All Your Burning Questions re Pigmentation: Answered

Dealing with unwanted brown patches on our skin can be such a struggle, especially when we make all sorts of efforts to care for our skin and stay away from the sun. What can we do? Is there something we’re not doing right?

We’ve rounded up some of the most common questions we received about pigmentation and answered them below:

Why do I still have pigmentation when I’ve been making effort to wear sunscreen?
First of all, good on you for making the effort to apply sunscreen! That’s the first step in a preventive skincare routine against pigmentation. However, while you will reduce your chances of getting pigmentation and reduce the likelihood of existing pigmentation getting darker, UV exposure is not the only reason for getting pigmentation.

Pigmentation can also be caused by aging, irritation from unsuitable cosmetics, hormonal changes from pregnancy, or genetics.

How can I treat my pigmentation?
Not all pigmentation is the same – different types of pigmentation have different underlying causes and as a result, have different treatment plans.

Pigmentation can generally classified into 2 categories: superficial and deep pigmentation:

Superficial Pigmentation
Superficial pigmentation tends to reside in the epidermis, the outer layer of our skin, and tends to be light brown in colour. More common examples of superficial pigmentation include freckles.

Deep Pigmentation
Deep pigmentation, as the name suggests, tends to reside in deeper skin layers such as the dermis. Dermal pigmentation tends to be dark brown or grey-brown in colour, and common examples include melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) (e.g. the small brown mark that’s left after a pimple has subsided, especially if you’ve squeezed it!).

Re Pigmentation Burning Questions | LS Aesthetic Clinic

Sometimes people have a mix of both superficial and deep pigmentation – you will require a doctor’s expertise to correctly identify this.

Hence, when diagnosed correctly by an experienced doctor, different types of pigmentation can be successfully reduced in different ways, ranging from laser treatments and chemical peels, to prescription-only pigmentation lightening creams.

Beauty salons also offer laser facials too though, what’s the difference?
Note that it’s illegal for beauticians to conduct laser treatments in Singapore – these can only be conducted by doctors.

It’s important to note too that “laser facials” could possibly be intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments – IPL and lasers are not the same thing!

IPL does not focus light into the skin and penetrate as deep as laser treatments do, and hence IPL works at a lower light energy to treat pigmentation.

Hence, while IPL can help rejuvenate your skin, if it’s stubborn deep pigmentation you’re looking to treat, there might not be much effect.

Not all lasers are the same too – different lasers with different settings and wavelengths are used to treat different types of pigmentation, depending on the depth of the pigmentation. Hence, it’s important that this is calibrated and performed by an experienced doctor.

Does it mean the more laser treatments I do, the better?
Adhering to a structured treatment protocol will help you achieve your ideal skin condition and reduce pigmentation. Generally, a laser treatment is done once every 3-4 weeks, for about 6 sessions. This may be tweaked depending on the doctor’s diagnosis of your skin condition.

Doing it more often than that – such as at clinics that offer 1-2 mins of laser that are repeated up to 3-7 times per week – can actually result in negative side effects. Your skin needs time to recover after each laser treatment, but due to the too-frequent laser sessions, the melanocytes (cells that produce pigmentation) might die, instead resulting in hypopigmentation (white patches on skin).

Furthermore, such types of low-cost, 1-2 mins laser treatments are generally standardised at only 1 wavelength and low power settings, making them not tailored to your specific needs. Remember! Different types of pigmentation occur at different depths of your skin, and require different laser wavelengths and calibrations for effective targeting.

Re Pigmentation Burning Questions | LS Aesthetic Clinic

Will my pigmentation reappear after treatment?
Due to aging, hormonal changes, or UV exposure, pigmentation may recur. Hence, it’s important to keep a preventive routine of sunscreen, topical creams, and/or maintenance laser treatments to prevent your pigmentation from getting even darker.

For more information on our pigmentation treatments, call us at +65 6738 4700, email us at, or visit us at Wisma Atria Office Tower, #10-04, along Orchard Road.

We provide honest advice, quality care, and affordable prices.