I agree with Dr Colin that proper skincare routine can help with oily skin (AHA and BHA cleansers especially), and also that oral isotretinoin is very good for controlling oily skin.
However, most of my patients prefer not to take oral isotretinoin because of its teratogenic risk as well as the other systemic effects it has such as drying out the mouth and other mucous membranes.
If you have optimized your skincare, certain skin treatments can help to reduce your oily skin.
1. Certain lasers can help shrink your sebaceous glands, controlling the oiliness only in the treated areas.
2. Medical peels (salicylic peels especially) can decrease sebum secretion.
Avoid cleansers that are too drying and harsh as this can stimulate more oil secretion. You should not use blotters or wash your face too regularly either.
Oily skin that doesn't cause much problems can be a radiant sign of youth. I would recommend you discuss your expectations and health concerns with your doctor before starting any treatments.
Thank you for the question. Oily skin can indeed be difficult to control. There are cleansers for oily skin which may help a bit in oil control.
However, the best treatment for oily skin by far is oral isotretinoin. This treatment can be very effective in oil control even at a low dose. This treatment can help control the bumps too.
However, in women, the biggest concern is that isotretinoin is teratogenic ie. it can cause fetal abnormalities if you are on the drug.
If you are very bothered by the oiliness, you can discuss this option further with your doctor.
I absolutely agree with the 2 doctors (Dr Chua and Dr Colin) on the approach.
It should always be a mix of oral and topical treatments for the purpose of persistent acne.
Oral medications examples include spironolactone (for women only) which helps reduce congestion. Oral Isotretinoin helps to shrinks the oil glands. If you are very bothered, consider discussing with your doctor on this matter.
Topical treatments like carbon laser (which I adore) and chemical peels do a great job in improving the general appearance of the skin.
Top it off with a light chemical peel at home (glycolic or lactic acid) and with a gel-based moisturiser. This should help!
Dr Winston Lee
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Acne prone skin occurs when the oil glands over-react to normal stimulli. I advise a few cardinal rules to follow before starting them on isotretinoin.
Your diet can influence how much your acne flares up. Caffeine (in coffee and tea) stimulates your oil glands. The more caffeine you take, the worse your flare-ups will be.
Exposure to extreme hot or cold environments means that blood flow to the skin increases. This will also cause your acne to flare up.
Taking excessively hot or spicy food or drinking alcohol, again, increases blood flow to the skin and can lead to flare ups.
Smoking impairs your healing and prolongs your recovery time post-acne flare-up.
You can consider taking isotretnoin orally as a way to permanently re-programme your oil glands. The cumulative lifetime dose is usually based on your weight. Expect to take this for about 6 to 9 months. Should you decide on this, understand there are side-effects including dry and peeling lips. Using a lip balm helps greatly.
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