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Acne or commonly known as ‘pimples’ or ‘zits’ is the most common skin concern in Singapore. Acne is a pesky skin problem that commences at puberty which can be persistent and affect adults in their 20s to 30s (Adult Acne).
In most cases, if not properly treated, acne can leave permanent scars on your skin, which can be very difficult and tedious to remove. When it comes to treating acne, it is best to start early!
Medically known as Acne Vulgaris, it is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with sebum and dead skin cells.
Acne can occur almost everywhere! The most common spots for breakouts are the face, particularly around the cheeks and forehead.
Acne involves the oil glands at the base of your hair follicles that produces sebum. The sebum produced functions as a protective coat on skin’s surface and carries your dead cells to the surface of the skin via your hair follicles.
Acne developes when there is an over production of sebum, leading to a build up, blocking your pores. In short:
Every comedone and inflamed pimple begins as a microcomedo. Microcomedones are the smallest of all acne, it is invisible to the naked eye, are the “seeds” which later emerge as larger comedones.
Non Inflammatory Acne: As it emerge into comedones, we have closed and open comedones – closed comedones are known as whiteheads, are small plugged follicles which the contents of it are not exposed to the skin. Open comedones or blackheads are small follicles with dilated openings to the skin, allowing oxidation of the content within the follicle.
Inflammatory Acne: Inflammation occur when acne bacteria (Propionibacterium Acnes) triggers an inflammatory response that results in redness and swelling of hair follicle. This is when the comedones develop into papules or pustules. When left untreated, it triggers a deeper inflammatory response with increased swelling, developing into nodules or cysts. Scarring is likely to happen after.
Acne is primarily a hormonal condition, driven by androgen hormones which usually become active during the teenage and young adult years. Combining with bacteria on the surface of your skin can easily result in acne.
You can get Acne in your 20s, 30s, 40s and it can happen to both male and female. 80% of teenagers suffer from Acne but usually stablize when older, some may continue into adulthood.
These are the common factors that causes acne which includes:
There are many effective treatment options for Active Acne that had been proven repeatedly by medical studies.
We offer laser treatments for acne prone skin. The laser energy mildy exfoliate the skin and help with oil control, unclogging pores, mainly kills P. acne. It also brighten the skin and lighten post-inflammatory acne marks.
Topical retinoids such as Tretinoin, Adapalene, Tazarotene, are a class of prescription medications used to control comedonal acne (blackheads and whiteheads).
Antibacterial agents such as Benzoyl peroxide, Clindamycin, Erythromycin are a group of antibiotics that fight against pathogenic bacteria, by killing or reducing the metabolic activity of bacteria.
Keratolytic agents such as Salicylic acid, Hydroxy acid, Azelaic acid are compounds that break down the outer layer of the skin and unplugging blocked skin pores to allow pimples to shrink.
Oral antibiotics such as Doxycyline, Tetracycline, Minocycline, Erythromycin is to reduce the amount of P. acnes bacteria on your skin and lessen inflammation.
Oral isotretinoin is a Retinoid often used for the treatment of severe nodulocystic acne that has not responded to other acne medicines. It reduces the oil gland activity and clears inflammation.
Hormonal therapy such as Oral contraceptive pills and Spironolactone is prescribed to prevent break outs by blocking or suppressing the relevant hormones.
Acne scars are the result of untreated inflammatory acne. Unlike active acne, acne scars can be difficult to remove and requires multiple treatments and patience!
Once an acne scar is formed, without treatment, the condition is permanent! The good thing is there are Acne Scar Treatments available in Singapore to permanently remove it when performed by professionals correctly.
When acne penetrates the skin deeply, the pore swells, causing a break in the follicle wall which damages the skin and tissue beneath.
As your skin heals to clear the acne, it produces Collagen-A substance to give the skin support, causing scars to form. The type of scar formed, depends on how much collagen your body makes.
Atrophic Acne Scars: This happens when the skin produces too little collagen, depressions or pits are form as the skin heals.
Hypertrophic Acne Scars: This happens when the skin produces too much collagen as it tries to heal the skin and underlying tissue.
We are unable to predict who will develop acne scars but people with these factors are likely to see acne scars when their acne clears:
Different Acne Scar Treatment is targetted at different type of acne scars. Proper assessment and doctor consultation will determine the correct combination of treatments for the best clinical outcome.
Using laser and heat energy to break down stubborn scar tissue for collagen remodelling to smooth out skin texture and improve the apperance of acne scars.
Different intensities is used for the various type of acne scars with different downtime and recommended number of sessions. Continual improvement in scars is seen for up to a year after.
Rejuran S (Scar)
A subtype of Rejuran Healer specially developed for Acne Scars. Consisting of Polynucleotides, Rejuran S promotes collagen stimulation and increase cellular regeneration for damaged skin.
Subcision to break up the fibrous tissues beneath the scar may be required together with Rejuran S for deeper scars to see optimal results.
Dermal fillers can help to raise shallow and broad indentations, creating a smoother appearance by stimulating collagen and providing volume in the affected areas.