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290 Orchard Rd, #13-07 The Paragon, Singapore 238859

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Acne

Porcelain smooth skin is something most people would love to have. Unfortunately, not all of us are naturally blessed with it and not all of us possess impeccable photoshop skills. The reality is that some of us suffer from acne, have your acne problems sorted out with our personalised treatment plan.

What is Acne?

We all have tiny little hair all over our body; acne occurs when the hair follicles (under the skin), particularly in the face, chest, and upper back, become blocked with oil/sebum and dead skin cells. This blockage results in blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.

Research has shown that acne affects 88% of youths (aged 13-19 years old) in Singapore1. Due to its commonality, we are often tempted to treat acne with home remedies recommended by a well-meaning relative or friend, however, home remedies should not be attempted on acne as it might aggravate it and hinder recovery.

Acne should be treated by a professional as soon as possible because early treatment can help in the proper management of this condition, ultimately leading to reduced acne scarring. Not only can early treatment help to reduce or even prevent acne scarring, but it can also help improve the self-esteem and confidence of youths who are afflicted with this condition.


What causes Acne?

There are several causes of acne, but the five main ones are:

  • Family history of acne
  • Inflammation
  • Bacteria
  • Excess production of oil/sebum
  • Hair follicles clogged with oil and dead skin cells

It is also important to note that while acne can be caused by a number of things, it can also be aggravated or triggered by these:

  • Stress
  • Certain medications
  • Diet (such as a det rich in carbohydrates, dairy)
  • Hormonal changes (for example, menstruation)

What are the symptoms of Acne?

The symptoms of acne depend on its severity. These symptoms are:

  • Blackheads (open clogged pore/open comedones)
  • Whiteheads (closed clogged pore/closed comedones)
  • Small red bumps (papules) that are tender to the touch
  • Pimples/pustules which are papules with pus at their tips
  • Nodules (painful lumps under the skin)
  • Cysts (painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin)

Is Acne painful?

Mild acne is rarely painful, and its presence is more of an irritation than a discomfort. However, if you are suffering from cystic acne which consists of painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin, it can be painful, and the affected areas might be tender to the touch.

Who is at risk of Acne in Singapore?

As studies have shown, a majority (88%) of adolescents in Singapore aged 13-19 suffer from acne. An additional study also showed that 41%3 of adults who were treated for acne at the National Skin Centre in Singapore have experienced it since adolescence while the majority of those studied suffered from adult-onset acne.  

While acne seems to affect almost everyone, there are certain factors that might make you more susceptible to it:

  • History of acne in your family 
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menstruation
  • Smoking
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Stress
  • Oil-based creams and lotions
  • Medications such as hormonal birth control
GradeSeverityAppearance
1MildBlackheads and whiteheads with few inflammatory pimples
2ModerateSome pimples mainly on face
3Moderately severeNumerous pimples and occasional inflamed nodules on face, chest, and back
4SevereSeveral large and painful pimples and nodules

What are the treatment options for treating Acne in Singapore?

After a face examination, your dermatologist will suggest a treatment plan best suited for you and your symptoms. This all depends largely on the severity of your acne, your general health, and your age. The available treatments are:

  • Antiobiotics
  • Retinoid creams
  • Benzoyl peroxide (available in over-the-counter creams)
  • Salicylic acid
  • Azelaic acid
  • Dapzone
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Steroids
  • Lasers
  • Chemical peels

Acne can be well-controlled if treated early. Do not hesitate to contact your dermatologist for some professional help.

How is Acne diagnosed?

During the appointment, your dermatologist will examine your face and determine the severity of acne you have. Acne severity is ranked by grades 4,5.

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