Dr. Terence Tan Answers Four Top Beauty Woes

We asked Dr. Terence Tan your aesthetic concerns and here’s what he said so that you can step out gorgeous.

As we prepare to say hello to the world again after more than two months of staying home due to Singapore’s Circuit Breaker measure, some beauty-related issues that we had put on the back-burner might become urgent again. Dark eye circles, pigmentations, face slimming, and body fat removal are some of the top concerns that we hear often in the clinic.

We asked Dr. Terence Tan of Halley Medical Aesthetics to answer your top beauty concerns, so that you can step out gorgeous again.


What can I do to treat my dark eye circles?

Dr. Terence Tan: Dark eye circles are a very common problem which bothers many young people. They can make you look tired, dull, and older than your age.

The causes of dark circles under the eyes vary, and the treatment depends on the cause.

Common causes of under-eye circles are:

1. Pigmentation

Pigmentation is a common skin condition in which patches of skin become darker than the surrounding skin. This is caused by an excess production of melanin. While mainly genetic, factors such as sun exposure, nasal or skin allergies, inflammation from acne or injury can increase pigmentation around the eye.

2. Loss of undereye volume

Ageing reduces bony support and superficial fat around the eyes, making the eyes appear hollow and sunken. The resultant depression creates a shadow under the light resembling a dark circle. Although it is age related, there are some who have them as a natural deformity from a young age.

3. Loose skin

Loose skin causes fine lines and crinkling of under-eye skin, giving the appearance of dark eye circles.

For most people, I would recommend trying the PicoSure laser treatment. PicoSure is a picosecond laser treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), which is effective in reducing pigmentation and tightening skin. It reduces pigmentation by delivering an ultra-short pulse of energy to the skin in picoseconds (trillionths of a second), shattering the pigment into tiny dust-like particles, which are then absorbed by the lymphatic system and eliminated naturally.

PicoSure also has a unique focus lens, which is effective in tightening the skin through stimulation of collagen. It works by creating LIOB or laser-induced optical breakdown though photomechanical disruption.

Dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid is a good option to replace lost volume around the eyes. Hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the skin, fills the depression under the eyes and hydrates the skin, reducing the appearance of dark eye circles. Fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane are safe and ideal for under-eye rejuvenation.

Skin resurfacing lasers like Fraxel Dual laser and ultrasound-based devices like Ultherapy can also help by renewing and revitalising tired skin. These treatments are effective in dark eye circles caused by loose skin.


How can I achieve a slimmer, v-shaped face?

Dr. Terence Tan: Different people have different face shapes and different requirements. Treatments should, therefore, be customised. Frequently used minimally-invasive methods include:

1. Dermal fillers like Juvederm, Radiesse, and Restylane can be used to enhance chin sharpness, replace lost volume of the cheeks in order to smooth out the facial wrinkles and lift skin. It replaces lost facial volume from above and lifts the cheeks below, therefore reducing facial sagginess for a slimmer face.

2. Ultherapy is a US FDA-approved lifting and tightening treatment using micro-focused ultrasound. Ultherapy helps create a v-shaped face by tightening skin through stimulation of new collagen production in the deep supportive layers of the skin. Sagging skin along the jawline can be tightened and lifted, which in turn creating a v-shaped contoured face.

3. Threadlift treatments utilise threads which are inserted via a needle underneath the skin for lifting. The threads used now are generally either PDO threads or Silhouette Soft. These are dissolvable threads which improve the shape of the face by mechanically lifting the skin with cones or barbs called cogs. There is also delayed improvement through collagen stimulation.


How can I solve my pigmentation problem?

Dr. Terence Tan: In the past, the Q-Switched lasers were commonly used for treatment of pigmentation and dark spots that have developed due to sun damage.

The Q-Switched laser uses selective photothermolysis, delivering energy to skin pigments to break it down. The body then clears the shattered pigmentation rapidly after treatment. However, heat production to the surrounding skin tissue during laser treatment can potentially damage the skin, leading to side effects and downtime.

Laser technology has improved over recent years. Newer lasers like PicoSure can lighten pigmentation through higher, faster energy pulses with minimal chance of side effects and with minimal or zero downtime.

The PicoSure laser is widely considered as the gold standard for treatment of facial pigmentation like sun spots, acne scars, and removal of tattoos. As PicoSure is a picosecond laser, it delivers strong pulses of energy to the skin in picoseconds (trillionths of a second) compared to Q-Switched lasers which deliver the energy pulses in nanoseconds (billionth of a second). This means that PicoSure delivers intense energy to the skin to reduce pigmentation effectively. This intense energy is delivered in a shorter period of time leading to less heat production, resulting in a safer treatment.

If there is a choice between the two, I would recommend the PicoSure laser over the Q-Switched laser as the preferred treatment modality for skin pigmentation. Nonetheless, the choice remains yours and you should consult a doctor who can determine which laser is most appropriate for your skin.


How to get rid of my stubborn bulges?

Dr. Terence Tan: CoolSculpting is effective and approved by the US FDA for reduction of tummy and flank fat. The CoolSculpting procedure safely delivers precisely controlled cooling to gently and effectively target the fat cells underneath the skin. Treated fat cells are frozen, then undergo a process called apoptosis before being removed by the immune system over time, leaving a more sculpted tummy.

Most studies show between 20 to 25 percent reduction of fat over the treated area after one treatment. Supporting studies have also shown that this reduction is long lasting. As everybody is different, speak to a doctor who will work with you on the best treatment plan tailored to your needs.


Can’t find the answer to your question here? Schedule a consultation with our doctors at Halley Medical Aesthetics to share your concerns with them and find out more about the suitable treatments available for you.

Halley Medical Aesthetics
Tel: +65 6737 8233
WhatsApp (Call/Message): +65 9816 6148
Email: info@halley.com.sg

Overseas patients can also call us on WhatsApp at +65 9816 6148 for more information.

Tele-Medicine is now available at Halley Medical Aesthetics.

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