is one of the most common types of pigmentation. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation usually will fade with time, but can take extremely long in some individuals. The good news is there are simple treatment methods that can remove them efficiently. Certain lasers also have the benefit of treating and preventing acne, hence avoiding the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation altogether.

Cafe-Au-Lait macules

These are light coffee coloured birthmarks that can occur on the face or different parts of the body. Treatment of choice is with lasers and complete removal is possible, but with some risk of recurrence.

Nevus of Ota and Nevus of Hori

These conditions are dermal (deeper) pigmentation conditions, and can be congenital or acquired in Singapore. These dermal melanocytotic usually require more sessions of therapy to achieve good clearance. Hori’s nevus in particular can occur in conjunction with other pigmentation types, and if not careful, the treatment of one condition may worsen the pigmentation of other.

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic Keratosis is a common non-cancerous skin growth that can be black, brown or lightly tanned. They can also appear flat and scaled or slightly raised.


Pigmentation Removal Treatments

Never start pigmentation treatment without a proper medical examination to rule out dangerous or cancerous skin disease. Pigmentation needs to first be properly assessed and diagnosed accurately before treatment. This step is frequently ignored with people seeking the hype of laser pigmentation treatment.

Proper photo-documentation is proper medical record taking for pigmentation problems.

There are various treatment methods for pigmentation. However, a note of caution is to avoid ablative lasers and deep chemical peels where possible. While these may produce results, Asian skin types tend to be more sensitive and prone to scarring which can result in higher risks of side effects such as hypertrophic scars, skin irritation, and even worsen pigmentation.

BLEND is a customised laser protocol developed by Veritas to remove all blemish and pigmentation concerns. A combination protocol with three or more different lasers such as picosecond and yellow laser are used to effectively target different components contributing to the pigmentation in a single session.

BLEND is a quick and comfortable treatment with no downtime.

PERFECT is sometimes required for certain types of pigmentation such as age spots or seborrheic keratosis. Using a unique combination of lasers tailored for each individual’s concerns, the downtime can be varying from 3-7 days.

The salmon DNA-based Rejuran Healer has been shown in clinical studies to reduce pigment production at the cellular level.

When used in combination with the more aggressive lasers used in PERFECT, skinboosters such as Rejuran Healer can drastically improve stubborn pigmentations.

Pigmentation treatment should be approached holistically, with proper preparation, adjuncts and post care if necessary. It is also important to note that pigmentation is a downstream result of the process of photoageing, vascular changes and resulting inflammatory mediators. Using a single Pico Laser will thus not be as effective as combination lasers for comprehensive pigment removal.

Our approach at Veritas is to use a carefully selected blend of non-invasive lasers that are precise in eliminating pigmentation while balancing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation risks. Veritas developed the BLEND and PERFECT laser protocols in Singapore for efficient and multi-layered treatment of complex pigmentation conditions which Asian skin types is particularly prone to compared to our African and Caucasian counterparts. The intricacies are about achieving the correct combination, at the correct individual settings.

Read more about why using combination lasers is crucial to the effective treatment of hyperpigmentation here.


Apart from lasers, can I remove pigmentation naturally?

Can laser peel treatments help with pigmentation?

Does dermabrasion treatment work for pigmentation?

Can I do laser if I have deeper skin tones?

Will laser treatments thin my skin?

Will pigmentation recur after I stop laser treatment?

How much does laser pigmentation removal cost in Singapore?


Dr Chua Cheng Yu

  • 10+ years of medical experience
  • 10,000+ cases of aesthetic treatments
  • Known for unique treatment protocols from years of experience
  • Speaker and Trainer at American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
  • Regional Trainer for Ultraformer 3 HIFU, ProYellow Laser, Ellansé, AGNES RF, etc
  • The only official trainer for Fotona Lasers in Singapore

Dr Lena Fan

  • 10+ years of medical experience
  • 10,000+ cases of aesthetic treatments
  • Known for specialised treatments that cater towards feminine health
  • Trainer for non-invasive Vaginal Laxity & Urinary Incontinence treatments
  • KOL for fat loss and body sculpting treatments
  • Combined background in Aesthetic Medicine & Family Medicine


13 Stamford Rd,
#B2-35 Capitol Singapore,
Singapore 178905


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Sat: 11am - 6pm
PH: By appointment only.

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