How to Overcome Acne Problems


Acne can be a bane of many people’s lives. It is a common skin condition caused by inflammation of our sebaceous glands. It affects one’s appearance and in some cases, acne can be a pain to people not only physically but psychologically too.

Most acne problems are encountered by teenagers, though some adults have been known to have acne problems too. Acne breakouts typically appear on the face, but can also occur on other body parts such as the neck, chest, back, shoulders, upper arms and legs, and the scalp.

So, what can you do to be “acne-invincible”?

Understanding Acne


This is an example of adult acne, which is commonly a result of hormones, and occurs along the chin and jawline. Photo: iStock

Now we all know acne comes in various shapes and sizes. Acne can be classified into:

  1. Comedones, otherwise known as blackheads and whiteheads
  2. Papules and pustules, or more commonly known as pimples and zits
  3. Post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, also known as pimple marks
  4. Scars

The first step is recognising that they all fall under the umbrella of acne. Next, understand the natural history and progression of acne, and you will be equipped with the know-how to better manage and dominate your acne.

There are quite a few options available for treatment. These options include good skincare regime, medication through the careful use of antibiotics to reduce inflammation and comedolytics to unclog pores, carbon laser, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Microbotox.


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Tips for Acne Control

Now, what is the skincare regime for acne control, you may ask. Let me share with you some of my skincare tips.

  1. Clean your face two times a day, using a minimal touch technique. This is to remove all the old and dead skin that is causing the pores, but not over irritating your skin.
  2. Use oil-free skincare and haircare products. I have seen many patients with whiteheads and blackheads over their forehead, and this is commonly due to the use of haircare products, which came into contact with their skin.
  3. Use oil-free or ‘non-comedogenic’ makeup products. Remember, you use makeup to look more beautiful, not to worsen your acne problem.
  4. Always use sun protection. Do note that products with a higher SPF may not always be the solution. I believe in using SPF that is suitable for your lifestyle.
  5. Never ever squeeze a pimple. You risk scarring and spreading the pimple to other parts of your precious face.

Other Treatment Options

Carbon Peel Treatment
Carbon Peel treatment is a facial treatment that combines laser technology and medical activated carbon. It removes the damaged outer layers of skin, and stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells in the underlying layers.This treatment is suitable for treating wrinkles, acne-scarring and enlarged pores.

For acne problems, carbon peel treatment helps to reduce oil gland activity and promote exfoliation, hence unclogging your pores to control your acne. It also serves to tighten and reduce the appearance of your pores, thus improving your skin texture and giving you a soft natural glow.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL is one of the safest treatments available for acne control and has proven to be very effective on moderate acne problems. It uses UV-safe light and has no known side effects, although pregnant women and people with photosensitivity should first consult with their doctor before proceeding with IPL treatments.

IPL helps to reduce the redness and discolouration from acne, slow down sebaceous gland activity and also reduce acne inflammation.

Microbotox is the use of diluted botulinum toxin to induce three end-points, although I must add that this is still in need of further research. It has shown to help reduce oil production, refine pores to improve one’s skin texture and tighten the skin to reduce sagging, thus adding to your radiance and glow.

Personally, I believe in the use of Microbotox with Thermage, a non-invasive therapy that uses radio frequency, or Ulthera, a non-surgical procedure that uses ultrasound technology, to enhance the skin’s lifting properties, hence reducing jowling and skin sagginess. I also believe that Microbotox can be combined with acne treatments, IPL and Carbon Peel treatments to further improve the outcome and rectify acne problems.


About Author

Dr Daniel Chang is an Aesthetic Physician with a passion for beautifying people. His ambition is to compete in the Hawaii Ironman before he turns 40 and jam with a band before he turns 45. Follow him on his blog.

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