Acne, acne scars, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads…
(Blackheads are open comedones, whiteheads are closed comedones, below is an example.)
(courtesy of web-md)
We have all battled with acne before. Some more than others, some ongoing, some successfully conquered.
Our hot humid climate does not help one bit. This, coupled with our natural tendencies for oil glands to go into overdrive has left notable battle scars.
How many of us have been bothered by these thru our teens? And worse still, had to put up with it when we entered the workforce, and contend with being treated as ‘kiddos’ by our bosses?
Who amongst us had struggled, tried numerous over the counter cleansers, toners and cosmetic products but to no avail, or worse still, triggering more outbreaks?
This should never be a battle fought alone. This is a battle best fought with the help of your Doctor and his array of treatments.
So what causes acne?
(courtesy of acneclearout.com)
Well, to put it simply, it’s the blockage of our pores.
And if we dont manage it carefully, it leads to acne scarring.
Most acne medications are drying to the skin. This is a necessary evil. The flipside of course is the triggering of eczema.
Never attempt to wage this battle alone. Enlist the help of your friendly doctor to guide you thru the various treatment regimes.
Acne can be classified into mild, moderate and severe.
So the question is- how do we treat acne?
The aim of treatment is to reduce acne outbreaks and minimise the dreaded acne scarring.
I believe in the combination of good basic cleans ing and toning, topicals+/- medication, +/- laser treatment, to obtain optimum results. Acne should be actively managed to prevent permanent scarring.
Let me share with you my skincare tips for acne control.
- Clean your face at least 2x a day, using a minimal touch technique. This is to remove all the old and dead skin that is causing the pores.
- Use oil free skincare and haircare pdts. I have seen many patients with white heads and blackheads over the forehead, and it is commonly due to haircare pdts.
- Use oil free or ‘non comedogenic’ makeup pdts. Remember, you use makeup to look more beautiful, not to look worsen your acne.
- Always use sun protection. A higher SPF may not always be the solution. I believe in using SPF that is suitable for your lifestyle.
- Never ever squeeze a pimple. You risk scarring and spreading the pimple to other parts of your precious face.
Moving on, here is an example of the Black Gold Peel Laser, which works on the principle of targeting angry active acne…
This laser peel
- Reduces oil gland activity, reduces bacterial inflammation, and promotes exfoliation, hence unclogging your pores to control your acne
- It also serves to tighten and improve the appearance of your pores
- And improves your skin texture, giving you a soft natural glow.
Common side effects include redness, mild bumps on the skin which are tolerable.
As a general rule of thumb I find that this laser, which serves to kill the P acne bacteria, shrink pores, and reduce oil production, is a good treatment to undergo. In addition, I would recommend the following coupled with a good skincare regime to get on top of your acne.
- Mild (comedonal acne or mild inflammatory acne): topicals retinoids,
- Moderate: oral and topical antibiotics for inflamed acne, +/- benzoyl peroxide
- Severe (nodular): please speak to your dermatologist
As for acne scars, laser resurfacing would be an option, +/- subcision, +/- RF microneedling to improve the appearance of the scars.
Your dermatologist should be able to navigate you through the sea of information and customise a programme that suits your skin best.
I hope this post has been helpful!