Acne Scar Removal

As much as you would like to forget about your past pimpled experience, your face remembers – in the form of scars.

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You would like to forget about your past pimpled experience, but your face remembers – in the form of scars.

Acne is an upsetting skin condition brought about by overactive sebaceous glands in the skin. These glands produce oil to lubricate the skin. However, when they secrete too much, the glands can become blocked, resulting in an acne breakout.

Unknown to many, acne scar comes in the form of scaly red skin, pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It is not just a teenage problem. It can often continue into adulthood. There’s no way to predict how long it will take to disappear entirely.

What is acne scarring?

One thing worse than suffering through a brutal acne period is having to deal with the acne scarring that comes afterward.

Acne scars are considered permanent textural changes. It results when acne breakouts penetrate the deeper layer of the skin and the underlying tissues.

What causes acne scars and how do it form?

Acne scars form during an acne breakout that penetrates the skin deeply. This damages the skin and tissue beneath it. As the acne clears, our body tries to repair the damage thereby leaving a scar.

During the healing process, collagen, a substance that gives our skin support, is produced by the body. If your body under produces or overproduces collagen during the healing phase, scar tissue will form!

Types of acne scar

The good news is that not all types of scars are permanent. It is possible to reduce their appearance or even get rid of them altogether.

The type of scars that is formed is are mainly classified as depressed or raised acne scars and acne caused post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Depressed acne scars (atrophic)

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In severe acne, large pus-filled spaces known as acne cysts are formed. These cysts destroy skin tissue which is not replaced during the healing process. When the cyst eventually empties and the area heals, it usually leaves behind an indentation on the skin. If the body produces too little collagen, depressions or pits form as the skin heals.

Raised acne scars (hypertrophic)

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Sometimes the body produces too much collagen as it tries to heal the skin and underlying tissue. When this happens, a person develops a raised acne scar. This type of acne scar is more common in people who have skin of color like African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. And this commonly happens on the chest and back. Such acne scarring can be lumpy (known as “hypertrophic” or “keloid” scarring).

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (aka acne marks)

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Those dark marks or spots left behind after a pimple heals can be even more aggravating and distressing than pimples themselves. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the discoloration of the skin that follows an inflammatory wound. It is the skin’s natural response to inflammation.

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Atrophic scars

Atrophic scars are flat, shallow depressions that heal below the top layer of skin. These scars are commonly caused by severe cystic acne. However, other types of acne can cause them as well.

The appearance of atrophic acne scars can vary depending on a person’s history with acne. There are three types of atrophic scars:

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Boxcar acne scars

Boxcar scars are broad, usually box-like depressions with sharply defined edges.

Boxcar scars most often form on areas like the lower cheeks and jaw, where skin is relatively thick.

Treatments of choice

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Ice pick acne scars

Ice pick scars are smaller, more narrow indentations that point down into the skin’s surface. These scars are common on the cheeks.

Ice pick scars tend to be very tough to treat, and often require persistent, aggressive treatment.

Treatments of choice

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Rolling acne scars

Rolling scars have a varying depth, with sloping edges that make skin appear wavy and uneven.

Treatments of choice

Hypertrophic scars and keloid

They appear as raised lesions of scar tissue on the skin and are a result of the overgrowth of fibrous tissue in the region where the acne lesion had developed.

They are more common on the chest, back and shoulders, where the skin is thicker, although they can occur around the jaw line. They are also more common in people with darker skin types.

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Hypertrophic acne scars

Hypertrophic scars are raised and firm scarring that grows above the surface of your skin.

Treatments of choice

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Keloid

While keloids are the more severe type of hypertrophic scars which grow larger than the original wound area.

They can send out raised and lateral shoots that expand out of the wound itself long after the original wound has healed.

Treatments of choice

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (acne marks)

Unlike atrophic and hypertrophic acne scars, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is also known as acne marks.

It is the discoloration left on the skin after a pimple has healed, which isn’t a true acne scar, but rather post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

It’s incredibly common for people with acne.

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Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation acne marks are dark spots that show up where your acne spot was. This is caused by the overproduction and deposition of melanin to the skin in response to inflammation. Resulting in dark – brown coloured spots on your skin.

It usually appears like a flat area and tends to occur in darker skin types. The spots can range in colour from purple, brown, or black, depending on the depth of the discolouration and your skin tone.

Treatments of choice

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Post-inflammatory Erythema (PIE)

Similar to PIH, Post-inflammatory erythema usually looks like a flat area but tends to occur in lighter skin types. This pink – red discolouration on your skin is caused by blood vessel damage within inflamed skin from the picking of your acne.

It can range in colour from white, pink to red depending on the depth of the discolouration and your skin tone.

Treatments of choice

Acne scars vs acne marks

The key difference between acne scars and marks is their effect on your skin texture.

If your skin remains smooth with dark or red marks, it could be temporary discolouration of your skin and it is acne marks. Unlike acne scars, it takes around 3 to 6 months for the marks to fade.

However, if you are dealing with changes in the texture of your skin, you have an acne scar (indentations or raised spots) as a result of permanent skin damage from your acne breakouts.

Speak to a doctor to get your conditions accessed and determine the type of acne scarring you are suffering from.

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Acne scar removal treatments

How does acne scar treatment work?

Even when we do our best to prevent acne scars, some people scar. There are many treatment options, which can significantly diminish depressed and raised acne scars.

When do you need to seek help for your acne scar?

Most people like to take a wait and see approach, hoping that their acne scars or marks will improve/fade over time.

In reality, your acne scars will worsen over time.

The ability of your skin to produce collagen decreases as you age. Moreover, your skin loses collagen and skin elasticity as it age.

Treating your acne scar early and when you are young, it gives you a greater chance of getting a more successful outcome.

Laser acne scar removal treatments

Laser treatments can be helpful for both acne scars and acne marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It treats the damaged tissues on the affected area with the use of focused beams of light. Laser treatment can either peel off the outer layer of the skin or stimulate new skin cell production to repair the damaged skin cells. Not only can it treat acne scars and acne marks, but laser treatment can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles, keloids, and warts. Laser for acne scars is an outpatient procedure that can only be performed by a certified specialist for optimal results. The treatment has minimal downtime.

What you need to know?

Treatments available

Dermabrasion

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What you need to know?

Treatments available

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Radiofrequency Micro-Needling

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What you need to know?

Treatments available

Acne scar filler

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What you need to know?

Treatments available

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Chemical peel

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Treatments available

Subcision

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What you need to know?

Treatments available

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Corticosteroid injections

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What you need to know?

Treatments available

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Excision

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What you need to know?

Treatments available

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Acne scar removal treatment price in Singapore

How much does acne scar removal treatment cost in Singapore?

Acne scar removal treatment is usually customised according to your conditions.

Therefore, treatment prices vary from clinic to clinic and it depends on the severity of your condition. A consultation with your doctor would give you a better idea of the cost of your treatment plan.

A ballpark will be:

  • Mild to moderate acne scar treatment costs around $1800 – $3500
  • Severe acne scar treatment costs around $3500 – $7000

Aside from the cost, acne scar removal treatment could improve your self-confidence in the long run.

Frequently asked questions for acne scar removal treatments

Acne scar removal results are permanent!

Laser skin resurfacing offers potentially permanent results, depending on the laser method used and the number of treatments completed. Results are permanent but will be affected by a few factors such as:

  • natural ageing process
  • proper skincare post-treatment

The best acne scar treatment is one that is customised to your skin scarring severity and the types of acne scar you are having. In some cases, one can be having various types of acne scars and therefore call for a different approach in their acne scar removal treatment.

The improvement you can expect varies depending on your acne scarring severity, types of scarring and treatments undergone, and lastly, your skin type.

For example, dark-skinned patients with rolling scars may only see an improvement of approximately 50%. Whereas dark-skinned patients with ice-pick or boxcar scars can see an improvement of up to 80%.

Laser treatments like Fraxel and CO2 are the most effective towards rolling scars. However, these laser treatments are not recommended for individuals with darker skin tones due to possible hyperpigmentation issues.

Most acne scar types can conservatively have 50 to 70% improvement after a period of 5 to 8 treatment sessions over 5 months or up to a year.

Do note that it will be unrealistic to expect smooth skin once more. Patients can have up to 90% resurfacing of scars if the treatments are well managed. Most importantly, response can vary between individuals, and close follow-up with your doctor is necessary.

Acne scar removal treatment works and different types of acne scar respond to different types of treatment.

However, the improvement you can expect depends on the following factors:

  • types of acne scars
  • severity
  • skin tone

Yes, acne scars can be treated. Each type of acne scars respond differently to different types of treatment.

In most cases, your condition requires a combination of treatments to treat your acne scar for more visible improvements.

Yes, it is preventable.

Visit your doctor for deep breakouts or cysts. Smaller blemishes can still scar the skin. However, it is usually the big breakout that does the damage as they extend deeper into your skin, hence a higher chance of destroying your skin tissue and leaving scars.

Over-the-counter acne products won’t help these types of breakouts. Speaks to your doctor and get it treated early will be your best chance to avoid acne scarring.

No, acne scar fillers are not permanent. Some of the most popular dermal fillers for acne scars are Juvederm, Restylane, and Rejuran S. They are used to elevate shallow, broad-based acne scars.

Dermal filler can help with improving the appearance of some types of acne scars and improves the texture of your skin.

How long an acne scar filler lasts depends on the location of the skin and the condition of the skin.

Although the dermal fillers are temporary, they will stimulate collagen production, newly-produced collagen gives permanent improvement results.

Most patients don’t find laser acne scarring treatment very painful or unpleasant.

During the treatment, nothing touches the skin. Laser light that hits the skin surface feels a little “zappy” but is not painful.

The laser will gradually go over the treatment area to break down deep scar tissue, then with a light to moderate peel to remove damaged surface layers of skin cells.

Pain from laser treatment for acne scars is usually gone after an hour or two. Redness may take up to 5 days to subside.

Unlike acne marks (discolouration) that usually fade away within 3-6 months, acne scars such as atrophic and hypertrophic scars remain. Such scarring will require acne scar removal treatments to see improvements.

Most people like to take a wait and see approach, hoping that their acne scars or marks will improve/fade over time.

In reality, your acne scars will worsen over time.

The ability of your skin to produce collagen decreases as you age. Moreover, your skin loses collagen and skin elasticity as it age.

Treating your acne scar early and when you are young, it gives you a greater chance of getting a more successful outcome.

Speak to Dr Dylan today!

Book your appointment today!