In The Clear

Acne vulgaris is a common skin disease, especially among adolescents and young adults. It typically starts at puberty, and resolves slowly as a person approaches his or her 20s – although some people do continue to have acne in their 40s and 50s. Dr Kellyn Shiau shares how women can achieve the ‘flawless look’ on their wedding day without using copious amounts of make-up.


Acne is caused due to plugged pores, a result of excess sebum. Pores may be plugged at different skin levels, and inflammation may coexist.

Common Topical & Oral Medications

One of the main complications of acne is hyperpigmentation and scarring. After acne has been treated and resolved, the residual scarring and hyperpigmentation can be alleviated via topical agents and machine assisted procedures. Topical agents that contain ingredients such as hydroquinone, retinoids and glycolic acid can aid in lightening hyperpigmentation scars. 

Prescribed topical agents such as creams, gels and lotions that have comedolytic and anti-inflammatory properties can help to speed up the healing process while controlling oil production. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and carbon laser peels can also assist in the clearing and healing of acne.

Fractional Laser Therapy

Fractional lasers remove tiny pinpoint areas of skin in a pixelated pattern. This healing process stimulates the formation of collagen and new skin cells, which will in turn repair scars, fine lines and wrinkles. You can expect new skin that emerges after a week – skin that is smoother, tighter, more finely-textured, clearer, and fresher-looking. 

Aside from reducing the visible effects of acne scarring, fractional laser treatment can also be used to counter enlarged pores and uneven skin tone, as well as encouraging skin tightening and resurfacing. A slight tingling sensation may be felt after the treatment and mild redness may be noted. The skin peels off in about five days, revealing new, fresh skin.


INTRAcel therapy is another technologically-advanced method of reducing acne scars. The INTRAcel device consists of a Fractional Radiofrequency (RF) Microneedle array, which assists in reinvigorating the skin, and can aid in the treatment for acne scarring and large pores. 

Target areas will be treated through the rapid penetration of specially designed insulated micro-needles, which do not cause extensive damage to the uppermost layer of the skin. At the same time, it emits a high-tension radiofrequency pulse onto the target area inside the skin, which simulates the construction of new collagen. The procedure takes about half an hour. Some may experience a mild redness of the skin for the next three to five days after therapy. 

By greatly reducing acne scarring and hyperpigmentation, your skin tone will be more even and radiant; this effect can be enhanced with a light layer of make up on your big day. 

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