ACNE ( Pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, scars) Part 2

In my previous article, we discussed about Acne and its triggers and risk factors. Today, over to home remedies and simple to follow but highly effective treatments. 
So the question is- how do we treat acne?
In the latest 2016 guidelines released, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends combination treatment for acne. 
The aim of treatment is to reduce acne outbreaks and minimise the dreaded acne scarring.I believe in the combination of good basic cleansing and toning, topicals+/- medication, chemical peels and laser treatment, to obtain optimum results. Acne should be actively managed to reduce the risk of permanent scarring.
DR DANIEL CHANG’S DC approach to ACNE
My approach is to divide and conquer. 
Acne can be divided into non inflammatory, inflammatory and acne scars. 
Non inflammatory:  comedones
1) Blackheads – extraction BY A PROFESSIONAL 
2) Whiteheads – , retinoids, AHA peels and scrubs to remove the gunk and unclog the pore
Inflammatory:
1) Benzoyl peroxide based treatment, plus minus oral antibiotics
2) Lasers, Pro Yellow, Dual Yellow to target the redness component vs AHA based medical peels 
As for acne scars, my approach is given below. 
Acne triggers

  1. Diet. Studies have shown that dairy products, food rich in GI, and fried oily food are a no no. They tend to provoke a hormonal surge, which is the trigger for acne. Thats probably why acne tends to affect people in developed countries, where the diet is so rich.
  2. Lifestyle. Stress is no good. Thats why breakouts tend to occur after frequent OTs, after a flight (as the cabin air is super-drying to your skin), before an important photo-event etc. Keeping a regular exercise regime and sleeping sufficiently helps!
  3. Contact. Minimise contact with your fingers. Dap, and not wipe, your face with a towel. Apply cosmetics sparingly. Use oil-free, non comedogenic products. And when applying acne treatment like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, adopt a hands-free approach. All these serve to reduce inflammation. As for how to select the right products for your skin, and how to use them appropriately, please speak to your Aesthetic physician for further information.

Now, let me share with you my TOP skincare tips for acne control.

  1.  Cleanse, exfoliate and treat. Gently clean your face 2x a day, using a minimal touch technique. (This is to remove all the old and dead skin that is clogging the pores, but not over irritating your skin.)
  2. Use oil free or ‘non comedogenic’ makeup pdts. Remember, you use makeup to look more beautiful, not to look worsen your acne.
  3. Never ever squeeze a pimple. I know its easier said than done. You risk scarring, darkening and spreading the pimple to other parts of your precious face
  4. Wash your pillowcase, and your pillow on a regular basis. Your pillows otherwise collect all the sebum, makeup and dirt that contribute to pore clogging.

Dr Daniel Chang’s GOLDEN rules – 3 steps to acne free skin:

  1. Cleanse gently, splashing with warm water and pat dry
  2. Apply moisturiser gently. No rubbing.
  3. Dab anti acne cream, gently, no rubbing, with a cotton bud. Key to effective treatment here are ingredients containing retinoid and benzoyl peroxide. But balancing the side effects require time and careful use.

Common pitfalls:

  1. No moisturiser used OR Mistaking aloe vera gel for moisturiser: – A well moisturised skin will help with sebum control and reduce clogging of pores, which leads to acne. And keep yourself well hydrated. Healthy skin starts from within. Oftentimes, the patients I see having breakouts do not use mositurisers. They may use aloe vera gel (which is NOT a moisturiser). Moisturising helps. The skin takes a month to get used to a new product. 2 months to stabilise. 3 months to gain good control.
  2. Too much makeup. – When you cover your skin with heavy makeup, this becomes a vicious cycle as makeup clogs pores. If u run your fingers over your skin, you may feel mini bumps, common over the cheeks, jawline and forehead.
  3.  Habit of picking their pimples, squeezing them. –  This is a NO no! Scar and pigmentation risk is high.

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(pictures courtesy of dermnetnz)

 

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DR DANIEL CHANG

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Categories Skincare and Aesthetic Medicine

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