I am not blessed with good skin. My face is oily and acne-prone. Throughout my teenage years, I was constantly plagued with sporadic pimple outbursts, leaving behind reddish acne scars for life. It got worse when I was enrolled in National Service and undergoing my basic military training course. We had to put on lots of camouflage paint on our face and sweat it out in the jungle. I remember one of my nasty course instructor gave me the nickname “Archie”, making fun of my reddish acne scars which look like freckles from afar like the popular freckle-faced American comic character, Archie Andrew.

The nickname sticks with me and I hated having my photos taken, especially up-close shots. You know those magnifying mirrors you find in the bathroom of hotel rooms? Those need to be banned. It gives me nightmare when I see my magnified acne scars. I also hated stepping into the cosmetic department at departmental stores which are always extremely bright-lit so as to make those with bad skin feel even more insecure and have all our flaws amplified gazillion times.

Enter Discovery PICO – a solution to help hapless souls like me discover better skin.

A full disclosure, I was sponsored for two sessions of treatment with Discovery PICO and prior to this, I have not undergone any sort of other laser facial treatment before.

I did some research beforehand and learned that the same technology deployed by Discovery PICO is also used for tattoo removal.

Via the official website:

“Discovery PICO represents the second generation of picosecond lasers that due to its proprietary technology, is the most innovative medical laser available today in the market. It has an Nd:YAG double-wavelength laser source emitting at both 1064nm and 532 nm.”

It is said to be able to treat different tattoo colours as well as superficial and deep pigmented lesions. It addresses skin problems such as melasma, sun spots, age sports, freckles, birthmarks and unwanted tattoos, to make the skin look brighter and smoother. For me, the treatment was to remove the reddish and blackish acne scarring left behind from my teenage years.

​How does the Discovery PICO work?

When the laser light is being absorbed by the pigmented lesions, the light will vibrate and break the pigment into the smallest particles, in thin “dust” form. As compared to the traditional Q-switch Nanosecond YAG laser, the Discovery PICO machine works in ultrashort picosecond pulses which is 100x shorter pulse duration than in nanosecond. The tiny particles will then be easily eliminated by the body immune system.

Is the procedure painful?

Based on individual’s pain tolerance and location of the pigmented lesion, most people are able to tolerate the lasers sessions without much discomfort. Patients will feel the pulses as quick tingling sensations, like very tiny rubber bands snapped against the skin. Sometimes, the doctor would advise to apply a topical numbing cream to the lesions for numbing before the treatment.

I did not find the procedure painful at all for both sessions. I visited EHA Clinic for both sessions and numbing cream was applied prior to the treatments. It went by quickly and was over before I realise it.

Is there any side effects?

After the treatment, the area may be redden and swollen. However, it will subside in several hours. As an exclusive feature of this laser machine, the photo-thermal effect enables to gently warm the targeted tissues for collagen rebuilding, make the skin brighter and firmer.

I was told that I would have downtime of one to three days but for both sessions, it subsided by the next morning. I went for both treatments in the evening and was left with a very red face when I stepped out but this would become barely noticeable by the next day. The aesthetic doctor at EHA clinic prescribed a soothing cream which I will apply for a week or so after each treatment.

By around a week after, the redness will be gone and the effect of the treatment will become obvious, with much better skin pigmentation.

To be sure, this is not a magic potion to get rid of acne scars forever. If so, celebrities and rich people with bad skin would have gotten their faces fixed long ago. What it did for me was to get rid of the reddish and blackish marks of the acne scar areas. No more Archie Andrew and that to me, is a very satisfactory result.

If you are interested to try the treatment for yourself, below is the list of clinics offering Discover PICO treatment in Singapore:

Ageless Aesthetic Medical Centre
301 Upper Thomson Road #02-18 Thomson Plaza Singapore 574408
6452 0368

Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic
501 Orchard Road #05-11 Wheelock Place Singapore 238880
6732 4981

Dr Steven Ang Aesthetics and Laser Clinic
304 Orchard Road Orchard Medical Specialist Centre Suite #05-29 Singapore 248362
6476 7333/ 6737 8182

Blk 75D Redhill Road #01-86 Singapore 154075
6476 7333

EHA Clinic
1 Scotts Road #15-01 Shaw Centre Singapore 228208
6235 3325

Prive Clinic
390 Orchard Road #03-03 Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871
6737 0755