Acne Treatments in Singapore That Work: Tried, Tested, and Approved

A common misconception about patients who suffer from acne is that the condition is hard to treat. There is some truth to that statement. As a medical practitioner with many years of experience, I’ll go so far as to say this: Acne can be tricky to treat. Why?

One word is vital to understand why the treatment of acne can sometimes be quick or prolonged. In essence, the timing of the treatment is often imperative.

For example, you had a pimple breakout but decided to see your dermatologist a week later. If on the day you visit your aesthetic doctor, your acne is well on its way to healing, chances are the treatment done on your skin will all the more speed up the recovery process. Your acne might be gone in a day or two.

For more persistent cases, I would definitely recommend seeking medical help as soon as possible. But, before we jump into that, let us learn to differentiate the difference between the duration and kinds of acne flare-ups as well as their treatments.

Kinds of Acne

There are three kinds of acne: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild acne can be identified by having a few bumps and acne on the skin. Some may have a bit of papule; however, their occurrence on the face is limited. When there are about 20 to 100 whiteheads or blackheads, or more than 15 but lesser than 50 swollen bumps, this is classified as moderate acne.

Severe acne, on the other hand, consists of breakouts that affect the deeper layers of the skin. Commonly known as cystic acne, this skin condition is stubborn and may affect not only the face but also the upper arms and trunk. Nasty stuff.

Acne Treatment Singapore: What Works Best

acne treatment

There are several acne treatments available. You may search what these are on the Internet and be presented with options that range from home DIY remedies, oral and topical medications, and clinical treatments. The vast variety of choices and the unreliable nature of medical information on the internet can leave many a patient confused and overwhelmed.

Hopefully, this article will address that for you. Here are three acne treatments that have been medically tested and proven to work:

  1. Antibiotic Creams
  2. Intralesional Steroid Injections
  3. Low-Level Light Therapy






Antibiotic Creams

Antibiotic creams with Clindamycin help in suppressing the bacteria that cause acne. This is usually paired with the two other treatments to get faster results.

Antibiotic creams are applied to the affected skin twice a day.

Improvement on the skin may be noticed after 3 to 5 days.

A bottle of antibiotic creams does not exceed $50.

Side effects are rare with antibiotic creams. The skin may be a bit dry due to its use.

Low-Level Light Therapy

A non-invasive treatment that uses a phototherapy procedure. The low-level light aids in preventing the affected skin to swell further by controlling the inflammatory process.

A session of low-level light therapy takes a quick 15 minutes to complete.

This treatment can treat all kinds of acne. Results are remarkable when used on mild and widespread acne.

Starting price for LLLT may vary between clinics and skin condition. It is best to consult with your doctor to get the accurate cost for this treatment.

There are no known prolonged side effects from this treatment.

Intralesional Steroid Injections

This treatment is the most recommended for cystic acne.

Steroids have anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressive components that help in combating the swelling of acne. The same treatment is used to treat other skin conditions, such as alopecia areata and keloids.

An injection of steroids to a pimple is done in just 5 minutes or less.

Expect to feel less pain and swelling when the treatment kicks in. Improvements can be seen in about 2 days.  This treatment also promotes fewer acne scars.

Only one steroidal injection is enough to treat a single pimple.

An injection covering 1 cystic pimple costs approximately $70.

When used extensively and inappropriately, this treatment can cause skin atrophy. Be sure to go to a doctor who is an expert on administering this treatment to avoid worsening your skin’s condition.

Let me give you an example from real life: I once devised a treatment plan patient suffering from a severe case of cystic acne. In planning this, I considered the lifestyle of a patient, medical history, and various other factors.

For instance, I knew this patient worked longer hours, sometimes having to stay up deep into the night. In her line of work, she had to constantly travel abroad, often to countries with extreme climate conditions. Her cheeks were also peppered with acne scars, which is a sign of having a skin that is prone to immediate scarring.

The patient also had the tendency of having outbreaks right before her period would arrive. The medicine she had been prescribed by another doctor was oral antibiotics.

Considering all that is mentioned above, a treatment plan was specifically customized to address her needs.

Below are the procedures and recommended medications, both oral and topical, included in her treatment.

First off, here are the treatments that were performed in-clinic.

  • Chemical Peels – Procedure is completed in 15 minutes.
  • Low-level Laser Therapy – Procedure is completed in 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Medial-grade Facial – Procedure is completed in 30 minutes.
  • Pico Laser – Procedure is completed in 15 to 20 minutes.

These aesthetic procedures have minimal downtime. Mild redness can be expected after one session, though this is temporary. The skin discolouration subsides in about a day.

face procedure

The treatment then continues at home with the use of oral and topical medications. For her skin care routine, a cleanser with salicylic acid is advised in order to prevent the formation of comedones. The skin should be well moisturized and protected from UV rays. To do this, a non-comedogenic moisturiser and sunblock lotion with high SPF is recommended.

Topical creams that are rich in Vitamin A are prescribed. The retinoid component of this kind of cream helps in controlling sebum production. For spot treatment, Clindoxyl is applied.

Oral medications include antibiotics, such as Doxycycline, and Isotretinoin or Oratane.

After a few months, her acne cleared up and she was extremely happy with the results! All the effort and care she took to tackle her acne left her a happier and more confident person.

Is One Treatment Enough to Get Rid of Acne Permanently?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the skin will be free from future breakouts after successful acne treatment. Hence, it is highly advised that patients who suffer from acne should maintain regular visits to their dermatologists to help keep acne away. Cleansing of the skin once a month with the use of chemical peels or laser facials can be done to manage sebum production and eliminate bacteria responsible for causing acne.

Of course, once acne has been eliminated, there is another stage to hurdle: acne scars. Scarring is inevitable, especially for patients who have the habit of picking on their pimples. Cystic acne sufferers also tend to get visible scarring as the damage that is caused by this type of acne goes deep into the layers of the skin. Be sure to ask your doctor for a follow-up treatment for possible acne scars as soon as your skin heals from all the inflammation.

What About Acne Scar Removal Treatments?

Oftentimes, acne causes unwanted complications. Pimples can leave tiny holes in the skin accompanied by scar tissue. They form as a result of the healing process and worsen one’s appearance. The good news is that these days there are various scarring treatments that can make this problem go away. It should be noted that the course of action to take is based on the type of scars that need your attention.

Fractional CO2 laser

It works by blasting the face with concentrated beams of light and creating teeny-tiny burns on the surface. Typically used to treat acne scars, irregularities, wrinkles, and blemishes, it vaporises damaged skin cells layer by layer. 

This is an outpatient procedure that takes anywhere between 30 and 120 minutes, depending on the areas that need resurfacing. The whole face can be treated. 6-10 rounds might be necessary for best results and they had better be spaced a couple of weeks apart.

The price ranges from $400 to $700 per session depending on the type of laser opted for. Medical insurance doesn’t cover the procedure because it falls under the definition of “cosmetic treatments”.

Fractional laser treatments work well for rolling scars, but the offenders can also be treated with dermal fillers, punch grafting and RF microneedling.

Dermal Fillers

This is a liquid that is injected into certain areas of the face to add volume, fill wrinkles and hide imperfections. The results are more often than not temporary because the substance gets absorbed by the body eventually - about 6-8 months later. This means that repeated procedures are necessary to keep the results fresh. Dermal fillers run at $800 per syringe.

Radiofrequency microneedling

This is a microneedling treatment paired with radiofrequency. In a traditional procedure, tiny injuries are done on the skin using a special device with needles. The purpose is to initiate the production of elastin and collagen, which give the skin a tight and supple appearance. 

In RF microneedling, you have the added bonus of radiofrequency. This element of the device sends energy into the skin to heat it up and hike up collagen and elastin formation. Basically, it helps to make the whole process faster and more efficient. The results are dramatic. Aside from diminishing scars, the procedure also improves the skin tone.

The price varies significantly per session based on individual needs. A round of RF microneedling starts at $200 and could reach $700 and upwards.


This is an acne scar treatment that requires some surgery skills. The main idea is to break depressed scars down and then lift them up with a needle. The punctures disrupt nearby blood vessels, enabling blood to enter the affected area. This improves healing significantly. Similarly to the other techniques, there is no need for hospitalisation.

Anchored and tethered scars generally respond well to subcision because of their texture. The price begins at $400 per session.


This is a type of chemical peel with a medium to deep intensity, which makes it great for stubborn scarring that just won’t go away. Clinically proven, it works by inducing the remodelling mode of the skin. 

This treatment is ideal for narrow box-car and ice pick scars. It costs between $150 and $300.