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ACNE-FREE SKIN – The DC Acne Experience – Pimples, Acne scars, Acne marks, red marks / 青春豆 ,痤疮治疗

ACNE

howto getridof-net

Acne, acne scars, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads…(Blackheads are open comedones, whiteheads are closed comedones, below is an example.)
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(courtesy of web-md)
https://youtu.be/Dd3mEXe279E
We have all battled with acne before. Some more than others, some ongoing, some successfully conquered.Our hot humid climate does not help one bit. This, coupled with our natural tendencies for oil glands to go into overdrive has left notable battle scars.
How many of us have been bothered by these thru our teens? Who amongst us had struggled, tried numerous over the counter cleansers, toners and cosmetic products but to no avail, or worse still, triggering more outbreaks?
This should never be a battle fought alone. This is a battle best fought with the help of your Doctor and his array of treatments.

So what causes acne?

how-acne-develops

Well, to put it simply, it’s the blockage of our pores. And if we dont manage it carefully, it leads to acne scarring.

Most acne medications BOUGHT OVER THE COUNTER are drying to the skin. They work by reducing sebum. Benzoyl peroxide works by killing the P Acne bacteria.

The flipside of course is the triggering of skin irritation and inflammationNever attempt to wage this battle alone. Acne is not rocket science, but there is a complex range of conditions. If over the counter medications do not work after 2 weeks, it is time to enlist the help of your friendly Aestheic Physician to guide you thru the various treatment regimes.

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So the question is- how do we treat acne?

In the latest 2016 guidelines released, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends combination treatment for acne. 

The aim of treatment is to reduce acne outbreaks and minimise the dreaded acne scarring.I believe in the combination of good basic cleansing and toning, topicals+/- medication, chemical peels and laser treatment, to obtain optimum results. Acne should be actively managed to reduce the risk of permanent scarring.

The DC approach to ACNE

My approach is to divide and conquer.

Acne can be divided into non inflammatory, inflammatory and acne scars.

Non inflammatory:  comedones, blackheads, whiteheads

1) Blackheads – extraction BY A PROFESSIONAL

2) Whiteheads – retinoids ( retacnyl, differin), AHA peels and scrubs to remove the gunk and unclog the pore. Retin A based creams work well on long term acne control, and have anti ageing benefits too.

Inflammatory: Angry, red, bumpy  pimples

1) Benzoyl peroxide based treatment, plus minus oral antibiotics

2) Lasers and AHA based medical peels to control the oil, and increase exfoliation.

3) Blue light and antibiotics to kill p.acne bacteria.

Only when active acne is controlled, can we proceed to acne scar treatment.


Dr Daniel Chang’s 3 STEP ACNE Treatment Formula: 

1- Laser/ Light/ Peel

2- Topical medication +/- oral

3- Lifestyle changes ( Pls refer to my lifestyle guide)


 

Treatment: Medical peels + Laser  Light + Blue light therapy ( unclog pores, control oil,kill p. acne bacteria)

Dr Daniel Chang’s GOLDEN rules – 3 steps to acne free skin – DAILY SKINCARE REGIMEN:

  1. Cleanse gently, splashing with warm water and pat dry
  2. Apply moisturiser gently. No rubbing.
  3. Dab anti acne cream, gently, no rubbing, with a cotton bud. Key to effective treatment here are ingredients containing retinoid and benzoyl peroxide. But balancing the side effects require time and careful use. Differin cream, clindoxyl and clindamycin are my top choices for this. (Retin A based creams like retacnyl, differin work best with benzoyl peroxide based antibiotic creams like clindoxyl, but these do cause skin irritation, so its important to learn how best to apply them onto your face.)

AVOID Acne triggers – Lifestyle GUIDE 

  1. Diet. Studies have shown that dairy products, food rich in GI, and fried oily food are a no no. They tend to provoke a hormonal surge, which is the trigger for acne. Thats probably why acne tends to affect people in developed countries, where the diet is so rich.
  2. Lifestyle. Stress is no good. Thats why breakouts tend to occur after frequent OTs, after a flight (as the cabin air is super-drying to your skin), before an important photo-event etc. Keeping a regular exercise regime and sleeping sufficiently helps!
  3. Contact. Minimise contact with your fingers. Dap, and not wipe, your face with a towel. Apply cosmetics sparingly. Use oil-free, non comedogenic products. And when applying acne treatment like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, adopt a hands-free approach. All these serve to reduce inflammation. As for how to select the right products for your skin, and how to use them appropriately, please speak to your Aesthetic physician for further information.

Now, let me share with you my TOP skincare tips for acne control.

  1.  Cleanse, exfoliate and treat. Gently clean your face 2x a day, using a minimal touch technique. Dont overclean your face. (This is to remove all the old and dead skin that is clogging the pores, but not over irritating your skin.)
  2. Use oil free or ‘non comedogenic’ makeup products. Remember, you use makeup to look more beautiful, not to look worsen your acne.
  3. Never ever squeeze a pimple and minimise touching your face. I know its easier said than done. You risk scarring, darkening and spreading the pimple to other parts of your precious face
  4. Wash your pillowcase, and your pillow on a regular basis. Your pillows otherwise collect all the sebum, makeup and dirt that contribute to pore clogging.

Common pitfalls: Lifestyle mistakes

  1. No moisturiser used OR Mistaking aloe vera gel for moisturiser: – A well moisturised skin will help with sebum control and reduce clogging of pores, which leads to acne. And keep yourself well hydrated. Healthy skin starts from within. Oftentimes, the patients I see having breakouts do not use mositurisers. They may use aloe vera gel (which is NOT a moisturiser). Moisturising helps. The skin takes a month to get used to a new product. 2 months to stabilise. 3 months to gain good control.
  2. Too much makeup. – When you cover your skin with heavy makeup, this becomes a vicious cycle as makeup clogs pores. If u run your fingers over your skin, you may feel mini bumps, common over the cheeks, jawline and forehead.
  3.  Habit of picking their pimples, squeezing them. –  This is a NO no! Scar and pigmentation risk is high.

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(pictures courtesy of dermnetnz)

 

(here is an example of adult onset acne)As a general rule of thumb I find that this laser, which serves to kill the P acne bacteria, shrink pores, and reduce oil production, is a good treatment to undergo. In addition, I would recommend the following coupled with a good skincare regime to get on top of your acne.Now acne can be classified into mild, moderate and severe. Below is a summary and their corresponding treatment.
  1. Mild (comedonal acne or mild inflammatory acne): topicals retinoids +/- AHA, BHAs
  2. Moderate: oral and topical antibiotics for inflamed acne, + benzoyl peroxide, +/- OCPs
  3. Severe (nodular): please speak to your dermatologist    

Many have asked me,

Why do some people get breakouts after a chemical peel or laser? 

 

There are 3 main reasons.

  1. Skin is too dry. Hence not suitable for treatment.
  2. Skin is unstable, and having active breakouts. This can be due to a multitude of reasons. So any treatment during this period acts to purge pimples.
  3. Skin is reacting to the skincare that was used after the treatment. Remember, it takes time to get used to a new product.

Why do people get breakouts after a holiday?

2 main reasons.

1- Stress. This can be in the form of unhealthy sleep habits, unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy diet, which often happens when we want to ‘live life to the fullest’ during our vacation. =)

2 – Change in humidity. This stresses your skin and oil water balance.

Dr Daniel Chang

To learn more about:
  1. ALL Aesthetic treatments, do click here Ultimate Guide to Korean Medical Aesthetics.
  2. Threadlifts, pls click here Facelift, V-Lift.
  3. Dermal fillers, pls click here ABCs to Dermal Fillers. 
  4. Pigments and pigmentation in skin.  Please click here PIGMENTS
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