Q&A The Doctor’s In

We ask the experts about common skin problems and how to solve them.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


The RE:ERTH Blemish Control, $80 (30 ml), has an anti-microbial formula which helps support skin’s immune system to defend against acne without drying skin out. The reformulated Clarins White Plus Pure Translucency TriIntensive Brightening Serum, $130 (30 ml), impedes melanin production while keeping skin hydrated all day.
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Lasers are one of the most effective ways to deal with skin issues – Dr Chua Cheng Yu of Veritas Clinic discuss the types which can help

Q: I'm confused with the many types of lasers. What are the broad categories and what skin concerns do they target?

A: “Lasers are focused beams of light of a particular wavelength, and each wavelength or setting is usually very good at targeting a particular skin component. A longer wavelength laser, for example, may be used to penetrate into the deeper layers of skin. Besides wavelengths, the different durations of light pulses also provide a range of benefits. There are lasers that can target discolouration like brown marks, redness or unwanted blood vessels or scars, and there are those that can target collagen for skin tightening, as well as those that can ablate (burn) skin to help smooth out bumps and refine the skin. Lasers can broadly be categorised under ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are good for resurfacing skin with conditions such as scarring or deeper wrinkles. Non-ablative lasers work beneath the superficial layer of skin to target pigmentation, spider veins and sagging skin.”

Q: What should I ask my doctor to make sure their recommended treatments would target my concerns?

A: “Ask for experience and case examples. Ensure that your doctor conducts a thorough assessment to determine your actual skin condition, and has the expertise to design a customised treatment plan to better achieve your skin goals.  You may request to view beforeand-after photographs for real-life examples of treatment results. However, do view these with a critical eye, asking yourself if the photos were taken at a similar angle and lighting, and if they actually display the same problems that you are facing. Lastly, do some research about your own skin condition prior to your consultation. You may get a lot of confusing advice online, so ask your doctor about these conflicting information and he should be able to answer them convincingly.”

Q: I have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and “pockmarks” from acne. What laser treatments would be suitable for me?

A: “If your doctor chooses to treat your pockmarks and PIH using lasers, both can often be treated in the same session with combination lasers. The type of combination depends on the exact type of PIH and pockmarks, as well as the different skin types and downtime that can be afforded. Be sure that your doctor listens to your concerns and makes the effort to understand your lifestyle and desired results, before making recommendations on the right treatment.”

Q: Can laser treatments be used on skin that experiences rosacea and eczema flare ups?

A: “Type 1 rosacea can be treated with various vascular lasers. In fact, laser treatment for type 1 rosacea is one of the more definitive treatment options. Certain types of eczema, such as seborrheic dermatitis, can be treated with a vascular laser to relieve the redness, but it is usually not sufficient to treat the problem completely. Eczema flare-ups are not usually treated with laser, even though there are new laser technologies that claim to do so.” Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and readers are advised to seek advice from a qualified doctor if they are considering any cosmetic procedures. SPH Magazines Pte Ltd does not accept any liability in respect of any action taken by a reader in reliance on any recommendations contained in this article.