Acne breakouts do leave behind unwanted scars as a painful reminder and more often than not, these scars also affect our confidence levels. The good news is that acne scars can be treated and its’ appearance can be significantly improved especially with advanced medical treatments.
For starters, home remedies that are available in pharmacies can help to control and reduce the appearance of pigmented acne scars.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. It’s well-known for reducing acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping pores clear. Salicylic acid helps clear dirt, skin cells, and other debris that leads to acne from the pores of the skin.
It also helps reduce inflammation and redness in the area, which may improve the appearance of pigmented scars associated with acne.
People with sensitive skin may need to test a product containing this acid on a small area of skin before using it on their entire face, as it may cause dryness or irritation.
Topical retinoids help to get rid of acne by targeting and drying up acne lesions quickly, and by increasing the skin cell turnover rate thereby unclogging pores and comedones.
Retinoids also help lighten hyperpigmented acne scars and enable lightening products to penetrate more deeply into the deeper skin layers.
However, it is vital to note that retinoids make the skin more sensitive to the sun. Anyone using retinoids should wear sunscreen when going outdoors.
Alpha hydroxy acids
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of mostly plant-derived acids used in a variety of skincare products. These include daily anti-aging products, such as serums, toners, and creams, as well as occasional concentrated treatments via chemical peels.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help get rid of dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Doctors may recommend AHAs for treating acne and reducing the appearance of pigmented acne scars.
There are seven types of AHAs commonly used in products available throughout the skincare industry. These include:
- citric acid (from citrus fruits)
- glycolic acid (from sugar cane)
- hydroxycaproic acid (from royal jelly)
- hydroxycaprylic acid (from animals)
- lactic acid (from lactose or other carbohydrates)
- malic acid (from fruits)
- tartaric acid (from grapes)
Lactic acid functions as a gentle peel to remove dead skin cells to help reduce the appearance of scars and smoothen the skin.
As with all chemical peels and acids in higher concentrations, there is always a risk of Hyperpigmentation. Due to this possible adverse effect, it is best to test such products on a small patch of skin first before using them.
Many products for acne contain lactic acid. It is also present in diluted apple cider vinegar, which makes for a more natural, cost-effective treatment.
Why At-home remedies cannot effectively remove Acne Scars?
There are different types of acne scars, such as Icepick Scars, Boxcar Scars, Rolling Scars, Keloid and Pigmented Scars, and it is common for one to have a combination of these scars.
Home remedies may help to reduce the appearance of some scars such as Pigmented Scars BUT will not have any effect on depressed scars (such as Icepick Scars, Rolling scars and Boxcar Scars) or raised scars (Hypertrophic scars and Keloids).
Hence, knowing the limitations of home remedies to reduce acne scars, it is best to seek professional help from a dermatologist or an aesthetic doctor so that they can personalize a treatment plan that effectively removes Acne Scars.
At M-Aesthetic Clinic, we specialize in Acne Scars Removal and we have the full range of acne scar removal treatments to treat all kinds of acne scars; raised and red, flat, pigmented or depressed.
Proven Medical Treatments
These include – Subscision, TCA CROSS technique, Fillers, the Spectra XT Laser, Advanced Fractional eCO2 Laser, Venus Viva Radiofrequency, Punch Excision and Microneedle Radiofrequency machine.
Dr Ho Rui Ming has performed countless Acne Scar Treatments and is an expert in the field of Acne Scars and its’ treatments.
Having done his Masters in Dermatology from the prestigious St John’s Institute of Dermatology, UK, Dr Ho has in-depth knowledge on Acne Scars, the “know-how” in acne scar removal procedures and can help to restore your skin to its original condition.
Scar tissue is manually loosened by using a needle. It is needed to treat certain scar types and is commonly used in combination with other treatment modalities such as collagen stimulators/ spacers.
Subscision may look simple but it is a manual method that really requires good technique and when done correctly, can yield effective results.
2. eCO2 Fractional Laser
The 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™) creates Micro-Ablative Columns deep into the scars to achieve excellent results.
Results can be seen with each session and subsequent sessions may be required to achieve optimal results. The optimum interval is 4 – 6 weeks between eCO2 laser treatments.
3. Venus Viva Radiofrequency Skin Resurfacing
The Venus Viva is a Radiofrequency (RF) machine that utilises its Nanotechnology to effectively treat different 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. Additionally, there is also a firming effect due to collagen remodelling.
The treatment itself is quick (about 15 – 30 mins) and numbing cream will be sufficiently applied to ensure that it is comfortable.
Some redness is to be expected for a few days to a week.
4. TCA CROSS Technique
This is a technique whereby extremely high concentration of TCA acid is carefully applied to individual acne scars to “fill” up the depression and make the scar less depressed. This technique targets Ice-pick scars and some Box-car scars.
As the concentration of acid used in this technique is very high, it should only be administered by a medical professional to ensure maximum safety.
5. Micro-Needle Radiofrequency treatment
For deeper/ rolling scars, the Micro-Needle Radiofrequency Treatment can be used. This method of treatment is effective for stubborn/ deeper rolling acne scars as it can penetrate more deeply into the skin.
Gold-plated ultra-fine needles first smoothly penetrate deep acne scars before emitting radiofrequency energy to break up the scar tissue and stimulate collagen.
It is a great treatment for acne scars that requires deeper penetration of energy and a more intense approach.
Despite being able to penetrate more deeply, downtime is actually still kept to a minimum of a few days to a week.
6. Punch Excision
Punch Excisions can be used for Ice Pick Scars and Box Scars. The treatment method involves removing the entire scar unit but requires closure of the wound with sutures. As such, the depressed scar is replaced with a linear scar due to closure of the wound during the Punch Excision.
The linear scar can subsequently be treated with skin resurfacing techniques to make it less obvious.
In certain cases, fillers can be used to fill up depressed scars to smoothen out the skin surface. This is especially effective for Rolling Scars and certain Box Scars.
Anaesthetic is first administered to the entry point of the area that is to be filled, and then the filler is administered via the entry point to raise the depressed scar.
The advantages of fillers are that effects are seen immediately, and MINIMAL to NO downtime is required.
Do note that Filler results are NOT PERMANENT and generally lasts 9 – 12 months.
8. Spectra XT Laser
The Spectra XT is called “The Extended Platform” because of its widely extended clinical indications and applications as compared to previous 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 pigmentation and redness
- Reduces all types of acne
- Controls sebum production
- Reduces redness from inflamed acne
While there are many methods to treat acne scars, it is always best to choose those that are suitable for you. Home remedies may be convenient and less expensive, but they may not bring effective results and may cause detrimental side effects if not used properly.
To ensure an effective and safe way to remove acne scars, we welcome you to contact us to find out how our customized acne scar removal programme can help you.
Enquire within now.