Acne Scar Removal Treatments
Get your personalized acne scar removal treatment plan specifically designed for your individual needs at Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic.
Acne isn’t just for teenagers. In reality, many people – especially women – are plagued by adult acne well into their 30s, 40s and even 50s.
But you can work your way around it by capitalising on a customized skin care regimen that will address specific concerns.
At Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic, our acne scar removal procedure specifically caters to the unique acne or acne scar concerns of each client, emphasizing the importance of an extensive evaluation process to guarantee patient satisfaction.
Our acne scar treatment procedures include Chemical Peels, Mosaic Fractional Laser,
Microdermabrasion, Medical Facials and Qs:NdYAG laser.
Acne and acne scarring are problems shared by teens and adults alike. While most people outgrow acne in their late teens or early twenties, many still experience breakouts even way after that. Any outbreak later in life sometimes occur with menstrual periods, the use of birth control pills, the use of oil-based products, and stress.
Those who struggle with acne can say that, aside from being a nuisance, it can also put a dent to one’s confidence. Without proper care and intervention, you may worsen your chances of healing. Fortunately, acne and acne scars can be prevented and remedied.
In some cases, acne can lead to scars. Early treatment can prevent acne from worsening. But if the skin is already dotted with acne scars, there are professional treatments for that, as well.
Our Acne Treatment system uses a 2-in-1 step microdermabrasion machine. It starts with a gentle suction to unclog the pores, followed by a mild acid peel which we finish off with a pampering mask. This will be a series of treatments that are spaced 2 weeks apart. Some patients may require or prefer laser treatments to combat acne, and these are also efficient in achieving results.
However, your patience will reward you with a clean and clearer complexion, on top of a youthful-looking appearance. This makes chemical peels and microdermabrasion the most sought-after treatments for acne and acne scars.
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1. WHAT CAUSES ACNE SCARS?
There are instances when an acne breakout damages the skin deeply and severely, in that it not only affects the upper layers of the skin, but also the tissues beneath it. In response, the body produces collagen, which is a protein that is an important component of skin regeneration.
This is a critical process, because where there is very little or excess collagen formation, a scar can eventually form. What is more concerning is that acne scars become more noticeable as a person ages because of the decline in collagen levels.
To effectively treat acne scars, it is important to determine what type they are.
2. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ACNE SCARS?
a. Ice pick scars
This is the most common type of acne scarring, where deep pits are created on the skin. Also referred to as depressed acne scars, this happens when your body produces little collagen, resulting in depressions in the skin as it heals.
b. Box car scars
This type of scar is characterized by its angular form, and is usually found on the temples and cheeks. The depth can range from deep to superficial, and it is often compared to chickenpox scars.
c. Hypertrophic scars
These are protruding scars and are thickened in nature due to the body producing too much collagen during the healing process. They are also considered keloidal scars. These scars are more pronounced and are often a result of cystic acne. This type of acne scar is common among Asians, African-Americans and Hispanics.
d. Rolling scars
This type of scar is named as such because it creates a wave-like appearance on the skin.
3. WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ACNE SCARS?
Acne scars that result in skin depressions can be treated with:
i. Acne Scar Surgery
This is a minor surgical procedure that is usually done on noticeable scars. It is done as an outpatient procedure, as it only requires local anesthesia and is relatively quick to perform. It involves lifting the depressed scar to make it level with the surrounding skin. This makes the scar less visible, with traces simply fading over time.
ii. Skin Resurfacing Treatments (e.g. dermabrasion, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing)
These treatments are more suitable for people who suffer from acne scarring that takes on a more diffused pattern. It basically removes the outermost layer of the skin, while stimulating the production of new skin cells to achieve skin renewal. Although aggressive to some extent, these treatments are effective in treating acne scars that are nearly flat or those that are not too deep.
iii. Skin Needling (Collagen-induction therapy)
The needling process stimulates the skin to produce more collagen, so that any depressions become levelled. A roller that is studded with sterile needles is rolled across depressed acne scars to create puncture wounds on the skin. The healing process stimulates collagen production. Results take a considerable amount of time, usually taking as long as 9 months. However, changes may be seen in a few months’ time.
This treatment plumps up depressed areas of the skin by injecting collagen, the patient’s own fat or other synthetic substances. Fillers can have temporary results, while others may last longer. Some fillers even promote collagen renewal.
v. Skin Tightening
Radiofrequency energy used in treatments like Thermage is used for skin tightening to even out acne scar depressions. The effect is achieved as collagen production is stimulated. The entire procedure can take up to an hour at the most to perform. Several appointments are needed to make the scars less noticeable. This is appropriate for boxcar scarring and deep, icepick scars.
Acne scars that result in skin depressions can be treated with:
vi. Scar Creams, Gels and Special Dressings
You can buy these without a prescription, making this an easy and convenient option for treating acne scars. However, this option requires continued use and takes more time to achieve significant results.
vii. Laser/Light Therapy
Laser therapy and other light treatments are safe and effective procedures for raised acne scars (Pei et. al., 2016). Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a popular light therapy for people with lighter skin color. A pulsed dye laser, on the other hand, can help diminish pigmentation and effectively flatten raised scars.
viii. Acne Scar Surgery
This approach is taken to reduce the size of raised acne scars. This is usually done in conjunction with another treatment. For example, acne scar surgery may be followed by corticosteroid injections or radiation to prevent these scars from coming back.
4. HOW CAN MICRODERMABRASION AND CHEMICAL PEEL WORK ON SCARS?
Chemical peels, on the other hand, is perfect on acne scars that result in dark spots and depressions (Rendon 2010). Since it comes in different strengths, it reaches different levels of the skin to promote skin renewal. Aside from removing dead skin layers on the surface, it can also promote collagen regeneration.
Chemical peels, on the other hand, is perfect for acne scars that result in dark spots and depressions. Since they come in different strengths, peels reach different levels of the skin to promote skin renewal. Aside from removing dead skin layers on the surface, they can also promote collagen regeneration.
5. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MICRODERMABRASION AND CHEMICAL PEELS?
Microdermabrasion uses crystals to slough off dead skin layers and revitalise the layer underneath by stimulating collagen renewal. This treatment is often indicated for acne scars that are on the skin surface.
Chemical peels come in different strengths to remove dead skin layers and stimulate collagen regeneration. Stronger peels that target the deeper skin layers can help improve severe forms of acne scarring.
Lloyd JR. The use of microdermabrasion for acne: a pilot study. Dermatol Surg. 2001 Apr;27(4):329-31. [PubMed]
Marta I. Rendon, Diane D Berson et al., ‘Evidence and Considerations in the Application of Chemical Peels in Skin Disorders and Aesthetic Resurfacing’, Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, (2010), pp.32-43. [PubMed]
Pei, Susan et al “Light-Based Therapies in Acne Treatment.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal 6.3 (2015): 145–157. PMC. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. [PubMed]
Reviewed by Dr. Tyng Tan, on May 6, 2020
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DR TYNG TAN
Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS completed her graduate and medical education in the United Kingdom over a span of 10 years.