Although rarely life threatening, pigmentation on the skin can cause significant distress and embarrassment to a person especially when the dark patches appear on visible part of the face, such as the forehead or cheeks.

Applying a thick layer of concealer can sometimes reduce the appearance of the pigmentation on the face, but it takes a lot of effort and time to prepare before attending any social event.

We had the privilege to interview Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics to find out what exactly is pigmentation and why it happens. Most importantly, we also find out from him what are some of the most effective ways to get rid of pigmentation and remove the ‘mask of shame’.


Dr. Siew: Pigmentation is caused by special pigment cells in the skin, commonly known as melanocytes. These melanocytes make melanin that determines the colour of the skin. At the same time, melanocytes also protect skin cells from harmful UV rays.

Over time, when the skin becomes damaged by the sun, melanin production and distribution become irregular. Uneven distribution of melanin cause pigmentation spots to appear on the skin – either darker or lighter.

Some common causes of hyperpigmentation are:

• HORMONAL CHANGES Melasma usually presents itself as irregular patches of pigmentation on the skin. They usually appear on the bridge of the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin, and lips. Melasma is often called the “mask of pregnancy” because it is often triggered by pregnancy.
• ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE The environment plays a very major role in skin pigmentation. In a country where you get sunny weather almost 365 days a year, it is very common to suffer from premature skin aging. Cumulative damage from sun exposure can exacerbate skin pigmentation.
• POST-INFLAMMATORY HYPERPIGMENTATION Commonly known as PIH, dark spots on the skin appear after pimples, acne, cuts, insect bites, harsh treatments or products.
• BIRTHMARKS AND NATURAL PIGMENTATION Abnormal pigmentation may be present from birth. Some of these pigmentation include café au lait spots and Hori’s naevus.
• DRUGS AND ILLNESSES Although rare, hyperpigmentation can also occur as a result of health issues such as liver disease or even certain medications.


Dr. Siew: The surest and most effective way to avoid getting pigmentation is sun avoidance. However, it is almost impossible to avoid the sun totally.

Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 50 to get sufficient protection from the sun. Make sure you apply about one hour before leaving the house.

Effective skin care products and lightening creams are also important to control the darkening of hyperpigmentation. Choosing a range of good skin care products ensures your pigmentation does not worsen and is well-controlled.

Unfortunately, when we are dealing with sun spots and melasma, topical skin care creams and sunscreen do not produce an effective outcome. It may be time to visit an aesthetic doctor to get the pigmentation treatment.


Dr. Siew: Very often, one type of laser treatment may not produce satisfactory and sustainable long-term result for treating severe pigmentation. That is why Radium Medical Aesthetics put together an effective pigment removal program combining 4 different types of laser treatments.

Skin Illumination Program is currently one of the most powerful pigment-busting program in Singapore. Your skin will be treated to not just one, but four different gentle pigment-reducing lasers.

By delivering a highly precise and gentle energy of a combination laser treatment, every session of Skin Illumination Program uses a combination of up to four lasers to break down damaged or aged skin to make age spots and other pigments fade away progressively.

Every session will end off with a gentle infusion of our proprietary skin-brightening serum so that the skin continues to stay illuminated for a long time after the treatment.

This formidable pigmentation program effectively addresses a plethora of skin pigmentation concerns. After completing 5 sessions of Skin Illumination Program, the pigments break down and new collagen is formed, making the skin tighter, clearer and smoother, and hence giving you an overall flawless, luminous skin texture.

Radium Medical Aesthetics is the only aesthetic clinic in Singapore that offers Skin Illumination Program that customizes every session with a combination of up to 4 different lasers to meet your skin care needs.

Author's Bio: 

Medical aesthetics is not about making yourself look better by fixing a wrinkle, a scar or a pimple. It is a journey to make you feel better about yourself, building your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Our name itself: Radium - Latin for “Ray”, embodies our spirit and philosophy: to always give you our best, and illuminate the way for you to pursue confidence & exude radiance, both inside and out.

At Radium Medical Aesthetics, we aim to help you achieve a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that promotes a better quality of life. We help to invigorate you to make that change, through in-house proprietary medical aesthetic solutions, specially tailored to suit your needs.

Medical aesthetic treatments we offer such as lasers, non-invasive skin-lifting, filler injections, botox, thread lifts and chemical peels are U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and/or Conformité Européene (CE) marked. We also offer medical facials and RadiumTM – our proprietary skin care range, both specially designed to work synergistically with your treatments and give you the best possible outcome you wish to achieve.
Our experienced team of nurses and therapists is led by Medical Director Dr. Siew Tuck Wah. Dr. Siew has been practicing aesthetic medicine for more than ten years, making him currently one of the most sought-after doctors offering safe and effective medical aesthetic treatments.

Dr. Siew has a keen interest in non-invasive medical aesthetic procedures for facial contouring and rejuvenation. We understand that many of our clients are looking for maximum results with minimum downtime. Ensuring positive results with your safety in mind is our priority.

Pursue confidence – make it yours.