Which skin condition are you experiencing?
Outbreaks of spots, pimples or 'zits', while most common in our teens, is a skin condition that affects people of all ages and one that most of us face at some point in our lives.
What is acne?
Common acne (acne vulgaris) is a skin condition characterized by spots, pimples and blemishes both on and beneath the surface of the skin.
Acne affects over 90% of adolescents  and continues beyond the teenage years in around 12%–14% of cases often accompanied by a high-degree of emotional and psychological distress [2,3].
Acne can occur on the face, back, shoulders, and arms, and can occur in chronic, non-chronic, inflammatory and non-inflammatory forms. The different forms vary in appearance, severity, the presence of pain and location.
Typically starting during adolescence, acne can bring about emotional distress for many people and severe cases can lead to permanent scarring.
Types of acne
There are two main classifications of acne:
Acne without inflammation or rednress tends not to be painful and is usually easier to treat.
This classification includes blackheads and whiteheads.
Whiteheads (medical term: 'closed comedones')
Whiteheads are small, white or skin-colored bumps spots or bumps. They typically have a visible, white head that is surrounded by redness. When whiteheads occur, the entire pore length, as well as the pore head, is clogged due to dirt, hormonal changes, and excessive oil. They are usually more difficult to pick than blackheads.
Blackheads (medical term: 'open comedones')
If the pores of a whitehead open and widen, they darken as they are exposed to air - forming small, dark spots or bumps known as 'blackheads'. Like whiteheads, they occur due to a clogging of the pores. They are usually easier to pick than whiteheads, but doing so can result in scarring.
When the pores are clogged with oil or dirt, bacteria begins to multiply within the pore. This triggers an immune system response where white blood cells travel to the pore to fight the infection. The surrounding area then becomes red, swollen and inflamed in a condition known as 'inflammatory acne'.
Inflammatory acne tends to be persistent and painful, and is usually more difficult to treat than non-inflammatory acne.
There are several varieties of inflammatory acne:
Pimples (medical term: 'postules')
Pimples are larger, inflamed, bulging bumps that appear on the skin's surface and often occur in clusters on the body. They typically have a clearly-defined center that's filled with yellow or white pus and is tender to the touch.
Papules appear as solid, pink, raised bumps beneath the surface of the skin that may be accompanied by red swelling around the area. They appear without a visible pus-filled center and without any enlargement of the pores.
Nodules are large, hard, painful lumps without a noticeable center that appear deep under the skin's surface. They form when bacteria from clogged pores cause tissue damage under the skin and can lead to the development of dark spots or scarring.
Cysts are particularly large, soft, pus-filled lumps that appear even deeper under the skin's surface than nodules. They are generally regarded as the worst form of acne and can lead to the development of scars.
Causes of acne
Our skin has tiny pores in it which allow oil and sweat to rise the surface and leave the body. When these pores are blocked, the skin's expulsion mechanism is disrupted, leading to a build up of bacteria, dead cells and oil in the skin.
This results in the formation of a variety of acne lesions.
The majority of outbreaks occur on the forehead, chest, arms, back and shoulders ur to the majority of the oil-producing (sebaceous) glands being located in these areas.
Acne has a range of common causes, including:
an excessive production of sebum
pores being clogged by dead skin cells and oil
the presence of bacteria.
There are some known triggers that can increase the severity of acne, including:
Diet - eating processed foods, especially those rich in carbohydrates and fats
Medication - taking drugs that contain lithium, corticosteroids, or testosterone
Stress - stress and emotional distress
Hormonal changes - enlargement of sebaceous glands occur when androgen is increased during puberty in boys and girls, which causes an increase in sebum production. Breakouts can also be caused when hormonal changes occur during midlife.
Products for treating acne
There are a wide range of skincare products available for effective treatment of acne, including creams, lotions, serums and masks.
ECLADO Laboratory's advanced range of Korean skincare products for acne are specially formulated to combat the underlying causes of acne spots, helping to:
slow down sebum (oil) production
shed dead skin cells by unblocking the pores
collapse white and blackheads.
Clinical treatment for acne
Professional aesthetic procedures offer a non-surgical, non-medication solution for tackling mild to severe cases of acne (as well as acne scarring), while improving facial texture, tone and radiance.
There are a range of effective treatments available, including:
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
This technique utilizes short pulses of intense light at wavelengths selected to target different areas depending on the condition being treated. For acne treatment, the device targets the acne-causing bacteria that can cause inflammation in the sebaceous glands that lead to bouts of acne.
Rin Aesthetics Clinic Hong Kong offers standalone Intense Pulse Light treatment as well as a comprehensive acne treatment program involving a blend of PicoSure laser, IPL and Korean skincare treatment.
This FDA-approved aesthetic treatment is a fast and simple procedure that helps leave a radiant glow without discomfort and very little downtime.
During this treatment, the outer acne-causing damaged skin are targeted non-invasively to destroy acne breakouts at their core. Like microneedling, it also improves collagen production.
1. Ghodsi SZ, Orawa H, Zouboulis CC. Prevalence, severity, and severity risk factors of acne in high school pupils: a community-based study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2009;129(9):2136–2141.
2. Williams C, Layton AM. Persistent acne in women: implications for the patient and for therapy. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2006;7(5):281–290.
3. Capitanio B, Sinagra JL, Bordignon V, Fei PC, Picardo M, Zouboulis CC. Underestimated clinical features of postadolescent acne. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2010;63(5):782–788.
While acne breakouts are a source of anxiety for many people, the scars they leave behind can be equally devastating. Luckily, there are treatments available to restore the skin's even texture.
What are acne scars?
The more severe cases of acne can penetrate deep into the skin and cause damage to tissue beneath the surface. Once the acne itself clears up, the skin can be left with permanent, visible textural indentations or elevations that are known as 'acne scars'.
95% of people who experience acne are left with an element of residual scarring, though the severity of these scars differ from case to case . These scars are particularly common on the face, back, shoulders, and chest.
Acne scars can be treated, but it is important to get rid of the acne itself first, as inflamed skin is difficult to treat.
Types of acne scar
There are a range of scars that may form during the healing process after severe bouts of acne or chickenpox. These vary in appearance, severity and treatment methods.
Depressed (atrophic) scars
Ice pick scar
Ice pick scars are small, sharp indentations in the skin named for their deep, narrow appearance. They typically appear on areas of the face where the skin is thinner, such as the forehead and the upper cheeks. They are the most severe form of acne scar and one of the more difficult forms to treat.
Boxcar scars are small, box-like indentations with sharp edges that measure a few millimeters in width. They typically appear on fleshier parts of the face, including the lower cheeks and jaw.
Rolling scars are small, rounded indentations in the skin measuring a few millimeters in width. They give the skin an uneven, wavy texture. Like boxcar scars, they typically appears on parts of the face where the skin is thicker, such as the lower cheeks and jaw.
Keloid scars are thickened, widened or raised areas of tissue on the skin's surface that result from an overgrowth of scar tissue at the location of the original acne lesion. They are more common in areas of thicker skin, such as the jaw, shoulders, chest and back.
Hypertrophic scars are a milder form of keloid scar that don't grow beyond the boundaries of the original acne lesion.
A common side effect of the healing process after serious cases of acne is the discoloration of the body's natural skin color.
This may occur in a number of ways.
Dilation of the blood vessels in the skin may cause it to look red or purple. Besides this, damage to skin cells may also result in an increase in melanin production, leading to a brown appearance.
In some cases, the skin's natural color may be restored over time. In other cases, the discoloration may become permanent.
Prevalence of acne scars
Acne scarring is more likely to occur in some people than others.
People who have severe common acne (acne vulgaris) are more prone to develop untreatable acne scars.
The chances of acne scars increase when an individual:
has painful and inflammation spots - Painful acne is either cystic or nodular with pus. This type of acne causes inflamed lesions on the skin. Cysts tend to damage the skin tissues by penetrating the inner layers.
does not prevent inflammatory acne - This type of acne should be treated without any delay. If a person takes a longer time to treat acne inflammation, the chances for acne scarring increase.
has a family history of acne scarring - Our genetic makeup can also influence the chance of developing acne scars.
squeezes acne spots - Popping out acne pus increases inflammation and can cause acne scars to occur.
Causes of acne scars
Acne scars develop in some people during the healing process that occurs after severe cases of acne.
The natural healing process occurs with the help of the body's store of collagen, which enables fresh tissue fiber growth at the site of injury. How our unique body structure reacts to the injury determines whether and to what degree acne scars will form.
If too little collagen is available, then indented (atrophic) scars will form at the site of the original acne lesions. If too much collagen is sent, then the raised (keloid or hypertrophic) scars will form.
Skincare products for acne scars
There are a wide range of skincare products available for effective treatment of acne scars, including creams, lotions, serums and masks.
ECLADO Laboratory's advanced range of Korean skincare products for acne scars offer effective solutions to rebuild the textural structure of the skin.
In particular, their Stem Cell and FGF Rejuvenation lines utilize advanced biotechniques that are clinically formulated to promote:
regeneration of new skin cells and tissue
hydrated and moisturized skin.
Clinical treatment for acne scars
Acne scars can be stubborn to deal with and the best course of treatment varies from case to case. In many cases, a good starting point is to schedule a skin consultation with a skin treatment clinic.
Professional aesthetics clinics offer a range of services, including:
Scar type suitability: indented (atrophic) acne scars
Skin tone suitability: all skin tones
This technique triggers the healthy skin cells to produce more collagen, which can help encourage fresh tissue growth in cases of indented (atrophic) acne scars. The microneedling 'pen' or 'roller' device makes controlled, micro injuries in the skin, which prompts the skin to produce more collagen to aid in the healing process.
Scar type suitability: all types of acne scars
Skin tone suitability: lighter skin tones
Laser treatment can minimize the appearance of acne scars by breaking up the top layers of scar tissue and encourage new tissue growth in its place.
Scar type suitability: raised (keloid and hypertrophic) acne scars
Skin tone suitability: lighter skin tones
This technique works by freezing the skin’s upper layer. The frozen scar tissues dies and falls off the skin, leading to a diminished appearance of the scar.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Acne scars are efficiently diminished by intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment which uses short light pulses. The dead skin cells are targeted by pulsed light, thus lessening the acne scars, improving overall skin tone.
Suitable for: all types of acne scars
Chemical peels involve a strong acid solution that works by removing the outer layer of skin to encourage fresh skin growth that is smoother and less scarred.
1. Werschler, W Philip et al. “Critical Considerations on Optimizing Topical Corticosteroid Therapy.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 8,8 Suppl (2015): S2-8.
Dry / Dull Skin
While youthful skin is typically described as 'bright' or 'glowing', it's a fact of life that skin dries and dulls as we age. However, there are many treatments available to rejuvenate and revive your skin's lustre.
What is dry, dull Skin?
Dry skin is a skin condition characterized by itchiness, cracking and flaking, which can occur all over the body.
It tends to affect both females and males equally, though as we age our skin tends to see a reduction in lubricants and natural skin oil. While some people have naturally dry skin, even those with more oily skin may experience dryness every now and then.
Dull skin describes skin that has lost its 'radiance', 'glow' or 'luster', resulting in an aged or tired appearance that may be accompanied by uneven skin tone or texture and can emphasise wrinkles.
Symptoms of dry, dull skin
After showering or bathing, skin tightness
Skin looks and feels rough
Slight to severe scaling, peeling, or flaking
Wrinkles or Fine lines
Ashy, gray skin
Deep cracks that sometimes bleed
Skin looks darker than usual
Skin looks less radiant than usual.
Causes of dry, dull skin
The skin's natural production of sebum helps to hydrate and protect skin cells from infection. When the skin's sebum reserves are low and not replenished fast enough, skin can appear dry or flaky, may itch or be accompanied by red patches.
The aging process makes people more prone to dry skin. Parts of the body, such as hands, arms, lower legs, humidity, and temperature, profoundly affect the skin's ability to stay hydrated.
Other factors include:
- Weather - Cool temperatures and dry air can contribute to dry skin
Harsh chemicals - Many detergents, soaps, and shampoos strip moisture from the skin as they're formulated to remove oil.
Skin conditions - Dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema contribute to the accumulation of dead skin cells on your skin, creating a dull effect.
Bathing - Long, hot baths or showers, and excessive scrubbing can wear out the skin.
Smoking - Nicotine causes a narrowing of the blood vessels that can lead to both dry and dull skin.
Dull skin typically comes about when the surface of the skin is subject to a build up of dead skin cells.
Youthful skin avoids this build up through its natural exfoliation cycle every couple of weeks, and thus retains its natural glow. While it's more common once we reach our thirties and beyond, dull skin can affect anyone at any time of year.
However, natural aging or 'intrinsic aging' is not the only cause of dull skin.
In fact, studies suggest that genetically determined aging is only responsible for 20% of the visible signs of aging, while extrinsic aging (for example, through ultraviolet exposure, pollution and lifestyle choices) may account for 80% of these visible signs¹.
Other factors include:
Lack of hydration - Skin can appear dull when it lacks water and can manifest all over the body, including shadows around eyes and prominent under-eye circles.
Ultraviolet Rays - UV rays break down the proteins in your skin and damage the skin barrier. Going outside without wearing sunscreen, particularly when the sun's rays are at their strongest, can bring about dull skin².
Pollution - Our increasingly urban lifestyles expose us to greater concentrations of dust and smoke, which can clog the skins pores and interfere with the shedding process.
Diet - A well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients plays an integral role in maintaining healthy skin. Eating foods with rich water and raw fruits can contribute to healthy and youthful-looking skin.
Smoking - Nicotine causes a narrowing of the blood vessels that can lead to both dry and dull skin.
Preventative methods for dry, dull skin
There are a range of methods to prevent dry and dull skin that you can build into your daily routine, including:
enduring you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day
moisturizing body and face regularly
wearing sunscreen when going outside
exfoliating in order to help shed dead skin cells
choosing skincare products that are designed to be gentle on the skin.
Skincare products for dry, dull skin
There are a range of products on offer to treat the conditions of dry and dull skin.
ECLADO Laboratory's advanced Korean skincare products include separate ranges that help tackle dry and dull skin conditions:
advanced skincare products for dry, dehydrated skin (including Deep Hydration series)
advanced skincare products for dull skin (including Melaser Brightening and Ginseno series).
The skin is made up of tiny holes that allow the healthy escape of sweat, oil and toxins. However, a range of factors can lead to enlarged pores, which some people can find undesirable.
What are large pores?
Pores are small openings in the skin that connect the inside of the body to the outside. Hair follicles, sweat glands and seborrheic glands all end in pores.
Pores serve a range of functions, helping to regulate body temperature and hydrate the skin, while allowing the expulsion of sweat, toxins and different waste substances from the body. They also allow for absorption into the body of external nutrients such as the active ingredients in face and body products.
‘Large pores’ (also known as ‘open pores’) is a skin condition experienced by men and women. It’s more common for people with oily skin, but can also be seen with those with dry skin.
The size of the pores varies according to their location on the body.
Large pores are more prevalent in oilier areas and those with a higher concentration of sebaceous glands. These are typically concentrated around the ’T zone': the nose, the forehead and around the mouth.
Pores that are enlarged tend to pick up more dirt and as such are more prone to getting infected - potentially triggering bouts of acne spots.
Causes of large pores
There are several possible causes of the appearance of large pores, including:
High production levels of oil (sebum) - High levels of oil production can be related to diet, stress, prolonged unprotected sun exposure, improper care and the use of pore-clogging (comedogenic) cosmetics.
Loss of elasticity - As the body ages, the body’s production of collagen decreases, making the skin less elastic. As a result, the skin stretches and pores appear larger.
Genetics - Studies suggest that ethnicity has a greater impact on the prevalence of large pores than age, with genetics linked to pore size, density and area of coverage .
Sun damage - Prolonged exposure to UV rays lead to the destruction of collagen in the skin, resulting in enlarged pores.
Prevention methods for large pores
While factors such as genetics and age cannot be changed, we can reduce the appearance of large pores through an active skincare regime that includes:
using sun cream when outside
selecting skincare products that don’t clog pores (noncomedogenic products)
using skincare products containing antioxidants to help boost collagen and keep skin healthy
avoiding using regular soap (pH 8-10) for washing the face, as they can destroy the skin's protective barrier and increase sebum production. Instead, select cosmetic products with a pH of 5.5 or less
using masks that contain salicylic acid (up to 1%), or glycolic or lactic acid (2-5%), as they stimulate cell regeneration and help keep pores clean.
Skincare products for large pores
There are a wide range of skincare products available for effective treatment of large pores, including creams, lotions, serums and masks.
ECLADO Laboratory's advanced range of Korean skincare products for large pores offer effective solutions to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and refine skin texture. These should be worked into a habitual cleansing and freshening regime that keeps skin fresh, clean and hydrated.
In particular, their Stem Cell and A.C Control lines utilize advanced biotechniques that are clinically formulated to tackle the underlying skin conditions exhibited with large pores.
Clinical treatment for large pores
Professional skincare centers offer clinical treatments that can make large pores less noticeable while smoothing and evening the skin's texture.
Some pore tightening techniques include:
There are a range of safe laser treatments that are effective for pore reduction.
Such treatments typically involve several sessions where lasers are directed to to tighten and smoothen the skin, which helps to reduce the sizes of pores, while also repairing skin damage resulting from ageing, exposure to UV rays or smoking.
One such example is the PicoSure laser, which emits infrared light pulses that enable deep penetration through the skin's layers to correct the problem at its source. This creates long-lasting results that include greater elasticity (and reduced pores), brighter skin and youthful appearance.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL devices help to rejuvenate the skin by penetrating deep into the skin's layers, killing bacteria and stimulating the production of collagen. This results in improved skin tone, a reduction in oil production, and a reduction in pore size.
During the treatment, intense pulses of light are targeted at the skin cell layers that are responsible for renewing cells. Alongside tightening of the pores, the treatment helps to even skin tone, improve skin texture and increase firmness.
Microneedling involves creating small perforations in the skin with a fine needle in order to prompt renewed production of collagen through the body's natural healing process. This treatment can help to reduce the appearance of large pores, while improving tone, texture, firmness, and hydration of the skin.
Lines & Wrinkles
Lines and wrinkles affect everyone at some point in life and are natural part of the aging process. Yet more than $50bn is spent on anti-aging products in the US alone . Take a moment to learn a little about the routes of lines and wrinkles, alongside a look at treatment options.
What are lines and wrinkles?
Youthful skin tends to snap back after making a facial expression, such as a smile. The skin loses this flexibility as we age .
The very first signs of aging manifest as fine lines, which are shallow and small creases in the skin. They usually develop between eyebrows, forehead, around lips, and the corner of the mouth.
Fine lines are hard to notice at first, but transform into wrinkles as you age. According to The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), 'wrinkles' are defined as 'untreated, permanent, and deepened fine lines'.
Wrinkles tend to occur in skin areas where there's more volume loss, repetitive movement, saggy skin, and deep creases, including the neck, face, forearms, and hands.
As the body ages, these wrinkles further transform into deep facial folds.
Causes of lines and wrinkles
Lines and wrinkles are part and parcel of the natural process of aging.
The onset of fine lines starts from an early age, through the contraction of facial muscles during everyday expressions such as smiling, frowning, laughing, and squinting .
Youthful skin tends to spring back into place, but as we age, elastin and collagen beneath the skin start to breakdown, reducing our skin's natural elasticity and causing the deepening of fine lines.
There are a wide range of factors that also influence the development of fine lines and wrinkles, including:
Exposure to UV light - Regular and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun and/or tanning beds cause a break down of elastin and collagen in the bod, which reduces the skin's elasticity.
Skin color - The melanin content of darker skin types protects the skin from UV radiation. Those with lighter skin are more susceptible to developing fine lines and wrinkles.
Dehydration - Decreased water content in the epidermis and uneven thickening of dermis gives rise to fine lines and wrinkles.
Smoking - Smoking, followed by mouth puckering, greatly affects the blood supply, and encourages the onset of fine lines .
Types of lines and wrinkles
There are five categories of lines and wrinkles:
Dynamic Expression Lines
These kind of wrinkles are formed as a result of repetitive facial expressions and deep creases, appearing around eyes, mouth, and forehead. Dynamic expression lines are accelerated by smoking, poor lifestyle habits, and overexposure to the sun .
Atrophic Crinkling Rhytids
Worsened by sun exposure, these parallel lines occur due to a decline in collagen and elastin production. These types of wrinkles are also called "11 lines" because they run parallel to each other.
When your skin starts losing texture with time and aging, it folds and sags, giving rise to gravitational folds. According to a research, people with thinner skin are more prevalent to gravitational folds as compared to people with thicker skin.
These little lines are the result of years of sun exposure, pollution, and smoking. Elastic creases occur on the neck, upper lips, and cheeks. These lines develop because of oxidative stress, transforming into permanent creases .
Skincare products for lines and wrinkles
There are a wide range of skincare products available for the treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, including creams, lotions, serums and masks.
ECLADO Laboratory's advanced range of Korean skincare products for fine lines and wrinkles offer an effective anti-aging solution to help regenerate collagen, improve elasticity and provide a powerful lifting effect.
In particular, their Stem Cell, Ginseno and Rescuer lines utilize advanced biotechniques that are clinically formulated to combat fine lines and wrinkles.
Clinical treatment for lines and wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles can be treated in many ways that are effective for their prevention and reduction.
Many types of medication are recommended for wrinkle and fine lines reduction, hyperpigmentation, and rough skin, such as vitamin A retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids. However, these medications have side effects too, which can cause itching, tingling, dryness, and burning sensation .
Antioxidants protect the skin by destroying the free-radicals (caused by the UV rays of the sun). They rebuild the production of elastin and collagen and repair skin. Antioxidants, useful for reducing wrinkles, include beta-carotene, vitamin A, E, and C.
Deeper peels contain ingredients, such as TCA and phenol, which regenerate new skin by shedding the dead skin cells, resulting in which fine lines are lessened.
Many aesthetic treatments are effective against wrinkles and fine lines:
If you want to make your skin younger and smoother, this is the best treatment option for you. An example of dermal fillers is collagen, which makes your skin wrinkle-free by replacing the lost tissues. It is important to consult your physician first .
To improve fine lines, scarring, skin laxity, and wrinkles, this non-invasive treatment helps you regain the luminous skin. This treatment works by utilizing tiny needles over your skin to make small injuries. These injuries then trigger collagen production, reducing wrinkles, and other skin issues .
It is a needle-free aesthetic treatment, which not only treats wrinkled skin but also rejuvenates and tightens the skin. It improves the signs of aging by multivitamin solutions and plant extracts in the form of injections. This treatment is perfect for improving blood circulation in the skin, flushing out aging toxins, and reducing superficial wrinkles .
 Choi JW, Kwon SH, Huh CH, Park KC, Youn SW. The influences of skin visco-elasticity, hydration level and aging on the formation of wrinkles: a comprehensive and objective approach. Ski Res Technol 2013;19:e349–55.
 Sjerobabski-Masnec I, Šitum M. Skin aging. Acta Clin Croat 2010;49:515–8.
 Bermann PE. Aging Skin: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention. Nurs Clin North Am 2007;42:485–500.
 Koh JS, Kang H, Choi SW, Kim HO. Cigarette smoking associated with premature facial wrinkling: image analysis of facial skin replicas. Int J Dermatol 2002;41:21–7.
 Tsuji T, Yorifuji T, Hayashi Y, Hamada T. Two Types of Wrinkles in Aged Persons. Arch Dermatol 1986;122:22–3.
 Langton AK, Sherratt MJ, Griffiths CEM, Watson REB. Review Article: A new wrinkle on old skin: the role of elastic fibres in skin ageing. Int J Cosmet Sci 2010;32:330–9.
 Thomas JR, Dixon TK, Bhattacharyya TK. Effects of Topicals on the Aging Skin Process. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am 2013;21:55–60.
 Funt D, Pavicic T. Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol 2013;6:295–316.
 Hou A, Cohen B, Haimovic A, Elbuluk N. Microneedling: A Comprehensive Review. Dermatologic Surg 2017;43.
 El-Domyati M, El-Ammawi TS, Moawad O, El-Fakahany H, Medhat W, Mahoney MG, et al. Efficacy of mesotherapy in facial rejuvenation: a histological and immunohistochemical evaluation. Int J Dermatol 2012;51:913–9.
The average person has between 30 and 40 moles, while some have as many as 600. Despite the majority of moles being non-cancerous, many people seek mole removal treatment for aesthetic reasons.
What are moles?
Moles ('melanocytic nevi') are skin imperfections that can appear as bulging or flat spots or growths on the skin's surface.
They can appear flat, wrinkled, smooth or raised and may occur in different shapes (round, oval, or irregular), colors (such as black, brown, tan or pink) or sizes. They can also appear individually or in clusters.
They are a very common skin condition that can occur at any stage from childhood to adolescence.
Types of moles and risk factors
The majority of moles are non-cancerous, though some can develop into types of cancer, including melanoma - the most deadly form.
There are three main types of mole:
Congenital moles are those that are present at the time of birth.
These moles are non-cancerous and can vary in shape, color, and size. Around 1 in 100 children are born with moles of small to medium size .
Congenital moles are estimated to carry between 0 and 5% risk of developing into melanoma (a type of skin cancer) depending on size .
Acquired moles are those that develop after birth or later in life.
Skin that is damaged from sun exposure is more prone to developing an acquired mole. With age, they tend to grow darker in color.
Acquired moles carry a low risk of developing into melanoma (a type of skin cancer).
Atypical moles ('dysplastic nevi') are those that look unusual under a microscope. They often have an irregular shape and size, be slightly larger on the whole, and occur in more than one color.
The presence of atypical moles typically identifies individuals that are at greater risk of developing melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Although atypical moles themselves are non-cancerous, it is possible for some types of atypical moles to develop into melanoma.
However, in most cases where melanoma develops, it usually occurs in a new spot unrelated to moles.
Symptoms of melanoma skin cancer
Due to the higher risk of developing melanoma, people with atypical moles should check them for common signs associated with the cancer.
Dermatologists tend to group these into a handy ABCDE mnemonic of warning signs for melanoma:
A - Asymmetry - when both sides of a mole do not match with each other in shape or size.
B - Border - when a mole has a poorly defined, uneven or irregular border.
C - Color - when a mole appears to have multiple colors or changes color.
D - Diameter - while ideally, we'll identify moles at the smallest size, a mole that is 6mm or larger should definitely be checked out.
E - Evolving - when a mole changes in size, shape or color, or begins to itch or bleed over time.
If you observe these symptoms, you should seek medical advice.
Risk factors of melanoma
People considered at higher risk of developing melanoma include those who:
have a family history of skin cancer (either melanoma or non-melanoma varieties)
have many atypical moles
have fair skin, light hair or lighter-colored eyes
have suffered repeated sunburns.
Causes of moles
Moles develop when pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) in the top layer of the skin form as clusters instead of evenly spreading out.
It is believed that congenital moles are caused by a random genetic mutation that develops in the womb as a baby grows. It is not thought to be inherited from parents.
While the causes of developing moles after birth is not well understood, their occurrence is thought to be related to a variety of factors:
exposure to the sun
light/red hair and fair skin
The causes of atypical are not well understood, though are generally thought to relate to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Prevention methods for moles
Preventive measures can help to reduce the development of (potentially-cancerous) moles. A few measures include:
Observing changes - Continuously monitor the pattern and location of moles on your body and check atypical moles against the warning signs in the 'Types of moles and risk factors' section'. In particular, if any member of your family has a history of melanoma, then try to self-examine twice a month.
Avoiding UV rays - Avoid exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun and tanning beds. Try to reduce time outside when the sun is at its strongest (11am to 5pm).
Applying sunscreen - Before going outside, apply a water-resistant sunscreen whether it is sunny or cloudy.
Clinical treatment for moles
There are a few typical reasons people seek out methods of mole removal:
Risk of cancer - Some people choose to remove moles that are potentially cancerous or have been diagnosed as cancerous.
Appearance - Some people also view moles (particularly large ones) as unattractive or undesirable and seek methods to remove them.
Comfort - Depending on location, some people find larger moles to be a nuisance and at risk of catching on jewellery or other objects.
There are a range of different options to remove moles.
The area of the skin where a mole is located is de-sensitized before a surgical blade is used to shave it off. This treatment is useful for non-cancerous and smaller moles. It is a pain-free method, leaving a scar which diminishes over time.
An excision is made to cut off the mole from skin. Pre-treatment includes applying local anesthesia, and post-treatment include stitching of skin after the mole removal.
Some non-cancerous moles that have not grown beneath the skin's surface can be frozen off with the use of liquid nitrogen. The procedure leaves a small blister in the location of the mole.
Pigment cells are destroyed by bursts of light energy, offering an effective and pain-free method of mole removal with less risk of scarring.
Laser removal is a good choice for removing multiple moles, moles in visible areas (such as the face) or moles in hard-to-reach locations (such as behind the ear).
CO2 laser treatment for mole removal is available at Rin Aesthetics Clinic Hong Kong. Contact us for more information.
1. Viana AC, Gontijo B, Bittencourt FV. Giant congenital melanocytic nevus [published correction appears in An Bras Dermatol. 2014 Jan-Feb;89(1):190]. An Bras Dermatol. 2013;88(6):863-878. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20132233
2. American Cancer Society. Risk Factors for Melanoma Skin Cancer.
From small freckles to dark skin patches and melasma, or the loss of skin color altogether, pigmentation disorders manifest in a range of ways. A range of treatment options are available for those who'd like to address pigmentation issues.
What is pigmentation?
'Pigmentation' refers to coloring of the skin.
Your skin gets its color from melanin; a brownish-colored pigment. Pigment cells (melanocytes) are responsible for the production of melanin in the skin's epidermis layer.
Skin color is highly dependent on racial origin and exposure to the sun. People with dark skin produce greater amounts of melanin, while those with lighter tones produce less.
A healthy person has a normal skin color but some factors such as injury or illness change the skin color making it lighter or darker ¹.
What are pigmentation disorders?
Pigmentation disorders refer to temporary or permanent discoloration of the skin or an uneven skin tone. They occur when the production of melanin by melanocytes is disturbed.
Melanin production is greatly affected by hormonal changes or exposure to the sun. The sun protects our skin from ultraviolet radiation by producing more melanin.
Pigmentation disorders can cause the skin to be lighter or darker than the actual skin color ².
Types of pigmentation disorder
Pigmentation disorders fall under three broad classifications.
'Hyperpigmentation' refers to very high production of melanin that leads to a darkening of the skin beyond its normal color and potentially brought about through sun exposure or the use of particular drugs ².
In particular, hyperpigmentation manifests itself in two types of skin condition:
Melasma is a condition in which dark brown patches of melanin occur on the skin in an roughly symmetric pattern, particularly affecting the chin, upper lip, nose and forehead.
It mainly affects pregnant women (where it's known as 'mask of pregnancy'), women taking oral contraceptives, or those going through hormonal changes (postmenopausal estrogen) ³. Besides these main groups, roughly 10% of cases affect non-pregnant women or dark-skinned men.
While melasma tends to manifest itself in large patches, freckles are much smaller, dot-like discolorations that typically appear on the face or other areas of the body frequently exposure to the sun, such as the arms and shoulders.
The condition can affect anyone, but is more likely amongst those with fairer skin tones and lighter colored hair (red hair, in particular).
'Hypopigmentation' refers to very low or zero production of melanin that leads to an uneven lightening of the skin and potentially causing skin burns, ulcers, and infections ⁴.
There are three main forms of hypopigmentation.
Loss of pigmentation due to skin damage
Blisters or injury to any area of the skin can cause the temporary loss of pigmentation from that area, usually taking several weeks for the affected area to recover.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that occurs when immune cells attack melanocytes, resulting in restrictions to melanin production. This leads to smooth and sun-sensitive white patches forming all over the body.
Albinism is a rare inherited disorder caused by an abnormal gene that limits melanin production and results in no pigmentation in the skin, eyes or hair.
Caucasians are most likely to inherit this disorder, which causes high sensitivity to the sun. Due to such sensitivity, those with albinism should apply sunscreen each time they go outside ⁵.
Causes of pigmentation disorders
There are many causes of pigmentation disorder that can cause permanent discoloration of the skin.
These causes include:
Prolonged exposure to the sun: High levels of sun exposure causes more melanin production to protect the skin from UV rays. Prolonged exposure can cause dark, rough patches on the skin, often known as 'sun spots'.
Skin inflammation ('inflammatory dermatoses'): Inflammation of the skin can cause the skin to darken, particularly with conditions such as eczema, skin injury, acne, or lupus.
Use of reactive drugs: Some medications such as anti-depressants or antimalarial medicines can cause hyperpigmentation.
Medical conditions: Some pigmentation disorders can also be caused by medical conditions such as hemochromatosis or Addison’s disease ².
Other common causes include:
Exposure to chemicals such as phenol, hydroquinone, etc.
Skin burns and ulcers.
Skincare products for pigmentation disorders
There are a wide range of skincare products available for effective treatment of pigmentation and discoloration disorders, including creams, lotions, serums and masks.
ECLADO Laboratory's advanced range of Korean skincare products for discoloration offer effective solutions to combat pigmentation issues. These should be worked into a habitual cleansing and freshening regime that keeps skin fresh, clean and hydrated.
In particular, their Ginseno and Melaser Brightening lines utilize advanced biotechniques that are clinically formulated to brighten and/or whiten the skin.
Treatments for pigmentation disorders
The chances of getting melasma or freckles can be reduced by limiting direct exposure to the sun and applying sunscreen when going outside.
Best practice when it comes to sunscreen includes:
Applying in both sunny and cloudy weather
Using sun cream with a high sun protection factor (SPF)
Applying 30 minutes before going outside
Re-applying every 2 hours in regular conditions.
Prescription creams, such as tretinoin and hydroquinone, cause a lightening of skin tone and can be used to remedy hyperpigmentation ⁶.
Laser technology can be used to target pigmented areas and break down melanin to reveal a brighter, more even skin tone.
There are a variety of treatment methods available depending on the type of skin condition:
Loss of pigmentation due to skin damage: The affected area recovers itself, but creams and cosmetics can be applied to cover the blemished area.
Vitiligo: Treatments include the use of long-lasting dyes to cover patches and the use of light-sensitive medications, corticosteroid creams or UV light therapy ⁷.
Albinism: There’s no treatment for albinism, but those affected should avoid exposure to the sun and wear sunglasses and sunscreen when going outside ⁵.
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2. Nicolaidou, E. & Katsambas, A. D. Pigmentation disorders: Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Clin. Dermatol. 32, 66–72 (2014).
3. Plensdorf, S., Livieratos, M. & Dada, N. Pigmentation Disorders: Diagnosis and Management. Am. Fam. Physician 96, 797–804 (2017).
4. Bolognia, J. L. & Pawelek, J. M. Biology of hypopigmentation. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 19, 217–255 (1988).
5. Summers, C. G. Albinism : Classification , Clinical Characteristics ,. 86, 659–662 (2009).
6. Rendon, M., Berneburg, M., Arellano, I. & Picardo, M. Treatment of melasma. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 54, 272–281 (2006).
7. Njoo, M. D., Westerhof, W., Bos, J. D. & Bossuyt, P. M. M. The development of guidelines for the treatment of vitiligo. Arch. Dermatol. 135, 1514–1521 (1999).