Skin Deep Series (Part 2): Dermatologists Explain the Science Behind Clear Skin
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020, 6:00:00 PM
Ask Dr Colin Theng about:
Some questions include:
- How long does it take to completely clear your skin?
- How do you get clear skin?
- What foods can give you clear skin?
Dr Colin Theng, with over 20 years of experience, is regularly invited to speak at various conferences such as the World Congress of Dermatology and the Asian Dermatology Congress. He was especially interested in areas such as eczema and psoriasis and has served numerous advisory boards. Dr Theng has had extensive experience in both medical dermatology and laser surgery and upon years of practising, he has garner comprehensive experience in handling both Asian and Caucasian skin types. Dr Theng is currently serving as the President of the Psoriasis Association of Singapore and is a Councillor with International Psoriasis Council. He is also serving as a Treasurer at Dermatological Society of Singapore. His teaching achievements include the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
It is important to understand what is the cause of pigmentation. Very often, people get freckles or sunspots due to excessive sun exposure. This is accumulated throughout your lifetime from when you are a child to adulthood. The more sunlight you are exposed to, the higher your chances are of getting sunspots. Other types of pigmentation such as melasma could be due to hormones. Pigmentation can occur post acne as well.
In general, isotretinoin is one of the drugs with a better holding power because when you discontinue, the risk of acne coming back is generally lower than oral antibiotics. 20-30% of people usually get persistent acne throughout their life, so they still need to get treatment, even in adulthood.
Invariably, the skin and lips will get dry. Sometimes it can affect the liver and cholesterol, so you may need to do a blood test before and after to ensure that you are safe. The biggest problem is that it can affect fetuses, hence it is important to reinforce to women to not get pregnant while consuming Accutane. It can also affect the mood and cause depression but it is very rare. However, it is a very effective drug for acne treatment and many people who consume it get very good control of acne.
With depressed scars, there are many treatment options now. You can do fat deposition or fractional lasers. Scarring will improve by 30-35% but it is very hard to get smooth skin again. The important thing is to treat early to prevent scarring.
Acne is a very common problem type that affects majority. Acne usually develops during the pubertal years due to hormonal production, increasing oil production on the skin. The pores of the skin tend to clog up and due to bacterial growth over these oily areas, you can develop acne. The different forms of acne include: comedonal acne, which are small pimples like whiteheads and blackheads inflammatory acne, which are usually very red and inflamed with pimple bumps known as inflamed papilla deeper cysts called cystic acne.
If you generally have oily skin type, it is difficult to change environmental factors to decrease oil production as it is a natural tendency for you to produce oil. You can wash your face frequently to reduce the oiliness. There are aslso certain medical treatments you undergo to decrease the oiliness. One of the famous drugs is called isotretinoin, which is excellent in contolling oiliness. However, it is very difficult to decrease oiliness through lifestyle choices.
Skin type is very largely dependent on genetics. Some people are born with very good skin, some with acne-prone skin and some with very dry skin. Of course, environmental factors can also influence your skin type. If you are constantly using lots of products which are very harsh, or frequently washing your face that your skin becomes very dry and irritated, that can also affect the skin type.
There are many different skin types. This includes: normal dry oily combination skin type. Some people have very sensitive skin and how you manage your skin depends on a lot on your skin type. For example, if someone has very oily skin type, they are more likely to suffer from acne related problems because acne is associated with oily skin. This is because the pores get clogged and this increases the risk of developing acne.