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Adult Acne: Why Am I Still Getting Pimples and Acne? | Part III

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In this three-part special, Dr. Ngui talks about Adult Acne and how to treat it.

Today, we will focus on how to combat acne scarring. Read Part I and PART II here.


“Doctor, Doctor! My acne is getting me down. Are there others who feel the same? What can I do?"

Q: I am tired of my never ending pimple breakouts and this acne on my face is really getting me down…. What can I do?

A: Acne and acne scarring can be disfiguring physically and psychologically. In a population-based prevalence study in Hong Kong, 82% of acne sufferers said that their acne affected their appearance adversely. And over a quarter said that acne affected their self esteem and confidence.

The severity of acne and the response to treatment can be quite variable. So while some people recover very quickly, there are others where controlling their acne can be quite a challenge. Acne is a complex skin condition and early treatment under the care of a doctor is key to a favourable outcome. With the resolution of the acne, you will regain your self esteem and feel confident and ready to face the world again.

Q: Why do I get brown marks after my pimples subside?

A: The brown marks are due to hyperpigmentation. The inflammation that is present during an acne breakout stimulates the production of excess skin pigmentation. After the pimple subsides, a brown patch appears. It does not happen to everyone, some are more prone than others. If you treat the pimple early and avoid squeezing it, the risk of pigmentation will be reduced. The pigmentation usually clears away by itself but it may take between weeks to months to clear. Lightening creams or laser can help to clear it away more quickly.

Q: What is the best way to prevent scarring from acne? What if I already have scars?

A: Scarring develops when the skin is so damaged by the acne inflammation that the affected skin cannot regenerate normally and is replaced by fibrous scar tissue.

Curbing the acne inflammation as quickly as possible to prevent or minimize irreversible damage to the skin and preventing new inflamed acne lesions from erupting is the key to preventing scarring. So the best way to prevent scarring from acne is to treat and control the acne as early as possible.

If scars are already present, the best way to treat them is through laser resurfacing therapy and needle subcision*.

*Needle subcision is a needling technique that cuts and frees up scar fibres that are pulling the skin downwards causing pits and depressions.


About Dr. Nicholas Ngui

Dr. Nicholas Ngui is a highly experienced general practitioner with a special focus on Aesthetic Dermatology with 19 years of clinical practice experience and 12 years of pharmaceutical industry experience behind him. As a pharmaceutical medical director, he was involved in physician and patient education and clinical research with a strong emphasis on ethical practice, treatment compliance and patient safety. Dr. Ngui now practices at Neu Age Clinic in Outram and is known for specialty services in Acne & Acne Scar Treatment, Pigmentation Treatment, Anti-Aging Skin Rejuvenation, Laser Hair Removal, Tattoo Removal and Skin Tag/Mole Removal. If you have a skin-related concern and would like to find out a bit more about it, you can visit for more information.

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