Acne Treatment Singapore: The Best Ways to Get Rid of Pimples
When you hit puberty, you were probably told you will outgrow your acne once you enter into adulthood. However, you are now in your 20s or 30s and those confidence-robbing pimples are still sticking around like the first day, refusing to let go. It’s like they forgot to leave. Did they not know what they were supposed to do?
Sadly, a lot of people around the world are having the same problem, so you’re in good company. It is a common myth that Asians are less susceptible to getting red bumps. In fact, depending on climate, diet, genetics, and other factors, some of us are at a bigger risk. Here, we will discuss acne treatments in Singapore that can reduce or erase the zits messing with your self-esteem. Don’t leave until you’ve reached the bottom of this page.
What Triggers Acne Breakouts
So, you’re now a certified adult and all, way past puberty, but, oddly enough your blemishes are the last to know. In case you’re asking why, here is the answer. As a whole, there are two main causes of acne along with a few contributing factors. Reason number one is hormones, or rather – hormonal fluctuations.
In a normal setting, the sebaceous glands produce just enough oil to protect and lubricate the skin. However, when hormones go crazy, adrenal glands begin to work to exhaustion, which causes an overproduction of sebum. The excess oils plug hair follicles up (read: clog pores), preventing bacteria and dead skin cells from leaving the body. Oh, and did we mention that sometimes an infection ensues? And this is how you get an acne outbreak.
The second reason is genetics. Yes, genes can contribute to pimples, which can be even more disheartening. But don’t let this discourage you. Truth is, there is an underlying offender here and that’s environmental influences. So, if you manage to control these, even if you are predisposed to getting acne, red bumps won’t stand a chance.
Now the other causes can be plentiful and they vary from person to person. If some people’s acne might get worse because of stress, other individuals may have breakouts as a result of their diet. Medication can also play a role since some drugs come with side effects that involve rashes.
Types of Acne
It’s as if having acne isn’t bad in and of itself, but it actually comes in different forms. Here are the offenders:
- Papules (they form under the skin)
- Pimples (also known as pustules)
- Cystic acne
Of these, blackheads and whiteheads, often referred to as open comedones, are the only non-inflammatory ones. This means they are not painful and they don’t cause swelling. Whew.
Unfortunately, the rest is nothing but inflammatory, which generally means that they can cause scarring, pain and pitting, among other things. While pustules and papules are minor-to-mild forms of acne, cysts and nodules are classified as severe.
Mild to Moderate Acne Treatment
Now, let’s take a look at what works for mild acne.
Chemical peels. As the name suggests, the treatment involves putting a chemical agent onto the face, which removes the outer layer of the skin. When this happens, the body’s natural healing mechanism fires up, prompting the tissue to rebuild. The result is clearer and fresher complexion with minimal red bumps. Now, the chemicals that are most often used to treat acne include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. These occur naturally in some foods, so they are anything but dangerous. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that the method can make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light. Therefore, you should make sure to wear sunscreen every day post-treatment.
Benzoyl peroxide. This is a chemical that is applied topically to battle zits. It is available over the counter, which means you don’t need a doctor’s permission to buy it. But that doesn’t mean you should self-prescribe it. Leave anything medical related into the hands of an expert. The medication comes in different concentrations such as 10%, 5%, and 2.5%, and only a doctor will be able to tell which one is best for you. Not to mention, benzoyl peroxide should not be taken in combination with other acne medicine. This might make the skin excessively dry and lead to more pimples.
Oral contraceptives. Some women have found their acne lesions are stronger around the time they get their periods. In some of these cases, birth control pills might be able to reduce inflammation and breakouts, respectively. The best way to go is to use products that contain oestrogen and progesterone alike, as they will keep androgen levels under control.
Note: Using the right skincare products that won’t aggravate your skin condition further also helps to keep zits at bay.
Moderate to Severe Acne Treatment Singapore
There exist a few options to treat severe acne.
Topical antibiotics. If you have serious inflammatory breakouts, the first thing to do is give topical medicine a go. Some antibiotics can come into contact with the bacteria externally – by being applied to the affected skin – and kill it. However, research suggests repeated use can make the germs more resistant to healing, which means that these treatments might be less effective than they used to be.
Oral medication. There are drugs that can be ingested by mouth and they work within the skin pores. Oral antibiotics that are most often administered to battle acne include but are not restricted to Erthromycin, Doxycycline, and Minocycline. Again, we need to point out that overuse might lead to the medication becoming less effective, so it is not advised to self-prescribe pills.
Lasers and phototherapy. If the above treatments don’t do the trick, you might want to switch to something a little bit more aggressive like lasers. However, do keep in mind that the latter are more successful at eliminating acne scars than the acne itself. When it comes to removing blemishes, they are often unpredictable and had better be combined with prescription medication. Also, a series of procedures will be necessary to deliver the best results and after that you need to get follow-ups every year. Another thing to take into account is that beaming a light to your skin will help reduce pimples rather than eliminate them completely. It’s a good idea to book an appointment with several aesthetic doctors to find out whether your are eligible for a laser treatment.
Spironolactone. This type of drug was not originally meant to get rid of adult acne. The truth is, it was designed to regulate potassium levels and keep the body from absorbing huge amounts of salt. But later they discovered that the medication tends to clear the complexion and it can help achieve acne-free skin with prolonged use.
Isotretinoin (better known as Accutane). Ring a bell? The medication has gained a bad rap for allegedly causing mental health issues and other severe health problems. In terms of composition, it is a form of vitamin A and is used to treat severe acne. It has the capacity to cut down on the sebum produced by the oil glands. But it can also cause severe side effects.
Can I use Boroline on a pimple?
No, it is not recommended to do so. The product is an antiseptic cream sold over the counter in some regions in Asia. It contains zinc oxide (sunscreen), boric acid (antiseptic), lanolin (emollient), and perfume. Also, it is quite oily, so if you use it on your red bumps, it may actually make them worse.
What are some foods that cause pimples?
Diet plays an important role in keeping your skin clear and smooth. Some foods have been claimed to cause acne problems, including dairy products, whey protein powder (like gluten), refined sugars and grains, and fast food. But you should keep in mind that any ingredient you’re sensitive to can make you prone to blemishes. Chocolate has also been blamed for the rise of pimples; however, no scientific study has backed this up so far. Time to clear its name.
To pop your pimples or not?
Fortunately, all dermatologists agree on this one – you should generally leave your red bumps alone. We know it’s easy to give in to the temptation to squeeze them, it sure feels good. However, if the tissue under the skin is inflamed, you risk making it worse.
When is it okay to pop a zit? Blackheads and whiteheads are open comedones, so basically, they are situated at the surface. Hence, it doesn’t take much effort to get the pus out. However, if you have to use force to get the job done, then it’s best to keep your hands off of it.