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ACNE-KNOWLEDGE: The Skin Condition You Thought You Knew

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Acne1 is not a life-threatening medical condition.

‘Everyone’ has acne at some point in their lives.

But acne-sufferers often face great social and psychological consequences of this common yet often chronic condition.

The fact is, acne is a medical condition.

Its common variants are referred to by doctors and skin experts by its medical term acne vulgaris.

And those with acne are more susceptible to anxiety, depression and other mood disorders, according to research2 from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, ‘Psychodermatology of Acne’.

This research concluded that finding an effective solution for acne is crucial for improving the self-esteem and psychological well-being of those afflicted by the condition.

But how do we go about finding effective solutions for a naturally-occurring inflammatory reaction caused by dirt and bacterial blockage of our sebaceous glands?

Much has been written about the causes and solutions of acne.

Bad hygiene habits, hormonal activity and chocolates are routinely blamed for causing these pesky red bumps.

Suggestions to get rid of them include maintaining an expensive multi-step skincare routine and restricting your diet.

Oh, and getting monthly facials.

During which experts extract dirt and pus from pimples you’re told not to squeeze.

Depending on who you ask, the answer to ‘how to get rid of acne’ will differ and what is proposed may or may not work for you.

And when they do work the first time, they might not the second.

Which can be confusing and frustrating.

The ‘Psychodermatology of Acne’ suggests that these common solutions to acne don’t work because we’re not properly educated on the actual cause of acne, its variations and manifestations.

As a result, we misdiagnose our own acne and end up applying logical but ultimately temporary (and superficial) solutions.

When we have a bad cough, we take cough mixture.

And when that doesn’t solve the problem, we go to the doctor to identify the underlying causes and get a prescription to resolve the problem.

But when it comes to acne, somehow we don’t consider it a ‘real’ medical condition.

Instead, we see acne more like mosquito bites that just need Mopiko and a minute under cold running water.

Let’s face it, acne is a medical condition with medical (and psychological) implications.

We should seek professional medical advice on how to treat it.

There are many types of acne—of which acne vulgaris is a classification of the common variants.

It has a cause and contributing factors and catalyst and everything.

Each unique case of acne calls for a customised solution.

There’s no magic elixir that works on everyone.

If this sounds like it’s going to be a lot of work just to deal with acne, don’t worry—that’s what EHA Clinic is here for.

Book a consultation with Dr. Elias Tam to discuss your specific acne concerns.

The most important thing to remember is that you should seek a medical  expert who will customise a solution for your unique case of acne.

But it is also important to  understand the underlying reasons for acne for yourself.

Understanding your acne and your skin will enable you to make better treatment decisions for your skin and your health.

It allows you to care for your skin—which also happens to be  your biggest organ—in the long term, and ensure it stays healthy for life!

Click on any of the sections below to learn more about the contributing factors and solutions to acne.

You can also arrange a consultation with Dr Elias Tam at EHA Clinic to discuss your specific acne concerns and the appropriate solutions for your skin problems!


Acne in this series of articles refers to acne vulgaris, the medical term for common variants of acne, a classification of the most common types of acne.

Caroline Stamu-O’Brien MD, Mohammad Jafferany MD, Simona Carniciu MD-PhD, Ayman Abelmaksoud MD, ‘Psychodermatology of acne: Psychological aspects and effects of acne vulgaris’, first published 8 October 2020,


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