Needleless Serum Infusion Treatment

The COVID19 pandemic has changed the world and changed our lives in so many ways. Wearing a mask when we are out has become the new norm. Working from home has become the default for a lot of us. These changes inevitably cause some of us to alter our lifestyle drastically, including staying up late, eating unhealthy meals and forgetting to exercise. This indirectly causes our skin quality to deteriorate and become more prone to acne and scars. In addition, wearing a mask in our hot and humid climate leads to developing mask-related acne, or commonly known as maskne.

How do we deal with these adverse skin changes due to mask wearing and poor lifestyle? Here are the 5 tips that can help improve and maintain your skin quality during this period.

Invest in good skin care products

We often ignore the importance of skin care (and skin care products) when we are not meeting people regularly. It is as if we take care of our skin just to look good in front of others. Like it or not, how you look does affect your self esteem and confidence. Good skin makes you look and feel good about yourself.

Invest in yourself – by investing in good and suitable skin care products. Use quality cleanser, moisturiser, sunblock and skin anti-ageing serum such as vitamin C and peptide serum diligently. This will keep your skin under control on good and bad days, and reduce the likelihood of having acne breakouts and acne scars.

Protect your skin from the sun, and cleanse your face thoroughly each time after you workout. This can prevent bacteria proliferation around the facial skin that leads to acne.

Have good regular facial treatment

Due to prolonged mask wearing, there is often trapped moisture around the face. This causes congested skin and pores, which becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that inevitably leads to maskne. It also does not help that some people do not change or wash their mask regularly. This explains a sudden increase in acne breakouts during this pandemic period. Therefore, what you do at home (cleansing) may not be sufficient sometimes.

Go for a regular facial treatment, such as the popular Hydrafacial. Hydrafacial is a revolutionary multi-step treatment that combines the benefits of hydra der­mabrasion, a chemical peel and painless extractions with a special delivery of antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and peptides. This helps cleanse the facial skin more thoroughly and improve overall skin hydration and skin health.

Use retinol

Retinol is a form of vitamin A, which is one of the body’s key nutrients for boosting cell turnover. It is commonly used to treat acne and reduce wrinkles.

Retinol works by triggering the skin cells to turnover faster so that new skin cells can generate. By doing so, it also helps increase the production of essential chemicals such as hyaluronic acid and collagen that help improve overall skin quality.

Retinol helps improve acne skin by accelerating cell turnover and reduces oil production. Decreased oil production prevents oil from clogging up pores and helps to prevent acne.
Collectively, this results in a smoother skin with less acne. Add a retinol in your skin care routine!

Try facial laser

Facial laser treatment has set a new standard for skin rejuvenation treatment. Laser helps improve skin pigmentation, pores, acne, overall skin tone and skin texture.

Gentlemax Pro laser helps improve acne, acne redness and acne scars.It can be done regularly to keep your skin under control.

Pico laser toning is a lunchtime laser treatment that you can do on a monthly basis to help improve your overall skin quality and maintain a radiant and glowy skin tone. It is almost painless with minimal to no downtime, perfect for individuals with busy schedules.

See a doctor

If you struggle with keeping up with your adverse skin changes, perhaps it is time to seek professional help. Sometimes, in more severe cases, you may require medications such as antibiotic cream, retinoids (stronger version of retinol) and antibiotic tablets to treat maskne. These can only be prescribed by doctors.

Let your doctor assess your skin condition and prescribe the most appropriate medication and treatment for you.

Do you seek advice for your skin issues from the internet? 

Social media has become such an inherent part of our lives that often, the first thing that comes to mind when we have a question to answer is scroll through our Facebook, Instagram, TikTok feeds for the solution. This often gives us a mix of results, some work, and some do not work. We often just laugh off the ones that do not work and promise ourselves not to follow it again, just to go through the same cycle soon after. 

This is benign in many circumstances, but more recently, a survey published (Yousaf A et al. Pediatr Dermatol. 2020 Jan 15. doi: 10.1111/pde.14091.) suggests that many patients consult social media for advice even on acne treatment. Also showed in that same study is that the majority of people who do will go on to follow recommendations that do not align with proven clinical guidelines. 

The study surveyed 130 patients of whom 45% consulted social media for advice on acne treatment and 52% of those went on to follow recommendations that do not correspond to medical guidelines. Most patients reported no (40%) to minimal (53%) improvement in their acne after following the advice. 

Of the most common social media platforms used, YouTube and Instagram came tops, with 58% each, followed by Pinterest (31%), Facebook (19%), Twitter (9%), Snapchat (7%). [patients could select more than one platform].

The social media advice patients went on to follow included using over the counter products (81%), making dietary adjustments (40%), using self-made products (19%) and taking supplements (16%). 

Of these, only 7% reported significant improvement in their acne. This is a concerning trend, and poor results are likely due to inaccurate content on social media compared to healthcare sources. 

It is not difficult to see why there is so much misinformation on the internet. Social media is increasingly becoming not just the main route of marketing products, it has also indirectly fueled emotional and mental associations of an individual to their appearance by increase in usage of social media and photo-editing apps. The global anti-acne cosmetics market size was valued at USD2.07 billion in 2018 and continues to grow year on year. With multiple parties trying to get a share of the market, unscrupulous parties have marketed products either with false claims, using a variety of marketing tactics to reach these vulnerable patients. 

Acne patients are prone to suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, poor quality of life and loneliness, and it is not rocket science as to why that is. Acne can be a debilitating disease, and may leave permanent scars which are sometimes even more difficult to treat than the acne itself. In the survey, about half of the patients (51%) had moderate acne, while 38% had severe acne. Only 11% of the patients surveyed had mild acne. Taking up the advice on social media means that patients with moderate to severe acne may have been delayed in their seeking medical treatment for their acne, and deprived of early treatment. It is especially crucial in these patients that medical treatment of acne is instituted quickly and effectively to prevent lifelong scarring. 

Acne is not only a social concern. It is a medical condition with medical treatments that are able to address it. Solutions seen on social media may be effective for one person, but the results may be the complete opposite in another individual. Treatment of acne is never a once-size-fits-all solution and a tailored treatment based on the assessment of the doctor is crucial for its success. Unproven treatments are never a replacement to medically proven treatments that have not only been reviewed for their efficacy in labs, but in large randomized controlled trials all over the world. 

If you are suffering from acne, speak to your doctor about treatments before speaking to Dr. Social Media.

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