READERS QUESTIONS ANSWERED Dr Georgia Lee Tips on Managing Burns and Other Effects of Red Lights

Dr Georgia Lee, founder and medical director of TLC Lifestyle Practice answers burning questions by a reader of Simplibeauty, T Adams:
Credit: nenetus/

What can I do if a burn mark is seen after using a skin gadget that treats skin with red light for four minutes on an area?
Cool down the area with cool compress and apply topical steroid ointment, if it is available. If topical steroid ointment is not available, try pure aloe vera gel or DrGL Restore Gel Mask as a gel. Continue using the topical steroidal ointment or a gentle skin soothing gel for a few days and stop when the redness settles. Treat any post inflammation hyperpigmentation, if it occurs later. Try products containing vitamin C and avoid unnecessary unprotected sun exposure. Note that hyperpigmentation can happen to anyone who is susceptible; especially in Asian and people of colour. For those who fall into this category, even superficial burns can lead to hyperpigmentation.
Seek medical help if needed.
However, if the burn has open wound or abrasion, apply cold compress with clean sterile gauze if available, apply antibiotic ointment and seek medical help early.

Four things to note when using anti-ageing gadgets using red light:
1 To be on the safe side, first time users should always do a test area first and wait a few minutes before embarking to treat the whole face.
2 If glycolic acid laced products are part of your regular skincare regime, avoid using these products on the day of the device application. If total avoidance of such skincare is not practical, reduce the contact time of the device.
3 If you are using strong medical grade acne medication, avoid areas where it is applied as this can sensitise the skin and cause it to be more susceptible to burns. 4 In areas with hyperpigmentation or redness, the area in contact with the device may reach a higher temperature faster and cause the area to be more susceptible to burns.

Do you have UV allergy?
If you have UV allergy, you would usually find hives and rashes after sun exposure. In this case, note that skin may have lower heat tolerance and thus have a higher risk of burns.
For skin that has suffered a burn, switch to a gentler skincare as most skincare are designed for intact skin and applying it to the exposed inner skin layer can irritate and potentially sensitise the skin to the same product in future. Try DRGL Cleanser Sensitive and DRGL Restore Gel Mask.
Having mentioned that, Dr Lee is quick to add that it is best to avoid any skincare over the burn area, especially if there is an open wound. Even when the skin has healed, avoid using AHA or renewal antiaging product over the newly healed area as it can still be sensitive and may slow down the recovery phase. If you have sensitive skin and the area affected is small, splashing water over that the affected area is enough to cleanse it.  

How will gadgets that treat skin with red light hurt the eyes?
There is no study to show that red light from such gadgets can cause macular degeneration in the eyes. That being said, it is best to avoid using it too near to the eyes as the glare and heat (40°C to 41°C) may increase the risk of cataract over prolonged period of time. Also the state of heating the eyeball when treating periorbital area as regular as twice a week may have adverse effect in the long run.

Dr Georgia Lee
TLC Lifestyle Practice is located at 9 Scotts Road, #11-04/05 Pacific Plaza. S 228210.
Make an appointment at 6462 0083.

Dr Lee’s skincare line is available online at 

Simplibeauty Team would like to thank T Adams for writing in. Hope your skin recovers well.  Stay youthful always.

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