Acne Medication Guide Singapore

What are the types of Acne Medications in Singapore?

Acne medications in Singapore can be split into a few categories

  1. Antibiotics 
  2. Hormonal Acne Medication
  3. Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)

When will your doctor Prescribe medication?

Medications are usually prescribed in cases of moderate to severe acne or stubborn acne not responding to topical skincare/creams or treatments like medical facials and acne lasers.

Acne Antibiotics

Antibiotics improve acne by killing the acne causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes. Side effects are mild and include nausea, vomiting, gastric upset and diarrhoea (list is not exhaustive).

Antibiotics can be taken for 4 to 6 months in cases of severe acne.

Dr Edwin usually prescribes antibiotics at an initial dose of twice a day for patients with severe acne.

Hormonal Acne Treatment

SpiroL is Dr Edwin's medication of choice in the treatment of hormonal acne in Women. Of note, it does not contain hormones such as estrogen or progesterone and can not be used for men.

It works by blocking excess male sex hormones (Androgens) and is especially useful in treating women with acne from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). 

Side effects are mild and may include disturbances to the menstrual cycle, increase in frequency of urination and rarely, lowered potassium levels.

Birth control pills can be used for acne treatment. However, these have side effects and should not be taken as first line medications for acne.

Isotreinoin (Roaccutane)

Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) is currently the single most effective medication available for acne treatment because it is the only medication that can target all 4 causes of Acne Formation.

  • Excessive sebum (oil) production
  • Clogged pores due to abnormal skin turnover
  • Inflammation
  • Bacterial P.acnes proliferation

More information about Isotretinoin can be found here.

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