TYPES OF ACNE
Papular / Pustular Acne
Papular acne is formed when blackheads or whiteheads become inflamed due to bacteria infection. P.acne, the bacteria that causes acne, resides on the surface of our skin and in the pores. These bacteria grow best in the presence of lipids (oil/sebum) and when there is a lack of oxygen (they are anaerobic). These conditions are most ideal in a whitehead or blackhead where the ‘plug’ blocks out oxygen supply and there is a build up of sebum. Bacteria from the skin surface is attracted into the pore due to ideal conditions and multiply, resulting in inflammation.
Papules are small (<1cm diameter), solid skin elevations with no visible fluid or pus within. In acne, they are often erythematous (red) and sometimes tender (painful to touch) due to inflammation, and may be surrounded by oedema (swollen and inflamed tissue). Papules don’t display a visible pore and are usually the first type of inflammatory acne to affect the skin.
Pustular acne is similar to papular acne and is formed when blackheads or whiteheads become inflamed due to bacteria infection.
Pustules are small circumscribed raised lesions that contain pus, which may be white to yellow. The main difference between a pustule and papule is that a pustule contains pus – which is made up of white blood cells, dead skin cells and dead bacteria, as a result of the body’s inflammatory process in its attempt to clear the acne. Similar to a papule, the skin surrounding a pustule tends to be red and inflamed.
How should papular/pustular acne be treated?
At Aeras, we always aim to treat the cause and ensure that it does not return after treatment.
The treatment of papular/pustular acne aims to reduce inflammation and bacteria count, and to dislodge the clogged pores to prevent further acne from forming. The objectives of treatment include;
The objectives of treatment include;
- Reducing inflammation and bacteria count
Reducing Inflammation and bacteria count
The reduction of bacteria and inflammation can be achieved through in-clinic procedures and topical/oral medication. Oral medication is often required due to the nature of papular/pustular acne being situated deeper in the skin. Daily skincare routine to reduce sebum production and inflammation is also crucial in reducing papular/pustular acne.
Procedures to help treat papular/pustular acne by reducing severe inflammation include;
- Aeras Hypertec Q-switched and Quasi-long pulsed Laser
- Aeras Healite II Light Therapy
- Carbon Laser Peel
- ProYellow Laser
These procedures not only reduce bacteria count, but also specifically aim to reduce acne inflammation with heat energy or steroid injections.
Exfoliation/extraction is also achieved through in-clinic procedures, and daily skincare. This ensures that the pores are less clogged over time and reduce whiteheads and blackheads, and prevent papular/pustular acne. Extractions, when performed properly and skilfully, reduce existing whiteheads/ blackheads to prevent further inflammative acne.
Procedures we do that help exfoliates and reduces clogged pores include;
- Aeras Deep Cleansing Acne Facial
- Carbon Laser Peel
- Aeras Clinical Acne Peel
Moisturisation is crucial to maintaining healthy skin, and at the same time reducing clogged pores and blackheads. If the skin is dry and dehydrated, it tends to moisturise itself by producing more oil. At the same time, dry skin also results in more dead skin cells. The increased amount of dead skin cells and increase oil production would result in more clogged pores.
Procedures we do that help moisturise the skin include;
These procedures can provide short and long-term hydration needed to reduce oil production and moisturise the skin.
Medication & Skincare to treat Papular/Pustular Acne
Our Aeras skincare range is specifically designed to include different products for different types of acne.
For papular/pustular acne, topical or oral medication should be used in conjunction with your daily skin care to reduce bacteria, sebum production, and inflammation.
Topical antibiotics kills and reduce bacteria on the skin surface and in the pores. This helps reduce inflammation and also prevents clogged pores from getting inflamed. Antibiotics are a mainstay in the treatment of inflammtory acne.
Topical Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide, or BP, is commonly known as Oxy in Singapore. BP is used to treat mild to moderate acne. It is best used with topical antibiotics and it helps break down the outer protective film of a bacteria to allow topical antibiotics to destroy these bacteria.
BP also dries up and reduce small papules to reduce acne.
Differin Gel/Topical Retin A
Both Differin and topical Retin A contain retinoids. Topical retinod is a keratolytic agent that softens and causes desquamation of the epithelium. This means that these agents slough off the dead skin cells and promotes skin renewal. This aids the natural exfoliation of the skin and unclog pores. These topical medications are used to prevent clogged pores and in turn reduce inflammative acne.
Aeras Acne Spot Treatment Gel
Aeras’s doctor-compounded Acne Spot Treatment Gel combines topical antibiotics, BP, and ingredients such as Niacinamide and others to reduce redness and soothe the skin. This fast-acting topical acne gel reduces papules and pustules quickly and reduces the chances of acne scarring.
For more severe inflammation, oral antibiotics can be used to reduce inflammation. Oral antibiotics can be taken for about 1 – 6 months, depending on the condition. Oral antibiotics for acne have few or mild side effects, and is safe to take long term for most people.
More commonly known as Accutane or Nimegen, oral isotretinoin is an oral Vitamin A. Oral Vitamin A (or retinoids), work by greatly reducing the amount of sebum produced by the skin. Oral isotretinoin helps treat severe inflammation by reducing the amount of sebum that the bacteria acts on. However, there are precautions and side effects associated with oral isotretinoin and professional healthcare advice is needed before starting on a treatment.
Sometimes, oral supplements like zinc or probiotics are given to boost the immune system. These supplements do not work well on their own, but rather in conjunction with other medication or skincare products.
Papular/pustular acne can also be controlled and reduced with skincare that’s formulated with the right ingredients.
For mild to moderate papular/pustular acne, we recommend skincare ingredients that helps exfoliate and moisturise:
AHAs and BHAs are mild acids that are widely known to help unclog pores and exfoliate the skin. Examples of AHAs and BHAs used in our various skincare products fro comedonal acne include Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid, Mandelic acid, Lactic acid, and Lactobionic acid.
Products that contains AHA/BHA include Aeras’ Clarify + Calm Cleanser, Sebum Control Cleanser, Sebum Control Moisturizer, Correct + Calm Blemish Correcting Toner, Bionic lotion, 15% gel plus.
PHAs are the latest generations of AHAs. PHAs not only delivers the full benefits of AHAs, but has added benefits of moisturizing the skin, strengthening skin barrier, and anti-oxidative properties. PHAs, like Gluconolactone and Lactobionic acid, is a 2nd and 3rd generation AHA that also exfoliates the skin, while at the same time moisturising it due to its water-attracting properties. These unique PHAs, carefully combined with the usual AHA/BHAs are what make our skincare product effective and standout from the rest.
Products that contains PHA include Aeras’ Clarify + Calm Cleanser and Combo PHA Lotion.
Being able to hold 1000x its weight in water, Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in many moisturisers. Formulated with low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid (LMW HA), our moisturising products ensure deep penetration of the HA molecules to hydrate the skin.
Products that contains Hyaluronic acid include Aeras’ Ultra-LMW HA Serum, Ultra-LMW Redness Control HA Serum.
For moderate to severe papular/pustular acne, we recommend skincare ingredients that help exfoliate, reduce severe inflammation, reduce oil production, and reduce bacteria count.
AHAs and BHAs are mild acids that are widely known to help unclog pores and exfoliate the skin. Examples of AHAs and BHAs used in our various skincare products for comedonal acne include Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid, Mandelic acid, Lactic acid, and Lactobionic acid.
Products that contains AHA/BHA include Aeras’ Clarify + Calm Cleanser, Sebum Control Cleanser, Sebum Control Moisturizer, Bare Skin Chest + Back Acne Mist, Correct + Calm Blemish Correcting Toner, Combo PHA Lotion, 15% Glycolic Exfoliating Gel.
Triethyl Citrate helps reduce excessive sebum production and also reduces bacteria activity on sebum to prevent inflammation. Triethyl Citrate also helps destroy bacteria by breaking down acid molecules to help kill bacteria.
Products that contains Triethyl Citrate include Aeras’ Sebum Control Cleanser, Sebum Control Moisturizer, Bare Skin Chest + Back Acne Mist.
Ethyl Linoleate is broken down by the skin to form Linoleic Acid, Linoleic Acid reduces sebum production on the skin and reduces bacteria activity. It also helps renews the skin and prevent post-acne marks which are more common in moderate to severe inflammative acne.
Products that contains Ethyl Linoleate include Aeras’ Sebum Control Cleanser, Sebum Control Moisturizer, Bare Skin Chest + Back Acne Mist.
GT peptide 10
GT peptide 10 has the ability to break down the outer membrane of bacteria. This kills the bacteria or allows medication such as antibiotics to further destroy the bacteria. GT peptide 10 works best together with Triethyl Citrate in combination to reduce inflammation as it reduces the skin response to oil-producing hormones to control sebum production.
Products that contains GT peptide 10 include Aeras’ Sebum Control Cleanser, Sebum Control Moisturizer, Bare Skin Chest + Back Acne Mist.