Singapore is a country that basks in bright and sunny weather for most of the year, but the heat doesn’t come without consequences. At the least, our skin can suffer because of these environmental factors. If you notice some undesirable changes like pimples, rashes or eczema, you are not alone. Many are struggling with this problems, too. So, here’s our gift to you – a skin care guide on common skin problems in Singapore and how to deal with them.
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The condition of the skin is considered as one of the most common factors that contribute to self-confidence and is also one of the top concerns for women in Singapore. Among these skin concerns is sweat rash, or prickly heat, which occurs when the ducts of the sweat glands are blocked. In effect, the sweat produced is unable to escape or evaporate from the skin’s surface. This results in red bumps that are itchy and sometimes inflamed.
Skin rashes can be aggravated when you wear synthetic, non-breathable clothes. It usually develops in the folds of the skin or in areas where clothes cause friction. Cosmetic products like creams or lotions can also block the sweat ducts, resulting in red and blotchy rashes.
If the rashes are persistent and worsen over time, it is best to consult a physician as early as possible. Some rashes may no longer be caused by the heat but are fungal infections or an inflammatory response that shows up on the skin.
Breathable clothing would be appropriate because it is comfortable and prevents excoriation in sensitive areas. Cleanse the skin after excessive sweating and be sure that you use a mild soap to avoid drying up the skin. Bathe in cool water without products containing irritants like fragrances to prevent further irritation.
Over-the-counter medications and home remedies are quick and easy solutions, but in some cases, prescription medications may be needed to control the symptoms and complications.
Often confused with dry skin where it simply lacks natural oils, dehydrated skin lacks water content. These two may feel the same, but they should be dealt with differently so the problem can be effectively addressed.
Dehydrated Skin vs Dry Skin
Some people are born with dry skin, which indicates that the skin is not producing enough natural oils. This isn’t necessarily a problem because you can always replenish it with your oil of choice as part of your skincare regimen. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is caused by a lack of water and not oil. So, even those with oily skin can still have a tendency to experience dryness. This condition can be triggered by lifestyle changes, poor diet, medications, and environmental factors. The fact that Singapore is a humid country increases everyone’s chances of experiencing this skin problem.
Dehydrated skin will take more effort to improve because it’s like working under sea level. Treatment will be like caring for dry skin, but this time, you’ll be adding some inner work—meaning not just treating the symptoms on the surface but the root cause of the issue underneath.
Increasing your water intake is a good start. If you are a coffee junkie, you might have to slowly ditch the habit because its diuretic effect can only worsen the situation. Loading up on foods with essential fatty acids like nuts, salmon, avocados, eggs and leafy greens also helps with your skin hydration goals.
On the surface, you must also be careful with what you are putting on your skin. Just because your skin is dehydrated doesn’t mean you can go crazy with moisturizers, especially if you have oily skin. Remember, dehydrated skin lacks water, not oil, so piling up oil-rich moisturizers on your skin can occlude and congest the pores. With all that gunk on top, the skin remains with an empty reservoir underneath, making all that effort and those products counter-intuitive. Choose humectants instead like glycerin, hyaluronic acid or marine extracts. These will attract and keep water inside your skin before you seal it off with a moisturizer.
If you are not sure whether your skin is just dry or has reached dehydrated levels, you can always consult a dermatologist or an aesthetician.
Pimples and Acne
Those with skin that are prone to acne may find that it flares up in humid climates. This can again be referred to excessive sweating which can trap dust, bacteria, and other minute particles within the pores. The heat can also increase oil production of the skin which can only clog up the pores and increase the likelihood of flare-ups.
While pimples and acne are often associated with teenagers, studies show that this condition is also increasingly common in women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Whether it be a severe or mild case of acne, it understandably causes distress in those affected. The earlier the treatment, the better the chances of avoiding potential scars and lightening existing ones.
Clinical Acne Treatment
The goal of clinical acne treatments should be to prevent any scars from developing. In the event of acne breakouts, you can rely on the advanced restorative action of lasers for skin resurfacing. It can stimulate the restorative process, eliminate stubborn acne scars and eventually even out the complexion of the skin.
Ways to Help Yourself
If the country’s humid condition is making you sweat excessively, a shower and some antibacterial wash can help clear the bacteria off the skin. When choosing sun creams and makeup, be diligent in looking for products that are non-comedogenic (non-pore blocking).
Other factors that may be putting you at risk could be your hair products, dirty makeup brushes, your dirty phone, and even your pillowcases that haven’t been changed for weeks. Overwashing your skin could also worsen your problem because frequent washing can rid the skin of its natural oils. This stimulates the skin to produce more oil to hydrate it. So be sure to check your habits, your skin care products, and your environment at home to see if you are keeping your skin at an intimate distance with the root cause of the problem.
Uneven Pigmentation or Dark Spots
Even just power walking through the CBD under the fury of the Singapore sun, can already put you at a greater risk for skin discoloration. Sun damage can show itself in several ways, and dark spots are among those that are easily visible. When you are not well protected, sun exposure can spell trouble for Asian skin.
Sunlight can trigger the body to produce more melanin, which not only results in skin darkening but uneven pigmentation in several areas on the face and body. This may not be as pronounced in young people, but your skin eventually reveals these sun spots as you age. In fact, the brown spots typically start showing up in your early 30s.
To effectively reduce the appearance of these dark spots and other future damage, you need to address the problem right away. However, treating ethnic skin can be a challenge, even for professionals. Sophisticated lasers are considered the best treatments for this aesthetic problem, but they can be tricky because intense pulsed light (IPL) or broadband light (BBL) lasers, for example, have the tendency to make it worse. These lasers pick up pigment in the skin and cannot differentiate between your natural pigment from sun spots, risking burns or hypopigmentation (white spots).
To avoid side effects, like post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, there should be strict pre-treatment and post-treatment care especially after light-based procedures like lasers. Other skin care specialists use combination treatments that involve topical solutions such as tretinoin or hydroquinone with IPL or pro-fractional lasers on very conservative settings. Most clinics in Singapore also provide non-ablative pigment removal for a safer spot treatment process. Some also add chemical peels into the mix to visibly lighten these uneven spots and pigmentation.
We hope that you have gained insights from what we have shared. If you think that your skin concern was not mentioned, or if you have something to clarify, feel free to send in your questions here, or call us at +65 6820 3308 /+65 6820 3309.