pore-related woes

1. I read that ablative and non-ablative lasers can minimise the look of enlarged pores in the T-zone. Can they treat pimple scars? – Kimmy Neo

 Both types of lasers can remove damaged skin such as scar tissue, as well as improve skin texture, so yes, they can be used to treat pimple scars. Ablative laser resurfacing treatments, such as CO2 and Er:YAG lasers, utilise an intense beam of light energy to remove the outer layers of aged or sun-damaged skin, or scar tissue. They’re associated with a longer recovery period, but produce faster and more effective results compared to non-ablative laser treatments.

However, they also come with a higher risk of infection and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, in which case topical creams such as retinols and arbutin can be used to lighten the pigmentation and scars. While the non-ablative laser treatments don’t have the potential side effects of ablative ones, more sessions are needed to get similar results. Because they’re less invasive, they are less effective on acne scars, and are more suitable for eliminating skin redness caused by rosacea and broken capillaries, reducing the look of fine lines, removing brown spots and stimulating collagen production to minimise the appearance of pores for firmer, clearer-looking skin. There is also less downtime with non-ablative lasers.

pore-related woes
Image: 123rf.com

2. I follow a seven-step skincare routine, but recently, my skin has started to look dull and feel rough. Could it have become accustomed to my skincare? What should I do now? – Sandy Yeo

The skin does not build immunity to skincare over time, unless the products are topical prescriptions. Dietary, hormonal and climate changes, which can affect the way the skin responds to the products used, could account for the recent changes you’ve noticed. It could also be that your existing products are no longer strong enough to address the signs of skin ageing, which is a continuous and multifactorial process. What you can do now is make sure you’re using the products exactly as directed and to check their expiry dates. Skincare ingredients deteriorate after the use-by date, and exposure to light and/or air will also reduce their efficacy. That said, if your existing skincare no longer gives you results, it could be time for a change. Consider seeing a doctor or a trusted skincare professional to help you determine your skin’s current needs.

3. A peel-off clay face mask left my skin with large “potholes”, and using a toner daily couldn’t shrink them. What can be done to “close up” these enlarged pores? – Angelyn Tan

Non-ablative lasers, such as Revlite and Discovery Pico, can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. They deliver laser energy into the outer layer of the skin – without damaging the surrounding tissue – to stimulate collagen production to tighten and firm up skin. Intense pulsed light therapy can help, too. It works by sending high-intensity pulses of light into the skin – without harming its surface – to stimulate collagen production, and has minimal downtime.

Main image: showbit.com

This story first appeared in Her World’s June 2017 issue.

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