Frequently Asked Questions
Should I stop wearing makeup if I have acne?
No, you don’t have to stop wearing makeup. However, you might try using cosmetics or toiletries that are labelled “non-comedogenic” instead. These products do not clog pores.
Should someone with acne be using moisturisers? If so, what type of moisturiser should they use?
Acne can cause your skin to feel oily. If you’re on an acne treatment that tends to dry and irritate the skin, using a moisturiser daily can help. Please consult a dermatologist for more information.
To prevent a moisturiser from causing breakouts, look for any of these descriptions on the container:
- Won’t clog pores
What acne treatments are best for me?
Acne treatments depend on many factors.
For mild to moderate acne, treatments typically include a combination of topical cream or gel containing either a retinoid or benzoyl peroxide along with a topical antibiotic. Please consult a dermatologist if you experience severe acne.
When should I see a dermatologist for acne treatment?
Give over-the-counter treatments around 4 to 12 weeks for any noticeable effects. This includes topical retinoids or products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Visit a dermatologist if the acne persists, or if you have acne cysts or nodules (deep blemishes that leave scars when they clear).
What triggers seborrheic dermatitis?
Seborrheic dermatitis flare-ups are common when the weather turns cold and dry. Stress can also trigger a flare-up.
How is seborrheic dermatitis commonly managed?
There is no gold-standard treatment, but most cases can be managed with a topical corticosteroid, a keratolytic, a topical antifungal or a combination of these agents.
Can I use petroleum jelly to manage seborrheic dermatitis?
No, petroleum jelly is not recommended. Using it tends to worsen seborrheic dermatitis.
What are the limitations of current treatment options?
Long term use of mid to high-potency corticosteroids is associated with well-known effects such as skin atrophy, striae, and telangiectasia.
Can any allergies cause allergic dermatitis (eczema)?
Part of eczema may be hereditary and is usually not caused by a specific allergy. Some children with allergic dermatitis (eczema) have skin sensitivity caused by allergens in different environments, food and stress.
Is allergic dermatitis (eczema) contagious?
Allergic dermatitis (eczema) is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person. It’s important for people to know this so your child does not feel isolated from family and friends.
Is allergic dermatitis (eczema) treatable?
There is no permanent treatment for allergic dermatitis (eczema). However, with proper care and treatment, parents can help their children relieve the pain and inflammation caused by eczema so they can still live life relatively unaffected by the condition.
Can allergic dermatitis (eczema) disappear permanently?
Although there is no 100% guaranteed treatment for allergic dermatitis (eczema), proper care and treatment can sustain a longer period of remission. About 40% - 50% of patients will see improvement in their condition during adolescence. After adulthood, symptoms are generally less severe, although some patients continue to have dry and sensitive skin.
My friend recommended steroid ointment to treat atopic dermatitis (eczema). Can steroid creams be used for long periods of time?
Topical steroids are the commonly used to treat skin inflammation, though its efficacy varies. It is best to consult your doctor when using it. If used improperly, steroid creams may cause side effects such as rashes, thinning of the skin and damage to blood vessels.
Will taking a bath every day dry out the skin and worsen atopic dermatitis (eczema)?
No, this is a misunderstanding. Bathing helps clean skin allergens and microorganisms, and lukewarm bathing helps lock in moisture. The most important thing to do after a bath is to moisturise. Pat the skin with a towel for about three minutes after bathing, then apply a moisturiser to the skin to lock in moisture.
Can I go swimming if I have atopic dermatitis (eczema)?
For some people, swimming is a good form of exercise as it does not involve getting too sweaty, which is a trigger of eczema. However, it can irritate the skin or worsen eczema due to chlorine (a chemical irritant).
To minimise triggering eczema, it is recommended to rinse off with clean water, pat the skin dry and apply a moisturiser after swimming.
What are emollients?
Emollients are medical moisturisers used to soothe eczema symptoms and provide relief from itching and dryness. It comes in many forms and can be classified according to their indications and their greasiness. Greasy ointment emollients are the best for very dry skin, while cream emollients are best suited for sore skin.
How do emollients help to soothe atopic dermatitis (eczema)?
Emollients produce an oily layer over the skin’s surface, trapping water beneath it. This helps restore the skin’s barrier function. This prevents the penetration of irritants, allergens and bacteria, thereby reducing the development of eczema and inflammation.
How do I choose the right emollient?
Not all emollients are the same. Different emollients suit different people. Consult your dermatologist to understand more.
How long does it take for hyperpigmentation to recover?
Hyperpigmentation does fade away over time. This occurs when the skin heals and the melanin begins to be absorbed into the surrounding tissue. The entire process ranges from months to years, depending on:
- The type/severity of the trauma that preceded the hyperpigmentation developing
- The original cause of the discolouration
- Your skin tone
- How you treat your skin
How do I get rid of hyperpigmentation?
Whether you're experiencing hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure, hormonal changes, skin trauma or acne – there are three main treatments:
- Physical exfoliation
- Chemical exfoliation
- Brightening active ingredients in skin treatments