Freckles Removal Treatment by Laser - A Patient’s Experience in Singapore

Freckles Removal Treatment by Laser - A Patient’s Experience in Singapore

 

Introduction

As a skincare doctor, it’s heartening to see my patients take a keen interest in their skin improvement journey. Recently, I had a patient named Mr SJ, a 29 years old male, who is willing to share his laser freckles removal treatment experience at my clinic.

In this article, SJ’s treatment experiences and journey will be featured with my own comments alongside. This will allow readers to understand from both perspectives: the patient’s and the doctor’s.

I hope this article can serve to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) on this topic of freckles removal treatment by lasers in Singapore.

 

What are freckles?

 

What are freckles

 

Why do I have freckles?

SJ’s Experience:

“My name is SJ, a 29-year old guy of both Chinese and Indian heritage, and I work in the IT industry. I was referred by a friend to see Dr David Ng at One Face Clinic wishing to remove the dense freckles on my face.

Since teens, I enjoyed playing basketball after school with my friends. I never once thought the sun could do any real damage to my skin other than simply giving me a tan. Only nearing my 30’s did I realize what constant exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays have done to my facial skin, such that I have developed thick and dense freckles all over my nose and cheeks. My parents and siblings also have freckles, so I probably have inherited the freckles genetically as well.”

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

This is true for many patients! Exposure to the harsh UV sun rays is the one of the biggest causes of pigmentation issues. To lessen the damage, always apply sunscreen as part of your daily skincare routine before you leave the house.

The essential factor determining whether a person develops freckles is a genetic predisposition(1). Although freckles can be found in individuals with Caucasian skin types, we also do see young individuals of Asian and darker skin types having freckles.

 

Should I get my freckles removed?

SJ’s Experience:

“Initially, my freckles didn’t bother me much. Some of my friends even said that they were ‘cute’. But as I grew older, I became more conscious of them. Then I realized that skin pigmentation is really not a simple issue to just brush aside.”

Before treatment

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

Yes, this is a common story.

As freckles don’t pose health issues(2), it is often a personal decision whether or not to get them removed. Freckles have been described to be “cute or attractive”, depending on the concept of beauty or aesthetics in that person’s culture.

Many individuals in Asia believe that a fair, unblemished skin tone is more ideal and desirable. Thus, it is up to you to decide if you wish to remove your freckles for appearance reasons.

 

What are the treatment options to remove my freckles?

SJ’s Experience:

“I read on One Face Clinic’s website that freckles treatment options include topical lightening creams or laser treatments, with sun protection measures.

Initially, I was quite apprehensive. You mean lasers like the “Light-Sabers” in the Star Wars movie, that can cut through virtually anything?! That sounded so scary! If the doctor didn’t know what he was doing, I would be scarred for life.

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

On top of regular sun protection measures to control freckles, you can also consider the simple and cost-effective option of using topical medical lightening creams e.g. hydroquinone(2). Other modalities include chemical peels(2) and intense pulsed light (IPL)(2).

For SJ, because his freckles are rather thick and dense, laser removal would be a more viable option. Conventional lasers (e.g Q-switched lasers(2)(3)(4)) have a long-standing history of treating freckles effectively. Other lasers (e.g. picosecond lasers) can also be considered, provided that the doctor is experienced in handling these devices.

 

How does consultation process with the skincare doctor feel like?

SJ’s Experience:

“First came the consultation with Dr David Ng, who asked me about my personal details like my lifestyle, how often I’m out in the sun, etc.

Dr David and his staff were very friendly and reassuring, who took time to walk me through the entire process, including how to administer the skincare regime and sunblock. I perhaps naively thought that all my freckles would magically disappear with just one-day treatment! Apparently, a customised skincare regimen with sunscreen had to be applied regularly before the laser treatment scheduled later on.”

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

As a professional medical team, we have to know our patients well, and to be fully aware of their skin problems, lifestyles and preferences. Indeed, after successful pigmentation removal, many of our patients have become our good friends.

Also, as patients don’t know what to expect for their laser treatment process, we will address such concerns during consultation. So, don’t be afraid to clarify if you have any burning questions regarding your treatments!

 

How many laser sessions are required? How much should I expect to pay?

SJ’s Experience

“I was recommended 3 laser sessions by Dr David to clear up my freckles, spanning over just a few months.

For a working executive like me, I found the prices at One Face Clinic to be very reasonable.”

Digital analysis image

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

Yes, most patients with the average freckles would require 2-3 laser treatments. However, for Mr SJ, as his freckles were quite dense and widespread, I would probably need an extra laser session to be able to clear his freckles in their entirety.

Generally, with the right experienced doctor, you should be able to see obvious freckles results after 2-3 laser sessions(2), nothing more usually.

Freckles removal by lasers in Singapore can cost anywhere between $250-$400 per session. This may vary due to factors eg. freckles severity, the number of laser sessions required, the type of laser used, and the experience of the performing doctor.
For instance, patients often have to pay even more when they opt for recently introduced lasers (eg picosecond lasers) in the market.

 

How is freckles removal by laser actually done? Is it painful?

SJ’s Experience:

“On the day itself, Dr David’s assistant prepped me first by applying numbing cream on my face. After around 30 minutes, I could feel my entire face become remarkably numb.

While Dr David was doing the laser, I had protective metal eye-shields placed on my eyes as the laser was incredibly bright.

To be honest, I was quite afraid that the laser procedure would be very painful, but to my surprise, I felt almost no discomfort at all. All I felt was a very light “rubber band snapping” sensation as Dr David targeted my freckles with his laser. To me, the comfort level was very acceptable.”

 

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

People often associate doctors with painful treatments (think injections that they had as a kid!). This misconception is often translated to laser treatments for pigmentations as well.

The truth is laser treatments for freckles are very comfortable. Especially so with the concurrent usage of numbing cream, you virtually will not feel any sensation.

Post-laser, patients are often pleasantly surprised on how tolerable or comfortable the session was.

 

What’s the downtime like for freckles removal by laser? Any side effects?

SJ’s Experience:

“Immediately after treatment, my skin did look quite red and swollen but after a few hours, the redness had mostly subsided and all that remained were little grey dots where scabs had begun to form. Frankly, it wasn’t that bad at all. I had seen photos of patients who had acne scar removal treatments and they looked even scarier!

Surprisingly, my colleagues couldn't even tell that I had a laser treatment done. The post-laser cream provided also helped my skin heal faster. Within 3 days, the dense scabbing of freckles had almost completely disappeared, and I can notice the improvement of freckles on my nose in particular, just after the 1st laser session.”

Redness right after laser
Scabbing after laser (Day 3)

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

Immediately post-laser, the freckles will look slightly red and perhaps swollen for a few hours, which will usually subside within half a day. Thereafter, the dry scabs that have been formed will drop off averagely in 5-7 days’ time.

(see attached downtime photos as above)

In fact, my patients can resume normal activities or work the following day of the laser, with concealer if really required. Of course, they will be instructed on post-laser skin care as well.

If the laser settings are not done properly under inexperienced hands, or if the patient does not adhere to the post-laser care and sun protection measures, sometimes side effects like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)(2) may occur, whereby the treated areas appear darker. Fortunately, PIH is usually temporary and lightens back with time.

 

How much improvement can I expect for freckles removal by laser?

SJ’s Experience:

After completing the laser treatments, my dense freckles are now indeed visibly lighter, noticeable even to my friends and colleagues. Especially on my left cheek, the improvement was very marked. I still have a few tiny freckles scattered around my nose bridge and below my eyes, but that is fine to me, as I’m so glad that most of the obvious ones have been removed.

After procedure photo

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

With the right doctor, one can expect visually obvious improvement to the freckles from about 50% to 87.5%(2).

 

Will freckles recur after treatment?

SJ’s Experience: Nowadays, I’m more mindful of applying sunscreen as part of my daily routine before I leave the house. I also try to play basketball at indoor courts instead and avoid going out into the hot sun as much as possible.

I much prefer my clearer face for now, so I’m doing my part on skincare maintenance to prevent the freckles from recurring.

After treatment photo

 

Dr David’s comments:

 

As freckles can be aggravated by sun exposure, it is important for successfully treated individuals to adopt a sound sun protection regimen to ensure that the freckles results are longer lasting and sustainable, and to prevent a recurrence.

The analogy is like a newly remodelled shiny car. If you don’t make an effort to clean or maintain it, its appearance would return to an unappealing state with time.

 

In Conclusion

I hope that you now have a much more in-depth understanding on freckles removal treatment by lasers in Singapore, and the journey you can expect to go through.

 

If you have any inquiries about freckles removal treatments, feel free to WhatsApp me at +65 9822 2989 or call in at +65 6222 2262, I’ll be happy to address all of them.

You can also e-mail me at:
askdrdavid@onefaceclinic.com

 

Cheers!

Dr. David Ng C H


References

  1. Brown spots and freckles
    DermNet NZ New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated; Last updated Oct 2018. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/brown-spots-and-freckles/
  2. Sau Nguyen Huu, et al
    Successful Treatment of Freckles by Alex Trivantage Laser Wavelight 755 nm in Vietnamese Patients.
    Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019 Jan 30; 7(2): 287–290.
  3. Zain Husain and Tina S Alster.
    The role of lasers and intense pulsed light technology in dermatology. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016; 9: 29–40.
  4. Jong Min Park, Hensin Tsao, Sandy Tsao.
    Combined Use of Intense Pulsed Light and Q-Switched Ruby Laser for Complex Dyspigmentation Among Asian Patients. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 40:128–133 (2008)