April 23 2020
Watch your back!

It is one thing having to deal with pimples on the face. But on the back? And even chest?! If you are facing this or know someone who is suffering this fate, read on.

LOVE the skin you're in

We all know pimples can happen on the face. Not many know that pimples can invade into “under-exposed spaces” like our back and chest. Unless you happen to be a sufferer of such fate or know someone who has it, this can be new to you.

What remedies are there when you encounter such a situation? 

There is a couple of things you can do to deal with them. If there are less than 10 pimples, you can use alcohol swabs to dab on these spots to dry them up. (Find the steps to this DIY method in my blog article, ‘I want social distancing from my pimples!’ ). You can also use creams that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells and excess oil. But go easy on the frequency and the amount of these ingredients used, as they can remove too much oil and dry your skin excessively. It is always advisable to read the labels before usage for further warnings of allergy, risk of use during pregnancy and precautions to take if you have any existing skin conditions.

When there are more pimples than you can count, it is impossible to treat each and every one of these dots individually with creams or alcohol-ed cotton bud tips. In such cases, there are two main categories of treatment that are available: Oral medicine and medical lasers.

The oral medicine used is Isotretinoin (Brand name Roaccutane®). In Singapore, this has to be prescribed by a registered medical doctor. You need to go through the necessary checks by the doctor to ascertain if you are suitable to consume the medicine. You will also be given information on its benefits and its side effects to look out for. 

In a nutshell, oral Isotretinoin capsules can reduce oil secretion and the dead skin layers. This will help the pimples to dry up, flake off and reduce in size. The medication works on the whole body. Hence, the face, back and chest can be treated using this method.

The flip side of this method is when too much oil gets ‘dried up’, causing you to feel dry all over the body. You may also hear about oral Isotretinoin causing liver damage, depression, hair loss, redness of skin under sunlight or when eating a hotpot.

Liver damage can happen if you take an overdose of the medicine. Thus, it is important that you follow closely to the prescribed dosage of the medicine given by the doctor. 

Depression has also been globally reported as one of the side effects of consuming this medication. Based on my personal experience in treating patients, this can occur in patients who have previously experienced depression prior to consuming any oral isotretinoin.

The above phenomenon is also similar to the side effect of having hair loss. Those who had hair loss episodes in the past can experience a new episode of hair loss or an increase in hair loss when they start to consume oral Isotretinoin.

Turning red in your face or body when under direct sunlight or when exposed to heat from a steamboat or a mala hotpot is a common phenomenon for those taking this medication. But be assured that this will go away once you stop your medication.

Based on some of the abovementioned reasons, you may not wish to opt for this method as a treatment for your pimples. If so, what can you do? You do have another option of treatment – chemical-free medical lasers. 

The infra-red light that is built into several medical lasers can help reduce pimples. The light is deployed to heat the pimples up, hence killing the germs, reducing the oil and as a result drying the pimples up. Each session of this treatment is able to cover a large affected area. The advantage of this treatment method is that it involves only light. No chemical is involved. This method is suitable for those who are allergic to various creams and the ingredients, as well as those who are uncomfortable with or affected by the possible side effects of oral medications.

Most patients are able to see an improvement in their condition after 4 to 6 sessions of such medical laser treatment. The cost of one session of such treatment in our clinic starts at S$200. You may also wish to know that the higher the quality and make of the laser equipment that a doctor chooses to use for the treatment, the more comfortable the treatment process will be. Also, the downtime that patients experience will be minimal. For patients who would rather go for a more cost-effective type of laser treatment, you may wish to know that the discomfort level will be higher and the downtime will be longer. But such medical lasers are still able to get the job done. 

This information aims to give you an overview of the different treatment options you have before you embark on the journey to get the pimples off your back. We want to help watch your back as you clear your back of pimples!     

Disclaimer: The content and information in this blog article is the opinion of the author and property of LinC Aesthetic Clinic Pte Ltd. It is for educational purposes and not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Kindly contact your medical doctor with questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Relying on information provided by this content is done at your own risk.

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