Caution: This post contains graphic images of a brutal acne face. All my bare face photos are in their original RAW state. No photo filters or edits have been made to them.
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 concocting my own blend of homemade mask (Egg white, egg yolk, oatmeal with honey, yoghurt etc.), nothing seemed to solve my acne problem. I visited many dermatologists in Singapore throughout the years, and ALL of them prescribed me with very similar treatments – 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, and I’ve shed tears about my acne skin and I felt that I was the ugliest girl on earth.
Before my acne attack, I used to look like this. That was when I had fairly good skin for weeks, with minimal outbreaks. People couldn’t even tell that I’m an acne sufferer since there were no acne bumps. Acne marks were 2D, so they could be easily concealed with light makeup.
But my pretty decent skin condition did not last long. My trauma started after I began my TCM journey to resume my internal harmony. What appeared to be a couple of zits rapidly manifested into a full face infested with uncontrollable cystic acne.
Read on to see how I recovered from my severe acne and made a full recovery at the end.
Without makeup, my cystic acne and acne scars were very obvious.
I began doing intensive research on adult acne, cystic acne treatment in Singapore and spent a crazy amount of money (I’m talking about over $20K) on acne treatments, home remedies but they did not work.
I was so desperate to cure my acne that I was prepared to spend my life savings and delay my wedding plans just to get a clear complexion… until I found The Clifford Clinic.
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 information, I felt like I struck the lottery! I finally found a clinic in Singapore that offers a permanent cure for my cystic acne.
I called up The Clifford Clinic immediately after I saw the post, and booked an appointment for the following day with celebrity doctor Dr. Gerard Ee.
On my first visit, The Clifford 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.
I was prepared to start my acne treatment on the same day as my appointment. My first consultation with Dr. Gerard Ee took over half an hour, with him patiently understanding my acne history, and the medication that I had been consuming since I had this disease. I was totally not alarmed to hear him comment that my acne was one of the worst he had seen.
His professional advice for me was to undergo a series of laser treatments, which included the AGNES 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
What is AGNES Acne Treatment?
According to Dr.Gerard Ee, 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.
The treatment is a LONG TERM CURE for acne, with a low acne recurrence rate.
Apart from that, there is no need for topical cream application that often results in peeling, so side effects are very minimal, making the treatment safe for pregnant ladies or breastfeeding mothers. This treatment will be performed over a 2-day 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.
Cost of AGNES Acne Treatment?
The AGNES Acne Treatment cost ranges 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.
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! (Read on to see the results!)
Pre-treatment photos taken on 5th June 2015.
Numbing cream was applied to my face before I was led to the treatment room. The first procedure to AGNES Acne Treatment involved a full face drainage with extraction, which the clinic staff took over 45 minutes just to clear my face of pus, dirt, and blackheads.
You could still see the slight swelling and sebum oozing out from those extracted areas.
The 2nd procedure of the treatment involved the use of AGNES machine from Korea. That was when Dr. Gerard painstakingly introduced tiny bursts of electrical energy into 700-800 of my diseased pores via a very fine wire, one at a time. This microscopic and detailed work took him close to an hour to complete.
I was the last patient in his clinic by the time we were done with the treatment. My face was burning. However, Dr. Gerard Ee assured me once again, and mentioned that this procedure is highly effective since the insertions will stop the diseased pore from producing oil, ultimately destroying the selective sebaceous gland. That was really 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 a lower pain threshold would rate the pain level at a 6 to 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 Healing Process
I recorded every step of my treatment to document my healing process. The following set of photos were taken on the night of the first treatment. 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 how it was pre-treatment. I wasn’t that certain of the treatment anymore and I just felt so disgusted looking at my dirty complexion.
On the following day, I returned to the clinic for my compulsory post-treatment drainage and Radio Frequency treatment. The process was swift, and the entire treatment took less than half an hour. I was told not to apply makeup for the next 3 days after my treatment.
The set of photos below were taken on 6th June 2015, second day post-AGNES Acne Treatment.
The acne no longer looked as frightening as Day 1. The redness appeared to have tamed, and my facial oil production was significantly reduced.
I was pretty happy with the treatment outcome! It was only the second day of the treatment and I was already seeing drastic improvement to my acne. I was elated to find an acne treatment in Singapore that worked.
7th June 2015 (3rd day)
Pimples started popping up on both of my cheeks, so those 3D bumps were still visible in the photos. Aside from the fresh pimples, I could see a slight colour discolouration of my acne marks. The colour kind of changed from bright red to dark brown.
8th June 2015 (4th day)
Pimples were still popping up but the redness surrounding my acne started to subside.
9th June 2015 (5th day)
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?
10th June 2015 (6th day)
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 undereye area started to develop, and the redness on both sides of my face was hideous. However, aside from the allergy, it was the first time after months certain regions on my face felt smooth (without bumps) to the touch.
What is Q-Switch Laser Treatment?
Q-Switch Laser works by delivering clinical light quickly with intense energy. The pulses are absorbed by the treated area, breaking down the pigments into smaller pigments, which are then eliminated by the body’s natural lymphatic system.
No numbing cream is required and the entire procedure lasts for 10 minutes. I love how fuss-free the laser treatment is and I’m advised by Dr. Gerard to go for one laser session every 2 weeks to expedite skin rejuvenation and healing of my acne marks.
I love how candid and honest Dr.Gerard is to his patients. No flowery language or hard-selling of packages by him and he shared that even though Q-switch laser treatments will not help me to achieve a 100% acne marks clearance, but I should expect at least a 75%-90% clearance and lightening of my acne marks and brown sunspots. He also assured me that Q-switch laser will reduce the acne marks after any pimples breakout, at the same promoting brighter and more luminous skin.
11th June (1st Q-switch)
My 1st Q-switch laser treatment saw me leaving the treatment room with a burnt-looking “chao ta” face. I looked like a fried lobster.
Dr. Gerard gave me a complimentary Casmara green mask to sooth and provide calmness to my skin.
Q-switch laser treatment is comfortable and the sensation is akin to having rubber band snapping on your skin. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the pain level a 1/10. There was a burnt smell during the treatment and that got me a little worried, but Dr. Gerard Ee explained that that was just my facial hairs burning off.
If you have sensitive skin, the redness may take about 2 to 3 hours to subside, if not, you may just have a pinkish flush for a short while. The treatment is highly effective with minimal downtime, and you can apply makeup after the treatment too!
Recovery after 1st Q-switch laser treatment (12th June – 24th June)
At this point, my acne-prone skin is also dry and sensitive, and it is frustrating trying to cover up my face with makeup over those dry and flaky patches. They might be the cause of the topical medication that I was spamming on my face in the hopes of having a speedy recovery, and I decided to reduce the dosage to what the doctor recommended to reduce the dryness on my skin.
However, the peeling and acne outbreak on my cheeks and forehead area healed fairly quickly. Acne wasn’t as full-blown and brutal as my pre-acne treatment condition due to the success of AGNES Acne Treatment, and I was due to return for the second session in late July.
25th June (2nd Q-switch laser treatment)
Dr. Gerard increased the intensity of the laser this time round, and soothing mask was not required since my skin got conditioned to the laser after my virgin Q-switch laser treatment.
8th July (3rd Q-switch laser treatment)
To promote deeper skin rejuvenation and to reduce my skin redness, Dr. Gerard increased the laser intensity again for this round, and the intensity was maintained for subsequent laser sessions.
Recovery after 3rd Q-switch laser treatment (9th July – 22th July)
Note the improvement in my skin clarity and texture!
After my 3rd Q-switch laser session, Dr. Gerard advised me to proceed with the 2nd AGNES Acne Treatment two weeks later. I was very pleased with the results following my 1st AGNES Acne Treatment, so proceeding with 2nd AGNES Acne Treatment will naturally mean one step closer to achieving acne-free skin.
2ndAGNES Acne Treatment
The beauty therapist took less than 30 mins to perform a full face drainage with extraction this time around, as compared to 45 minutes during my first treatment since acne has cleared for the most part of my face. Happy news as it meant lesser pus, blackheads and acne to extract.
Following which, Dr. Gerard meticulously introduced 400 shots into my diseased pores.
My face felt extremely raw and red following AGNES Acne Treatment. Dr. Gerard applied Foban cream to the treated areas to minimize inflammation.
24th July 2015
I returned to the clinic for Radio Frequency to clear off the remaining debris from the initial treatment.
Recovery after 2nd AGNES Acne Treatment (25th July – 30th July) I monitored my skin condition daily after the treatment and was amazed by the swift improvement in my skin clarity. There was a dramatic reduction of acne outbreaks since I started my acne treatment with The Clifford Clinic. My skin around my jawline has cleared up and those fresh red marks have gradually turned into brown marks, indicating that healing has already begun to take place.
31st July (4th Q-switch laser treatment)
A week after my 2nd AGNES Acne Treatment, I continued with my Q-switch laser journey as the treatment is proven to be effective in reducing redness and acne marks.
Recovery after 4th Q-switch laser treatment (1st August – 12th August)There was a significant reduction of acne after my 4th Q-switch session!
13th August (5th Q-switch laser treatment)
My flushed skin after every Q-switch laser treatment.
Recovery after 5th Q-switch laser treatment (14th August – 27th August)Acne marks have lightened to a large extent, and it was only after my 5th Q-switch session when I started receiving comments about how my skin quality has improved tremendously.For those who are currently undergoing Q-switch treatments with The Clifford Clinic, have confidence in the treatments and the skills of the two resident doctors – Dr. Gerard and Dr. Chow. With a dose of patience and optimism, I assure you that you will be seeing brighter and clearer skin in no time!
28th August (6th Q-switch laser treatment)
While I noticed that my acne red marks are fading, I had to deal with some annoying acne outbreaks again. I was very tempted to pop those pimples but even so, I noticed that they tend to be less inflamed as compared to before.
Recovery after 6th Q-switch laser treatment (29th August – 9th September)
Many asked me how did I get past those self-defeating thoughts and remained so upbeat despite my skin insecurity? Optimism is a happiness magnet, so I try to stay as optimistic as possible, surround myself with positive people who would uplift me with their words. Whenever possible, I also avoid applying makeup so my skin could take a breather over the weekend.
Recovery after 7th Q-switch laser (11th September – 30th September)
It usually takes a minimum of five treatments to make acne marks go away completely but they can lighten up significantly even after just one treatment.
With each session of Q-switch laser treatment with The Clifford Clinic, I saw tremendous improvement in my skin imperfections and clarity of skin tone. I’ve been receiving compliments on my skin improvement, and even had people telling me that my skin looks super radiant! (Although I think the radiance stems from the production of my facial oil!)
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my treatment photos over the course of 3.5 months with The Clifford Clinic and I amazed with the transformation of my complexion after looking at these photos.
Subsequent Q-switch laser treatments (October 2015 to April 2016)My face will flush and turn red after each Q-switch session but for those of you who are blessed with normal skin, and just want to go for your regular skin maintenance during lunchtime, you can rest assured that your colleagues will not even notice any difference.
I was thankful that my skin has become less sensitive and wasn’t as flushed as when I first embarked on the treatments.
Subsequent Recovery after Q-switch laser treatments (October 2015 to April 2016)
In between the sessions, I experienced minor outbreaks due to late nights and stress. But thanks to Q-switch laser treatments, the healing process was much faster and I was amazed at the recovery of my acne and the acne scars by the end of the treatments.
My skin was glowing, and there were no more 3D bumps. My skin became fairer with reduced red blotches.
ACNE CLEARANCE: 90%
Applied full-face makeup.
As I wrap up my post, here’s the complete progression of my treatments with The Clifford Clinic over the past one year.
At the end of 2 AGNES Acne treatments and 10+ Q-switch laser sessions, I am happy to say that I’ve regained my confidence and self-esteem, in the sense that I’m less affected (not entirely though) by how others view me and my physical outlook.
For me, it’s not about having a flawless complexion. It’s really about achieving healthy skin glow and being comfortable in my skin that I can be make-up free when I go out. Not having 3D acne bumps to conceal all over the face so much so that I look like a make-up doll. And I’m deeply thankful to Dr.Gerard and The Clifford Clinic for fixing my acne skin issues with the effective acne and acne scar removal treatment over the past year!
The Clifford Clinic
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 10 am to 8 pm | 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: