Things you need to know about lasers in Singapore | Halley Medical Aesthetics

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

Different Types of Laser Treatments Singapore Halley Medical Aesthetics

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 wrinkleshair removalacne and acne scar treatmenttattoo 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.

Ablative lasers 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

Ablative lasers: fractional CO2 laser, fractional Erbium laser

Interesting fact:

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.

Lasers in the non-ablative category:

The pico lasers

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.

Fotona PQX Picolaser (Fotona StarWalker PQX Picolaser)

The Fotona PQX Picolaser (Fotona StarWalker PQX Picolaser) was added to Halley Medical Aesthetics’ range of lasers 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:
  • 532nmShorter wavelengths are generally more powerful, making it great for treating freckles and sunspots.
  • 1064nm Longer laser wavelengths can penetrate the skin deeper to reach deeper-lying pigments. At the same time, it is gentle enough for the most delicate and Asian skin types.

  • Remove pigmentation
  • Lighten acne scars and blemishes
  • Reduce wrinkles and fine lines
  • Improve skin tone and texture
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Remove tattoos

Customised Laser Treatment for Face Aesthetics Singapore

It can be combined with the PicoSure, which treats our skin at a wavelength of 755nm. 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 “Halley’s Pico Power of 3” for Triple Wavelength Rejuvenation.)

PicoSure laser

Halley Medical Aesthetics, Ultherapy, Dark eye circles, firming, firmer skin, anti-ageing, wrinkles, tattoo removal, pigmentation, acne, scar, Ul

PicoSure laser treatment

PicoSure is a pico laser, which features the PressureWaveTM 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:
  • 755nm This powerful short wavelength can penetrate the skin to rejuvenate the skin and remove fine lines. It is done by stimulating collagen and elastin production within our skin. It does not damage surrounding tissues, but is able to target unwanted pigmentations on our skin. It leaves the skin refreshed, more elastic, and with fewer visible wrinkles and scars.
  • Rejuvenates skin
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Removes tattoos, pigmentations and spots, and acne scars
  • Smoothens wrinkles and fine lines

Fraxel Dual laser

Halley Medical Aesthetics, lasers, laser treatments, pigmentation, Wrinkles, dark spots, acne, scars,, fraxel, long-pulsed, picosure, CO2,Q-switched

Fraxel dual laser

The Fraxel Dual laser has two wavelengths (1550nm and 1927nm) that allow the laser to safely treat the superficial layers and the deeper layers of the skin:
  • 1550nm Er:Glass laser penetrates deep into the skin to address wrinkles and acne scars.
  • 1927nm Thullium laser addresses problems with skin tone, texture, pigmentation, and other more superficial skin growths or signs of ageing.

This fractional laser targets damaged skin with microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into the skin. It treats only a fraction of skin at a time, leaving the surrounding tissues untouched. This means that the recovery time from this non-ablative laser would be shorter compared to traditional ablative lasers.

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines to improve wrinkled and sun-damaged skin
  • Tightens sagging skin and reduces pore size by stimulating collagen growth
  • Evens out skin tone by lightening pigments
  • Improves acne scars and blemishes

Q-Switched laser

Halley Medical Aesthetics, lasers, laser treatments, pigmentation, Wrinkles, dark spots, acne, scars, fraxel, long-pulsed, picosure, CO2,Q-switched
The Q-Switched laser is a highly versatile laser which uses the Nd:YAG or Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet crystal rod to produce its light energy. That’s why sometimes doctors call it the “Q Switched Nd:YAG laser.

It produces extremely quick, brief, and intense pulses of energy in nanoseconds or billionths of a second. It is used for skin toning where the laser helps to lighten pigmentations and blemishes from the face so as to achieve a more even, healthy skin tone. The Q-Switched laser is also used for removing tattoos.

  • Evens out skin tone
  • Lightens pigments, sun spots, age spots, melasma, freckles, and birthmarks
  • Removes tattoo

Long-Pulsed laser

Halley Medical Aesthetics, lasers, laser treatments, pigmentation, Wrinkles, dark spots, acne, scars,, fraxel, long-pulsed, picosure, CO2,Q-switched
Laser energy is delivered using long pulses in the Long Pulsed Nd:YAG laser, which are converted into heat in the tissue. This laser energy is selectively absorbed by the deeper levels of the dermis, which allows doctors to treat deeper vascular lesions like spider veins, haemangiomas (strawberry mark), and leg veins.

At the same time, it can treat the skin at a more superficial, subcutaneous level for skin rejuvenation. It is also used for hair removal and treating acne and acne scars.

  • Removes hair
  • Rejuvenates skin by tightening skin and reducing pore size
  • Removes facial and leg veins
  • Treats acne and acne scar

Lasers in the ablative category:

Fractional CO2 laser

Halley Medical Aesthetics, lasers, laser treatments, pigmentation, Wrinkles, dark spots, acne, scars,, fraxel, long-pulsed, picosure, CO2,Q-switched

The fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) laser takes the CO2 laser beam and fractionates, or breaks that beam into hundreds of tiny little columns of light. These tiny shafts of light penetrate deep into the skin. The skin then repairs those tiny shafts by pushing out the old damaged skin and replacing it with new skin. The heat from the laser also helps to stimulate the growth of new collagen, aiding in the development of younger, smoother skin, and reducing the size of acne scars.

  • Smoothens deeper wrinkles and fine lines
  • Tightens skin
  • Reduces pore size
  • Lightens pigments, blemishes, and acne scar
  • Improves skin texture


Fractional Erbium laser

Halley Medical Aesthetics, lasers, laser treatments, pigmentation, Wrinkles, dark spots, acne, scars,, fraxel, long-pulsed, picosure, CO2,Q-switched
Sometimes you might see the fractional Erbium laser called the “Er:YAG” laser. The name comes from the laser medium – the Erbium-doped Yttrium Aluminium Garnet – that it uses to produce its light energy. Like the fractional CO2 laser, the laser beam is fractionated, which helps downtime to a minimum.

It is often used for skin resurfacing as it removes a very fine layer of the epidermis (top layer of the skin) to reveal skin that is smoother and younger looking. This laser also promotes collagen production to tighten the skin.

And because this laser is often available in the same machine that also delivers the Nd:YAG laser, doctors sometimes uses a protocol that combines these two lasers to do 4D rejuvenation of the skin. (Find out more about Halley’s Fotona4D Laser treatment.)

  • Smoothens wrinkles and fine lines that are not as deep
  • Tightens skin
  • Reduces pore size
  • Lightens pigments, blemishes, and acne scar
  • Improves skin texture by smoothening rough skin

Note: Fotona’s Q-Switched laser, the StarWalker MaQX Q-Switched laser, contains the “StarWalker” brand name but it is the Fotona StarWalker PQX Picolaser, which is a pico laser.