How many times did your acne put you in an embarrassing situation? Did you ever consider consulting an acne dermatologist in Singapore? About 85 percent of the population between the ages of 12 and 25 endure different types of acne. Teenagers are not the only ones who suffer from acne. Even if you are already in your thirties, you may still need to deal with adult acne. Most cases of improperly treated acne leave permanent marks on the skin. 

Don’t wait for your acne to get worse before consulting a dermatologist. Early acne treatment can help prevent the outbreak, which can lead to scarring. Prevention is always less expensive and easier than treating acne scars. A dermatologist with years of experience in treating acne can help you put an end to your acne problem without leaving any trace behind. 

Acne – What is It Exactly? 

Acne happens when the follicles of your hair become saturated with oil or sebum and dead skin cells. It typically leads to whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples. Most people with acne suffer from it at varying degrees of severity. 

The most typical spots for acne or similar blemishes to develop are on the face, forehead, upper back, and shoulders. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options that you can choose from, even if you have the most stubborn form of acne. 

Acne Symptoms 

There are different appearances and forms of acne. It varies according to the severity of the condition.

Nodules 

Nodules are abnormal tissue growth just below the surface of the skin. They are painful, solid, and large lumps that can make you uncomfortable. 

Inflamed Pimples 

These are tender, red, and small bumps or lesions that are often filled with yellow pus. 

Cystic lesions 

These are painful lumps just beneath the surface of the skin. They are usually filled with pus. 

Whiteheads 

A whitehead forms when bacteria, oil, and dead skin are trapped within a pore. Whiteheads can be quite annoying. 

Blackheads 

Blackheads are small bumps that have black or dark surfaces. A blackhead is a mild type of acne that usually appears on the face as well as the chest and back.

Causes of Acne 

Various factors give way to the occurrence of acne, which can be a complex condition. There are four main causes of acne, and they are: 

  • Excess activity of the hormone known as androgens. 
  • Presence of bacteria. 
  • Overproduction of sebum or oil. 
  • Clogged follicles of hair due to sebum and dead skin cells. 
  • Existence of a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which may occur among women that have an irregular menstrual period. 

Acne Treatments 

There are different skin types. Each type of acne may yield different reactions on a particular type of skin and will respond differently to a particular treatment. Luckily, there are different forms of acne treatments that you can choose from based on your specific needs. 

1. Oral Retinoid with Topical 

This type of treatment is only suitable for people with severe cystic acne and those who don’t respond to oral antibiotics. The result that this treatment provides is often far more superior than all the other available treatments around when taken properly under the supervision of your dermatologist. Your doctor will also discuss the pros and cons of this particular treatment. 

2. Oral Antibiotics with Topical 

This type of treatment commonly uses tetracycline. You will see visible results in 2 months of use. It is an anti-microbial agent with anti-inflammatory properties. Erythromycin, which is one of the other forms of  antibiotics, can be a good option for more severe cases in pregnant women and young children. 

3. Oral Contraceptive Pills (Only for Women) 

The birth control pills contain progesterone and estrogen that can lower the androgen levels in the body. This can lessen the production of sebum and improve the condition of the skin. It is a good option to consider.  However, your dermatologist will still need to evaluate your medical history first. 

4. Topical retinoid 

Tretinoin and adapalene are examples of topical retinoids that can bring favourable results to many comedonal acne patients. Those who have inflammatory lesions usually benefit from treatments that use benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, or topical antibiotics. 

5. Topical Benzoyl Peroxide 

Benzoyl peroxide can reduce the number of bacteria that can cause acne and cause the skin to dry and peel.  Your dermatologist may suggest this treatment if you have a moderate or mild form of acne. This treatment can be used together with other acne treatments. 

6. Topical Antibiotics

Topical Clindamycin and Erythromycin are antibiotics and also anti-inflammatory drugs that are effective against various types of bacteria. These topical antibiotics must be used together with benzoyl peroxide or a  topical retinoid. 

Acne Scar Types 

1. Ice Pick Scar 

This type of acne scar is narrow and deep. The damage extends into the dermis. Your skin will have an impression that a sharp instrument, which is similar to an ice pick, pierced it if you have this type of scar.  Some scars of this type may appear like large, open pores. 

2. Boxcar Scar 

This type of scar has oval, round depressions that have sharp vertical sides. It is wider than the ice pick scar. This type of scar can make the skin appear uneven and pitted. 

3. Rolling Scar 

If you see a rolling or wave-like impression on your skin, you have a rolling scar. Your skin looks uneven and pitted. You should not mistake it for a boxcar scar, which has steep vertical sides. 

4. Keloid and Hypertrophic Scar 

This type of scar grows over the skin’s surface and has a raised, firm appearance. Among men, it can be frequently found on the torso. But, you can also find this type of scar anywhere on the body. It is a common occurrence after suffering from a deep wound. A keloid scar is a more severe form of the raised scar. The keloid scar grows bigger than the size of the wound that caused it. 

5. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation 

This is not an actual acne scar, but the discolouration that appears after a pimple heals makes it look like a scar. This is quite common for people with acne. The hyperpigmentation may appear purple, brown, red,  pink, or black in colour – depending on the type of skin that you have. 

6. Post-Inflammatory Redness 

Fair-skinned individuals usually suffer from this type of scar. Facial redness is too evident to get ignored,  especially during or after an eruption of acne. 

The Harmonious Relationship Between Treatments and Management of Acne 

Some people require more than just a single treatment to get rid of acne. You may need a combination of treatments to deal with certain acne types, and the same goes when dealing with acne scars. 

Some of the most effective, popular options include: 

Laser Treatment 

This is an ideal option when you want to obtain an even skin tone with reduced redness. The laser called Q switched Nd:YAG can be used to lighten the skin’s pigmentation or make the tone of the skin even. The pulse dye laser can diminish the redness of the skin. Radio-frequency micro-needling and fractional CO2 lasers can be used to bring improvement to your scarred skin.

Blue and Red LED Therapy 

The Blue LED light therapy is your additional or non-invasive alternative treatment for acne that needs light to eliminate bacteria on the skin. The Red LED light can help lessen the swelling and minimize the size of the pores. 

Hydradermabrasion 

This procedure simultaneously combines antioxidant protection, cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, and hydration. You can expect to see an improvement to your skin’s appearance of oily and congested skin,  wrinkles, brown spots, and fine lines. 

Lightening Cream 

The topical lightening creams are more effective when used together with other modalities that are already mentioned. 

Cosmeceuticals 

The suitable cosmeceuticals can help ease the redness and dryness of the skin. This is vital in retaining the moisture of the skin after using oral medications and medicated creams. 

Acne can be a problem, but there are proven ways to prevent it from spreading and staying.