Table of Contents
- 1 Acne affects more than the appearance
- 2 Early Treatments for Acne
- 3 The later you wait to treat acne ...
- 4 Benefits of Treating Pimple Early
- 5 Conclusion
Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease of pimples and spots on the face, back, chest, neck, and shoulders. Research by SingHealth shows that acne affects 88% of adolescents in Singapore, with half of them suffering from moderate to severe acne during puberty.
There is a common belief that pimple should just be left to run its course, and it will go away on its own. However, about 20% of all cases still persist in adults. Teenagers begin to get acne due to their changing hormones, stress, environment, menstrual cycles, oil-based products, medications, diet, and lifestyle are factors that contribute to pimple persisting to adulthood.
According to a community-based study in Singapore, 58% of patients with mild acne develop hyperpigmentation. In addition, for those with moderate pimple, 54% had post-acne atrophic (depressed) scarring, and 14% suffered from hypertrophic or keloid scars.
Acne affects more than the appearance
Three things cause acne: overactive sebaceous glands (oils), abnormal skin cell turnover, and the rapid proliferation of bacteria that cause blemishes.
For many people who have pimple or scars, this skin disease affects them more than just their appearance. Especially when their peers stare at or talk about their acne or scars. It makes them feel less attractive, confident, and happy. Studies have also shown that those with acne scars are more prone to develop depression and anxiety; feelings of shame and aggression can follow. This creates strain in social interactions, resulting in stunted communication, reduced intimacy, and avoidant behaviours.
Acne affects people of all ages. Like teens, adult acne negatively affects their lives—regardless of how severe their pimple is. Therefore, doctors recommend treating acne early and aggressively, especially during the first year of acne development.
Unfortunately, many parents with teenagers suffering from pimple decide to wait to treat acne until the children are much older. As the majority of parents are reluctant to start young children on oral medication. What are the other ways we can treat acne early? Let’s dive in.
Early Treatments for Acne
Acne is a complex skin disease caused by several factors, from skincare products and hormones to lifestyle and genetics. Moreover, not everyone’s acne can be treated the same way.
If you have been trying multiple removal treatments and over-the-counter medications for your acne problem without any positive results, we’re here to help you out. You can speak to one of our doctors for a thorough consultation and a detailed assessment to determine a suitable treatment plan for your skin.
Since there are many effective treatments for acne in the market ranging from oral and topical treatments to energy-based devices. We are here to help you to understand how these removal treatments can benefit your skin.
Topical acne removal treatment helps reduce Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes), the bacteria that causes pimple breakouts. It also normalizes the shedding of dead skin cells and reduces inflammation.
Here are some common topical treatments:
This is an antiseptic with anti-inflammatory properties. Benzoyl peroxide is exceptionally effective against inflammatory acne, such as pustules, papules, cysts, and nodules, because it helps to remove dead skin cells and oil that clog pores. It is generally available as a cream or gel. You can apply it once or twice a day, 20 minutes after washing your face. Use it sparingly as it can make your skin sensitive to sunlight and cause skin irritation.
Topical retinoids work by removing dead skin cells from the skin surface, thus preventing them from clogging your pores. They are available in a gel or cream form, and you can use them once a day, 20 minutes after washing your face. You must use it sparingly as it can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
If the side effects of topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide are irritating to the skin, Azelaic acid can be used as an alternative treatment. Azelaic acid removes dead skin cells and kills bacteria, and it is available in gel or cream form. You can see skin improvements in your acne within a month.
These are customized medical skin peel acne treatments that target the epidermal layer and eliminate dead skin cells, deeply lodged debris in the pores, and acne-causing bacteria.
These chemical peels stimulate epidermal growth, with collagen stimulation in the underlying dermis, which helps to give a tightening effect and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. This non-invasive removal treatment is most effective for dull and acne-prone skin and can also treat conditions like wrinkles, pigmentation, and uneven skin texture.
The medical skin peels for acne include glycolic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, and lactic acid.
This U.S. FDA-approved treatment uses ultrafine microneedles to send targeted radiofrequency energy into the epidermis and dermis. This treatment helps to repair the skin, reduce oil production, break down scar tissue, and stimulate new collagen growth to reduce active acne and acne scarring. It also helps lighten acne marks, known as PIH, and improves the overall skin quality and texture. A suitable removal treatment for individuals with multiple skin concerns on their skin.
There are multiple lasers available for treating pimple and scarring such as Erbium Yag lasers, Pico lasers, long pulsed laser, and yellow lasers. Each of these devices works in a specific way to target different skin conditions. To achieve an optimal result, our doctors at Ensoul Medical Clinic use a blend of customized lasers to treat active acne, acne scars, and PIH. Harnessing the different energy and wavelengths of the lasers helps to unclog pores, reduce sebum production, and clear existing breakouts. Other benefits of this treatment include stimulating collagen production, lightening acne marks, and enhancing uneven skin tone and texture.
Oral medication is one of the best ways to treat resistant acne. One of the medications include antibiotics are generally used to treat moderate, severe, or persistent acne. It works by reducing P. acnes as well as skin inflammation.
Isotretinoin is a prescription acne medication that works by shrinking the sebaceous glands responsible for producing oil. When the skin produces less oil, there are fewer pore blockages and comedones produced, which in turn causes fewer or no pimples.
For moderate to severe acne, oral medications containing antibiotics and retinoids can kill acne-causing bacteria. These medications are often used to treat persistent acne, and they are only available with a prescription. This oral medication contains antioxidants to help reduce cell damage by fighting against inflammation and free radicals in your skin elements that may contribute to acne and redness.
The later you wait to treat acne ...
Doctors know that the longer you wait to treat your acne properly, the higher the chances of getting permanent acne scars and PIH. Over time, this can lead to emotional stress and adversely impact a person’s quality of life and self-esteem.
Acne scars are caused by inflammation of acne blemishes. The acne pore swells, and a breakdown occurs in the wall of the pore. Some acne blemishes are minor, and the scars created are shallow and heal quickly. Blemishes may cause deeper scars if their contents leak into the surrounding tissue. As a response, the skin forms new collagen fibers to repair the scar.
The scars left behind by acne take two primary forms: Indented scarring or raised scarring. Indented scarring results when tissue is lost. While raised scars does the total opposite. It indicates that your skin is doing its job - but perhaps too well. When you have acne on your skin, your skin produces collagen to repair tissue to help heal the wound. But if it makes insufficient collagen, you will have indented scars, and too much collagen, you will have raised scars.
Benefits of Treating Pimple Early
Early acne treatment has many benefits. Besides preventing the development of new scars, it also eliminates some pre-existing scars. The earlier you seek acne removal treatment, the fewer long-term physical and emotional problems you will likely face. The cost is also much more affordable, as deep acne scarring can be expensive to treat.
With age, acne scarring can become even worse, complicating matters further. When skin sags naturally, fibrotic acne scarring provides support for the sagging skin. This results in irregular cascades of scarring in the skin.
Our skin requires the production of new collagen and elastin to repair acne scars. As we age, collagen regeneration in our skin decreases. Ageing skin requires more stimulation to produce enough collagen to smooth scarring. Thus, treating acne and scarring early can lead to smoother results.
The sooner acne is treated, the easier it is to clear up and prevent it from getting worse. This is probably a lot easier than dealing with emotional distress or permanent acne scarring. In order to prevent acne breakouts in the future, maintaining a healthy skin is critical. As a result, many patients continue their treatments.
Acne is a complex skin disease with causes that go beyond cosmetic concerns. While hormonal activity, genetic makeup, and stress play a role in pimple formation, the solution goes beyond skin deep. Thus, early acne treatment can help prevent severe acne breakouts, pimple scars, and red or brown marks on the skin. It can also prevent lasting damage to individual self-esteem and emotional well-being.
If you're not sure which treatment is best for you, schedule an in-depth consultation with our doctor to create a personalized acne removal treatment plan.