Acne is annoying, right? A lot of the times pimples can stubborn and not react to any treatments. But even worse can be what you’re left behind with. Acne scars are actually common in people who deal with stubborn or severe acne.
Scars can show up as hyperpigmentation (red/purple spots showing after a pimple disappears) or as depressions on the skin. The good news is that nowadays there are a lot of treatments for acne scars removal available – from lasers to subcision. Choosing treatment can seem too hard. That’s why in this article we’ve summarized all the important info about current acne scar removal procedures available in Singapore.
We also have to say that choosing the right pro for your specific case is crucial when it comes to the success of that treatment.
That’s why it’s always best to get advice from a dermatologist first.
Acne treatment is a big topic in itself so in this section, we’re not going to delve into too much depth. Another part of this topic is back acne, for which we’ve written a separate article. Still, we’re going to provide you with the necessary information you’ll need before going in for acne scar treatment.
Before getting any acne scar treatment, you’ll have to make sure you don’t have much active acne going on. That’s why we’re also providing you with the most popular options on how to get rid of pimples.
Common causes of acne are the excess oil plugged into the hair follicles alongside bacteria and dead skin cells. There are many causes of acne such as genetics or diet. Acne can be treated in a lot of different ways depending on the type and severity.
Your doctor will suggest skincare or even prescription topical or oral antibiotics treat your acne depending on the severity and cause of your acne.
Here are the most popular forms of acne treatments in Singapore
For milder acne, changes in skincare can make all the difference. Look for skincare with ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid. Use a gentle facewash, chemical exfoliator, and moisturizer.
Depending on the severity of the acne, your doctor might prescribe oral medications, topical antibiotics, or cosmetic treatments. A lot of the prescription medications lower the oil production within the skin which has a positive effect on acne.
Type of acne scars
The first step of choosing an appropriate treatment for your acne scars is to know what type of scars you have. Determining what type of acne scars you have is not an easy task. That’s why it’s best to consult a doctor who can help you and give you a treatment plan. Sometimes people even get mixed scaring alongside active acne so the treatment can be really challenging so it’s really important to have a consultation with a dermatologist.
There are two basic types of acne scars: hypertrophic acne scarring and atrophic acne scarring. With hypertrophic scars, the scar tissue will be lumpy due to the collagen being overproduced by the skin. With atrophic scars, you’ll actually get loss of tissue – resulting in holes or slight depressions on the skin.
Causes of acne scars
Scars often appear as a natural reaction of the skin. When we get a pimple or when we pop one, our skin will begin to compensate for the inflammation by producing more collagen. Scars appear as a result of that collagen production. Another reason people get acne scars is that they pick the pimples. This can cause hyperpigmentation which can disappear on its own over time. Depending on the level of inflammation the scars will appear less or more severe. If the inflammation is deep within the skin, then the scars will be deep as well.
Unfortunately, for some people scars appear due to genetics too – they are more predisposed to getting scars if they have someone in their family with acne scars.
How To Get Rid of Acne Scars
Acne scar removal treatments I can get in Singapore
When it comes to acne scars, there’s no one treatment that fits all people. Unfortunately, there isn’t a miracle cure that will make all of your scars disappear. There are, however, procedures that can reduce the appearance of the scars. Each person’s skin is different so there are is no one magical treatment that can work on everyone.
Getting a professional opinion by a dermatologist and getting treatment plan customized for your personal skin type is one of the first and most important steps before deciding on a treatment.
In general, for mild acne scarring, you can try treating at home with prescribed topical creams or even drugstore products using ingredients such as retinoids or exfoliators. As for severe acne, it’s best to treat it in the doctor’s office. In most cases, they will use laser treatment or other types of procedures.
Here’s more detailed information on the treatment for acne scars in Singapore.
What can I do for my acne scars at home?
There are a variety of products and ingredients that you might use at home to treat acne scars. Your dermatologist will prescribe or suggest products for your specific issue.
Retinoids are used as an ingredient in both active acne and acne scars. Retinol is so effective because it works directly on the skin and helps remove the dead skin cells as well as to promote collagen production in the skin. The collagen helps “fill” the scars and they appear less visible. Retinols can be both prescribed and over-the-counter. Over-the-counter products can be effective as well but you still have to be careful with retinol if you have sensitive skin. Strong ingredients such as retinol might have some side effects and irritate sensitive skin and even cause more pigmentation.
- Use Mild Chemical Exfoliator
Exfoliating your skin will help with mild acne scars by removing dead skin cells and promoting faster skin renewal. Beware that physical exfoliators (such as walnut scrubs) can irritate your skin and even cause micro-tears on your skin. This can make your skin more sensitive and cause hyperpigmentation.
That’s why mild chemical exfoliators (with ingredients such as salicylic acid) are more effective without causing any additional irritation to your skin. Using a gentle exfoliator can also help prevent acne by reducing excess oil and dead skin cells.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another popular ingredient used to treat acne scars in cosmetics. It’s widely used in recent years because it can reduce pigmentation and improve skin brightness. Not only that but it also leaves the skin smooth which makes it a great ingredient for anti-ageing too.
What treatment can I get at the doctor’s office?
For severe cases of acne scars, try getting advice from a dermatologist who can suggest an appropriate treatment. Sometimes depending on the type of scars you have, your doctor might suggest mixed-methods too.
At your dermatologist’s office, you might get laser treatment, chemical peel, fillers, or cortisone injections. You might also get dermabrasion or submission.
Here’s a brief summary of all popular acne scar removal procedures in Singapore:
They are a popular option for a variety of different skin issues from pigmentation to anti-ageing treatment. But they are especially used in acne scar treatment as well. They work by focusing light on the skin which breaks up the scar. By providing heat to the skin lasers also have an effect on collagen production too.
Lasers for acne scars can have different wavelengths and density for different types of scars and their severity. For example, the IPL laser is often used on acne red marks and pigmentation. The pico laser is used on both pigmentations and acne scars. Another commonly used laser is the long pulse nd YAG laser for acne and scars.
Often times, more than one session is needed to get the full results. It also takes a few days for the skin to heal properly. Laser treatments for acne and acne scars might have some side effects such as redness and irritated skin for a couple of days.
Chemical peels are one of the most used acne scar removal treatments as well. During a chemical peel your doctor will put a solution on your skin which will remove the top layer of the skin. That promotes faster skin rejuvenation and renewal. As a result of the treatment, the skin produces more collagen, and scars appear less visible. Chemical peels are suitable for rolling and boxcar scars (atrophic scars). Deeper scars might need additional treatment.
The chemical peels you can get at your dermatologist’s office are more intense so it’s crucial you go to an experienced professional to get them done. If done improperly, you’re risking skin damage and inconsistent results.
Fillers gained popularity in recent years because of their effectiveness and fast results. The main ingredient of the fillers is hyaluronic acid, an ingredient our body naturally produces. This makes fillers safe and makes your scars appear a lot less visible.
One downside to fillers is that they only give a temporary effect. Your skin will absorb the filler and after 6 months to a year, the effect from the filler will subside.
Another treatment you can get at your doctor’s office is the microdermabrasion. With this treatment, similar to chemical peels, your doctor will use a device to gently remove the top layer of the skin. This will allow for smooth skin to appear and make acne scars appear less visible.
Microdermabrasion is best for the atrophic type of acne scars on the surface of the skin. It won’t work as well on deeper scars. In general, microdermabrasion is best for milder cases of scarring. You should also keep in mind that microdermabrasion might worsen your inflammation if you have cystic acne. Always talk to your dermatologist about your options.
Punch excision and subsicion
Punch excision is a procedure in which a surgeon or a dermatologist will make small cuts on the scars and then close it with stitches. This is a procedure used often for very deep scars that can’t disappear with other treatments.
Subsicion is a procedure in which a needle is stuck deep within the scar tissue. This will basically break up the scar tissue – and promote collagen production to fill the scar. Subcision is suitable for very deep scars.
What cost can I expect for acne scar treatment in Singapore?
Acne scar removal cost in Singapore might vary depending on a lot of factors. First, the cost may depend on the type of treatment of your choice – lasers are going to be more expensive than chemical peels, for example. Also, for a lot of the treatment, you might have more than one session too. Second, the cost may depend on the types of machines your doctor is using as well as his fee. That being said, you might expect the following prices in Singapore:
- Laser treatment: Around 500$ to 1200$ per session.
- Chemical peels: 120-600$ per session.
- Microdermabrasion: 150$ per session.
- Fillers: 500$ to 1200$ per session.
- Punch excision: 600$ to 1600$ per session.
- Subcsion: 500$ to 1200$ per session.
Having acne or acne scars can be horrible for our self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately, there are ways we can lessen the appearance of scars and improve the condition in our skin. We hope that this article gave you enough information so you can make an informed decision about what to do if you want to treat your acne scars.