Skin Pigmentation

Reduce pigmentation, age/sun spots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Infinity Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Reduce pigmentation, age/sun spots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

What is pigmentation on the face?

In tropical sunny Singapore, we often hear of pigmentation concerns. When most people mention pigmentation, they are actually referring to hyperpigmentation, which is caused by overproduction of melanin, resulting in undesirable discoloration on the skin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their color, the more melanin you have, the darker your skin looks. Sometimes there are triggers that cause an over production of melanin, resulting in clusters of pigmentation in different areas of the face. This is further aggravated by excessive sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation trigger factors can be inherited, caused by external environment or hormonal related. Examples of triggers that can cause hyperpigmentation are skin injuries from wounds or acne, medication, inflammation or pregnancy. Some hyperpigmentation are very treatable, and some cases are more complex. Nevertheless, the doctor would be able to discuss and create your treatment program with you. 

Pigmentation is a huge problem in Asian skin types and we receive many queries on suitable treatments. Before you decide on treatment type, it is important to determine the type and cause of your pigmentation.

Types of Pigmentation

Sun Lentigo/Age Spots

Sun spots or Age spots

Sunspots or solar lentigo, are caused by sun exposure. They are harmless patches of darkened skin resulting from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and they appear darker than the surrounding skin. Too much sun exposure causes over production of pigmented cells called melanocytes in the skin to multiply and the accumulation of melanin in the skin cells appear as darker patches.  Also known as ‘age spots’.

Freckles Pigmentation


Freckles are small brown spots on your skin and is surface-level pigmentation, meaning they are relatively easy to remove. Freckles are usually harmless, and aggravated by UV exposure, while some people are genetically more prone to developing freckles.

Acne Scar Pigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation develops when the skin is healing from inflammatory wounds and overproduces melanin resulting in dark marks. It is the skin’s natural response to inflammation and can result from acne, cuts, scrapes, or rashes. Sometimes acne leaves marks for years long after they are healed, and this is one of the most common post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation we see. There are quite a few treatment for PIH and acne scars.

Melasma Pigmentation


Melasma is a common skin problem among Asians, and it appears as brownish to greyish patches on the forehead, cheeks, chin, nose. It usually hits women, and only 10% of males have this issue. It is common in women after pregnancy, and is also known as “mask of pregnancy. Melasma differs other forms of hyperpigmentation mainly by its cause; it is triggered by sun exposure and , it is influenced by hormonal levels in the body, which makes it more difficult to treat. Instigating factors that cause hormones to fluctuate takes time to identify.

This is a stubborn condition to treat, but there are treatments that can help with significant improvements. Lasers, topical lightening agents and sun protection are treatments done simultaneously to help improve melasma. The treatment plan varies according the severity of the melasma. Each patient’s experience will be unique, as everybody’s treatment works in a different way. So whether you have stubborn hyperpigmentation or melasma, a doctor’s consultation is necessary to map out your treatment plan.

Treatment for Pigmentation

As we have discussed, there are many sorts of hyperpigmentation, but before we proceed to share the different sort of treatments available, we need to stress the importance of sun protection, because it is the one thing that helps prevent further sun damage. Treatments for hyperpigmentation can help correct, but sun protection is crucial to stave off further hyperpigmentation, so in a nutshell you cannot prevent or correct hyperpigmentation without sun protection.

The deeper the pigments, the harder it would be to treat. For example, skin that has been consistently exposed to sun’s UV rays over a long period of time will be harder to treat than a post acne scar that you have shielded carefully from the sun. As more melanin or pigments are produced due to triggers, the more pigments will pushed to the skin’s deeper layers, the deeper the pigments, the harder it is to treat.

There are various treatment modalities: 1) Lasers 2) Topical Creams 3) Oral Supplements.


Lasers are an effective way to treat hyperpigmentation of facial skin. Laser treatment of freckles and sunspots is usually by Q-switched lasers which break pigments into smaller particles for the skin’s immune system to remove naturally.

Q-Switch laser breaks down pigments into smaller fragments.

Shows laser breaking down pigmentation

Melasma is more complex to treat as the underlying causes are hormonal. Q-switch lasers are to target melanin responsible for dark patches on the skin. However, melasma has be known to be stubborn in some cases, as the condition or underlying cause differs among each patient. Nevertheless, Q-switched laser remains an option worth considering.

The Q-Switch Laser is well absorbed by melanin and causes minimal damage to the epidermis (outer most skin layer). The laser energy breaks down the pigment into smaller pigments and is naturally cleared away by the body

For more information on Infinity Signature Lasers, click here.

Oral Supplements & Topical Creams

Crystal Tomato® Skin Whitening Supplements

This is an oral supplement that has been clinically studied and has been in the market for over 17 years. It is an anti-aging and whitening treatment in tiny caplets, like a vitamin for whiter, brighter, healthier skin.

Made from a special breed of non-GMO crystal tomatoes high in antioxidants and rich in colourless carotenoids, this unique formulation is supported by a decade of research. When consumed at the right dosage, the supplement absorbs ultraviolet radiation (UVA/UVB) damage, lightening pigmentation and producing a more even skin tone. It also inhibits the production of melanin, preventing more pigmentation forming while working to improve existing melasma spots.

Crystal Tomato® Skin Clarity Cream

Tomato® Skin Clarity Cream is a topical depigmentation cream that was produced for the treatment and management of skin spots, pigmentation patches and imperfections of a melatonin origin. It targets the four main causes of pigmentation: UVA and UVB rays, free radicals, inflammation, and melanin formation. It contains 17 active ingredients that work in synergy to block the production of melanin and lighten existing

Clinically studies:
Patients with moderate to severe Melasma took part in a double-blind placebo clinical trial at the National Skin Centre, Singapore to test the efficacy of Crystal Tomato® Whitening Supplement and Skin Clarity Cream to treat melasma. After 56 days of using Skin Clarity Cream in tandem with one Crystal Tomato Whitening Supplement a day, 76.5% of participants saw their melasma improve by 25%. After 84 days, participants’ melasma spots lightened by 50%— results were later peer-reviewed and published in the US Journal of Pigmentary Disorders.

Crystal Tomato® products are available at Infinity Aesthetics Clinic.

Cyspera® Intensive Pigment Corrector

Cyspera® is a pigment corrector formulated with cysteamine and free of hydroquinone to improve the appearance of stubborn discoloration. Cysteamine is a natural antioxidant that is found in the body, and has been proven to be safe and effective for solving hyperpigmentation while lightening the skin.

In 2013, the American Academy of Dermatology published data that set cysteamine cream as the new standard for hyperpigmentation concerns over other solutions that have been used for decades.

In 2015, the British Journal of Dermatology also conducted a study that showed proof of the high depigmenting effectiveness of cysteamine cream due to its efficacy in reducing melanin.

  • Improvement in the appearance of brown patches and dark spots
  • Powerful antioxidant activity
  • Well tolerated for long-term use
  • Free of hydroquinone, non photosensitive

Please contact us if you would like to find out more from our doctors.

Nothing in this website constitutes or is intended to constitute medical advice and readers rely on the statements contained herein at their own risk. Treatment results, experiences and downtime (if any) may vary by individuals. Please make an appointment with our clinic for a thorough medical assessment of your condition and treatment requirements.

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