Review: Pigmentation Removal @ Niks Maple Laser Clinic (Part 3)
After two months of being on prescribed skincare products, I got the green light to laser off my unsightly pigments. For now, there are only 2 aesthetic clinics in Singapore offering the latest Picosure laser for pigmentation removal. Niks Maple Laser Clinic at Orchard Central is one of them. Eight weeks of strict skincare regime has helped to balance and prep my skin to its optimum condition ideal for laser treatment.
Before The Procedure
I arrived at the clinic an hour before the scheduled procedure. Rani, one of Dr Ong’s many friendly clinic attendants, led me into a preparation room. First, there is a consent form to sign. Then, I had to remove all my makeup. This was immediately followed by the application of numbing cream. Lastly, my face was shrink-wrapped like one would wrap leftover ham before putting it into the fridge.
Let’s pause here. I would recommend a couple of useful tips:
- Empty your bladder before going to the clinic. I made the mistake of not going to the washroom before having my face plastered with face numbing cream and wrapped with food seal. Needless to say, the walk out of the clinic to the mall’s washroom was met with many curious stares. I looked like someone who walked into a thin transparent shower curtain which got glued to the face.
- Leave your makeup at home. Don’t bother wearing makeup because you have to wash it off once you arrive. I wore my usual waterproof eye makeup to the appointment and it took what-felt-like-forever to scrub off completely. Note that the clinic provides a generic cream cleanser but no makeup remover. The rounds of cleansing and rinsing was an unnecessary step that ate into the face-numbing time; which honestly, is more important.
45 minutes later, Rani led me into the laser room and Dr Ong walked in. She gave me a smile, verbally walked me through the procedure and asked if I had any questions.
“Is it going to be painful?” I asked. “No. At the very most, you will feel a little hot biting sensation.” she replied while smacking on surgical gloves and wore what seems like two layers of gigantic sunglasses. Rani placed a pair of mini googles over my eyes and I heard the gentle murmurs of the Picosure machine kickstart.
She started the first laser zap test on the side of my right cheek. I had a little jump and survived. For the rest of the 20-minute procedure, it felt like tiny electric ants biting me. I laid quietly too afraid to move thinking to myself that this is not half as bad as having a Brazilian wax. If I were to rate the pain threshold, a Brazilian wax is 8 and Picosure laser is 3. I did not even break a sweat!
Dr Ong travelled around my face zapping away pigmented spots whilst areas of my skin started to feel really warm. A deliciously cold gel pack was dabbed around my face giving great relieve to the increasing heat sensation on my skin.
The procedure finished with a thorough face laser sweep. I was told this step is beneficial once the pigmented spots fall off to give my complexion a well-balanced tone and appearance.
No more than another 10 minutes later, we were done. Dr Ong left the room. Rani helped me off the table. She warned me that my face will be temporarily red and swollen. I bee-lined to the nearest mirror and gave myself…a fright! My face was in an angry red patchy swollen state. Honestly, I looked like someone with full blown facial chicken pox. Sensing my nervous panic, Rani handed me a respiratory face mask to save me from my shocked self and more embarrassing stares on my way home. She assured me it will subside in a couple of hours. Frankly, I was not too confident. It was 8pm.
After The Procedure
Two hours later, the numbness on my face had completely worn off. I was beginning to feel normal again. I took another look at myself in the bathroom mirror. The angry red hot patches had nearly gone; replaced by a deep crimson pink. The swelling had also subsided a little with my pigment spots appearing much, much darker. Dr Ong told me that would be so for a week before they drop off. It was 10pm.
Let’s pause here again. I would share a few good-to-know points:
- Expect redness and swelling right after the procedure. No matter how intensely red, swollen and blotchy your face looks right after the procedure, do not panic. It will subside in a couple of hours. This is hard to believe because I remembered looking at my face right after the procedure thinking ‘this-was-a-very-VERY-bad-mistake‘. Dr Ong confidently said tomorrow will be better and in a week, my complexion will be beautiful. At the time, she could have told me I won the Miss Singapore pageant and I would still have sobbed from misery.
- Arrange private transport home. Whether you grab a taxi or drive yourself, make sure you have a plan on how you are going to go home after the procedure – preferably in the least public way to avoid unnecessary stares.
- Give it a chance (at least a week). Once you notice the redness and puffiness have gone (which is overnight), your pigment spots WILL appear much darker. Like small patches of burnt skin. Again, don’t panic. Stick to Dr Ong’s skincare instructions and give it a week. Your skin will need that time to rid the pigment, recover, renew and rejuvenate with new cells.
These before-and-after photos are NOT edited. In the photos where I am seen wearing makeup, it is only on the eyes. The area to compare is around my cheeks where majority of the pigmentation resides.
Before Picosure Laser: Left side with no makeup. This photo was taken just before laser procedure.
After Picosure Laser: Right side with eye makeup (only). This photo was taken 10 days after laser procedure.From the photos, it is easy to see that my left side is almost spotless. Pigmentation spots on the right side of my face have faded lightly but still casting a visible shadow. I need one more round to target those stubborn spots. Having said that, for pigmentation that I have suffered and tolerated with for at least ten years and this being only my first round of removal with Picosure, I personally rate this – a seriously huge success!
Overall, my complexion has brighten up as well. Since the Picosure laser removal, I have been getting a lot of compliments from friends and acquaintances telling me my skin looks noticeably brighter (without knowing what treatment I had undergone). This procedure cost $700 per round and the result was worth doing. I am kicking myself for not embarking on this earlier.
My next Picosure laser treatment is in 3 weeks. Stay tuned for the next update!
For more information on Niks Maple Laser Clinic, go to their website or clinic at:
181 Orchard Road
#05-34 Orchard Central
Tel: +65 62359428
Mon – Fri: 9am-8pm
Sun & PH: Closed