Although mainly a cosmetic concern that doesn’t cause any significant health effects, many worldwide are troubled by hyperpigmentation and would do anything to have it treated. This is especially so in Asia, where having fair and clear skin is highly coveted and valued.
While it is possible for hyperpigmentation problems to fade and disappear on their own, taking an active approach is highly recommended if it is causing you to suffer from low self-esteem and other psychosocial repercussions.
There are 3 main types of hyperpigmentation that are particularly common in Singapore, namely:
1) Freckles: Most common in young people, it is often exacerbated by sun exposure.
2) Melasma: Mainly triggered by age and hormonal factors and sun exposure.
3)Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): Mainly occurs after injury, inflammation or infection to the skin (e.g. acne outbreaks, using the wrong skincare products).
And if we were to summarize hyperpigmentation into one sentence, it would be this: hyperpigmentation is the result of the skin’s overproduction of melanin.
Fortunately, there is a solution that has been making headway to effectively reduce and fade stubborn pigmentation – all without undergoing any form of invasive procedures or adverse side effects.
All hail Cyspera, otherwise known as the world’s first Cysteamine Cream – a powerful and effective skin pigment corrector that is safe for long-term use.
Without further ado, here’s the whole spiel on everything you should, and need to know about this miracle solution.
Note: not to be confused, Cyspera and Cysteamine Cream will be used interchangeably throughout this article, but they essentially mean the same thing.
What is Cyspera?
Thanks to a leading dermatology research company from Switzerland called Scientis Pharma, the world’s first and only cysteamine-based cream has been developed.
Cysteamine is a natural antioxidant that is found in the body, and has been proven to be a safe and effective depigmenting ingredient for solving hyperpigmentation while lightening the skin – producing a uniform skin complexion. It has actually long been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human use to treat cystinosis (a rare genetic disorder), but has never been formulated for topical use due to its unpleasant and pungent odour.
If you remember what we said about hyperpigmentation and excess melanin production, you will be glad to know that cysteamine works simply because it effectively reduces melanin in the skin. It also inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for converting dopamine to melanin.
Not only is it a safe, highly bio-compatible and non-carcinogenic solution that has been clinically-proven, the benefit to risk ratio is superior compared to other products in the market. The best part about cysteamine cream is that it can be applied on any skin type, as well as to other parts of the body. Ideal for long-term use, this makes it the prime choice in established clinics and amongst expert doctors alike.
Available at The Clifford Clinic, Cyspera is highly recommended to our patients who suffer from hyperpigmentation issues, including those searching for acne scar treatment in Singapore.
The Research supporting Cyspera
It all started in the 1960s, when a group of researchers discovered the potency of cysteamine in correcting pigmentation. Later in 1968, this was again proven by researchers who further confirmed the efficacy of topical cysteamine as a pigment corrector.
There have been plenty of studies showing the same outcomes over the years. In 2013, the American Academy of Dermatology published data that set cysteamine cream as the new standard for hyperpigmentation concerns over other solutions that have been used for decades.
In 2015, the British Journal of Dermatology also conducted a study that showed proof of the high depigmenting effectiveness of cysteamine cream due to its efficacy in reducing melanin.
Results of using Cyspera
Depending on your skin condition, patients have reported initial improvements in just 6 weeks, after applying Cyspera conscientiously once a day. Optimal results tend to come in after 2 to 3 months – after which, application of the cream just twice a week is enough to maintain results.
In 90% of cases, users noticed moderate to significant improvements in their skin after using Cyspera, with a 77% reduction in the Melanin Index. Reading reports and testimonials, it is not hard to come across users raving about how impressed they are with the product and the relief that it has brought in their lives.
However, it is important to note that the ultimate outcome is closely related to the persistence, consistence and exposure to applying Cyspera over a given period of time, as compared to the duration it is used daily. While there are currently no alarming side effects, mild irritation has been reported in a few cases, which is why it is highly recommended that Cyspera be used for 15 minutes (a completely normal, warm and tingly sensation may happen and last up to 30 minutes).
Cyspera VS. other types of medication
There is currently a plethora of treatments available on the market for treatment of pigmentation concerns such as melasma. Given that a common side effect of cystic acne is PIH, it isn’t uncommon to see similar medications being prescribed to those undergoing acne treatment in Singapore.
Here is a list of the most common types:
1) Topical retinols and retinoids: ideal for those with less severe pigmentation issues.
2) Hydroquinone (2% or 4% depending on where it is obtained): the gold standard for treating hyperpigmentation – up until Cyspera came along.
3) Triple cream: a triple, medical-grade combination cream containing hydroquinone, tretinoin and a steroid to boost the effects of the treatment.
4) Kojic acid, azelaic acid or ascorbic acid (Vitamin C): Studies have revealed that 15%-20% azelaic acid has been very effective and safe in treating melasma, although the results are significantly less impressive than 4% hydroquinone. No major complications have ever been reported with azelaic acid.
5) Laser therapy, chemical peels and microdermabrasion: For more severe cases of pigmentation; however, isn’t the ideal solution due to the light and heat that is used that could possibly worsen the skin.
While these treatments are not entirely equal – the most highly debated types tend to lean towards cysteamine cream versus hydroquinone. Both of them are similar in their properties, since both agents work precisely to inhibit the excessive production of melanin.
A quick background on hydroquinone: regarded as the gold standard for treating hyperpigmentation, numerous safety concerns have been brought to light in regard to its use over the years. Claims include detrimental mutagenic and cancer-causing side effects, as well as ochronosis – where high concentrations of hydroquione result in the greyish appearance of the skin overtime. In Europe, hydroquione is banned for use as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, simply due to the lack of proof in regard to long-term toxicology effects. While not as serious, side effects such as skin redness, blisters, dryness and discoloration of the skin can also occur during treatment.
That being said, cysteamine cream provides the same benefits of hydroquione – all without experiencing any harmful side effects. In fact, numerous studies have found compelling results, revealing cysteamine as even more effective than hydroquione in its depigmenting results, with signs that show its potential for suppressing cancer.
Our take on Cyspera
Singaporeans, and women in particular, are highly susceptible to issues such as freckles, melasma and PIH – especially while living in a tropical climate such as Singapore. Often, patients have the misconception that the more expensive or “technological” the solution is, the better.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While results can also be achieved with laser treatments such as Pico lasers, in many cases, having the right sunscreen product by your side and using it diligently is all you need to prevent and cure your pigmentation woes.
Ultimately, getting your skin diagnosed by an experienced doctor who is able to accurately diagnose your skin condition from the get-go is key.