Empowering women’s wellness isn’t just about leading a healthy lifestyle and doing regular kegel exercises! As we age, women experience varied intimate symptoms like vaginal dryness and incontinence. We speak to dermatologist DR CONI LIU on why vaginal rejuvenation is increasingly popular, and a hot new treatment that’s a non-surgical game changer for women’s health.
Why did you become a dermatologist?
I’ve always been fascinated by the changes skin can undergo, from rashes to blisters, and ageing, as well as the ever-evolving treatment options. I find them both challenging and exciting. So it felt natural to take the six-year postgraduate training to become an accredited dermatologist.
What’s the vision for your clinic?
I co-founded DermAlly, and we opened our first satellite clinic in Katong. Our aim is to provide consultation and treatment by accessible skin specialists to all. Later, we opened our hybrid clinic at Camden, which offers safe and effective aesthetic treatments delivered by dermatologists. Women’s dermatology is a sub-specialty – we take care of skin concerns in the intimate area such as genital conditions and rejuvenation. By design we have an all-women team of doctors and therapists.
What intimate symptoms do women experience in various stages of life?
The most common concern is vulva eczema, which can be caused by contact allergy, over-washing or using the wrong cream. Secondly, women deal with age-related changes, with loss of collagen leading to vaginal dryness, recurrent infections, laxity, sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
Why is vaginal rejuvenation popular and what are the treatments?
To understand vaginal rejuvenation, we can draw parallels to facial rejuvenation. Skin on the face (and vagina) undergoes loss of collagen and elastin, which leads to laxity, reduced ability for repair, and susceptibility to sensitivity and infections. One key treatment goal is restoring collagen production and strengthening the skin barrier. Current treatment options are mainly aesthetic-driven: whitening or laser resurfacing, sometimes combined with surgery for functional improvement.
Tell us about the new EmpowerRF treatment.
We’re the first clinic in Singapore to have introduced the EmpowerRF, a platform with multiple technologies that complement each other to improve muscle tone, rejuvenate the intravaginal area and treat urinary incontinence. Treatment goals are to improve function by reducing vaginal dryness, restore skin barrier, improve laxity, and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. As a happy by-product, aesthetics are improved as well.
The EmpowerRF has three specialised pain-free treatment handpieces:
#1 The Morpheus8 V uses the same technology as a the popular Morpheus8 for face and body. A triple action of electrocoagulation, collagenous tissue contraction, and sub-necrotic bulk heating targets the vaginal and vulva dermal layer to stimulate collagen and elastin.
#2 The Vtone uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to stimulate pelvic floor muscles, akin to Kegel exercises. The probe is the first to be placed right at the pelvic floor muscles – much more direct than existing treatments. It delivers maximum intravaginal contractions and improves stress incontinence.
#3 The FormaV provides gentle radio frequency (RF) stimulation to complement the Morpheus8 V. The metabolic thermal stimulation activates the glands and improves dryness, laxity and sexual dysfunction.
What should a woman expect when coming in for treatment?
A detailed assessment will be done to determine an optimal and fully customised treatment protocol. This protocol runs from six weeks to three months, with varying intensity. I tried and tested it myself and was pleasantly surprised for a treatment with this efficacy to find that pain is minimal with almost no downtime. Results show improvement of symptoms lasting for three years after a completed course. And no need for a million kegel exercises!
What other conditions do you treat?
General dermatology like eczema, skin cancer, skin surgery, as well as cosmetic dermatology with lasers, non-invasive lifting with energy-based devices like Morpheus8 and HIFU, Botox, fillers and thread lifts.
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