Face

Laser Therapy

One of the most common and widely used aesthetics treatments in Singapore are laser treatments. LASER, an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, utilises sources of high intensity and monochromatic light, emitting light energy of only one wavelength or color.

Lasers target specific tissues in the skin without harming the surrounding tissue. Different lasers with various wavelengths target different skin concerns.

  • Red Pigments
  • Dark Spots, Sun Spots
  • Red Blood Vessels
  • Acne Scars
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Our Doctors

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Dr. SK Tan

Special Interest

  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Anti-Aging
  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Ingredient Studies

Dr. SK Tan

Dr Tan graduated in 1971, with a Bachelors of Medicine (MB) and a Bachelors of Surgery (BS) from the University of Malaya. Dr Tan’s interest in dermatology led him to train at the St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London in the 1970s and he has since been focused in the field of aesthetic dermatology.

  • MBBS
  • Diploma in Venereology (University of London)
  • Diploma in Dermatology (University of Wales)
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD)

He is a member of numerous medical associations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the International Society of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons, and the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology. Dr Tan was one of the first local doctors to be certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. His personal interest in pigmentary disorders and acne has also led him to become an International Member of the Pigmentary Disorders Society of India, the Asian Society of Pigment Cell Research, and the American Acne and Rosacea Society (AARS).

Dr Tan’s work has led him to be invited to speak at numerous international conferences in the US, Europe and throughout the Asia Pacific region. He is a co-editor of “Handbook of Cosmetic Microbiology”, a reference book published by Marcel Dekker, and his papers have been published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, International Journal of Dermatology, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, and Expert Review of Dermatology, and has contributed a chapter in the reference book ‘Pigmentary Disorders: A Comprehensive Compendium’.

Special Interest

  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Anti-Aging
  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Ingredient Studies
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Dr. Ben Yim

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Body-Contouring
  • Fat Reduction

Dr. Ben Yim

Dr Yim graduated from Monash University in Australia with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. He has also earned a Master of Science in Clinical Dermatology from the University of London and more recently in Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics from Anglia Ruskin University in UK, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Family Physicians in National University of Singapore.

  • M.B.B.S (Monash University) 1994
  • Diploma Practical Dermatology (University of Wales College of Medicine) 1998
  • MSc. Clinical Dermatology (University of London) 1999
  • MBA (University of Chicago) 2011
  • MSc Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics (Anglia Ruskin) 2018
  • GDFM (NUS) 2019

Dr Yim has been practicing aesthetic medicine in private practice since 2000. The former director of Clinical Aesthetics & Laser Centre has been offering a wide armamentarium of aesthetic services including Botox, fillers for facial enhancement, skin tightening with Thermage FLX, Ulthera and fractional lasers, threadlifts, and non-invasive body contouring treatments.

As a trainer for Allergan Medical Institute in Singapore, Dr Yim has been invited to speak and train for numerous aesthetic workshops and conferences including “The Advanced Facial Anatomy and Injectables Workshop”, Botox and Filler injectable training workshops organized by Allergan, “The Singapore Disease Conference 2008” and “1st International Conference on Healthcare Transformation 2008” and Forum for Professional Self-regulation jointly organized by the SingHealth Centre for Health Services Research and the NUS Medical Society, to name a few.

Dr Yim comes from a family of four doctors, all in private practice in family medicine. Despite the move into full-time aesthetic medicine, Dr Yim has also taken an interest in family medicine pursuing a Master degree in Medicine in Family Medicine in NUS in which he hopes to complete in 2020.

Outside of his profession, Dr Yim also actively participates in social projects such as tattoo laser removal for prison inmates and teenage delinquents. For leisure, he enjoys golf, reading, playing the piano and running – he has participated in several half-marathons.

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Body-Contouring
  • Fat Reduction
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Dr. Liz Lum YX

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring

Dr. Liz Lum YX

Dr Liz Lum YX graduated from Trinity College in Dublin with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. She has also earned a graduate diploma in aesthetic medicine with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM). Apart from these, Dr Lum has also attained certification by the Ministry of Health accredited bodies under the Singapore Medical Council’s Aesthetics Dermatology Education Group for various aesthetics procedures. Before joining IDS, Dr Liz Lum YX was a surgical trainee with the hand surgery department in SGH.

  • MBBCH BAO (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine, American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
  • Accredited by the Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee (Singapore Medical Council) for Certificates of Competence in Aesthetic Procedures
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)

Jean Cocteau once said, “If there is a defect in the soul, it cannot be corrected on the face; but if there is a defect on the face and one corrects it, it can correct a soul.” For this reason, Dr Liz Lum YX has a special interest in acne treatment that dates back to times when she had to deal with her own acne problems and breakouts. This drove her to identify the need for innovative products and treatments to treat acne problems. She strongly believes that many acne prone patients will benefit from a combination of innovative dermatological products, lasers and medications.

Dr Liz Lum YX’s other interests include injectables such as botulinum toxins, fillers and laser treatments for pigmentary disorders. Outside of her profession, she enjoys travelling and spending quality time with her family, friends and loved ones over good meals, movies, and a cup of coffee.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring
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Dr. Ian Tan

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Anti-Aging
  • Body Contouring
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring
  • Hair Regrowth
  • Weight Management

Dr. Ian Tan

Dr Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore and is one of the few medical doctors selected to lead the Singapore National Healthcare Group surgical residency program. He had his basic years of training in various hospital surgical specialties and he obtained Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (General Surgery) in 2013.

  • MBBS (Singapore)
  • MRCS (Edinburgh)
  • GDFM (Singapore)
  • GDFP Dermatology (Singapore)
  • Certificate in Aesthetic Medicine, Amercian Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
  • Accredited by the Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee (Singapore Medical Council) for Certificates of Competence in Aesthetic Procedures
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)
  • Accredited Family Physician
  • Basic Obesity Management Accreditation 2 (BOMA 2)
  • Certificate Course in Andrology

Through his practice, he developed a keen clinical interest in dermatological conditions and has obtained a Diploma in Dermatology (FP) from NUS. Dr Tan aims to help his patients achieve beauty through science by using appropriate skincare, aesthetic procedures and lasers. He believes his experience in surgery will complement his work in aesthetic and dermatological procedures at the IDS clinic.

A former national, Dr Tan was an avid athlete during his college days and developed him in local and regional canoe competitions. Outside of his profession, he enjoys running and going to the gym.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Anti-Aging
  • Body Contouring
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring
  • Hair Regrowth
  • Weight Management
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Dr. Michelle Wong

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Focused Ultrasound Lifting
  • Skin Brightening
  • Cryo based Treatment

Dr. Michelle Wong

Dr Michelle Wong graduated from The University of Melbourne, Australia with a Bachelors of Medicine, Bachelors of Surgery and Bachelors of Medical Science. She obtained her post-graduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology with Distinction from the Queen Mary University of London, and holds a Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM).

  • MBBS from The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Diploma in Clinical Dermatology from Queen Mary University of London
  • Diploma in Aesthetics Medicine from American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)

In aesthetics, Dr Wong believes she has discovered her ikigai – the intersection of what she is both good at and loves doing. Her preferred tools of the trade are injectables such as Botox and Fillers, which she wields with finesse and intuition - often achieving what her patients desire but cannot express through words. Out of passion and interest, she regularly attends conferences and workshops, eager to learn about the latest treatments and techniques to further hone her craft.

Combining the science of medicine with the art of beauty, Dr Wong provides an honest consult to help her patients achieve their skincare and beauty goals. She believes in understated elegance – a focus on a less-is-more approach - and works to enhance her patients’ natural features whilst instilling self-confidence. Her reassuring and gentle approach puts patients at ease allowing her to achieve maximum results through safe and effective procedures.

In her free time, Dr Wong enjoys taking long walks with her dog at the park. Her family praises her inner domestic goddess that can whip up an impressive variety of home-cooked meals. She is also active in church medical missions and believes in contributing back to society through her God-given gifts and talents.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Focused Ultrasound Lifting
  • Skin Brightening
  • Cryo based Treatment
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Dr. Vivian Yong

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Enhancement

Dr. Vivian Yong

Dr Vivian Yong graduated from National University of Singapore in 2006, and has an experience of more than 10 years in Aesthetics. She has also accumulated extensive surgical skills and experience from various rotations in general surgery, ophthalmology, and ENT.

  • MBBS
  • GDFM

Dr Vivian has always had a natural inclination towards science subjects and this led her into medicine. During her medical graduate days, she developed a keen interest in Aesthetics and Skincare, and she believes that Aesthetics is one area that allows her to help a patient achieve their ideal artistic expression based on science. While Dr Vivian is always keen to accommodate her patients’ needs, she ensures that their welfare remains the utmost priority. This is why Dr Vivian is loved by her patients for always being meticulous and attentive to details.

Dr Vivian’s eye for beauty goes beyond aesthetics. Outside the clinic, Dr Vivian loves to spend her time in leather crafting and jewelry making, transforming basics into beauty. She also loves spending her quiet time exercising in the gym or chilling at home with her loved one.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Enhancement
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Dr. Lina Yow

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Acne and Acne Scarring
  • Skin Rejuvenation
  • Facial Lifting and Contouring

Dr. Lina Yow

  • MBBCH BAO
  • MRCS (Edinburgh)
  • Masters in Surgical Science
  • Diploma in Dermatology

Dr Yow graduated from Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom, with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. In addition, she has a Masters in Surgical Science from the University of Edinburgh and a membership from the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh). She underwent her initial years of surgical training in the United Kingdom before returning to Singapore in 2020.

Over the years, Dr Yow developed a growing interest in medical aesthetics as it is a fine art marrying science and clinical acumen to achieve a patient’s aesthetic goal. To further her knowledge and skills, she is constantly further educating herself and is also currently pursuing a diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff University, United Kingdom.

Dr Yow believes in the importance of an equal doctor-patient partnership. She aims to provide informed clinical knowledge to guide her patients to reach an optimal shared goal and achieve a more confident version of themselves. Her attention to detail and friendly manner led her to receive the Singapore Health Quality Service Award during her time in the public hospital, recognizing the high quality of care she has provided to her patients.

In her free time, Dr Yow enjoys spending quality time with her family. She also loves the outdoors and was previously part of her university rowing team. She keeps up her enjoyment of fitness through regular strength training, spin, and pilates.

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Acne and Acne Scarring
  • Skin Rejuvenation
  • Facial Lifting and Contouring
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Who is not suitable for lasers?

  • Currently pregnant or breast-feeding

  • Those with very tanned or dark skin

  • Those who are prone to scarring even after a minor injury

  • Heavy smokers as smoking decreases the capacity of the damaged skin to heal - smokers will be advised against smoking for at least two weeks pre and post laser skin resurfacing

  • People with acne, cold sores, as well as other skin disorders as the skin condition may worsen after laser resurfacing

How does laser work?

Lasers use a unique single wavelength of light to treat different targets (chromophores) in our skin. Our natural skin chromophores are melanin (pigmentation and hair), hemoglobin (blood vessels), and water (Skin cells and tissue).

By selecting the correct wavelength of light, we can target the specific problem on the patient’s skin.

The underlying concept is that specific laser wavelengths can be delivered to the skin in order to treat targeted structures while leaving the surrounding skin structures (hair, collagen, pigment, etc.) undamaged.

The benefits of laser therapy are:

  • Lightening or removal of pigmentation(eg. lentigines, freckles or melasma)
  • Lightening or removal of unsightly blood vessels
  • Tightening of the skin by heating of the middle layers of the skin
  • Permanent hair removal
  • Removal of skin growths on skin

Risks and Side Effects

Know that it is generally safe when handled by a board-certified healthcare practitioner or medical doctor in a proper clinic. However, anyone considering the procedure should be aware that laser skin resurfacing complications such as abnormal healing and infection (though quite rare) can happen. It can cause burns or other injuries due to the heat of the laser. Understand that those who undergo the procedure are also more prone to outbreaks of cold sores or acne, and some itching. There is also a risk of viral, bacterial and fungal infections following the treatment. You need to be aware of such risks even if they are not common and you may not experience any of these complications.

As a general rule, the bigger the area, the deeper the laser, and longer the recovery time. During recovery, your skin may be red and scab over with slight peeling. Ice packs may help to reduce any swelling. While you don’t need to be at home during the entire recovery process, do avoid places like the gym where there is greater risk of infection as there are more germs in such places.

Mild lower powered lasers have fast recovery times, generally a few days as they do not result in any side effects such as peeling or crusting of the skin. However, the more aggressive (ablative) lasers require a longer recovery period, with skin typically experiencing various stages of redness, crusting and peeling for one week. Risk of other side effects include burning, bumps, rash, swelling, infection and scars. After that, the skin may remain pink for up to another one to two weeks.

Before Your Procedure

  • Do inform your doctor if you are taking medications such as isotretinoin (Accutane) for acne as it may increase your risk for scars, or even aspirin as it can increase your risk of bleeding.

What can Laser do for you?

What can Laser do for you?

Rejuvenation of the skin on the face and neck

A combination approach (eg. Mosaic laser, Aerolase, Dual Yellow laser and the Pico-laser) may be recommended to improve the quality of your skin. These treatments stimulate remodelling (tightening and smoothing) of the skin and also target pigmentation(eg. sun-spots, freckles, melasma) and redness (facial telangiectasia or persistent redness) of the skin. Your healthcare practitioner or medical doctor may recommend a series of monthly treatments.

Laser for targeted pigmentation/tattoo removal

A series of monthly treatments using pigment specific lasers can be used to break down stubborn pigmentation of the skin. A quality-switched laser (Q-Switched) creates high-intensity pulsed beam light that lasts just a billionth of a second. The energy emitted from this laser is concentrated enough to shatter tiny fragments of pigmentation or ink, and stimulate collagen production.

Q-Switched lasers are best used for tattoo removal, freckles, birthmarks, moles and related pigmentation issues. A newer type of laser is the “picosecond” laser. The “Pico” in “PicoLasers” refers to Picosecond, which is one trillionth of a second. It differs from traditional Q-switched Lasers which fire laser beams in the nanosecond (billionth of a second) duration. Picosecond lasers are approximately ten times faster than nanosecond Q-switched lasers. This laser technology theoretically works more efficiently in targeting the specific tissues with less surrounding tissue damage.

Laser for permanent hair removal

A series of monthly treatments using the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser, which is the gold standard for laser hair removal, to address unwanted hair in the armpits, legs and the face.

Laser ablation of harmless skin growths (eg. seborrhoeic keratosis, benign moles, sebaceous hyperplasia)

Usually 1-2 treatments with the Erb: YAG laser will treat these problems. There is 1 week of downtime for the healing of the skin and patients need to stay away from prolonged sun-exposure for about 2 weeks. Makeup and topical sunscreen can be applied to the skin after 1 week.

Laser for unwanted blood vessels on the face

The Dual Yellow laser or the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser can be used to target cherry pink spots or purple tiny veins on the face, especially around the nose. A series of monthly sessions are arranged.

Laser for treatment of acne scarring on the face

A combination of ablative or nonablative lasers can be used to stimulate collagen remodelling of the skin causing tightening and smoothing of the scars. A combination of the fractional Erb;YAG laser with the Pico-laser in fractionated mode may be used to treat acne scars. Again, a series of monthly sessions are required.

What are the different types of Lasers?

What are the different types of Lasers?

Scientists have found that different wavelengths of light are selectively absorbed by different components in the skin. Therefore by selecting a unique wavelength, one can target a specific part of the skin with minimal collateral damage to the surrounding structures. Lasers can be roughly divided into several main categories.

Pigment removal lasers

Pigment removal lasers: Lasers like the QS-Nd:YAG and the pico-lasers use wavelengths to target melanin (pigment) or tattoo inks in the skin. Because of their unique properties of the light, they are able to fragment the pigment/ink particles into smaller particles for the skin's immune system to remove.

Hair removal lasers

Hair removal lasers: These are a subset of the pigment lasers and they can reach deeper into the skin, where the bulb of the hair is located, to selectively heat and destroy the cells around it.

Vascular lasers

Vascular lasers: These lasers target the red pigment in the blood vessels and destroy the blood vessels. Again the removal is done by the immune cells in the skin.

Skin-tightening lasers

Skin-tightening lasers: These lasers target water in the skin. They are divided into the ablative (those that vaporise the outer layer of the skin) and the non-ablative (those that leave the outer layer of the skin intact) lasers.

IDS Clinic seeks to provide the most effective & personalised laser therapy treatment plan for your condition.

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    FAQs About Laser Therapy

    How much improvement can I see after laser treatment?

    Generally, you can expect visible improvements of about 50% - 90%, depending on the type and severity. Having said that, if you have an extremely severe case of pigmentation, you are advised to moderate your expectation and not to expect completely clear, smooth skin after the treatment program. Do talk to your physician in-charge because compliance to their instructions is very crucial to getting the best results.

    How many sessions will I need?

    Depending on the extent of your pigmentation and the treatment level of your sessions, you may need anywhere from 5 to 10 sessions. The treatment may be repeated every 1 to 4 weeks, depending on the type, extent and severity of your pigmentation.

    Will there be any bleeding or downtime?

    Most of the laser treatments result in minimal to no downtime. There can be some redness of the skin for 1-2 days after a session.

    Lasers used to treat acne scars can result in longer downtime(eg 1 week). After the pico-laser treat there is swelling and pin-point bruising of the skin for about 1 week. The erbium YAG laser can result in scabbing of the skin for 1 week, followed by redness of the skin for another 2 weeks during the healing process.

    Ablation of skin growth can result in mild oozing of the treated areas. Gentle pressure for 3 minutes will stop the oozing.

    Are PICO laser treatments for hyperpigmentation painful?

    Contrary to belief, Pico Laser treatments are actually very comfortable. To reduce any sensation, a numbing cream can be applied on the skin prior to the laser session. It feels like a warm and gentle pricking sensation on the skin.