4 Ways How Stress Can Affect And Take Its Toll On Your Skin

Acne Treatment, Hyaluronic Acid Injection

Acne Treatment, Hyaluronic Acid Injection

Being the largest organ in our body, the skin can show signs of stress in various ways such as eczema flare-ups, atopic dermatitis and acne. As more of us are leading busy lives in contemporary society, juggling between work and domestic demands, it is not surprising that being stressed out can impact your health. Your body can react in several ways, such as appetite changes, sleepless nights, and acne breakouts.

It has been long documented on the relationship between stress and skin conditions. When the brain responds to signals indicating stress, it can influence the stress responses in the skin. The body will produce excess cortisol, known as the stress hormone, and it can have a big impact on your immune system – leading to issues like inflammation and increased sebaceous gland activity.

Here’s a closer look at how stress impacts your skin.

1. Inflammation

Inflammation plays an important role in keeping you healthy as your body needs to defend against potential harm like viruses. But when you are facing immense stress, your body can overproduce cortisol. These inflammatory cells have increased in number to help treat the “attack”, and it can end up triggering flare-ups of any skin conditions you may be predisposed to. The inflammatory response can aggravate the skin, causing more redness and bumps.

2. Trigger or worsen existing conditions

Cortisol plays a vital role in your system. Besides fueling your body’s “fight or flight” instinct, it also helps in a number of things such as regulating your blood pressure and controls your sleep/wake cycle. But when the cortisol levels get too high, it can derail important functions in your body and contribute to health problems such as heart disease, anxiety, digestion issues and trouble sleeping.

For the skin, it can exacerbate or trigger skin conditions. For instance, if you are already suffering from eczema, it can trigger more patches of dry, itchy and inflamed skin across your body. This can have various physical and mental ripple effects, from skin infections to low self-confidence and shame.

3. Oily skin

A student examination stress study done in 2003 revealed that participants faced increased acne severity associated with higher stress levels. This suggests that emotional stress can have a significant influence on acne.

Stress sends signals to the brains to prepare the body for the stressful environment by producing a specific set of hormones. When the shift in hormone levels occur, due to increased cortisol, it can cause increased activity of sebaceous glands in the skin. This leads to higher levels of oil than usual, which can make it susceptible to blockages in the pores. When the pores get congested, along with dead skin cells and dirt, it can contribute to those pesky acne breakouts.

4. Cause dry skin and fine lines

Collagen provides support to surrounding tissues to give them structural integrity. This is what gives you that smooth, firm and bouncy skin. When the skin is stressed, increased cortisol can break down collagen and lower the synthesis of hyaluronic acid. As such, this will lead to moisture loss in the skin. The skin will look dehydrated, feel dry and experience fine lines over time. As the skin’s collagen reserves wear down, it will result in weaker and less abundant connective tissue which affects the skin’s texture.

Keep stress at bay

The first thing to do is to be aware that your body is under stress and find ways to release or manage the stress. Meditation and exercise have been known to help some people feel less stressed. Different things will work for different individuals, depending on what their stress triggers are.

At the same time, you can also turn to treatments to help manage the conditions of your skin. For instance, Q Switch laser works best as an acne treatment to target acne by firing a beam of energy at a precise wavelength onto your skin. It also provides other benefits such as minimise secretion of oil glands for better oil control, reduce inflammation of affected pores and lighten acne marks. This treatment has no downtime and takes merely 15 minutes to be carried out. For a more radiant look, you can try the Skin Boosters which offer Hyaluronic Acid injections to boost deep skin hydration. This naturally-occurring substance in our body is able to hold 1,000 times its molecular weight – improving moisture levels as well as reduce inflammation, assist in collagen production and provide anti-oxidative benefits. Overall, it will result in dewy, plump and supple skin.

4 Questions Asked And Answered Regarding Cystic Acne

Acne Treatment, Acne Scar Removal

Acne Treatment, Acne Scar Removal

Acne remains to be a subject that isn’t completely understood by scientists and medical experts on what exactly causes the condition. As more studies are conducted, and as medicine advances, there will be new approaches to treating acne.

Research done in 2017 suggested that the P.acnes bacteria comes in two strains that have subtle differences at a genetic level. On people without acne, they have genes that are believed to help prevent bacteria from colonising the skin. On the other hand, P.acnes contains higher levels of genes associated with virulence in people who have acne, which can cause inflammation and produce acne.

While there’s more that needs to be done on understanding acne and acne treatments, it is still not a lost cause for you to prevent breakouts or keep them from leaving a lasting mark on your face. In particular, red and swollen pimples – or cystic acne – can be frustrating to deal with constantly.

What is cystic acne?

This inflammatory type of acne causes bumps that occur deep under the skin. They are usually red, tender and painful and appear commonly on the face – though there are instances of appearing on the chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Due to the depth and amount of inflammation, cystic acne is different than the other superficial types of acne (whiteheads and blackheads), and it is more likely to cause severe scarring.

What are the causes of cystic acne?

When your pores get clogged with dead skin and oil, all types of acne risk popping up.  And in cystic acne, bacteria get trapped deep inside your pores and cause inflammation – which leads to swelling, redness and pain.

The overproduction of testosterone may also lead to increased sebum production. These hormones can affect the nature of the skin cells that line hair follicles, making them sticky and more likely to be pore-clogging. As such, there is a higher risk of inflammed sebaceous glands which can trigger an acne outbreak. This is also why acne can get worse around menstrual cycles due the changes in hormone levels. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, or a hormonal imbalance condition like PCOS, are also other common causes related to hormones.

How to care for acne-prone skin?

With the ongoing circuit breaker measure, try to keep your skincare routine consistent. Use a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water when washing your day in the morning and night time. Don’t forget to follow up with hydrating products like essence and moisturiser, before applying the final step – sunscreen every morning to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Avoid causing your skin to be dehydrated, as this can lead to excess sebum production to make up for the loss in moisture.

If you’re using at-home acne treatments, give it time to work. Generally, a product needs 6 to 8 works for it to show improvement to your skin. Avoid trying a new acne treatment every week or so, and limit the frequency to once a week or whenever needed – especially for spot treatments. Otherwise, they may lead to more redness, dryness and inflammation. Purify your skin with a detoxifying mask weekly to get rid of impurities and excess oil.

How to get rid of cystic acne scars?

Cystic acne can leave lasting scars behind as they heal. Additionally, permanent scarring is more likely to develop if you squeeze or pick at your acne. The type of acne scarring can also vary and range in appearance from shallow to deep and narrow depressions. Atrophic scars are commonly caused by severe cystic acne that can result in ice pick scars, boxcar scars and rolling scars.

There are several acne scar removal treatments around, including micro needling and laser resurfacing, to clear up cystic acne scars. The Infini Fractional RadioFrequency (FRF) Lifting can address the sunken acne scars on your face by stimulating deep collagen production. Radiofrequency (RF) has been known to provide numerous benefits to the skin such as wrinkle reduction, skin tightening and facial rejuvenation. In Fractional RF, the energy is broken into smaller and more focused fractions to deliver more effective RF doses to the skin. The Infini system can help to deliver as deep as 3.5mm below the skin’s surface, where collagen and elastic fibres are present to prevent wrinkles and sagging. With deep collagen stimulation, the skin can produce new collagen fibres to reduce wrinkles, and turn acne scars shallower and less obvious. With Infini, you can see results as early as 1-2 weeks and maximal results after 2-3 months.

4 Tips To Help Adapt To Skin Changes During #StayHome Period

Acne Treatment, Hyaluronic Acid Injection

Acne Treatment, Hyaluronic Acid Injection

As most of us are now confined to our homes and practising physical distancing, various aspects of our previous normalcy have been forced to change and adapt. And our skin may be feeling the effects too.

The reality is, being cooped up at home with little outdoors time can cause an increase in breakouts and dry skin – especially if you are blasting the aircon all-day at home, the recirculated air inside is drier as compared to the air outside. This dry air is also lower in humidity which can lead to drier skin over an increased period of time.

As such, it’s not surprising to say that your skincare regime will need some fine-tuning. Get started with our list of tips below.

1. Keep breakouts at bay

If you’ve been experiencing skin breakouts, as well as feeling general bouts of anxiety, stress may be the reason why. The primary stress hormone, cortisol, is a recognised trigger for inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis. During this stressful period of time with the ongoing Covid-19 situation, your stress levels may be slowly rising and you may start to notice more breakouts.

Take this opportunity to invest more time in giving your complexion a boost. A quick five-minute nightly facial massage using a roller or your fingers can help to relieve fatigue and increase blood circulation. Not only will it provide some relaxing effects, but improve insufficient blood flow which can lead to dull skin and sallow complexion.

2. Wearing sunscreen

Regardless if you are staying at home all-day, or heading out to exercise for an hour or two, daily use of sunscreen is still important. UVA rays are present all year round and they can contribute to premature ageing. If you are working from home and sitting by the window while soaking in the sun, prolonged UV exposure can risk your skin with sun damage. Apply sunscreen diligently at the start of the day. You can also blend the product with your daily moisturiser so it will seamlessly become a part of your daily routine.

3. Impact of blue light

Your screen time are most likely increased due to staying indoors, and it is important to ensure you are protecting your skin against the harmful blue light emitted by digital devices. This high-frequency, short-wave light can stimulate alertness during daytime, but being exposed to it for too long before bedtime can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm.

Experts are still studying about the cellular effects of blue light on the skin, but a 2017 study shows that blue light contributes to the formation of free radicals, breaking down elastin and collagen in the skin. When it penetrates deeper into the skin, it can also result in wrinkles and decreased firmness. While the jury is still out on whether blue light truly wreaks havoc on your skin, it can still impact your eye health and sleep pattern. If you are concerned on its effects on your skin, introduce an antioxidant booster to your serum or moisturiser to boost your skin’s defence against these environmental stressors.

4. Give yourself a facial at home

With the ongoing Circuit Breaker measures, we know how it’s not possible to make it down to your acne treatment appointment. Give yourself a mini facial at home – it’s important that you continue to maintain the condition of your skin in the meantime. Exfoliate weekly to remove the dead skin cells that can clog the pores, and reveal new cells underneath. Regular exfoliation, using AHAs and BHAs, will also allow your other skincare products to penetrate the skin more efficiently for maximum benefit.

Use a mud mask to offer your skin a deep cleanse and clear any excess oil from clogging your pores. A hydrating facial mask can also help to inject moisture into your skin and improve elasticity.

If you’re looking to book your next aesthetic appointment post-Circuit Breaker, we offer the Skin Boosters filler treatments to give deep skin hydration. They are Hyaluronic Acid injections that help to improve the hydration and firmness of the skin. Hyaluronic Acid also has several benefits including reducing inflammation, improving acne scars, reducing fine lines, and boosting collagen production. The Skin Boosters will be injected manually or through a device to deposit soft Hyaluronic Acid fillers and promote long-term hydration in the skin.

3 Facts You Should Know Behind The Myths Of Melasma

Skin Pigmentation, Pigmentation On Face

Skin Pigmentation, Pigmentation On Face

Melasma is a common skin pigmentation problem that affects over 45 million people globally; and in Singapore, about 1,500 women suffer from this condition annually. It involves the appearance of blotchy and brownish patches commonly over the cheeks, as well as the forehead, nose bridge and jawline.

While the condition does not pose any health risks and causes no pain, it can bring up emotional distress and affect the self-confidence for women who develop these pigmented patches on their faces. Caused by the overproduction of melanin in the skin’s pigment cells, melasma is influenced by several factors like pregnancy, sun exposure and oral contraceptive use.

The skin condition is prevalent in women than men, and many might be misinformed about how it can be tackled effectively. We take a closer look at some of the facts behind the myths of melasma so you know what to expect when treating it.

1. Myth: Melasma can be exfoliated away

Regular exfoliation can do wonders to remove dead skin cells and improve the texture of the skin. However, it does not help to treat or lighten melasma patches. Melasma is caused by overactive melanocytes which leads to the production of darker pigments that are not located in the superficial, epidermis layers of the skin. Using an exfoliator can render your efforts nought, and cause skin irritation instead. Being overly aggressive with skin scrubbing can worsen melasma with increased pigment production.

2. Myth: Skin pigmentation treatments are one-size-fits-all

There are 3 types of melasma, which required varied treatments to address the different levels of pigmentation in the skin.

Epidermal melasma – increased skin pigments in the top layer of the skin that appear as brown patches with defined borders.

Dermal melasma – tend to affect the deeper dermis layer of the skin, appearing as blue-gray patches without a clear border.

Mixed melasma – as the name suggests, it is a combination of light and dark brown patches that affect both the skin’s epidermal and dermal layers.

Pigmentation can be treated successfully with laser treatments, prescribed lightening creams and chemical peels – but they are used for different types of pigmentation. Unsuitable methods can worsen the initial problem, which is why going to an experienced doctor to seek proper advice and effectively remove any pigmentation on face is vital.

3. Myth: Once treated, melasma can be completely gone

Melasma can be challenging to treat – it also has the possibility to recur even after being successfully treated due to multiple factors which are not always easy to spot and control. Melasma has no permanent cure and some cases cannot be completely lightened, though you can take better control of it with prevention.

One of the best ways to prevent your condition from worsening is by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher every day. A common risk factor of melasma is sun exposure, so it’s recommended to apply it religiously – even if you’re staying indoors all-day during the Circuit Breaker period, as the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate through the glass windows.

Treating melasma

We offer various treatments to treat pigmented skin and melasma. Cosmelan Peel is a non-invasive depigmentation peel that controls the enzyme, tyrosinase, which plays a role in melanin production. By regulating the levels of melanin produced, it can help to even out the skin complexion and reduce pigmentation.

Another common treatment is chemical peels – where we apply a solution ranging between 20% to 50% of salicylic acid concentrations to your skin which helps in the removal of sun damaged cells. The level of intensity and number of sessions required to reduce pigmentation effectively will depend on your skin condition. For lasers, we utilise the Q-switch laser which delivers more efficacy in lightening targeted area with no downtime. It operates in the billionths of a second, breaking down the pigmented cells and releasing it into the skin to be naturally disposed by the body. It also works as an acne scar removal treatment for any unwanted scarring left behind by acne breakouts.

Q-Switch Laser: Your Next Acne Treatment Post-Circuit Breaker

Skin Pigmentation, Acne Treatment

Skin Pigmentation, Acne Treatment

While most people are staying home to reduce the spread of Covid-19, there is a big change in their daily routine and environment – which can impact the skin. It is important to continue practising good skincare even when spending most of the time indoors, to maintain the condition of the skin.

This includes regularly applying SPF during daytime, even if you are not going outside. Harmful UV rays from the sun can still penetrate through the glass windows and cause signs of photo-ageing and sun damage. This can easily result in deep lines and pigmentation. Plus, with all the stress associated with the pandemic, it is also not surprising if you are battling with facial breakouts as a result.

If you’re looking to book your next appointment once the Circuit Breaker measure is lifted, consider Q-Switch as the aesthetic treatment you should go for.

What does it do

The Q-Switch laser treatment works by releasing energy-charged beams to focus on a targeted area of the skin. The laser beam is delivered in pulses per nanosecond at a precise wavelength (1064nm), penetrating through the skin to break down excess skin pigmentation into small particles. These will be naturally absorbed and eliminated by the body’s immune system.

It is effective against unwanted spots and marks on the skin such as freckles, age spots and acne scars. The laser can remove up to 75-100% of the targeted brown spot in a single session. Depending on the individual, a second treatment may be required to treat the affected area completely. The settings of the laser can also be adjusted to varying frequencies to offer a customised solution to each patient.

Benefits you can expect

The laser will provide a gentle stimulation of the skin’s collagen to increase production levels, which helps to maintain the firmness and elasticity of your skin.

As an acne treatment, the laser also kills P-acnes – the bacteria which contribute to acne developing. It will also assist in minimising the secretion of excess sebaceous glands so you can have a more regulated oil control production in your skin. At the same time, it will reduce inflammation of any affected pores to prevent worse breakouts. Because it eliminates excess pigments in targeted areas and helps in acne scar removal too, you can expect a brighter and more rejuvenated skin complexion.

What is the downtime

What you’d be pleased to know is that the Q-Switch laser treatment has almost no downtime! A mild flush can be expected for around 15 minutes post-treatment, but you can resume your daily activities and apply makeup immediately without much worry.

It is also a gentle alternative as compared to other skin resurfacing procedures. This FDA-approved treatment requires no numbing cream and is one of the least painful aesthetic procedures. Different patients have varying pain level threshold – you can expect to feel a warm sensation on the skin, but it is considered to be a tolerable and comfortable process in general.

See the difference in your skin

Within 3 – 4 weeks of commencing Q-Switch treatment, you can expect to see results of smaller pores, improved pigmentation and reduced pimple breakouts. Consult with our doctors to find out more about this acne treatment and its suitability for your skin. Book your appointment with us at Aesthetics Central Clinic.

4 Tips To Prevent Skin Irritation When Wearing A Face Mask

Acne Treatment, Acne Scar Removal

Acne Treatment, Acne Scar Removal

As we enter this new normal of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have to make some adjustments in our daily routine. This means working from home, making more online purchases through home delivery, and meticulously planning our grocery trips. As the Circuit Breaker measure in Singapore was extended, wearing face masks was also made mandatory whenever individuals are out in public in order to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

While the purpose is to keep you safe, your face mask may cause some undesirable side effects. Any fabric rubbing against your skin may led to friction and irritation. On top of that, sweat, dirt and oil can accumulate under the fabric. With constant rubbing, this can easily lead to rashes or even acne breakouts especially in the areas where the mask comes in direct contact with your skin.

At the same time, you are also trapping your own breath and this can create a warm and moist environment. Under the mask, your skin can get damn from the moisture, making it susceptible to irritation and breakouts. While shielding yourself against any viruses is of utmost importance, there are ways to keep your skin protected too.

1. Check the mask fabric

Surgical masks are recommended to protect the wearer from airborne particles and any liquid that can contaminate the face. They are made in varying thicknesses and have different ability to protect from particle droplets, splatter or sprays that may contain germs. They also have different properties that may affect how easily you can breathe through the mask.

But simple cloth face coverings are also encouraged for the public to slow the spread of the virus and prevent from unknowingly transmitting it to others. And the choice of fabric used can make a big difference. Avoid synthetic materials and pick something soft and natural like cotton. Breathable fabrics are more likely to filter the air in and allow for breathing without restriction.

2. Take a break from makeup

Whenever possible, it is a good idea to let your skin breathe when wearing a face mask out. The mask is more likely to remove some parts of your makeup as it rubs against your skin. Plus, makeup can also cause further occlusion of pores and old glands which can potentially make breakouts worse. If you still want to play with makeup, try skipping your foundation and blush, and opt for well-groomed brows and a defined eye makeup instead.

3. Cleanse your face afterwards

If you’ve been wearing your mask for several hours, take it off and wash your hands once home. Proceed to wash your face afterwards to get rid of any build-up impurities, oil and dirt that can cause oil blockage and easily lead to breakouts. Keep in mind to use gentle skin cleansers that won’t disrupt the outer skin layer and cause dryness or inflammation. This will also reduce the chances of you developing irritation while wearing a mask.

4. Ease your skin with a barrier cream

Pay close attention to your skin since it might be in need of special care after you have used a mask. If you are breaking out, focus on acne treatment products and acne-fighting ingredients or actives such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid. For dryness or rash, look for healing and soothing products. Any redness and abrasions can be reduced by decreasing the tension and friction through skin lubrication with occlusive creams.

It is wise to keep your skin in good shape and have control over any breakouts so you also won’t have to deal with the resulting skin pigmentation. Acne commonly plagues people, especially living in a tropical climate plus the current necessity of wearing a face mask. If you need some professional help, talk to our doctors at Aesthetics Central Clinic – we are able to help you through your concerns through our teleconsultation.

For acne treatments, we usually deploy the Q Switch laser treatment to eliminate the acne-contributing bacteria, reduce inflammation and minimise oil secretion for better oil control. This no-downtime treatment will emit a tolerable warm sensation on the skin as it fires a beam of energy at 1064nm onto your skin in just 15 minutes. For acne scar removal, you can also look forward to the laser’s ability in removing any unwanted pigmentation on face for a clearer complexion.

4 Ways To Keep Your Skin Healthy While Staying Indoors

Acne Treatment, Acne Scar Removal

Acne Treatment, Acne Scar Removal

As the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker measures kick in, more people are working from home and staying indoors for most of the day. And for those skipping makeup, this can be a time-saver in the morning as you will spend less time getting ready for work. This could also be a good thing for your skin – as you get to focus more on the skincare aspect of your daily routine.

Even though you’re working from home, your skincare regime is still valuable to ensure your skin remains as healthy as possible. It can be tempting to get a little lazy with your skincare routine, but consistency is key to keep your skin on track. This will help to prevent any congestion, clogged pores and dehydrated complexion that can risk breakouts.

1. Sunscreen

Keeping up with your day-to-day skincare routine helps to keep your skin stay calm, clear and shielded from external elements. Sunscreen is still a necessary part of your routine to wear at home, especially if you are near windows. UVA rays can continue to penetrate through glass – and these rays are responsible for photo-ageing.

Even if you’re outside for a short 15 to 30-minute walk to do your grocery shopping or head for your morning jog, the UV rays can work fast in damaging unprotected skin. UVA rays can also penetrate through the clouds during cloudy days and expose your skin to sun damage.

2. Moisturise

While SPF is high on the list when it comes to skin protection, hydrating your skin should also be prioritised when working from home. Lightweight moisturisers and hyaluronic acid serums work effectively to replenish the skin’s natural hydration levels and combat the drying effects of air conditioning at home. It will also prevent dehydration, which in turn causes excess sebum to be produced in order to compensate the lack of hydration in the skin. The overproduction of sebum in a follicle can cause the pore to get clogged together with dead skin cells and other impurities, leading to various forms of acne.

3. De-stress

Acne has a way of popping up when you are feeling stressed out. This can be attributed to the fact that stress produces a chemical reaction in the body that can wreak havoc on the skin, which causes sensitivity and inflammation. The stress hormone, cortisol, is released thus causing the skin to produce more oil and be susceptible to breakouts. High levels of cortisol can also weaken the immune system which you can begin seeing your skin conditions get exacerbated. It’s tough to avoid stress during these uncertain times, but besides keeping your mental health in check, you can also stop the habit of touching your face, keep a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep for your body to fight back against breakouts.

 4. Pamper yourself

As non-essential businesses are closed during Singapore’s Circuit Breaker period, you can give your skin some TLC treatment at home to maintain its condition. The stress from homebound working can take its toll on you and your skin. Combat any dullness, fatigue and inflammation on the skin by opting for a facial mask during your downtime. Not only does it put you in a relaxing state, it will also help to decongest your pores, remove excess dead skins and nourish your skin with beneficial ingredients. Use a mask that is focused on your current needs, be it dryness or acne. Remove it after the instructed duration and continue with your daily skincare routine.

At Aesthetics Central Clinic, we offer skin solutions for various needs including ageing and acne treatment. The Q Switch laser is one such treatment we use to clear acne, by eliminating the P.acnes bacteria on the skin, minimise secretion of sebaceous glands and reduce inflammation of affected pores. The settings of the laser can be adjusted to different frequencies to provide a tailored solution to different skin conditions. For acne scar removal, the Secret RF offers 1-3 days of downtime to remove depressed acne scars, improve fine lines, and provide a skin-lifting effect through a non-surgical method. It can apply controlled RF energy up to 3.5mm deep which makes it an effective acne scar treatment that brings results.

Contact our clinic today to find out more!

Taking Care Of Your Skin During The COVID-19 Circuit Breaker

Skin Pigmentation Singapore, Acne Scar Removal

Skin Pigmentation Singapore, Acne Scar Removal

With all the stay-at-home measures in place, self-care is becoming more important, especially during times of pandemic. Our daily routines needed some adjustments, such as sleeping, eating and exercising. On top of this, it is also likely that you are feeling pretty stressed out given the current pandemic situation.

Keeping the immune system healthy and strong is not only crucial to protect us from the virus – it will also play a role in ensuring your skin remains in good shape. When it comes to skin, having a good complexion can make you feel good and provide a mood-booster for the sake of your mental health during such unsettling times. Paying attention to your skin will also ensure you can keep any skin issues at bay.

Here are some tips on how you can protect your skin as well as your health during #StayHome.

Getting enough sleep

While most of us can afford the late nights and getting extra shut-eye by skipping the work commute, you will still need to keep to a schedule and get 7-8 hours of sleep. It is also common for stressful situations, anxiety and worrying to impair sleep. Set an alarm to tell you when you should go to bed and when to get up. Ease your worries by connecting with others during the day and use short mindfulness activities to help you relax before bedtime.

Oversleepers may also feel groggy in the morning – poor sleep can negatively affect daytime functioning and mood when awake. Inadequate sleep also causes the body to release more stress hormones, or cortisol, which can cause inflammation in the skin. This will manifest as acne breakouts.

Wearing sunscreen

We may not be allowed outside for non-essential purposes, but making those short trips to the supermarket still exposes us to UV rays. And even if you sit near the window at home and spend long hours working there, make sure to apply a sunscreen to shield your skin as some UV rays can pass through glass windows and cause sun damage. Over time, this can appear as pigmentation on face like freckles and sun spots.

Pamper yourself during your skincare routine

It is common for the COVID-19 outbreak to take an emotional toll on anyone. Feelings of uncertainty, thoughts racing and stress are easily elicited. Take the opportunity to unwind and take a breather with the ritual of putting on your skincare. Take your time with the product application and massage your face gently to warm up the muscles, boosting blood circulation and enhancing the absorption of the applied product. This also allows for lymphatic drainage, which can reduce puffiness and lower fluid retention. You can also consider using facial massage tools like jade rollers to massage your face and put you in a relaxed mood.

Aside from applying skincare, keep your hands away from your face to avoid transferring dirt and bacteria onto the skin which can clog pores and cause a breakout. In times of stress, people are also more prone to picking their skin. This can exacerbate the situation with more breakouts and cause unsightly scars. Use spot-treatments instead to tackle the redness and pimples.

Treat yourself to an aesthetic treatment once the stay-home measures are lifted. Acne treatments like the Q Switch laser utilises concentrated beams of energy to kill the P-acne bacteria, shrink the skin’s oil glands and prevent breakouts. By controlling excess oil produced, you can lower the chances of clogged the pores with sebum and dead skin cells, especially when complemented with an effective skincare regimen. The laser is also effective as an acne scar removal and targets skin pigmentation such as age spots, sun spots and acne marks. The number of sessions needed will depend on individual skin type and condition, particularly for deeper acne scars. You can also look forward to an overall skin rejuvenation effect.

Book an appointment with us at Aesthetics Central Clinic!

Acne Marks: 4 Things To Know About Post-Inflammatory Erythema

Skin Pigmentation Singapore, Acne Scar Removal

Skin Pigmentation Singapore, Acne Scar Removal

Persistent acne scars and marks are often a prolonged battle for most acne sufferers. Acne is one of the most common skin diseases, which affects approximately 80% of the global population. Its inflammatory nature usually leads to acne scars and marks that have a significant effect on one’s self-image.

Often times, individuals will have a combination of discoloured marks, skin pigmentation and textural scars. Recognizing these distinctions is important so the right acne scar removal methods can be carried out to meet patients’ concerns adequately and address the residual acne imperfections.

1. Not all inflammatory acne scars are the same

Post-inflammatory erythema, or PIE, is a new term that was introduced in 2013 to describe the phenomenon of pink-to-red discolouration that is left behind on the skin after an inflammatory acne lesion. These persistent red marks can appear following your acne treatment. PIE is distinct from PIH as PIH (hyperpigmentation) refers to pigment change while PIE describes residual erythema (redness).

Facial PIE can improve and fade over time, but it occurs very slowly. In some cases, however, a complete clearance of PIE cannot be achieved. PIE can vary in appearance, depending on the severity – from pink, red to deep purple discolouration.

2. Caused by damaged capillaries under the skin

While hyperpigmentation is caused by an overproduction of melanin, PIE happens when tiny blood vessels (capillaries) get dilated or damaged due to inflammation and trauma. This can occur by causes like popping pimples and inflamed acne. However, there are also non-acne related causes like sunburn, chemical/laser burns, over-exfoliation, cuts, and scratches.

3. Check for it with a simple touch test

It’s pretty easy to tell if you have atrophic or hypertrophic acne scarring. But it can be hard to differentiate between PIE and PIH. It is also not uncommon that you might have a combination of both. But this simple touch test can help you figure out whether you have post-inflammatory erythema. Apply light pressure to the skin and press down on the area where the suspected PIE is. Check to see if it momentarily disappears or turns white – if yes, PIE is present. Known as skin blanching, this refers to the temporary restriction of blood vessels. Hyperpigmentation does not react the same way under pressure.

4. Treating and caring for PIE

It is crucial to prevent further inflammation when dealing with PIE. Avoid picking your skin with your fingers as this will push bacteria further into the wound, thus risk contaminating and aggravating the condition. Harsh physical exfoliating scrubs can be abrasive and induce micro-tearing into the skin, leading to weakened and broken blood vessels. Sunscreen is also highly recommended – unprotected and extended sun exposure can darken the marks and make it harder to treat.

If you’re looking to quickly improve the appearance of post-inflammatory erythema on your skin, vascular or pulsed dye lasers have been shown through anecdotal studies to improve PIE. It targets haemoglobin in the blood through the process of selective photothermolysis, and dissipate the pooled or damaged blood vessels to reduce the prominence of vascular in PIE effectively. The VBeam Prima is one such efficient pulsed-dye laser that works with dual wavelengths – 595nm and 1064nm to treat various skin conditions including rosacea, wrinkles, port wine stains, facial and leg telangiectasia and similar vascular conditions. It comes with a built-in dual cooling system to treat vascular and pigmented lesions simultaneously, and ensure epidermal protection.

Another suitable treatment is the Q Switch Nd:YAG laser which produces non-invasive laser energy pulse with a wavelength of 1064nm, enabling it to penetrate deeper into the skin without affected surrounding healthy skin. The targeted pigments will be broken down into smaller fragments and get naturally disposed by the body’s lymphatic system. At the same time, the laser helps to stimulate the skin’s own collagen production for increased skin firmness and elasticity. With low downtime, it has been provide to decrease skin pigmentation such as PIE, freckles, sun spots and melasma.

It’s important to get a full assessment of the cause and nature of the condition before starting on any treatment plan. Do consult with our doctors to determine the type of acne scars you have and the recommended approach to resolve your skin concern.

Why Touching Your Face Is A No-No: 4 Tips To Break The Habit

Skin Pigmentation, Acne Treatment

Skin Pigmentation, Acne Treatment

Amid the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve heard health care authorities everywhere urging people to refrain from touching their face. According to the American Journal of Infection Control, it was found in a 2015 study that people touch their faces more than 20 times a day.

This becomes a concern as people run the risk of picking up pathogens with their hands and getting it into the body through the mucous membranes on the face — mouth, nose, and eyes. From turning doorknobs and picking up objects, people are constantly touching surfaces. But it goes beyond just the virus outbreak; this habit should also be refrained on the regular.

Most people are guilty of touching their faces to pop a pimple or squeeze out a blackhead. This can result in more noticeable acne scars and long-lasting skin pigmentation as well as the risk of infection or more breakouts. Your hands can also spread oil, dirt and bacteria to your face, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. If you are still in the habit of reaching to touch your face throughout the day, here are some tips that can help keep your hands off your face.

1. Alter your perspective

Allow your thoughts to be flexible instead of punitive to help you change your habits. Rather than thinking “don’t touch your face”, tell yourself that you are going to be more aware of touching your face. Doing this consistently can encourage your brain to make that thought salient so you will be more conscientious of not doing it.

2. Use reminders strategically

It would be helpful to have a constant reminder especially in the beginning. Write on sticky notes and place them in places where you will constantly be around the house or in the office, and on items that you regularly use such as fridge, laptop, and dressing table. You can also set a frequent reminder into your phone to notify you every half hour or so. This can help to build up enough momentum in breaking that habit.

3. Keep your hands busy

This is one of the foolproof ways you can try to avoid face-touching. Keep your hands preoccupied with activities like drawing, typing, knitting, and playing video games. It will lessen the opportunity for your hands to make their way toward your face. Alternatively, you can adopt one of the distraction techniques whenever you get the urge to touch your face. Face-touching habits can also be the result of triggers, such as stress and boredom, so keep a stress ball or small toy by your desk to occupy your hands.

4. Self-monitor

It could also be helpful to create a physical record where you briefly describe each time you touch your face. This helps you understand and identify which part of your face is frequently touched in a bid to reduce all those instances of face-touching. For example, you might pick at the dry skin on your lips, scratch your nose due to an itch, or rest your chin on your palm while reading. Look into changing your environment so you can reduce the urges or address the situations that are associated with your face-touching.

The only few times you can touch your face – with clean hands – are for applying skincare products and makeup. Cleanse your face thoroughly and use an oil-free, hydrating moisturiser to maintain your skin’s natural moisture. Dehydrated skin can cause excess oil production, leading to clogged pores and increased acne breakouts. If you are suffering from acne, refrain from popping them with your fingers and seek an acne treatment instead.

At Aesthetics Central Clinic, we deploy the Q Switch Laser to deliver a beam of energy at the treatment area without affecting the surrounding healthy skin. The laser can be adjusted to different frequencies to provide a customised solution for different skin conditions. The laser helps to kill the P-acne bacteria which contributes to acne, reduce inflammation of affected pores and regulate oil control. You can also look forward to having any unwanted pigmentation on skin reduced and lightened for an improved appearance. Schedule an appointment with our doctors today!