Be Acne Free 11: Battling Adult Acne with AGNES Treatment @ The Clifford Clinic (#ProjectBareFace 1)
I have been on the #BeAcneFree Journey for more about 2 years, and there were ups and downs. I’ve tried wrong products, and I’ve experienced effective facials or treatments, but there were never any treatments that was able to permanently solve my acne problem. 3-4 years ago, doctors told me my condition SHOULD stabilize when I’m 25 or 26, but now, I’m beyond that but there were no signs of improvement.
If you remember, this was the results My Cozy Room managed to achieve within 10 days. I’m not scar-free, but temporarily pimple free. Celine, the owner of My Cozy Room recommended me to go for regular facial to stabilize my condition. I tried to do so, but the facials (not at My Cozy Room) were never able to stop my outbreaks.
So if you remember my Awkward Moment when filming the SG Care & Share Day 2015 Commercial which took place on the 31st December 2014, I had break outs at the worst moment and there was nothing much I can do to control it. That feeling was like the moment when Cinderella was getting ready to go to the ball with her mother’s gown (filming), only to be destroyed by the step mother (pimple) at the very last moment. Cinderella had her fairy godmother, but where’s mine?
There were friends who suggested doctors or dermatologist, but I am still resisting and very against the use of oral medication and Roaccutane. There were also beauty salons and aesthetic doctors who were more than happy to provide me with their fractional laser and scar removal service, after all, an actress with good skin condition is the best form of testimonial for them. But I had never accepted any of them.
Why? It’s because these scar-removal treatments are only effective IF the break outs have stopped, but my skin condition had hardly stabilised (+ it was worsened by the use of Black Paint Soap) and ALWAYS require monthly facials or TCM treatments to maintain. It was really difficult going out without makeup and having to answer the constant “What happened to your face?” questions.
Achieving good skin or should I say being able to walk on the streets without makeup had became one of my 2015 goals + Birthday wish. Somehow, with the law of attraction, or if you prefer the fairy godmother, my prayer was answered. Jacqueline Koh, a guru in aesthetic service came back to Singapore from Europe for Chinese New Year, and as one topic leads to another, she shared me about her AGNES treatment experience. Of course, ever since my Black Paint incident, my defense wall is higher than the Berlin Wall now, I was truly skeptical when she told me it was a permanent solution for Acne. Could it be another “Too-Good-To-Be-True”?
The Clifford Clinic with Dr Gerard Ee
I visited Dr Gerard Ee at the Clifford Clinic on the 6th February 2015 for a consultation, together with Jacqueline. So this Agnes Treatment is from Korea (Somehow, I felt a little more relieved when I heard that the machine originates from Korea- the country of cosmetic/plastic surgery) and how Clifford Clinic is currently the only one in Singapore using and carrying this machine. I did my little research to see how “invasive” this treatment is and decided to go ahead with this AGNES treatment (Yes, the things ladies are willing to go through in the name of beauty!)
AGNES Acne Treatment: What To Expect?
AGNES Acne treatment is the latest machine from Korea (Gowoonsesang Cosmetics Inc.), created specifically to treat adult acne. It consist of a 2 step procedure done over 2 consecutive days. So this was the condition of my face before the AGNES treatment. All the reddish bumps were active pimples, which are slightly painful and bumpy. The greyish spots every where else were the old pigmentation gotten from pimples and facial extractions (Yes, unlike most people, the marks on my face do not fade away quickly and take ages to recover). I can’t use whitening products either as the products are too rich and will cause sensitivity and breakout.
After washing my face and removing my makeup, the therapist applied a strong numbing cream on my face (to ease and discomfort during the treatment) and I had to wait for about 20 minutes before my extraction.
There after, she started on the extraction (just like how a normal facial extraction is done) but instead of tissue or cotton pad, gauze pads soaked with anti-bacterial liquid is used to squeeze out the pus and clean the inflamed pores.
Something About Acne (and Adult Acne)
We hate pimples and acne, they affect our mood and self confidence. Acne is an inflammatory disorder of hair follicle, and if you are a teenager, these acne (they call it Adolescent Acne) will stop occurring after you reached a certain age.
If your breakout continues (like mine), we “upgrade” it and call it Adult Acne.
According to Dr Ee, the reason might be due to our pores being damaged during out teenage years. You know, using products which might not be suitable, or too strong for our skin, and as the pimples heal, scar tissue formed caused these pores to be kinked.
How to Spot Adult Acne
If you have been following my #BeAcneFree journey, you will realise that acne always occur around the same area. Yes, sometimes, the pimples will even resurface on the same spot over and over again. What’s worse, my neighbouring pores were affected over the years of recurrence, which resulted in more and more pores getting constantly infected and inflamed. These are “malfunctioning” pores that require “treatment”.
After the extraction, the infected pores are cleaned but open, and what the AGNES radio frequency machine does was to make use of a partially insulated micro-needle to deliver radio frequency energy to”desensitize” the over-active and inflamed pores. When these targetted sebaceous glands are “destroyed” with 1MHz ~ 4MHz energy, acne cannot be formed thus won’t recur.
But will this damage our skin and result in pitted scars?
This special “needle” has two parts: The upper part of needle is insulated to prevent thermal injury of epidermis (outermost layers of cells in the skin). The lower part is not insulated to destroy sebaceous glands. According to Dr Ee, there is no risk of scaring as the needle is very small.
What It Felt Like:
The treatment felt like little prickly zaps on my face, and if you can take the normal facial extraction, you won’t find this treatment painful. It looked a little swollen and scary after the treatment, but the swelling subsided in about half and hour.
To prevent an infection (there’s so many open wounds after-all), Dr Ee prescribed a course of oral antibiotics (Doxycycline 100NG & Dicofenac 50MG) SGD$37.52 and Foban Cream SGD$8 (to use for 3 days) which prevents the spread of susceptible bacteria and relieve any symptoms of the infection.
I was also prescribed a set of aftercare Aknicare products to use and control my skin condition. It’s usually not advisable to put on make up when your face has open wounds, so besides sunblock, I avoided make up for the next 3 days.
Skincare Routine: (1) Aknicare Cleanser SGD$63 | (2) Clindagel SGD$56 on scars and wounds | (3) Aknicare Treatment lotion*SGD$54 on whole face | (4) Thin layer of Retacnyl Cream* SGD$40 on whole face (Will cause peeling) | (5) Aknicare Skin Roller SGD$48 on affected bumps (Use when necessary)
A gel was applied on my face before the RF apparatus was rolled around my face to help remove any dead debris. There wasn’t any significant or visible difference after the RF treatment, but it was a relaxing procedure.
What Happens After the AGNES Acne Treatment?
I had to follow the prescribed skincare routin twice a day, and go back for a review 1 – 2 months later. As the scars and pigmentation will take a long time to recover, I was advised to go for a course Q-Switch and/or Hydrafacial treatments to shorten the recovery process.
*The Aknicare treatment lotion will cause a slight stinging/burning sensation on the face, especially after using the Retacnyl Cream for some time and my face started peeling slightly. I was worried and asked Dr Ee if I could stopped any of the products, but he advised to continue the products until my acne problem has been cured. I’m glad I did. 🙂
Is AGNES Treatment a Permanent Cure?
I believe you will have 101 questions after seeing this article. Well, I had plenty of questions for Dr Ee when I was doing this AGNES Acne treatment. Is it permanent? How many sessions is needed? How much does it cost?
According to Dr Gerard Ee, the treatment is a long term cure for acne and there should be a low recurrence rate after AGNES. Generally, 2-3 treatments are required to fully cure the acne acne problem depending on your severity (with at least 1 Month interval between treatments) as there are times where not all the sebaceous glands can be identified at one setting and it may need to be repeated again. Depending on the severity of the condition, the cost each treatment range from SGD$800~$1500.
P.S. I’m a skeptical person and I won’t really believe unless it really worked for me. So I’m going to continue recording this journey to see if this is true!
Is AGNES suitable for me?
AGNES Acne Treatment is best suited for Adult Acne (21 years and above); for patients with recurring acne; patients who cannot take medication. Of course, the easiest way to find out is to consult the expert, Dr Gerard Ee, to see if you are suitable!
The Clifford Clinic
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear readers: As I foresee that this AGNES treatment will most probably end my #BeAcneFree journey (though I will still write articles about services which I think will help you guys to achieve an Acne Free life, I thought that I will start a new series called the #ProjectBareFace which will cover on services & products that can allow us to present our Bare Face confidently!