Even after your acne breakout subsides, you might continue to be plagued with acne scars. These physical reminders of your persistent acne problem often have a negative psychological effect on our self-esteem.
Acne scars are the result of your body’s efforts to build new collagen fibres over your acne lesions. Often, our skin’s natural repair efforts aren’t smooth and flawless.
If too much collagen is produced, we end up with raised scars. If not enough collagen is produced, we’re left with depressed marks on our face.
But getting rid of acne scars is not difficult at all. There are effective acne scar treatments for every acne scar out there.
All the treatments mentioned in this article are available at EHA Clinic, so don’t hesitate to book a consultation with Dr. Elias Tam to personalise your acne scar treatment!
There are 4 types of acne scars.
- Hyperpigmentation: Skin discolouration.
- Hypertrophic & Keloid Scars: Masses of raised tissue.
- Ice Pick & Rolling Scars: Deep depressed scars of various depths.
- Boxcar Scars: Wide depressed scars with steeply angled sides.
Here’s how to effectively treat each type of acne scar.
1. Treating Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is skin discoloration caused when new layers of skin cells and collagen are sensitive and do not heal in the same shade or texture as the surrounding skin. To treat this effectively, you can choose either IPL or Discovery PICO.
This treatment is done using picosecond lasers that can break down specific melanin and pigment cells on the skin without affecting the surrounding tissue.
IPL: How it works
With IPL, the appropriate wavelength of light is used on hyperpigmented spots on the skin. It then works by triggering the body’s healing response, causing it to shed the existing layers of skin to produce new and smoother layers of skin.
IPL can also kill P.acnes bacteria as well and therefore helps to prevent recurring breakouts, however, this is not a good option for acne-sufferers with dark skin tones.
Discovery PICO: How it works
While normal lasers break down pigmented particles into granules, Discovery PICO turns them into dust-like molecules which are easier for your body to eliminate through your immune system. The result is a lightening of the affected area.
2. Treating Hypertrophic & Keloid
When the body produces too much collagen to compensate for the tears under the skin, this results in a mass of raised tissue that causes visible bumps called hypertrophic and keloid scars.
Hypertrophic scars refer to bumps that are the same sizes as the pimples once were. Keloid scars are those that grow larger, beyond the size of the pimples that caused them. This type of acne scars can be treated with the help of laser treatment.
Laser Treatment: How It Works
Medical-grade lasers are used to remove the excess skin of the hypertrophic or keloid scar. As your skin heals, new skin cells will be produced on the resurfaced area of the scar. Larger keloid scars may require steroid injections to relieve inflammation and flatten it before laser treatment is performed.
3. Treating Ice Pick and Rolling Scars
Scars with deep depths like ice pick scars and rolling scars are the most difficult to treat. Ice pick scars are small narrow indentations in the skin’s surface commonly found on the cheeks. These are more difficult to treat because they extend deep into the skin. Rolling scars are depressions with sloping edges of various depths that make the skin uneven and bumpy.
But they can be treated effectively with MOSAIC eCO2 Laser or Venus Viva.
MOSAIC eCO2: How It Works
MOSAIC eCO2 is a fractional skin-peeling laser that comes with scanning technology which allows laser beam parameters to be customised for each individual. As a result, MOSAIC eCO2 is a superior laser treatment that can treat deep and stubborn ice pick and rolling acne scars.
The laser beam is broken up into many micro beams and delivered into separate and deep columns of treatment areas inside the skin. It removes the blemished cells in these areas, triggering the body’s healing response which causes collagen regeneration that is effective up to nine months.
Venus Viva: How It Works
The Venus Viva is one of the few Nano Fractional Radio Frequency (RF) treatments available in Singapore. It is an alternative for treating acne scars if you don’t want to use a laser.
This technology has significantly lesser downtime compared to lasers and has a lower risk of causing hyperpigmentation while healing the scars, especially useful for those of us with darker skin.
Venus Viva works better than ablative treatments because it is able to detect the right depth of the scar and offers more control over the levels of energy used to penetrate the skin.
The Nano Fractional RF energy is then used to create tiny pricks on the surface of the acne scars to stimulate the skin’s healing response.
Heat is also released to rebuild collagen fibres in the skin which creates a tighter and more compact skin matrix that closes open or enlarged pores.
4. Treating Boxcar Scars
Boxcar scars are large depressed scars with steeply angled sides that often form on the areas of the face with thicker skin. These acne scars can be treated with REJURAN® Healer Injections.
REJURAN Injections: How It Works
REJURAN® Healer is an injection skin booster treatment of polynucleotides (PN) that are anti-inflammatory and repair skin tissue through skin cell growth and collagen stimulation. This makes it the most suitable treatment for dealing with boxcar acne scars and enlarged pores. It can be combined with laser treatment for faster results.
Your doctor might also choose to use this treatment on selected ice pick and rolling scars as well.
All the acne scar treatments mentioned here are available at EHA Clinic. For an in-depth skin analysis and professional advice for your personal acne scar condition, book a consultation with Dr. Elias Tam at EHA Clinic.
Your scars are not forever. They can be removed and they can fade away.