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A Concise Guide To Acne Treatment In Singapore (2019)

A Concise Guide To Acne Treatment In Singapore (2019) undefined

Found this article by Googling "acne treatment Singapore" or "how to get rid of acne"? Don't worry - I'm not about to promote the XXX acne treatment regimen involving 21 different creams you saw promoted by social influencers.

Instead, I'm just here to tell you about an effective method to get rid of acne (based on personal experience), and why you should consider it too.

acne on a face near the ear

The answer, in short, is oral Accutane (or isotretinoin).

Your female JC classmate with flawless skin and occasional pimples probably used it; your army friend who had the worst acne ever definitely used it (or should have).

Dermatologists who are prone to pimple outbreaks take it, dermatologists with amazing skin use it in its topical form.

I only wish that more people would get the word out that Accutane is completely safe and effective to use, if monitored appropriately by your doctor. Yes, there are many potential side effects of Accutane.

However, as long as you have a doctor who prescribes it to you and follows up with you, the risks are minimal. 

The most important point to note for ladies is that this medicine causes birth defects, so you should not get pregnant while on it!

Aside from that, severe side effects are exceedingly rare, with the most common ones being:

  • Dry lips and dry skin
  • Photosensitivity (i.e. increased sensitivity to UV rays)

Again, if none of that convinces you, take it from me.

woman applying cream on face

I had mild-moderate acne in JC that rumbled on for years. I spent tons of money and time on antibiotics and topical creams from a private skin clinic, before finally eradicating my acne with a single course of Accutane at the National Skin Centre.

Side effects wise, all I got was super dry lips - this gets you quickly acquainted with the best lip balms available. Of course, do note that your results may vary.

What other acne treatments besides Accutane are available?

Naturally, my views may be skewed due to anecdotal experience. Some people will certainly benefit from using topical creams and/or oral antibiotics alone.

If so, take it from me that although there are a million and one creams out there that people will push in your face (literally), four effective treatments available in Singapore for acne are:

 

Acne treatment Singapore

  1. Benzoyl peroxide gel
  2. Clindamycin gel, or Clindoxyl (combination of Benzoyl peroxide and Clindamycin)
  3. Differin cream or a Retinoic acid
  4. Epiduo (combination of Retinoic acid and Benzoyl peroxide)

How they work:

  • Differin cream and Retinoic acid permanently reduces your skin's sebaceous glands (no more oily skin!), and also reduces the number of blackhead and whiteheads. [1]
  • Benzoyl peroxide (drying agent) and clindamycin (antibiotic) both dry out and kill the acne-causing bacteria and pimples on your face. [2]

Of course, do not forget to add the following to your standard skin care regime:

  • Sunblock
  • Moisturizers
  • Non-irritant face soap eg. QV or Cetaphil wash

Skip the oral antibiotics.

Antibiotics work by reducing both inflammation and the bacteria that causes acne, but I dislike them because of antibiotic resistance (up to 50% of people), which renders them effectively useless.  Besides, if you want to pop tablets, why not just skip straight to Isotretinoin? [3]

Alright I'm convinced. How do I get my hands on Isotretinoin?

 

asian man checking acne in mirror

The two best methods to get your hands on Accutane (Isotretinoin) in Singapore:

1. The private skin clinic route

  • Tell them you have tried everything, nothing works. And no, you are not keen on antibiotics because you are worried about the side effects and antibiotic resistance.
  • All dermatologist clinics will stock Accutane, ditto most skin clinics (ie GPs with special interests in skin/acne).

2. The National Skin Centre route

  • Request for an appointment.
  • Actively discuss Accutane treatment with your doctor, to see if this is a suitable treatment option for yourself.
  • If your doctor is agreeable, he will give you an information leaflet, and at the second or third visit you should be able to get started on it after some basic blood tests.

Do note that neither method is 100% fool-proof, as many doctors may want you to try topical creams and antibiotics before Accutane (every doctor has their individual preference on treatment, based on their own anecdotal experience). 

In conclusion:

closeup of clogged acne on a face

1. Accutane is an effective and permanent solution to get rid of your acne, and isn't as scary as the internet makes it out to be.

2. I'm not a fan of using antibiotics for acne as they are not very effective for a lot of people (due to antibiotic resistance).

3. The 4 anti-acne creams I would use myself are:

  1. Benzoyl peroxide gel
  2. Clindamycin gel, or Clindoxyl (combination of Benzoyl peroxide and Clindamycin)
  3. Differin cream or a Retinoic acid
  4. Epiduo (combination of Retinoic acid and Benzoyl peroxide)

I hope you have found reading this acne treatment guide useful. Head over to this post if you want to find out the best acne scar treatments in Singapore

References:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374937/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19761357

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306750

6188 views 3 Sep 2016 Medically reviewed by DxD on 27 May 2019.
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