teen acne treatment singapore

Preteen and Teen Acne Treatment

Early intervention of your acne helps to prevent potential acne scarring.

Discover how we can help to not only treat acne but also maintain a healthier skin.

best teenage acne treatment singapore
Forehead acne is common in teenagers



As a clinician with more than 15 years of experience, Dr Ng. understands the impact of how acne can affect an individual. Acne knows no boundaries, afflicting a wide range of age groups and affecting both genders for varying lengths of time. Dr. Ng provides a patient-centric approach that is backed by the latest scientific evidence as well as his own wealth of experience to create a care plan for the best acne treatment that is unique to your skin type. Early intervention can help prevent acne scars, restore your skin and confidence.

how common is Preteen and Teenage Acne?

“My Daughter is 9 and has acne. Can it be treated?”

Although the prevalence of acne is highest in the teenage group (more than 12 years of age), acne can occur at all ages. A study revealed that acne is present in up to 78% of girls aged 9 to 10. Acne may be the first sign of puberty in both boys and girls.

Acne is considered a chronic inflammatory condition of the pilo-sebaceous glands. In addition to being hormonally driven, other factors contributing to acne include an excess in sebum  production and abnormal skin cell turnover. This creates an ideal environment for the colonisation of the C.acnes bacteria and inflammation to take place. Left untreated, acne can progress to more severe forms such as cystic acne, and can leave permanent acne scars

Our goal is early intervention to clear acne actively so we can prevent any form of acne scarring, improve mental health and enhance quality of life during this challenging stage of their lives.

preteen acne has T zone distribution
Mainly comedomal acne on forehead
best acne vulgaris treatment singapore
Inflammatory acne along jawline

How Is Teenage Acne Different From Adult Acne?

Preteen and teen acne tends to be concentrated along the ‘T zone area‘. The forehead, nose, mid cheeks and chin tend to be affected by mainly clogged pores, whiteheads and blackheads. The back is usually the last to be affected if any at all. Inflammatory acne lesions are less common in this age group. However, whiteheads left unchecked has a higher tendency to progress to inflammatory acne. One special feature is the presence of blackheads in the ear, which many mistaken for dirt, leading to over zealous cleansing.

In contrast, adult acne tends to follow a “U-Shape” pattern, with acne lesions being distributed along the jawline, chin and cheeks. The inflammatory component is more visible in this age group, and are characterized by painful papules, pustules or even deep seated acne cysts.

what are the types of acne?

Mild AcneMild Acne


Acne Vulgaris
Many papules, pustules, comedomes in a limited area
Moderate AcneModerate Acne
Acne Vulgairs
Numerous papules, pustules, comedomes affecting more than half of the affected area
cystic acnecystic acne
Acne Vulgaris
Entire area covered with papules, pustules, comedomes. Acne cysts and nodules may appear.
Colored skin acne anatomy composition with types of acne pimples before and after vector illustrationColored skin acne anatomy composition with types of acne pimples before and after vector illustration

Benefits of early treatment

3 Tips to Fight Acne

  1. Use a 2% salicyclic acid-based wash if you find the skin to be very oily,
  2. Avoid over-washing your face more than 3 times a day, as this can lead to more oil production and consequently more acne.
  3. Over the counter Benzoyl Peroxide products are useful and can treat mild forms of acne.

Can Preteen Acne Be Treated?

There are several factors to consider with regards to teenage and preteen acne treatment. The predominant acne type (whether comedomal, inflammatory or mixed), the severity (mild, moderate or severe), presence of acne scarring and whether the acne is causing psychological distress.

Acne in our youth has its unique challenges. The treatment regime needs to be simple enough to follow, yet effective. Medications must be safe to use, yet side effects minimised. Patient education must be positively reinforced, and myths dispelled at the same time.

best acne treatment singapore

teen Acne Treatment

The best teenage acne treatment depends on the predominant acne type, and how severe the acne is affecting the child.

For mild acne, topical fixed-combination acne products are more effective and have a synergistic effect. For instance,  Epiduo gel is a combination of the retinoid adapalene with benzoyl peroxide. Together, they exert an anti-inflammatory effect, unclog pores and kill the P. acnes bacteria. It is approved for use in patients as young as 9 years of age. It is common for the product to cause some initial skin redness, irritation and peeling. A gradual approach to application helps increase the acceptance in incorporating the treatment into daily use. 

In cases of moderate to severe acne, the goals of treatment is more directed towards reducing inflammation and reducing permanent skin scarring. Treatment is more aggressive, and an oral antibiotic may be added on top of topical acne products. Trifarotene cream, a fourth generation retinoid is approved for those aged 9 years and older with facial and/or truncal acne. Studies have shown that it is safe for children and teens from 9 to 17 years old, with almost negligible systemic absorption.

The tetracycline class of antibiotics are only approved by children more than 8 years of age. Antibiotics may cause gastric disturbances such as vomiting, bloatedness, reflux and diarrhoea. The shortest course of oral antibiotic is usually prescribed, as the risk of antibiotic-resistant acne is on the rise worldwide. 

Set reminders for your acne treatment

3 More Tips For Parents & Patients

  1. Set reminders on your phone to apply or take your medicine. Consistent use will give superior results.
  2. Don’t spot treat. Acne frequently pops out areas that are not treated. Full face treatment should be the norm once you have established a simplified skin care routine.
  3. Patience. Everything is difficult before it is easy. It takes weeks to see some improvement, and 2-3 months before you see the full effect of the treatment.
schedule a consultation for Teen acne treatment in singapore

We treat a range of acne and acne scars at both our clinics in Woodlands and Kovan. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, so that Dr. Ng can develop a personalized treatment approach for resolving your teenager’s skin concerns and helping them to achieve long-term improvements in the health and appearance of their skin.

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Get in touch with us with any questions, pricing, or bookings.

Or give us a call at +65 6769 6007 | WhatsApp us +65 9855 3022

Dr Moses Ng dermatologist

teen acne

My immediate concern whenever I see a case of acne in teenagers, whether it is mild or severe, is to assess how it is affecting their health. Acne that is not treated can lead to great emotional distress and scarring. This is quite unnecessary in this day and age, where effective acne treatments are readily available.

More Information:
  • Acne – American Academy of Dermatology
  • Acne – Mayo Clinic
  • Zaenglein et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016;74:945-973.e933
  • Eichefield et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne. Pediatrics.2013;131(Suppl 3):S163-S186