What can you do with mask-ne at home?
If you google maskne | maskne solution | maskne treatment, you find a stream of commercial websites recommending ‘such and such a brand’, and such and such a cream. They promise you a miracle cure. And if u actually buy them, you realise they may work, but they also help u burn a deeper hole in your pocket.
I like to go with clinical evidence. In my clinical experience, I find nothing beats medical grade topical creams. The problem is we tend to NOT know how to use them effectively, so complaining about having sensitive skin is not the true picture. If you go to the gym the first day, do u do the benchpress at 20kg each? I bet u will have sore muscles the entire week. Do u then have sensitive muscles?
Having treated patients for Acne in Singapore, I will say the following topicals work best.
- Clindamycin gel | This is effective for females who are pregnant of breastfeeding. Its carries the lowest risk of sensitivity
Differin gel | Being a vitamin A gel, it is good for your blackheads and whiteheads. And as a Retin A, it carries the lowest risk of sensitivity in our Singaporean population. It has very good antiageing properties, and can be used on a daily basis, lifelong. This is also the secret of a certain Korean celebrity who SPORTS A flawless, glowing, skin. And just to add, I too have been using this on a regular basis, and my skin aint bad lol – Daniel Chang =P
- Epiduo | This is the pearl of acne treatment, but it can be harsh on Asian skin. Hence the key is go slow, go small and slowly build it up.
- A mud mask | Boy this is the second greatest invention in the history of skincare. The first is of course sunscreen lol.
Maskne + ACNE SCAR SOLUTION
With mask wearing becoming the new norm, how many of you have noticed more breakouts along your jawline than ever before? Welcome to Mask-ne. No doubt the weather is getting warmer, but the tight masks and its constant contact with our face does us no favours, ok maybe only 1 favour. But this is a post about your skin health.
Let me share with you a personal encounter. Years ago, I remember meeting a wide-eyed and cheerful air steward who was bothered by his acne scarring. He was working with a low cost carrier, but always dreamt of flying with SQ. It was his goal, his aspiration, his desire to don the SQ uniform and fly the national flag high. He missed the cut previously, failing in his interview where he was informed he had to fix his acne scarring. He visited me for a consultation, and together, we worked on a 6 month acne scar programme for him. I am pleased to say his dream came true. He is now flying high with the national carrier, (until covid hit our shores, leading to an explosion of the dreaded mask-ne). Being able to help my patients look and feel their very best is an endearing feeling that keeps me going.
In my practice, acne scars is one of the top 3 concerns my patients want addressed. Gone are the days where acne scar treatment involves 1-2 weeks of skin scabbing and peeling. Over the years, treatments for acne scarring has become more evidence based, safer and faster. This only means one thing. Now you can look and feel your very best!
So what is the cause of ACNE SCARS?
How common is acne scarring in Singapore?
How is acne scarring treated?
Treatment: There is no one size fits all approach. I believe in a Customised Individualised Treatment that is dynamic and continuous. This is based on your skin type, scar type, and lifestyle.
What are the different types of scars?
Scars can be divided into atrophic and hypertrophic and keloidal scars.
Hypertrophic and keloidal scars can respond to intralesional steroids. These are characterised by their raised surface. Atrophic scarring is more complex, so I shall divide them into their common variants.
Tethered scars | These are scars that are attached to your underlying tissue, eg muscles. So for example, when you smile, observe if the scars become more pronounced. If yes, your scars are tethered. I recommend subcision for majority of these cases to release the underlying tethering, than rejuran for skin repair and fillers as needed.
Tethered scar Treatment: Subcision + Rejuran +/- Dermal fillers
Rolling scars | These are uneven scars with a curved surface. They can improve visibly but will take time. I recommend fillers as mainstay. Because you would need to fill up the space.
Rolling scar Treatment: Subcision + Dermal Fillers + Rejuran + Fractional Laser
Ice Pick Acne Scars | These are traditionally very tough to treat. Especially those over your nose. In my experience, careful use of the following helps. TCA cross is useful but the risk of Post inflammatory erythema is high so I recommend using this carefully. Prepping the skin would be helpful.
Ice pick scar Treatment: Rejuran + TCA cross + Fractional Laser
Box Acne Scar | These type of scars respond very well to treatment. One can expect pretty nice results. In my experience a combination approach works best.
Box scar Treatment: Fractional Laser + Rejuran
Rolling scars | These respond best to subcision, and deposit of fillers just under the scar to creating a nice tenting effect on your skin, hence smoothening your skin surface.
Rolling scar treatment: Subcision + Filler + Rejuran
What can you expect post acne scar treatment?
- Redness x 2 days
- Bronzing of skin x 2 – 3 days
- Flaking off – dead tissue x 2 days
- Acne scar treatment is a programme, so it takes 4 session on average, spaced a month apart for optimum results.
What are pores?
Pores are tiny channels that allow the passage of sebum, sweat out onto your skin. Well, they are usually tiny, but environmental insults, sun exposure causes breakdown of collagen and elastin, and coupled with the accumulation of dirt and sebum, pores balloon.
What is the best treatment for my open pores?
Pores can be divided into mild, moderate and severe. Treatment depends on your pore size, extent and location.
Mild pores | respond well to basic skincare. I call it the A.B.C skincare regime.
A: AHA creams ( containing glycolic acid ), vitamin A creams ( Retinoids are gold standard for anti ageing. This has been proven by scientific studies. )
B: BHA creams ( containing salicylic acid, which are great for oil control )
C: Vitamin C, anti oxidants and collagen based creams ( For skin health )
Moderate pores | respond to a combination of the above skincare and medical aesthetic treatments.
In my clinical experience,
deep seated advanced Pores | respond to combination therapy.
- Fractional Laser combined with Collagen boosting laser
- Rejuran healer
- RF Microneedling | PicoLaser fractional toning
Take Home message | Pores Singapore
- Pore size is genetically determined
- People with oily skin have larger pores. Squeezing your pimples can enlarge your pores permanently
- In my experience, combination treatment can improve pore size by up to 50%
Take Home message | Acne scar Singapore
- Scars are 3 dimensional and 2D photos will not do justice to your scars. Hence yours scars need to be examined in a face to face consult with your doctor.
- Males tend to have worse acne scarring due to a lack of pre and post care.
- Treatment results appear as early as the 2nd month, but it is advisable to complete a programme for optimal results, and depending on the severity of your scar, can be 4 – 6 sessions on average, over 4 to 6 months.
To learn more about
- Dreno, B., A. Khammari, N. Orain, C. Noray, C. Merial-Kieny, S. Méry, and T. Nocera. “ECCA grading scale: an original validated acne scar grading scale for clinical practice in dermatology.” Dermatology 214, no. 1 (2007): 46-51.
- Heidi Wat, Douglas C. Wu and Henry Hin Lee Chan, Fractional resurfacing in the Asian patient: Current state of the art, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 49, 1, (45-59), (2016).
- Brandon E. Cohen, Jeremy A. Brauer and Roy G. Geronemus, Acne scarring: A review of available therapeutic lasers, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 48, 2, (95-115), (2015).
Good write up!!
Some patients report experiencing pain during treatment; others describe a “sharp” sensation, as if they are being pricked by tiny,…
This is a topic that is near to my heart… Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?
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