Things you need to know about laser treatments in Singapore
No one laser can treat every skin condition and this is why Halley Medical Aesthetics is constantly updating its range of lasers.
As consumers, we always opt for the lowest priced option that gives us the best value. With so many spas and beauty salons packaging treatments at low prices to cure our skin problems, it is no wonder that many people ask: “Why should I pay a higher price for treatment done by a doctor?”
What makes it even more tempting is when the non-clinics you visit claim that they can offer the same or similar treatments offered by doctors. Lasers treatments are often used as a comparison as they are able to rejuvenate skin, eliminate pigmentations and acne scars, and remove hair. These are the areas that non-clinics also offer but using other devices.
What are the benefits of having laser treatments done in a clinic when you can go to a spa? And why do clinics keep introducing new lasers? Don’t all lasers do the same thing?
Here are the reasons why.
You can only get a laser treatment done in a medical clinic
Under the Singapore regulations, laser treatments
have to be performed by a registered medical doctor who is trained in the procedure.
Lasers used in clinics are approved by health authorities and in the case of Singapore, lasers are approved by the Health Science Authority. Many of these lasers also have approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), which has one of the world’s most stringent standards for medical devices. We are talking about laser machines that have gone through multiple tests and which has scientific evidence of their efficacy and safety.
Therefore, what you get with doctor and clinic-based treatments is peace of mind. How much is confidence and assurance worth? Our guess is that it is worth quite a bit more than what people think.
Laser treatments are affordable
You can get a laser skin toning treatment at Halley Medical Aesthetics using a pico laser – the PicoSure or the Fotona PQX Picolaser – at $390 and a Q-Switched laser at $270. A full-face rejuvenation with a pico laser to tackle pigmentation, wrinkles, scars, and tighten pores costs $590 and the Fotona4D Laser at $570.
If you have been scanning the market, you’d know that there are some non-clinics who sell skin rejuvenation treatments at a similar price or more. Of course, there are also those who sell them at much less. But bear in mind that a medical doctor trained to use the laser will be treating your face for that price, not a therapist.
Each laser is built to treat different concerns
“There is no one laser that can treat every skin condition,” says Dr. Terence Tan, medical director and founder of Halley Medical Aesthetics and Halley Body Slimming Clinic.
Lasers are in fact very powerful beams of focused light that are tuned to different wavelengths. Different conditions require different wavelength for treatment. This is the reason why there are so many different types of laser machines and each is used for treating different skin conditions.
For example, if you have a problem with acne scars, the doctor may prescribe a PicoSure, Fotona PQX Picolaser (also known as the Fotona StarWalker PQX Picolaser), or a Fraxel laser. But if you want to have your spider veins removed, only a Long-Pulsed laser can do the job.
“To a workman with just a hammer in his toolbox, every problem looks like a nail. But a workman who has a well-stocked toolbox would choose the most appropriate tool to get the work done,” says Dr. Terence Tan.
“Similarly, a doctor will look at the patient’s skin condition and then decide which is the most suitable laser for the patient. With a multitude of lasers on hand, we are then able to better customise the treatment to the skin condition and preferences of the patient.”
There are a wide range of lasers to choose from
If you go to a clinic that owns a wide range of lasers, you would have access to different devices that are medically proven to treat a wide range of problems, from pigmentation removal
, skin firming, erasing of fine lines and wrinkles
, hair removal
, acne and acne scar treatment
, tattoo removal
to reduction of pore size through skin tightening.
Ablative. Non-ablative. Explanation, please?
Before we dive into what different lasers can be used for, let’s talk about ablative and non-ablative lasers first.
Both ablative and non-ablative lasers are used for facial rejuvenation.
remove a thin outer layer of skin to achieve the desired result. This reduces the appearance of fine lines, improves skin texture by removing dull, unhealthy skin so that fresh new healthy skin can grow, and tightens pores. This also lightens pigmentation and skin blemishes.
A non-ablative laser
is different in that it targets only the deeper layers or certain structures within the skin to achieve the desired result. The top-most skin is retained to keep downtime to a minimum. Non-ablative lasers improve the appearance of our skin, remove pigmentation and scars, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without injuring the surface of our skin.
The heat produced by the laser also promotes collagen production, resulting in tighter looking skin.
Your doctor will be able to advise you on which laser is most suitable for your skin condition.
Non-ablative lasers: PicoSure,
Fotona PQX Picolaser (Fotona StarWalker PQX Picolaser), Fraxel Dual laser, Q-Switched laser, Long Pulsed laser
fractional CO2 laser, fractional Erbium laser
You will see the word “fractional” used alongside ablative and non-ablative lasers. That’s because of the technology involved. Laser resurfacing involves removing layers of skin tissue in a “fractionated method”, where columns of skin are removed, leaving the skin surrounding each column intact to aid in healing.
The Fraxel Dual laser doesn’t have the word “fractional” in it but it utilises the fractional technology. “Fraxel” is a brand name.
The term “pico laser” is taken from the word “picosecond”, which is 1⁄1,000,000,000,000 (one trillionth) of a second.
These lasers emit the fastest flash of laser energy amongst the lasers available today. As such, they are good for pigment rejuvenation and several other functions. Although the lasers have the word “pico” in it, not all pico lasers are the same. In fact, pico lasers have different characteristics based on the wavelengths they emit.
For instance, the latest pico laser, the Fotona PQX Picolaser (Fotona StarWalker PQX Picolaser) emits laser beams at 532nm and 1064nm wavelengths. This is different from Cynosure’s PicoSure which emits laser energy at 755nm wavelength.
Pico lasers shatter the pigment on the skin into tiny dust-like particles, which are then absorbed by the lymphatic system and eliminated naturally. Unlike traditional laser that uses photo-thermal action, pico lasers are designed to deliver laser energy only to target particles without burning the surrounding tissues.
With less production of heat, tissue damage and discomfort are greatly reduced. Downtime is therefore close to zero.
in December 2021.
This pico laser features the highest power and shortest pulse duration among all the pico lasers. This allows doctors to deliver the highest concentration of energy with even more pulses of laser energy to target pigmentation, blemishes, freckles, scars, even out skin tone, and rejuvenate the skin.
It features both short and long laser wavelengths at 532nm and 1064nm respectively:
It can be combined with the PicoSure, which treats our skin at a wavelength of
. This combination of three laser wavelengths gives patients a pigmentation and skin toning treatment that is even more thorough and effective. (Find out more about “
technology and a specialised lens to convert laser energy into gentle pressure. This pressure squeezes cells, activating the natural cell signalling process that creates new collagen and elastin. This results in brighter, smoother, and younger looking skin with very minimal downtime compared to other similar lasers.
The same PressureWave technology is used in the removal of pigmentation, acne scar, and ink particles in tattoos without harming the surrounding tissue.
The PicoSure laser penetrates the skin at the 755nm wavelength: