Hi there, I’m Dr Peter Ch’ng.
I started this Patient Mailbox series to collect handpicked questions submitted by patients suffering from various skin diseases and condition, and personally answer them with my best efforts. I hope to help any one of you who face challenges from similar situations.
Editor’s Note: Dr Peter Ch’ng is a Consultant Dermatologist actively involved in numerous talks and workshops, and is an esteemed contributor to dermatology research and publishing internationally. He practices at both Dr Peter Ch’ng Skin Specialist Clinic in Desa Park City and Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Hi Dr Peter,
I’m Alex, 21 years old male, recently completed my degree and will start working soon, but I have been bugged by acne problems since my college days. I’ll have to face clients in my line of industry, so my skin problem is affecting my confidence going into my first job.
My acne is pretty terrible. I often have redness all over my face, and they come in different sizes, from small, normal ones that some of my friends have, to big painful ones with cysts. My skin is always oily, too. I have tried plenty of home remedies but they don’t seem to work. How can I get rid of my acne fast?
To take care of our acne problems, we first need to know what type of skin we have. Do you have oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, or combination skin? Depending on your skin type, the type of acne or pimple you have can be different.
Your acne type
Next, we can try identify what types of acne we have. I have a simple guide here that we can use:
- Inflammatory acne
- These are the red bumps you find on your skin
- Usually contains fluid or are made up of pus filled cavity
- Comedogenic acne
- These appear as black or white pores on your face
- They are actually oil secreted beneath our skin, but gets block along the hair follicles
- When the oil is oxidized, it turns black, giving the appearance of black pores
- If the oil is not oxidised, it appears as white pores
So how can you get rid of your acne fast?
There are several types of treatment for acne, but for the quickest cure, I’ll share with you about two types of treatments: Laser Treatment and Microdermabrasion.
Laser treatments can reduce inflammation, as the laser light is absorbed by the haemoglobin (our red blood cells), and is useful for treating inflammatory acne.
When there’s acne on your face, there’s bacteria. And these bacteria has pigments.
Using the laser, these pigments of the bacteria absorb the light of the laser. The light heats up the bacteria, and ends up killing the bacteria.
Besides, this bacteria is found in the oil gland, so by heating up and killing the bacteria, you can also reduce the oiliness of your gland, and subsequently shrink the size of the gland. In other words, bye-bye to oily skin!
For microdermabrasion, the handpiece used in the treatment is like a pen, and the tip is made from diamond.
This diamond slowly and gently scrapes off the dead skin, and at the same time, a vacuum is used to suck out this dead skin.
A few chemical ingredients is infused inside the skin, including hyaluronic acid for skin hydration and salicylic acid to remove the oil on the skin. This whole process helps in removing acne on the face quickly.
Home remedies for acne
I’d also like to touch on the common issue of using home remedies in treating acne.
While certain home remedies may be useful in temporarily soothing your skin condition, carelessly applying the wrong or unsuitable substances on your acne may cause a worsening of acne.
Some “remedies” like lemon and tea tree oil may even cause contact eczema – you won’t want that!
Acne management and maintenance
Acne is usually a long term problem, and it requires regular management and maintenance during the recovery period.
Here are some of the things you should watch out for:
- Don’t pop or squeeze your pimples
- Especially inflammatory ones, doing this can leave acne scars!
- Don’t let your face be too oily or too dry
- Oily glands is one of the main links to acne, but keeping your face too dry will be counterproductive, because when your skin is too dry, you actually have a higher risk of getting eczema on your face.
- You also lose the natural barrier function of your skin created via the moisture of your face.
- Watch your diet
- Although talking about diet is always difficult, there’s a study that showed that people who often take high sugar (high glycemic index) and high dairy food (like cakes, breads) tend to have worse acne compared to those who take a high fibre diet
- Avoiding these foods may reduce your chances of getting acne, but changing diet alone will not improve your acne condition
- Keep your stress levels and hormonal balances in check
- Hormones are one of the main causes of acne outbreaks
I hope that all of us can now have a clearer idea on how to get rid of your acne fast. All the best to us in the combat against acne!
Look out for next week’s entry as I share about acne at various workplaces!
*Editor’s note: As an esteemed dermatologist and skin specialist, Dr Peter prides himself in being able to treat acne patients of all types, with a 100% acne treatment success record. If you’d like to ask more about acne or have a discussion with Dr Peter, you can contact us at +6011-22882299 or book an appointment here!
Dr Peter Ch’ng is a Consultant Dermatologist actively involved in numerous talks and workshops, and is an esteemed contributor to dermatology research and publishing internationally. He practices at both Dr Peter Ch’ng Skin Specialist Clinic in Desa Park City and Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Read more about Dr Peter Ch’ng Here.