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Acne Can Be An Embarrassing Issue, Especially Given The Weather In Singapore. What Can You Do About It?

especially-given-the-weather-in-singapore

Acne Can Be An Embarrassing Issue, Especially Given The Weather In Singapore. What Can You Do About It?

What Is Acne?

Commonly believed to be only prevalent in teenagers, acne actually affects a broad range of age groups. Simply put, it is known as a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles are clogged by oil, dead skin cells and other impurities. Most people manage to outgrow acne by their late teens but some continue with this lifetime affliction. Types of acne can include whiteheads, blackheads, red bumps or pus-filled lumps. They appear mostly on the face but some also appear on the back, chest, shoulders and neck. In serious cases this could include larger solid lumps under the skin which causes pain.

What Causes Acne?

  • Acne can be caused by hormonal changes, especially during puberty. At this point, the sebaceous glands enlarge and produce more sebum as it is stimulated by the increase in androgens.
  • Medications that contain corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium can cause a higher possibility of acne appearing.
  • Eating some foods such as carbohydrate rich foods (bread, bagels, chips, rice) can make acne worse.
  • Stress is not a main cause of acne but it can exacerbate it.

Common Acne Complications

Complications for acne include scars such as pitted skin (acne scars), thick scars (keloids) and skin changes (lighter or darker skin that is known as hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation).

Types of acne scars include:

  • Boxcar – wide and U-shaped scars
  • Ice pick – narrow V shaped scars with depth or small round/oval holes like chickenpox scars
  • Rolling – wide depressions with rounded edges and an irregular appearance
  • Hypertrophic – raised scars that happen mostly with chest and back acne, standing above nearby skin and caused by collage overproduction during the healing process
  • Dark spots – discoloration left behind and may fade away

How Can I Treat My Acne?

There are available in-clinic solutions for acne.

  • Dermabrasion – The use of a wire brush or wheel to deeply exfoliate the top layer of the skin and promote regeneration. It is ideal for shallow scars close to the skin surface and able to achieve some effect for deeper scars
  • Chemical peels – A chemical acid is applied onto the skin to remove the top layer of skin and reduce the appearance of deeper scars. This would be suitable for all types of acne scars.
  • Laser resurfacing – It is an ablative laser facial which removes the top layer of the skin. It has minimal downtime as compared to other types of resurfacing treatments. It is effective if the breakout has stopped completely.
  • Fillers – An experienced doctor uses fillers to fill acne scars and to improve overall skin texture. Fillers contain hyaluronic acid which is a natural component in your skin. The filler helps to fill depressions and smoothen overall skin texture. Fillers are not a permanent fix and need to be redone once every 6 to 18 months.
  • Microneedling – The process consists of a small roller or pen with microneedles to puncture the skin and encourage it to heal, producing new collagen growth. This treatment takes a few sessions to see improvements but it is generally a safe treatment.
  • Injections – Corticosteroids can be used by injecting them into raised scars, achieving the result of softening and flattening the scar.
  • Subcision– Noticeable scars can be reduced by inserting a blunt cannula needle. The needle removes the scar tissues under the skin making it less visible.

How Can I Treat My Acne?

There are available in-clinic solutions for acne.

  • Dermabrasion – The use of a wire brush or wheel to deeply exfoliate the top layer of the skin and promote regeneration. It is ideal for shallow scars close to the skin surface and able to achieve some effect for deeper scars
  • Chemical peels – A chemical acid is applied onto the skin to remove the top layer of skin and reduce the appearance of deeper scars. This would be suitable for all types of acne scars.
  • Laser resurfacing – It is an ablative laser facial which removes the top layer of the skin. It has minimal downtime as compared to other types of resurfacing treatments. It is effective if the breakout has stopped completely.
  • Fillers – An experienced doctor uses fillers to fill acne scars and to improve overall skin texture. Fillers contain hyaluronic acid which is a natural component in your skin. The filler helps to fill depressions and smoothen overall skin texture. Fillers are not a permanent fix and need to be redone once every 6 to 18 months.
  • Microneedling – The process consists of a small roller or pen with microneedles to puncture the skin and encourage it to heal, producing new collagen growth. This treatment takes a few sessions to see improvements but it is generally a safe treatment.
  • Injections – Corticosteroids can be used by injecting them into raised scars, achieving the result of softening and flattening the scar.
  • Subcision– Noticeable scars can be reduced by inserting a blunt cannula needle. The needle removes the scar tissues under the skin making it less visible.
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