If you have acne scars, it is likely that you have already tried treatments that do not work on those scars – skin care, ineffective toning lasers, chemical peels, and more. Don’t waste any more time and money on these treatments that have no impact on these scars at all!
What are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are permanent skin textural changes that occur on the skin as a result of moderate to severe acne. They appear generally as indentations on the skin but can come in different forms. Strictly speaking, skin discoloration due to acne, like redness or darkening of skin, is not acne scarring. Instead, it is known as post-inflammatory erythema or hyperpigmentation/hypopigmentation.
How do acne scars form?
Acne scar formation is almost always due to severe acne. Severe inflammation in the deeper layers of the skin lead to structural changes in the skin, and skin indentation. Ironically, squeezing and manipulating nodular or cystic acne can lead to more severe scarring.
Common areas with acne scars are the cheeks and the temples, where severe acne usually appears.
Types of Acne Scars
Acne scars can appear in 4 ways:
- Boxcar scar – broad, usually rectangular skin depression with steep edges
- Rolling scar – broad, shallow skin depression with sloping edges
- Ice pick scar – deep, narrow skin depression with steep edges
- Hypertrophic scar – raised, bumpy scar
Most people may have 2 to 3 different types of scars when they visit us for consultation and treatment.
How do we treat acne scars in Singapore?
Most people have a combination of scars after suffering from severe acne. Therefore, treatment has to be tailored to an individual’s skin condition after consulting a doctor.
There is no one-size-fits-all package treatment as advertised by many places out there. This broad strokes treatment approach simply does not work for everyone and you may end up wasting your money and time doing treatments that are not even suitable for your scars to begin with.
Most people with acne scars will require a combination of treatments to achieve results. Acne scars can be treated with the following:
- Laser – such as CO2 and PICO fractional.
- Injection – dermal fillers, rejuran S, rejuran healer, radiesse.
- Radiofrequency treatment
Laser treatments for acne scars
As a general piece of advice, do not do mild laser toning for your acne scars because they do not work.
Instead, using a CO2 fractional laser is very effective in treating acne scars. It still remains as a gold standard in treating severe acne scars. Recovery time is about 1 week.
Additionally, the Pico laser is a relatively newer technology that can be used to treat acne scars and acne marks with less downtime of about 3 to 5 days. Pico laser causes less damage to the surrounding skin. Therefore, it is a safer, more precise laser treatment option for acne scars.
Long pulse lasers such as Gentlemax Pro laser are useful in treating acne marks (post inflammatory redness or hyperpigmentation).
It is important to note that generally speaking, laser treatments for acne scars will 100% cause a significant downtime. The cost of laser treatment for acne scars in Singapore ranges from $300 – $600 per session.
Injection treatments for acne scars
Injection treatment is often done in combination with other treatments such as subcision and lasers.
Dermal fillers (juvederm, restylane etc), Rejuran S and sometimes collagen filler (Radiesse) can all be used to treat acne scars. These materials are being injected directly into and under the scars to elevate the skin, stimulate collagen and help with skin remodeling and healing.
These injection treatments are particularly useful for shallow rolling and atrophic scars.
The cost of injection treatments for acne scars in Singapore is about $600 – $1000 per syringe.
Some acne scars remain resistant to laser treatments because of the presence of scar tissue under the scars that “pull” the skin down. This can be improved with subcision treatment.
Subcision involves using a needle to manually “cut” and release the fibrous tissue underneath the scar. This results in less tethering of the skin by the scar tissue, therefore improving the appearance of the acne scars. Recovery time is about 5 days.
The cost of subcision in Singapore is about $200 – $500.
Radiofrequency (RF) treatment uses heat energy to create deep heating of the skin, resulting in skin remodelling and improvement in scars.
RF such as thermage, venus RF and microneedling RF can help improve acne scars.
In summary, acne scars are complex and need to be treated in a holistic manner. A thorough consultation and assessment with a doctor is important before initiating any treatment. Almost all patients with acne scars will need a combination of treatments to produce optimal results. One-size-fits-all scar treatment package is not the right way to treat acne scars.