I'll be blogging about a very sensitive topic close to heart in the current and subsequent blog posts.
ACNE IS A CURSE.
I've been plagued with acne since secondary school days. Fast forward 13 years, I was still having occasional acne outbreak but nothing as serious as a canvas full of cystic acne. I experimented with countless products that promised me clear, blemish-free and healthy looking skin. From dabbing my outbreaks with tea tree oil, Oxy-10, Neutrogena gel to concorting my own blend of homemade mask (Egg white, egg yolk, oatmeal with honey, yogurt etc.), nothing seems to solve my acne problem. I visited many dermatologist in Singapore throughout the years, and ALL of them prescribed me with very similar treatment solutions - either oral antibiotics, topical applications or Roaccutane (MOTHER of all acne medication) to suppress the acne. The effects were only temporary. My skin cleared up after a while, yet acne recurred after I've stopped these treatments.
Fighting acne is truly exhausting ... I'm not a bad person. It's not what I should have deserve ...
I've shed many tears about my acne skin that I felt I was the ugliest girl on earth ...
Caution: This post contains graphic images of a brutal acne face. All my bareface photos are in their original RAW state. No photo filters or edits have been made to them. You might want to sponsor me for a skin grafting surgery after looking at my photos. Reader discretion advised.
In the photos below, I chose not to show my full face as I'm still very ashamed of my severe acne. )':
With light makeup, acne bumps could still be seen.
You know the first thing people look at and talk about is your face. I've realized my acne has gradually become a conversation piece for my friends, colleagues, and even acquaintances. Below are just a few examples of their predictable-but-kaypoh conversation openers.
- Eh sherlene ah, are you sick? Why suddenly your face liddat ah?
- How come your face so jiatlat? Got see doctor anot?
- What happened to you sherlene? You used to have pretty good skin. Have you been under too much stress or ate too much unhealthy food?
- Eeyer, your face looks so red and dirty. It's one of the worse I've seen. Please go see a doctor.
- You know my friends went to xxx clinic, and their skin look very clear now. I pass you the clinic's contact number so you go and try ok?
- Maybe you should try xxx face cream/lotion/gel.
- It's your makeup. Don't wear any and your acne will be better.
It got to a point where I stopped going out. I felt really gross and disgusted whenever I look at myself in the mirror. I couldn't go out to a personal care store (Watsons especially) without the store assistants handling me samples and asking questions about my acne. People don’t understand me when I explain why I have acne, people doubted me when I told them I'm suffering from low self esteem, people assumed I'm anti-social when I have told them that there are days where I just wanna stay at home and not hang out with them because of the disease on my face. People just don’t understand.
I was so desperate to cure my acne that I was prepared to spend my life savings and delay my plans for marriage just to get a clear complexion, until I found The Clifford Clinic.
It's kinda cliche to share how I discovered about them. I got to know of The Clifford Clinic through Facebook, and read that they are the ONLY clinic in Singapore which specializes in curing acne from its root???!!! Back then when I read this piece of info, I felt like I have struck lottery!!!
Are you kidding me? Acne has a permanent cure? I've been a sufferer of acne for over a decade and this was the first time I heard that acne has a cure?????
Those were my exact thoughts right there and then. I called up the clinic straight away after I saw the post, and booked an appointment for the following day with the aesthetic doctor, Dr. Gerard Ee.
MAI TU LIAO!!!!!
On my first visit, the clinic looks impeccably clean and professional. I went for my appointment after office hours, so I was one of the last few at the clinic.
His professional advice for me was to undergo a series of laser treatments, which includes A GNE S Acne Treatment and Q-Switch Laser Treatment:
- To reduce the inflammation on my skin
- To stop acne breakouts and prevent them from recurring
- To remove the scars left by my brutal acne
Sounds like a holistic acne treatment plan yes? When I queried about the treatment pricing, I almost fainted. :/ But I had plenty of questions for Dr. Gerard on their AGNES Acne Treatment. What is this AGNES Acne Treatment? How does this solve my acne problem? Is the result permanent? How many sessions are needed? How much does it cost per session?
What is AGNES Acne Treatment?
According to Dr.Gerard, AGNES is the latest laser treatment protocol from Korea. As our skin has thousands of sebaceous glands, AGNES will selectively destroy individual 'problematic' glands, leaving other healthy glands untouched.
Apart from that, there is no need for topical cream application resulting in peeling, so side effects are very minimal, making the treatment safe for pregnancy and breast feeding mothers. This treatment is performed over a 2 days period, and for someone like me with very severe acne condition, it will require 2-3 AGNES treatments to fully cure them. For people who have mild acne or blackheads issue, 1 session should suffice to solve your skin problem(s).
Cost of AGNES Acne Treatment?
The treatment cost range from SGD$800 for a partial face treatment to SGD$1,500 for a full face treatment. I took up 3 sessions of full face AGNES treatment as my face was fully infested with acne and acne marks. I needed to gain back my confidence.
Expensive? Oh yes, you do the math. ): But to me, I see it as a calculated investment. Money can always be earned back. Effective? Absolutely! (Stay close to my upcoming posts for updates!)
After the assurance given by Dr. Gerard that I will certainly see results from the treatment, he got me started on the first AGNES Acne Treatment straight after the consultation. I had what I wanted. Treatment after appointment. (:
Pre-treatment photos taken on 5th June 2015.
I was the last patient in his clinic by the time we were done with the treatment. My face was burning red and it looked as if I had contracted some kind of leprosy. )': However, Dr. Gerard assured me once again on the results, and mentioned that this procedure is highly effective since each insertion will cause that diseased pore to stop producing oil, ultimately destroying the selective sebaceous gland. I guessed that was comforting to hear immediately after the treatment.
I have a fairly high tolerance for pain. The treatment felt like tiny zaps of electricity even with the numbing cream. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate it a 4/10 for the treatment. Perhaps a person with lower pain threshold would rate the pain level a 6-7?
I was advised to return to the clinic the following day for the last procedure to the AGNES Acne Treatment. This procedure is compulsory and it involves the use of Radio Frequency machine with full face drainage to clear off the remaining debris from the initial treatment.
The following set of photos were taken on the night of the treatment in my home. As seen in the photos, those treated areas dried up and my face looked absolutely horrendous. The only clear area on my face is the region around my eyes. My acne looked much worse than my pre-treatment condition. )': I wasn't that certain of the treatment anymore and I just felt so disgusted looking at my dirty complexion.
I can understand if you might just vomit or leave this page at this point after seeing my photos. I really do.
Acne no longer looked as frightening as Day 1 of the treatment. The redness appeared to have tamed, and my facial oil production was significantly reduced.
Over the next few days before my virgin Q-Switch treatment, I took photos of my skin condition religiously. I was prescribed a number of treatment gels/creams during this period to prevent bacteria inflammation, and Dr. Gerard cautioned me that one of the products will trigger a minor pimples outbreak, before I start to see acne clearance. I wasn't too concerned about pimples popping up here and there, since what could have been worse than my previous acne skin condition right? Alrights, that's me trying to be optimistic.
Happy genes = Speedy recovery (:
7th June 2015 (3rd day)
Note to self: Sherlene, you need more patience to see a positive change in your acne marks!
Pimples were still popping up but the redness surrounding my acne started to subside.
My skin started peeling and my makeup further accentuated my skin imperfections and dry patches. What was I even thinking when I chose powder over liquid foundation?!!
Apparently, I suffered from an allergic reaction to the topical products meant to prevent bacteria inflammation. My skin was highly sensitive in the first place. So that meant stopping the products application until my second visit to The Clifford Clinic. My skin felt extremely taut and dry. Fine lines around my under eye area started to develop, and the redness on both sides of my face was hideous. It seriously resembled that of a red baboon's ass from afar. Aside from the allergy, it was the first time after months since certain regions on my face felt smooth (without bumps) to the touch.
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 10am to 8pm | Sat: 10 am to 2pm | Sun: Closed
Address: 24 Raffles Place, #01-03 Clifford Centre, Singapore 048621
Tel:+65 6532 2400
Website: www.cliffordclinic.com | Email: email@example.com