Cysteamine Cream – Your Whitening & Pigment Correction Cream

Cysteamine Whitening Cream

Cysteamine Cream – a product recently shown to whiten skin and correct pigmentation.

[7 November 2018] A blog post by Dr. Gabriel Wong

What is Cysteamine?

Cysteamine is the simplest natural aminothiol produced in human cells, a metabolite of amino acid L-cysteine. Cysteamine promotes the transport of L-cysteine into human cells, which can be further used to synthesise Glutathione, an antioxidant. Cysteamine inhibits melanin synthesis in skin cells, therefore reducing pigmentation.

Is Cysteamine new?

Oral Cysteamine has already been approved by US FDA for human use for cystinosis, a rare genetic disorder. Cysteamine has been shown by researchers in laboratory studies to have significant de-pigmenting activity, but it has never been formulated into a cream due to its very unpleasant sulphur odour. Recent efforts have enabled a stabilised form of cysteamine cream with reduced odour.

Which pigmentary disorders has it been shown to be effective?

Cysteamine cream has been shown to be effective for:

  • Melasma, especially epidermal melasma
  • Lentigines (sun spots)
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Lighten skin colour overall

How does it compare with other depigmenting creams?

Clinical studies have shown Cysteamine Cream to be superior to traditional depigmenting creams such as Hydroquinone in treating melasma. It is also safer and gentler on human skin due to the fact that it is naturally occurring in human skin cells, and does not have carcinogenic (cancer-causing) potential in long-term use.

How should Cysteamine be used?

Cysteamine Cream can be applied any time of the year regardless of sun exposure and is suitable for all skin tones. The cream is applied to the desired areas with pigmentation once daily and is washed off after 15 minutes using a mild soap and water. After drying the skin, a moisturizer is applied.

Some other tips on applying Cysteamine

  • Cysteamine Cream should be applied once a day on rested, calm skin (evening or morning before a shower) to reduce skin irritation
  • Exposure time can be gradually increased after 6 weeks if there are no signs of skin irritation such as redness or dryness
  • Sunscreen should still be continued daily
  • To maintain its effects, cysteamine cream should be continued at least twice a week indefinitely

How soon should I expect to see results?

A reduction in pigmentation is seen after 6 weeks. Optimal results are seen after 8 – 12 weeks.

Are there any side effects?

As Cysteamine is naturally occurring in human cells, it is a very safe medication. It may cause temporary burning sensation or redness that goes away within 30 minutes. More persistent skin irritation should be treated with moisturisers. To date, no serious adverse side effects has been reported with Cysteamine use.

                  Cysteamine Cream should not be used in those with a personal or family history of Vitiligo, a depigmenting skin disorder. It should also not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, as no study has been performed during pregnancy or breastfeeding.


Dr. Gabriel Wong – Photographer Enthusiast
MBBS, Singapore

Having graduated from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine – Dr Gabriel Wong worked in several hospitals in Singapore where he honed his medical acumen.

Fate was at work when he met Dr Kelvin Chua, which sparked his interest in aesthetic medicine.

Growing from strength to strength under the tutelage of Dr Chua, Gabriel developed an eye for detail and beauty – perfectly in tune with aesthetic medicine, a confluence of art and science.

Despite his young age, Gabriel has garnered a following due to his unique photographer’s eye, which he applies in a range of non-invasive procedures such as Botox treatments, soft tissue augmentation (Dermal Fillers with the latest virtually painless Cannula Method), skin rejuvenation with lasers, and effective acne and acne scar treatments (Fractional CO2 Laser, subcision).

In his free time, Gabriel loves to travel the in search of that perfect snapshot. His works of art have won praises by many patients.



For more information, write to
To contact Dr Gabriel Wong, write to

Your Oral Medication for Melasma

[13 Aug 2018] A blog post by Dr. Gabriel Wong

Melasma patch on the forehead.
Credits: American Medical Aesthetics

Do you suffer from patchy pigmentation on your cheeks or forehead? Have you tried many whitening products, lasers and even chemical peels without significant improvement? If you do, you may benefit from a treatment which has been shown to help with your pigmentation problem.

Melasma is a fairly common skin condition affecting mostly ladies in their 30s and 40s. It is also prevalent among pregnant women. Melasma appears as patchy brown pigmentation on the cheeks, forehead and nose bridge. These patches of brown pigmentation add a “dirty” look to an otherwise well-kept complexion and can affect the self-esteem of its sufferers.

What’s more, over-the-counter whitening products used to lighten pigmentation show limited results on Melasma, and even topical medications and medical laser treatments can sometimes produce marginal improvements. Melasma is also challenging to treat as it tends to recur with time and sun exposure.

Fortunately, researchers at Singapore’s National Skin Centre found that the oral medical Tranxenamic Acid, commonly used in treating heavy menstrual periods, show significant lightening of Melasma in over 90 per cent of patients it studied. Side effects are minimal with the medication it is generally suitable for those in good health. Contraindications include those with a personal/family history of blood disorders, pregnant women, and ladies on oral contraceptive pills.

Do you suffer from patchy pigmentation and want to know if you’ll benefit from this treatment? Speak to any of our doctors at SL Aesthetic Clinic and we’ll be happy to give you professional advice on the best treatments available.

Source:  Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2016 Aug;75(2):385-392

Dr. Gabriel Wong – Photographer Enthusiast
MBBS, Singapore

Having graduated from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine – Dr Gabriel Wong worked in several hospitals in Singapore where he honed his medical acumen.

Fate was at work when he met Dr Kelvin Chua, which sparked his interest in aesthetic medicine.

Growing from strength to strength under the tutelage of Dr Chua, Gabriel developed an eye for detail and beauty – perfectly in tune with aesthetic medicine, a confluence of art and science.

Despite his young age, Gabriel has garnered a following due to his photographer’s eye, which he applies in a range of non-invasive procedures such as Botox treatments, soft tissue augmentation (Dermal Fillers with the latest virtually painless Cannula Method), skin rejuvenation with lasers, and effective acne and acne scar treatments (e.g. Fractional CO2 Laser, subcision).

In his free time, Gabriel loves to travel the in search of that perfect snapshot. His works of art have won praises by many patients.

For more information, write to
To contact Dr Gabriel Wong, write to

Hyaluronic Acid Skin Boosters – A Quick Guide

[6 August 2018] A blog post by Dr. Mark Lim

From facials, skincare products, to medical aesthetic procedures bearing the Skin Booster name, it’s a wild wild world of skin hydration treatments. Many of such mimic the original Restylane Skinboosters™ treatment, at varying levels of success.


Here, I give you a low-down on three medical aesthetic Skin Booster treatments, the latest being Juvederm’s Volite.

But first. What exactly is a Skin Booster?

Not to be confused with the cosmetic product, medical grade skin boosters are meant to be injected rather than applied. Skin Boosters contain a sugar molecule called hyaluronic acid, or H.A. in short.

H.A. is a naturally occurring molecule in our skin, and one of its functions is to bind water to keep our skin hydrated. However, with the ageing process, the quality of the H.A. in our skin deteriorates. Over time, skin loses its glow and suppleness, and develops fine lines.

Skin Boosters are designed to be injected intradermally either via manual injections or assisted by an injector device. Once in place, it soaks up water like a sponge, and continues to hold it in place.

There are 3 Skin Booster treatments available at the point of writing. Here’s a short summary:

Disclaimer: duration of effect and treatment plans are estimates based on clinical studies, and will vary by the individual.

As individual needs, expectations, and concerns vary, there’s no one-size fits all Skin Booster treatment. Speak to your preferred healthcare professional for an individualised assessment to pick the best product for your needs!

P.S. another similar product called Rejuran Healer from South Korea has been making waves in the Skin Booster sphere. But that’s a story for another time!

Dr. Mark Lim – The Dapper Doctor
MBBS; MRCS (Edinburgh); GDFM

He may be young, but Dr Mark Lim is definitely not a greenhorn.

As a local graduate of the National University of Singapore, Mark is also a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh and is also on the Singapore Registry of Family Physicians.

But his need to push himself further saw Mark develop an interest in aesthetic medicine. And it was a fateful encounter with Dr Gabriel Wong that paved the way that grew a mere interest to into a passion to practice aesthetic medicine at SL Aesthetic Clinic.

With vigorous training under Dr Kelvin Chua while maintaining a job as a family physician, Mark honed his skills (and his needles) and proved himself an adept in injectable treatments such as Fillers and Thread Lift, as well as non-invasive facial contouring techniques and treatments such as HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound).

Further distinguishing Mark from his peers is his innate eye for aesthetics. This is evident in his taste in tailored clothes and suits, which underlines his ability to determine the best proportions for his patients.

For more information, write to
To contact Dr Mark Lim, write to

Here’s the Low-Down on Anti-Ageing Treatments that Lift a Droopy Face

[25 May 2018] A blog post by Dr. Charlene Goh

The Facial Ageing Process

How does one lift a droopy face? A common question I get in my practice, we first have to how our face ages.

The ageing process is not a straightforward one. Ageing takes place in the slow degeneration of multiple layers of our face:
1. Your facial bones shrink and lose volume
2. Facial muscles and ligaments that hold fat compartment in place become lax; these fat compartments shift downwards with gravity
3. Your outer skin becomes thinner and wrinkly.

Therefore, in order to reverse ageing with the aim of creating a more youthful look, there is no one-fits-all treatment. More often, we need a combination of treatments for optimal results. Additionally, what works for one may not work for another. My role as an aesthetic doctor is to examine your face to determine which combination of treatments works best for you.

As we age, our face shape changes from an inverse triangle to an upright triangle due facial bone shrinkage, muscle and ligament laxity, fat migration and thinning of skin.

Here are 5 treatments that can help improve an ageing and sagging appearance.

1. Fillers: As you age, your bone structures change and lose volume. Imagine a table with a fitted tablecloth. This represents your face in your youth. Now picture the table frame (i.e. your facial bone structure) shrinking, while the tablecloth (i.e. your skin) stays the same. Sagging will definitely occur!

With filler injections, these empty spaces are filled to keep the skin taut. Fillers can also be introduced at parts of the face that are sunken such as the tear trough or nasolabial fold. Placing fillers in the right place can help to lift and restore volume, giving you a more youthful look.

There are many different brands and types of fillers on the market with varying longevity and usage. It is important for you to find an experienced doctor to decide which one is suitable for you.

2. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): HIFU delivers focused ultrasound energy into the deeper planes of the face, namely the deep skin (dermis), superficial fat and muscle layer (SMAS layer – Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System). The SMAS layer is the same site that is tightened in a surgical facelift. By stimulating focal contraction points (as shown in the image below), there is immediate collagen contraction, resulting in SMAS tightness. Delayed wound healing in the next 3-6 months will stimulate new collagen production for even greater results.

Treatment Depths

The advantage of HIFU when compared to conventional surgical facelift is that the deep structures of the face can be targeted without surgery, and herein without the associated downtime. HIFU is the ideal treatment for needle-phobic patients who want a firmer and more lifted face!

2. Thread Lift: The loss of bone support, shift and fat compartments, ligament laxity are parts and parcel of the ageing process. Thread Lifting involves placing dissolvable surgical threads underneath the skin. These sterile threads are lined with cones/barbs, and introduced into your fat compartments to lift and reposition the sagging fat pads. This effectively reverses the signs of ageing. Immediate lifting is seen. More noticeable results can be seen after a few months as your skin’s production of collagen and fibrosis is stimulated by the threads. This keeps the skin firm and prevents the downward shift of your fats pads.

Credits: Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 33(6) 769–782

4. BOTOX (i.e. Botulinum Toxin): Oftentimes, BOTOX injections are thought of as an anti-wrinkle, muscle-relaxing treatment. However, when placed at the right places and in the right dosages, BOTOX can also produce lifting results. Depressor muscles responsible for your frowns can result in the gradual lowering of your brows and the drooping of your eyes. BOTOX injections targeting these muscles can result in what we call a “chemical eye lift”, giving you a fresher, more well-rested look.

Another popular use of Botulinum Toxin is by introducing a diluted concentration into the skin layer. This is called DermaLift. This stimulates the fibroblast cells in the skin cells; tightening the collagen fibres. This gives rise to a more lifted appearance in the skin.

5. Resurfacing Lasers: Now that you’ve done everything to lift your facial structures from within, you’ll need a taut, overlaying canvas (i.e. skin). This is when resurfacing lasers come into use. Contrary to popular belief, lasers do not thin your skin! Resurfacing lasers that are commonly in use are fractionated. This means that only a certain fraction of the skin will be acted upon by the lasers. This stimulates the remaining skin to produce more collagen, thereby strengthening your skin’s dermis layer. When performed at an appropriate frequency and power, your skin will be feel taut and smooth after a couple of treatments.

Moreover, the common worry of long downtime is a thing of the past. I personally recommend the extremely gentle Clear + Brilliant Laser, which offers minimal downtime (i.e. 2 hours to a day or two) with great results.

With a plethora of anti-ageing treatments available on the market, which is suitable for you then? As your skin age in your own way and time, consult a trustworthy aesthetic professional who will be able to make recommendations suited to you.

Dr. Charlene Goh – The Fashionista
MBChB, Scotland; Dip Practical Dermatology, Wales

Having obtained her medical degree in Scotland, Dr Charlene Goh returned home to Singapore, where she practised in several major hospitals and in various departments. But her education did not stop there.

From a young age, Charlene has had a strong interest in skin care and beauty trends. Urged by Dr Kelvin Chua to pursue her passion, Charlene went away to study Practical Dermatology at Cardiff University in Wales.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she returned home and picked up certifications from various aesthetic organisations.

Now armed with the proper certifications and experience, Charlene is adept at a wide range of minimally invasive aesthetic procedures such as laser treatments, dermal fillers, botulinum toxin injections, etc.

A firm believer in presenting one’s best self, Charlene hopes to help others achieve greater confidence through a holistic approach; a wholesome combination of a healthy lifestyle and diet, complemented by clinically proven aesthetic treatments.

Charlene is a self-confessed beauty junkie and fashionista, and will happily discuss the latest trends with friends and patients.

For more information, write to
To contact Dr Charlene Goh, write to

Botox & Fillers – When Less Is More

[10 January 2018] A blog post by Dr. Kelvin Chua

To some, ageing gracefully means carrying the “character lines” with pride and quiet dignity. Others seek the help of Botox and Fillers to maintain their natural youthfulness.

The operative word being natural; many aesthetic practitioners ruefully fail to master the art of minimal injections.

Choose Quality, Not Quantity.

Having practised medical aesthetics for over a decade, I’ve seen and corrected my fair share of sloppy work and botched jobs.

Frozen brows, misshapen cheeks and skewed noses were common sights. Such cases have decreased in numbers over the years. All, except for one – the overuse of Botox and fillers.

I attribute this to one common misconception among many patients. The belief in getting every single drop of product to maximise the money spent. Regretfully, this is where such patients get it wrong. Quantity does not equate to results.

Allow me to explain.

Patients pay for results, not the amount of product used.

In achieving natural-looking aesthetics, the doctor (hopefully) knows what’s best for the patient (in his or her own opinion anyway, which is a different story altogether). A combination of specialised techniques and a measured amount of products is key.

Less is definitely more; especially for skill-intensive procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers.


A poker-faced finish is just not what you’d want to sport unless you’re spending hours counting out those chips in a casino. You’ll want youthful skin that says “Good genes!” instead of a frozen expression that shouts “Botox!”.

Practices of giving larger Botox doses have become a thing of the past as smaller doses are used to achieve a softer look with a touch up later if necessary.

This is why it’s important to seek out ethical and experienced practitioners who understand the interaction of different muscles so as to allow some of the essential muscles to move and maintain natural facial expression.

You’d want compliments on looking younger than your age and less tired looking rather than questions on the number of Botox units you’ve received.

Volumisation and Liquid Lifting with Fillers

With present-day technology, restoring lost volume on the face is ever easier with fillers. And if done right, you can take years off the face within minutes with virtually zero downtime.

Experienced doctors create naturally beautiful looks by placing Fillers at the appropriate depth of the skin.

While some doctors may inject several vials of fillers into a face, more refined techniques allow a doctor to create a natural and yet youthful look without excessively plumping out the cheeks that look like you

belong to the unenviable Pillow Face Club.

Moreover, Hyaluronic Acid-based Dermal Fillers come with different degrees of fluidity and hardness. The selection of the appropriate filler for each concern is crucial in attaining the best results, rather than the quantity used.

Experienced aesthetic practitioners have a good grasp on the different layers and depth of skin to be injected.

The depth is important to create different effect instead of using vials of fillers to simply fill the entire face. The position and depth also determine the type of fillers that are best suited.

Your Face is 3D, not a 2D Painting

This is particularly important as the face is not a 2-dimensional structure but rather a 3-dimensional model. This is made more complex from muscle interactions, varying degrees of sagginess resulting from migration of fats in different layers of the skin and the loss of fats in different areas.

Ultimately, it all boils down to a doctor’s training and a natural eye for beauty and proportions. Especially when it comes to such skill-intensive procedures.

Dr Kelvin Chua – The Mentor
MBBS, Australia;
Certified Laser Physician,
Certified Laser Lipolysis Physician

Dr Kelvin Chua started his surgical training in Australia, teaching for several years in the hospitals, and spent some time in dermatology and surgical rotations.

Kelvin was fascinated by the boom of aesthetic medicine and has since garnered over 12 years of experience in this field – with over hundreds of liposuction procedures and thousands of Botox and filler treatments under his belt.

Kelvin is well regarded by his peers in the industry. With a strong passion for inspiring others through teaching, he is a certified trainer for several aesthetic institutions as well as cosmeceutical companies. Kelvin is also a mentor to many aspiring aesthetic doctors.

For more information, write to
To contact Dr Kelvin Chua, write to

Dr Kelvin Chua’s advice on Glowing Skin, Slimming, Wrinkles

Glowing Skin

 I think the most important tip in maintaining good glowing skin is to prevent loss of collagen from the sun. Therefore, a good sun protection and abstinence from the sun is absolutely a big step to maintaining  healthy, glowing skin.

You will be looking to replace and stimulate more elastin fiber in the dermis. There are many treatments ranging from fractional lasers to I2PL which can stimulate more collagen production and thus create better looking skin. Thirdly, good sleep and adequate hydration is very important as our stress hormones cause our body to go into over-drive. When that happens, many body enzymes will start breaking down collagen. Hence resulting in lackluster skin texture.

Lastly, a healthy diet rich in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants like berries and fruits will go a long way in preventing oxidants from damaging our natural dermal collagen and also increases cell renewal process in our skin to create radiant looking skin.

How to get partied-out (hungover and tired!!) skin looking better, for example, tips like drinking more water, or if it’s not possible to turn skin around so quickly and faking it with foundation is the only solution that’s fine too!

I think its not possible to reverse tired looking skin so quickly. Adequate compensation of sleep, re-hydration and good healthy diet of fruits may help repair some of the damage done by stress hormones over-drive from partying too hard but it takes time. In addition, treatments like I2PL and lasers may help stimulate collagen production and rejuvenation faster and greater in a shorter span of time.


Its not that having a bit too much is the end all and be all of weight. Weight and the bulge is strictly a matter of calorie input and output. Therefore, after excessive intake, time must be given to gradually lower the calorie intake over a period of weight reduction. Calorie counting can be the most accurate way and proven way of weight reduction. Typically a negative of 7700 calories is needed to loss 1kg. Recommended is to loss 1kg per week and not too much. Also start with something you can maintain or you may end up rebounding yourself if you crash diet too much as hunger can overwhelm you can you end up eating back too much, not to mention health issues from crash diet. But of course, you need to know what your base metabolic rate is in the first place. There are lots of website that will help you calculate that.

Restoring glow as above. There is a whole range of lasers and treatments that can stimulate collagen production but different skin type and colour and downtime allowed will determine what type of treatment should be used. I recommend you see a medical expertise in that and not just any beauty salon or self proclaimed beauty consultant for further advise to diagnose your skin first.


There are many claims of topical application that can help lighten wrinkles. But these mainly just give superficially moisturised or harden the surface of the skin to give a less than half a day effect. Reduction of muscle power in certain specific area is still the only proven way and FDA approved way to relax and prevent muscles from cringing the skin into wrinkles. There is not other scientifically proven way to reduce wrinkles. Furthermore, the myth of wrinkles coming back worse are likely to be untrue with the use of the product by tens of million of people for almost 30 years. Botox is one of the most popular brand in Singapore used to reduce wrinkles.

Thermage CPT: A Leap Forward in Skin Tightening and Contouring Technology

Smooth, tighten and contour your skin for an overall younger looking appearance in a single treatment without surgery or injection with Thermage CPT at SL Clinic.

The term Thermage definitely needs no introduction, but the old generation of Thermage left a very vivid memory scar: PAINFUL.

The Thermage CPT System represents a leap forward in skin tightening and contouring technology. Improved results and greater patient comfort are at the core of the new system, which leverages on the proprietary Comfort Pulse Technology and a vibrating hand-piece for more comfortable treatments.

Experience The Thermage CPT Difference

The latest Thermage procedure offers Comfort Pulse Technology™, clinically proven to significantly improve treatment comfort.

More Heat Where it Matters

As you age, the collagen in your skin breaks down, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. Thermage uses patented radio frequency technology to safely heat the deeper layers of your skin, stimulating your existing collagen and promoting new collagen growth.

The Thermage CPT System has enhanced heating for further collagen stimulation. The result is more predictable results and more youthful-looking skin.

 Love the Experience

Doesn’t more heat make it painful? No! Thanks to improved heat delivery and a vibrating hand-piece, you’ll have a more comfortable treatment experience than ever before. In clinical studies*, 100% of patients preferred being treated with the Thermage CPT System!

What kind of results can you expect?

You can expect collagen tightening, and many patients have reported:

  • Taut skin with less sagging
  • Redefined contours
  • Softening of wrinkles and fine lines on the face and body
  • As with any procedure or treatment, results can vary by individual

How long will the results last?

Results are long lasting depending on your skin condition and the natural aging process.

How long before you can return to your normal activities?

There’s no special care needed after the procedure and most patients return to their regular activities immediately following treatment.

 Is it safe?

Thermage procedures, including the Thermage CPT procedure, have an excellent safety profile. Potential side effects are generally mild and may include redness, swelling, blisters, bumps and rare instances of surface irregularities.


Hair Loss / Thinning Hair

It is normal to lose about 50 – 100 strands of hair a day; it is part of the hair renewal process. However, some may suffer from excessive hair loss at some point of time in their lives due to several factors.

3 main factors that cause Hair Loss:

  1. Hormonal

Hormones stimulate hair growth and therefore, hormonal changes by far have the biggest impact on hair loss in most people. Childbirth and birth control pills may also result in hair loss in women due to the fluctuations in hormone level.

  1. Disease / Illness

Hair loss may also be triggered by disease or illnesses as hair follicles are very sensitive and respond to imbalances in the body. Thyroid, cancer treatments, low serum iron and a diet low in nutrition may lead to hair loss. On top of that, certain medications and stress may also result in hair shredding.

  1. Mechanical Damage

Damage to the hair can also be self-inflicted. Many people change the appearance of their hair with dyes, tints, bleaches, straighteners and waves that may be too harsh. The use of such harsh hairstyling products may also cause hair loss as some of these products contain strong chemicals which may result in chemical burns on their scalp.

Newest Treatments in SL CLINIC

~ Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

SL Clinic’s specialized FUE is a primary method of obtaining follicular units – naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs, for hair transplantation. In FUE harvesting, individual follicular units are extracted directly from the hair restoration patient’s donor area, ideally one at a time.

SL Clinic also specializes in FUT, where a patient’s hair is transplanted in naturally occurring follicular units of 1 to 4 strands of hair. Follicular units also contain sebaceous glands, nerves, a small muscle, and occasional fine vellus hairs. In FUT, these small units allow the doctor to safely transplant thousands of grafts in a single session, which maximizes the cosmetic impact of the procedure.

FUT is favoured over older hair transplantation procedures that use large grafts and often produce an unnatural look. In a properly-performed FUT procedure at SL Clinic, the results can mimic the way your hair naturally grows and people around you will not be able to detect it as a hair transplant.

Fractional CO2 laser for acne scarring and open pores

Acne scarring and large open pores can be quite demoralising in a society obsessed with physical appearance, which is why we decided to see if fractional laser could actually help reduce the appearance of acne pitting and scarring.

The Fractional CO2 laser works by treating mainly atrophic scars by creating primary healing in the dermis – which in turn causes more collagen to be produced. This in effect pushes up under-filled scars to form a shallower scar depth, which makes scars look less obvious. On average, a patient would require between three to six treatments, depending on the severity of their scarring.

Fractional CO2 lasers are not limited to treating acne scarring, in fact, they can also be used for tightening pores, reducing fine lines, lightening the skin and rejuvenating the skin.

Dr. Kelvin Chua of SL Clinic began the session by assessing the state of our skin and the depth of scarring, after which his nurse applied a layer of numbing cream on our whole face. After 30 minutes the treatment commenced.

Dr. Chua paid special attention to the deeper scars around our cheeks and forehead. The sensation was akin to that of many little ant bites; quick sharp but bearable pain, especially around the eye area due to the thinness of the skin. The session minus the numbing cream took only 20-25 minutes.

After the session was over, the nurses applied a liberal amount of moisturiser to the reddened skin and the doctor advised us that we should keep the skin hydrated and protected from any sun exposure and under no circumstance were we to pick at the scabs.  We were also advised to avoid using any of our usual skincare products for the first two days and were given a complimentary moisturiser for that time, after which we were allowed to resume using our own products of choice.

When we left the clinic, our face felt very hot with a burning sensation which lasted an hour or two. Expect some discomfort on the first night, but after that, its smooth sailing.

On the first two days, our face was very red and tender, which is why we suggest that you do this procedure on a Friday, so you have the weekend to recover from the redness. By the third day, the redness has lessened and the tenderness was gone and we were able to go back to work. By the fourth day the redness had completely subsided, but we did have some scabbing. By the fifth day our skin had all but recovered, so expect a down time of around five days, depending upon your skin type and condition.

Would we do this again? The answer is yes. Being able to reduce the appearance of our acne scarring in a non-surgical and affordable way is worth the minor discomfort that we had to bear with.