Many of us have faced this problem at some time or other. In fact, zits - as pimples are commonly tagged - affect both men and women, the young and the mature. And, if the problem is severe, zits never seem to clear up totally and can sometimes leave permanent scars.
The good news is that acne as well as the resulting scars can be cleared totally with the proper treatment from a specialist. But they can be very stubborn to get rid of so it's best to treat the problem as soon as possible to minimise scarring.
Medication: You can treat this problem with over-the-counter products as well as prescribed medication. However, acne is a condition that is not easy to manage as there is a hormonal influence and it is aggravated by stress.
As there are many factors that contribute to an acne outbreak, effective treatment should involve more than one cream and the treatment has to be of medical grade. Oral antibiotics, isotretinoin and contraceptive pills are considered in moderate to severe cases of acne.
Chemical peels: It gets acne under control and clears pigmented scars.
Laser treatment: This is for scars... but not recommended for those with a tanned complexion.
Needling or Fractional RF: This is safe for scars on tanned skin.
Pigmentation and skin tags
Freckles and melasma are the most common forms of pigmentation. While most of us know what freckles are, melasma is blackish patches that appear mainly on the cheeks and forehead.
Caused by hormones and exposure to the sun, it is more common in women over 35.
Treatment: Melasma is one of the most difficult skin conditions to clear and requires a combination of medicated lightening creams and specific chemical peels. IPL or laser can aggravate melasma and are associated with higher incidence of burns or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation with tanned skins.
On the other hand, chemical peels in combination with creams are able to even out and brighten complexions.
These are irritating and unsightly protuberances on the skin that are usually hereditary and, unfortunately, commonly seen on Indian skin. The best way to treat them is instant ablation with a CO2 laser.
This fortnightly column by Dr Komathy Rajaratnam (founder of The Lifestyle Clinic at 16-03 Camden Medical Centre, tel: 6733 0788) will deal with beauty and aesthetic issues relevant to the Indian body type.