It was my quest for a Kedah-based dermatologist that initially brought me to the Celine Tan Clinic. As one who spends a lot of time in the sun, skin cancer is always a concern and an annual look-see by a skin specialist is the best way to keep that in check. During non-pandemic times my previous medical needs have been taken care of in Penang or Kuala Lumpur, but with limited travel being required, the closest ‘big city’ to my present base camp of Langkawi Island, Malaysia was Alor Setar, Kedah. And if you Google dermatology in Kedah, Celine Tan is one of the top listings for skin doctors in Alor Setar.
But what I noticed among the lists of skin clinics I found listed, that ‘skin enhancement’ treatments were being pushed; Botox, fillers, chemical peels and strange sounding non-invasive, laser treatments. In fact, many of the clinics I looked at online didn’t even have a dermatologist on staff. Skin cancer checkups should be done by medical doctors, not aestheticians. At least that’s my personal opinion and preference. So, I booked an appointment with the Celine Tan Clinic to see their onsite dermatologist Dr. Loh.
And thus, began my journey into the fascinating world of medical aesthetics and lasers.
Once I arrived in Alor Setar the clinic was just a short ride from downtown. The neighborhood is a bit weather beaten, but the Celine Tan Clinic is anything but. Super clean and state of the art everything. The team at Celine Tan Clinic are very professional and, as their website mentions, compassionate. They have great patience too.
As I sat in the waiting room, thumbing through a few brochures, I couldn’t help but notice the walls were filled with beautiful people. Larger than life fresh faced, women (and men) peering down at me from posters. I suddenly felt ancient and tired. The stress and strain of the pandemic ‘experience’ seems to have more recently accelerated time, especially on my face. Thankfully masks are trending this year, so few even see beyond my eyes. But I’ve certainly noticed it.
Although I was initially at the clinic for a skin checkup, I couldn’t help but now be curious about all the new-fangled aesthetic treatments they also offered. I was only familiar with Botox and other treatments that involved scary needles. And the famously circulated images of various celebrity plastic surgery botch jobs is enough to keep me away from any such ‘beauty’ treatments. No thanks.
However, the mention of non-invasive, needle-less options really piqued my interest.
I had a non-hurried sit-down chat with Dr. Celine Tan herself. As if she had all the time in the world to patiently answer my battery of queries and listen to my concerns. Once passed my skin cancer concerns, she explained in comprehensible layman terms about their non-invasive laser therapies using Fotana brand technology. The same brand used on Hollywood elites. In a basic nut shell the laser stimulates collagen from the outside to rejuvenate and tighten skin.
But the Fotana 4D Non-invasive laser ‘face lifting’ technology is much more than that.
Fotana 4D technology uses four different lasers that are adjusted to provide precise treatment based on the individual’s needs. When combined, the results are enhanced skin tone and texture including diminished wrinkles and age spots. Depending on your individual treatment, there is basically no down time either. Maybe a little pinkish or microscopically flaky, but likely only you will even notice.
The clinic’s dermatologist, Dr. Loh, did my skin cancer checkup. And after getting a clean bill of health in that department, it was time to go under the laser. Was I afraid? Yes, a little. I was also skeptical. Dr. Tan recommended three initial treatments for me, spaced out by three to four weeks, so I figured what did I have to lose. The treatments were certainly affordable and anything to make me feel just a little bit better about myself (and pandemic life in general); priceless.
I donned the protective eye gear and hoped for the best. As the machine whirled, Dr. Tan explained what she was doing as we proceeded. In my mind I couldn’t even imagine what the laser looked like as it felt as if something was physically touching my skin. The warm light beam caressing my face did not feel like light. But it was relaxing. It was also pain-free.
Thirty minutes or so later my treatment was complete. I asked Dr. Tan to show me the ‘procedure’ on my leg so I could see what it looked like. Wow. A red dot laser. Looked so simple yet the machine attached to it was a complicated looking alien.
Maybe it was my wishful thinking but even immediately after my treatment I saw improvement. And to be honest, even ‘thinking’ I looked better is a good thing. It can be spiritually uplifting. I was impressed and it was only treatment session one.
Other than a bit of stinging when applying face cream later, I experienced no negative post-treatment symptoms. Every day I inspected my face for change. Some days I looked more improved than other days, but overall, I did see diminished wrinkles and a fading of dark spots. It was enough to make me excited to return for sessions two and three.
Did I take before and after photos? Yes, sort of. But no, I’m not going to post any before photos of myself. I’m far too shy for that. However, over the course of about two months, I returned to the Celine Tan Clinic for the further recommended treatments because I could see that it was working.
My third session was a bit stronger than the first two and it was explained to me that I would have a ‘down time’ of about five days. I envisioned people cowering at the sight of me, but that was far from reality. The reality was that my face was a little pink and my skin looked a bit drier due to microscopic flaking. On post-treatment day six I could absolutely see improvements. My cheeks slightly plumper, dark spots faded (even more) and further diminishing of wrinkles. Amazing. Overall a fascinating treatment and process.
My Celine Tan Clinic experience has thus far been very positive. I appreciate their ability to hand-hold a worrier like me, with respect and without judgement. But it’s not all about beauty at the Celine Tan Clinic, they also deal with skin diseases that affect all ages and sexes; acne, eczema, psoriasis, keloids, and more.
For anyone suffering with chronic skin conditions (especially highly visible skin conditions), I can only imagine the public discomfort and self-consciousness they endure daily. Maybe I have a few wrinkles and age spots, but that doesn’t compare to severe acne or eczema. Blessedly, modern technology has arrived and there is hope for all of us. There is no shame in wanting to look and feel our best. And I, for one, will definitely be returning to the Celine Tan Clinic for all of my future dermatology and skin care needs. Visit their website for details of their services HERE
Celine Tan Clinic
19 Ground Floor, Kompleks Perniagaan Gangsa
Jalan Gangsa, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
WhatsApp: +60 16-291 5711
Tel: 04-731 6711
Open: 0900 to 1800 (Closed on Tuesdays)