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Acne Treatment Malaysia

Acne Treatment Malaysia

Acne Treatment Malaysia | Introduction

Acne a rather common chronic, an inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples. Acne commonly affects the face, neck, shoulder, back, chest, and scalp. It is the most common inflammatory skin condition seen in Malaysia and globally. Inflammatory acne most commonly occurs during puberty, when the sebaceous glands become active. However, it can also affect adults at any age. Local studies show that 67.5% of adolescent (13-18 years old) suffers from acne. 

Although there is no gender difference in the prevalence of acne, acne in males tend to be more severe. This could be due to the stimulating effect of male hormones towards the oil-producing gland in the skin.

Acne is not a dangerous condition. However, it can leave permanent scars on the skin. If left untreated, acne may have a profound psychological and emotional impact. As it is a medical skin condition, proper medical treatment by a certified healthcare provider is required.

Acne often presents with different spectrums of disease severity and there are numerous treatments options currently available. Acne treatment ranges from skin care products, medical aesthetic facial treatments to prescription topical and oral medications. This article will explore the causes of acne and the treatment options available in Malaysia.

Acne Treatment Malaysia | Understand about Acne.

Acne is not just a Teenage problem. A common question a dermatologist gets from their patient is “What causes my acne?”.

To understand about acne and what causes it, we have to first understand the skin anatomy. Human skin has pores that connect to oil-producing glands (Sebaceous Glands) via the hair follicles. These of these units are termed pilosebaceous units (Hair, Hair Follicles, Sebaceous glands).

Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum which flows through the follicles to the surface of the skin. Dead skin cells, excessive sebum, and hair can clump together forming a plug. This plug can obstruct the flow of sebaceous matter through the follicles causing a build-up of sebum within the pilosebaceous units. This causes overgrowth of a skin bacteria – Propionibacterium acnes, which results in localized inflammation and swelling, giving rise to inflammatory acne.

Formation of Acne

Many factors contribute to the occurrence of acne. These factors include;

  • Hormonal changes – Puberty, Menstruation, Stress, Medical conditions that affect hormonal balance, such as PCOS, Hormone replacement or medications, Pregnancy.
  • Cosmetic Products – greasy cosmetics and products with comedogenic ingredients.
  • Food – High Calorie westernized diet, and dairy products.

Read more about the causes of acne problems by Dr. Edmond Lau here. 

Common type of acne:

  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Comedonal Acne
  • Pustular Acne
  • Nodular Acne
  • Nodular-Cystic Acne
  • Acne Cosmetica
Acne Treatment Malaysia | Treatment Options Available in Malaysia
  • Skincare Products
  • Face Treatment
  • Medications
Skincare products

Skincare products are probably the first treatment option many Malaysians try when they suffer from acne. Although skin care products with certain active ingredients are proven to bring benefits to acne skin. It is usually not sufficient to treat those with more severe acne.

When it comes to choosing an acne skin care product, its ingredients is the key factor. It is important to choose skincare with active anti-acne ingredients, such as salicylic acids and Tea Tree oil. Skincare or cosmetic products for acne-prone skin should also be free from comedogenic ingredients.

A proper acne skin care regime is not only good for acne treatment but also very important for maintaining healthy and long-term acne-free skin.

In general, an acne skin care regime should include:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Acne Spot Treatment
  4. Moisturizer
  5. Sunblock

The addition of essence or serum is optional depending on its active ingredient and indication. Click on the links to learn more about the Top 10 Best Skincare Products in Malaysia for Acne Cleanser, Acne spots Treatment, and Acne Moisturizer.

Be aware of certain whitening creams that can cause acne

Face Treatment (Extraction, Mesotherapy, Chemical Peels, Phototherapy, Lasers)

The need for facial treatments varies among individual depending on severity and indication for treatment. Generally, Treatment can be grouped into these categories; extraction facial treatment, mesotherapy, chemical peels, photodynamic and lasers treatments.

Extraction Facial Treatment:

Extraction facial treatments are generally the most common treatment employed to deal with skin with comedones (obstructed pores) and acne. It is a straightforward low tech facial treatment that involve either using a needle, or an extractor to extract individual plug from the obstructed pores as well as bursting the acne to release the obstruction.

Although seems straightforward and simple, extraction should only be performed under good hygiene by a trained practitioner. A “dirty” job can facilitate the spread of bacteria into the brain via the facial blood vessels. This can result in severe brain infection. Another common effect from extraction facial treatment is the formation of scars. Although inflammation from acne alone can by itself causes skin scaring, a poorly performed extraction can cause more scars to the skin.

Doctors opinion on extraction facial treatments is divided. Some condemn the procedure while others support it. We strongly advise against self-extraction or self-poping of acne. Do consult your dermatologist or skin aesthetic physician before opting for this treatment.


Certain centre in Malaysia offers mesotherapy for acne skin. Follow the link to learn more about mesotherapy.

The role of mesotherapy in acne treatment is mainly to reduce the skin inflammation and speed up recovery time. Mesotherapy is often not performed on its own but rather combined with other treatment modalities in acne treatment.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are another popular treatment for acne skin. Follow this link to learn about chemical peels treatment.

Salicylic Acid is the peeling agent of choice when treating acne skin. This is because salicylic acid is lipid soluble, meaning it readily diffuse into the oily environment of the hair follicles. Salicylic acid is able to deep cleanse the pore and follicles, reduce acne-causing bacteria, reduce sebum production and remove dead skin that contribute to plugs formation.

Chemical peels should be performed by an experienced practitioner. If you are interested in a chemical peel treatment, speak to your dermatologist or aesthetic physician. You may also visit your favorite dermatology clinics to find out more.

Phototherapy and Photodynamic Treatment

Phototherapy and Photodynamic therapy are an alternative treatment option for patients who either fail or unable to tolerate other conventional treatment. Phototherapy uses a wide range of the specialized device to emits a specific wavelength of light to treat the acne affected skin. Photodynamic therapy uses light-activated cream (photosensitizer) which is absorbed into the pilosebaceous unit to amplify the response to light therapy.

As these are specialized treatment, it should only be performed by a trained doctor.


Similar to phototherapy, Laser treatments are an alternative treatment option for acne. It is often employed to treat either those who fail or unable to tolerate conventional acne treatment. As lasers are specialized devices, it should only be operated by a dermatologist or certified Aesthetic Physician.

Common laser systems used to treat acne in Malaysia are Pulse Dye Laser and Copper Bromide Laser (Norseld Dual Yellow Laser). It is believed that this laser energy is absorbed by photosensitive chemical porphyrins produced by Propionibacterium Acnes within the acne. This process generates localized heat and oxygen free radicals that kill the acne-causing bacteria, hence improving acne.

Follow these links to Learn more about leading skin and aesthetic clinics in Malaysia and skin laser treatment in Malaysia.

Medications (systemic & topical)

Medications either taken orally or applied topically are the backbone of acne treatment, especially for those with a severe subtype of acne. Common topical treatments include Benzoyl Peroxide, topical Retinoids (Tretinoin, isotretinoin, and Adapalene), topical antibiotics, topical Azelaic acid, and topical Salicylic acid. Systemic Common oral medications used in Malaysia include oral antibiotics, oral isotretinoin, and oral hormonal therapy.

Read on For the top 10 best acne spot treatments in Malaysia.

Follow to link to learn more about topical and oral medication used in acne treatment in Malaysia.

Acne Treatment Malaysia | Summary

Although acne is not a dangerous life-threatening condition, its potential to cause permanent scars can cause serious mental and psychological impact. Acne should be treated early and effectively to prevent unwanted scars. One who suffers from acne should seek treatment early with a dermatologist or skin aesthetic physician to get the appropriate treatment. Delay in seeking appropriate help may cause more scarring and worsening of acne.

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Disclosure of off-labelled use:

This document contains the discussion of agents that are not indicated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labelled indication. The opinion expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the general concensus of The Medical Aesthetic Society. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications and warnings.

Copyright, Legal Notice and Disclaimer:

The information presented in this document is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. This document is written based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. The Author(s) of assume no responsibility for errors or omissions in this text. Prior to deciding on any treatment, discuss with your certified doctor about the indication, potential risk and contraindication of the treatment. shall not be liable to anyone for any loss or injury caused in whole or in part by your use of this information, or for any decision you make or action you take in reliance on the information you received from this writing.