It’s very common to have an acne outbreak and left with acne scars with different degrees of scarring, ranging from red patches of the skin to deep marks that are very obvious and hard to hide.
So let’s understand how acne scars are formed and what kind of laser acne scar removal treatment can be used to treat the different types of acne scars.
Causes of Acne
Risk factors for the development of acne, other than genetics, have not been conclusively identified. Possible secondary contributors include hormones, infections, diet and stress.
Formation of Acne Scars
Acne lesions or pimples occurs when the hair follicles or ‘pores’ on the skin become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. A plugged follicle is the perfect place for bacteria to grow and create these red, pus-filled red “bumps” known as pimples. The inflammation in the dermis (upper layer) of your skin, caused by acne, results in the formation of acne scars.
During wound healing, the normal architecture of the skin cells are changed and the aberrant formation of collagen eventually causes the formation of acne scars.
Types of Acne Scars
There are different types of Acne Scars and understanding them will help you identify which type of scars you have, which will eventually aid in our approach in getting rid of them.
This is because there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for Acne scars and different Acne Scars require different treatments to treat them optimally.
The illustration below explains the different types of acne scars.
How Different Acne Scars Look Like
Rolling Scars: Wide base, rounded edges
Ice Pick Scars: Small entry point with sharp steep edges; like a “V”
Boxcar Scars: Wider base, sharply demarcated edges; like a box
They can be superficial or deep.
Pigment scars: Dark spots /discoloration left behind by acne scars.
Every scar in itself is different and unique, and as such, different treatments and techniques will be required to treat each individual scar type.
There are many different types of acne scar treatments available and each type of treatment may be applicable to some but not others. As such, a consultation with a medical professional to decide the most appropriate treatment for your acne scars is much advised.
Different Stages of Acne Scars
Understanding the stage or severity of your scars will help you to determine which type of treatment will be more effective to get rid of them.
a) Mild Stage of Acne Scars: Acne pigment marks and shallow scars which only cover a small portion of your face. Can be covered with make up.
b) Moderate Stage of Acne Scars: Deeper scars that cover a relatively bigger area of your skin and cannot be covered by make up. Can be flattened by manual stretching of the skin.
c) Severe Stage of Acne Scars: Deep scars that are found in abundance on your skin, cannot be covered by make up and cannot be flattened by manual stretching of the skin.
Acne Scar Treatments
One of the more common treatments to cure acne scars are by using lasers and energy devices. That being said, different lasers and energy devices are required to treat different types of acne scars.
Some lasers specifically target the discoloration from pigmented acne scars whilst others treat the depressed, atrophic scars.
As a clinic that specializes in scar treatments using laser, Dr Ho has the full range of lasers and energy-based devices to treat all kinds of Acne Scars.
These include – the Spectra XT Laser, Thulium BB Laser, Advanced Fractional eCO2 Laser, Venus Viva Radiofrequency and Microneedle Radiofrequency machines.
Acne pigment scars
For acne pigment scars, the Spectra XT Laser & Thulium BB Laser are recommended.
1. Spectra XT Laser
The Spectra XT is called “The Extended Platform” because of its widely-extended clinical indications and applications as compared to similar devices.
The procedure is safe on all skin types and is a fantastic way to treat Acne Scar pigmentation and redness without downtime as compared to the other laser treatments.
- Brightens & lightens acne scar pigments
- Reduces redness from inflamed acne
- Reduces all types of acne
- Controls sebum production
2. Thulium BB Laser
For a stronger laser treatment option, the Thulium BB Laser is a unique sub-ablative Thulium 1927nm laser for targeting pigmentation, skin resurfacing and rejuvenating.
The laser’s wavelength penetrates to a level between the lower part of the epidermis and dermis where it is able to target pigmentation, freckles, sunspots, age spots and melasma while renewing damaged skin and stimulating collagen production.
The wavelength penetrates the upper dermis while not causing the upper layer to peel.
What conditions can be treated with this system?
- Acne Pigment Scars
- Age/ Sun spots
- General ill-defined pigmentation
- Dull skin
- Large pores
- Fine wrinkles
Box/ Rolling Scars
1. Advanced Fractional eCO2 Laser
The Advanced Fractional eCO2 laser is the premier fractional ablative laser that delivers exceptional, effective results using advanced technology to minimize downtime, increase patient safety and maximize comfort.
Multiple Micro-Ablative Columns are emitted to destroy and break up scar tissue and regenerate collagen so as to smoothen the skin and remove acne scars.
Controlled Chaos Technology (CCT™) that creates Micro-Ablative Columns deep into the scars to achieve excellent results.
Each Acne Scar treatment interval is 4 – 6 weeks. Redness is to be expected after the procedure followed by micro-crusts and should resolve in a week.
2. Micro-needle Radiofrequency
For deeper / rolling scars, a more intense Micro-Needle Radiofrequency treatment can be used. This method of treatment is unique and highly effective for stubborn/ deep acne scars.
Gold-plated ultra-fine needles first smoothly penetrate the deep acne scars before emitting intense Radiofrequency energy to break up the scar tissue and stimulate collagen.
Our Microneedle Radiofrequency machine boasts a precision robotic motor that ensures maximum comfort and smooth penetration of the Microneedles to its’ desired depth.
The precise delivery of RF energy to 31 varying depths of penetration gives this treatment exceptional outcomes.
It is a great treatment for deep acne scars that requires deeper penetration into the Acne Scar and a more intense approach.
In addition, this treatment combines pulses of photo-light energy to activate skin cells to improve scars / texture, increase collagen production, moisture levels in skin, and improve skin tone.
Despite being more intensive, downtime is actually still kept to a MINIMAL!
Venus Viva Radiofrequency Skin Resurfacing
The Venus Viva is a Radiofrequency (RF) technology that utilizes its Nanotechnology to effectively treat acne scars with less downtime as compared to the CO2 or Erbium laser treatment.
Multiple columns of RF energy are emitted into the scars to break the scar tissue up AND stimulate new collagen. This effectively evens out the scars and improves the texture of the scarred areas.
Benefits of the Venus Viva over other laser machines is that it is safer on darker skin types and thus have a lower risk of PIH (Post Inflammation Hyperpigmentation). Downtime is also generally less than the other lasers.
Some redness is to be expected for a few days but subsequently only a pinkish-redness will be seen.
Advantages of Acne Laser Treatments
There are several advantages of undergoing laser treatments to remove acne scars.
- Laser skin resurfacing targets skin layer by layer with precision
- Lasers are powerful tools that can break the thick fibrous bands of Acne Scars and help to stimulate collagen, thus, effectively smoothening the skin.
- Helps to remove and lighten pigmented acne scars and prevent acne breakouts.
- Laser treatments help to control the oil and sebum formation and thus preventing future acne breakouts that can lead to scar formation.
- Tighten the skin while removing acne scars. Laser treatments help to stimulate collagen, thus making the skin firmer and tighter whilst removing acne scars at the same time.
Laser treatments bring a lot of benefits apart from reducing the appearance of acne scars and for starters, you can consider getting laser treatments, of course with a proper consultation with certified practitioners.
Laser Acne Scar Removal Cost in Singapore
The cost for laser acne scar removal treatments starts from $108 and more intense Skin Resurfacing Lasers from $300. Enquire within to find out the most suitable type of laser treatment that is required for your type of scars.
After Laser Procedure Tips
After each laser treatment, you’ll need to be extra careful in taking care of your skin. Your skin will be more vulnerable to damage from the sun/ UV Rays, so it is important to always apply sunscreen everyday, even if you are indoors but exposed to the sun as UVA rays can still pass through glass.
- Avoid tanning or other outdoor activities.
- Stop using skin care products that contain a retinoids or acids for at least 1 -2 weeks till your skin heals up.
- A topical antibiotic will also be prescribed to prevent infection and to aid with inflammation. It is important to keep the skin clean.
In a nutshell, laser treatments are an excellent option to treat and reduce the appearance of acne scars. However, NOT all scars can be or is suited to be treated with lasers. Each scar is unique and will require different treatment methods to treat it optimally.
As such, a consult with a medical professional well versed in the treatment of acne scars is paramount so that the most appropriate treatment or laser can be planned out for the type of scars that you have.
Additionally, besides the type of treatment, results are also operator-dependent as there are literally hundreds of settings in a laser machine. The most effective and appropriate settings are largely dependent on the experience of the treating physician. Many other important factors when utilising the laser include angle of the laser beam, strength, type of laser used, amount of overlap etc.
There are no fixed rules to achieve perfect results, but there are certainly poor techniques that ensure suboptimal results.
Dr Ho Rui Ming brings with him a wealth of experience and qualifications, combined with a deep passion for all things aesthetics related, especially Acne Scar and Acne treatments.
He also has been awarded several Certificates of Competence, recognised by the Singapore Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee ensuring Dr Ho’s skillsets and practices are in full adherence to strict standards.
Enquire within now.