The skin is the largest organ in the body and protects our insides from the outside environment like UV rays and bacteria which can cause infections. However, in certain parts of our body where there is an increased number of sebaceous glands like on our face, acne lesions can occur which cause scarring. To understand the effect of the removal of those acne scars, we need to understand how the acne wound healing process occurs.
The first stage is inflammation, where our clogged pores become infected with bacteria and create a wound (acne pustules) which are swollen and painful. About 3 to 5 days after the wound is created, the proliferation stage by production of new blood vessels and collagen begins. Over time, the third stage of remodelling happens where those collagen fibres deposited begin to mature and acne scarring begins when there is not enough or too much collagen produced.
Acne scar removal targets those same stages, except that it uses safe clinical techniques such as laser scar removal (Fractional CO2 Laser) or minor surgical procedures (Subcision) to help create a controlled level of inflammation in the scar which aids in breaking down irregular collagen bonds and restart the process of healing again. This helps to make acne scars less noticeable over time as the skin begins to level out.
What Are The Effective Acne Scar Removal Treatments Available in Singapore?
The effectiveness of acne scar removal treatments for your condition will depend on many factors such as the severity of acne scarring, and also your lifestyle factors (such as avoiding excessive sun exposure, using sunscreen, and adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine). There are several effective acne scar removal treatments available, with multiple considerations about downtime and number of treatment sessions required.
Fractional CO2 Laser & Fractional Er:YAG Laser Resurfacing
Fractional CO2 Laser is a type of laser acne scar removal that uses laser beams to generate heat deep within the skin to remodel the collagen web. It uses ‘fractions’ of laser to target the skin in a grid manner to minimise healing time. It is preferred for rolling scars (uneven and wavy looking) or shallow boxcar scars (sharp and wide), while Fractional Er:YAG can also treat deep boxcar scars.
- Considerations: Immediately after treatment, skin will feel sunburned and peeling may occur for 2-7 days, with pinkness remaining for 3-6 weeks (depending on the individual skin recovery).
- Downtime: Plan for 3-5 days of downtime while the skin peeling is the most obvious. For those with more severe acne scars, the reaction may be more and might require 7-10 days of downtime.
- Treatment Session Recommendations: For light scarring, 2-3 sessions may suffice. For more severe scarring, 4-6 sessions may be required for better results.
Subcision (Subcutaneous Incisional Surgery)
Subcision is a minor surgical procedure performed in our outpatient clinic, and is often utilised for rolling scars. It is also applicable for other scar types. It helps to break up the scars which are tethered to the deeper layers of skin which causes the uneven scarring so that new collagen remodelling can begin.
- Considerations: It is a procedure that uses a hypodermic needle, and may cause some bleeding which is manageable.
- Downtime: Plan for 3-5 days of downtime as there may be swelling and bruising after.
- Treatment Session Recommendations: We also recommend a minute injection of dermal fillers to fill the gap of the newly released scar which will optimise results. For moderate acne scarring, 3 sessions are recommended with at least 1 month in between treatments.
TCA Cross (TriChloroacetic Acid Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars)
This is also a straightforward outpatient procedure that uses tiny amounts of high concentration TCA onto the atrophic scar. The TCA triggers a controlled inflammatory reaction to stimulate the scar to produce new collagen fibres, helping to even out depressed scars. It is preferred in treatment for icepick scars.
- Considerations: The Scar surface will frost and whiten for up to 12 hours. The skin around treated sites will be red and sore for 24-48 hours, and scabs will develop after 2-3 days which may take 3-7 days or more to fall off naturally.
- Downtime: There is no immediate downtime; however, consider the scabbing if you have any important event coming up.
- Treatment Session Recommendations: 3-6 sessions are recommended for most cases of moderate acne scarring, with at least 2-8 weeks between treatments.
Where Should I Go for Acne Scar Removal?
When deciding where to go for acne scar removal, there are several factors to consider. First, ensure that the clinic you choose has licensed professionals that are certified in their field. This helps to guarantee that your safety and health are in good hands, especially when it comes to procedures that require the use of lasers or minimally invasive techniques as it is important that treatment is done in a hygienic manner to prevent any infections and worsening of acne.
Secondly, it is also equally as important that you are comfortable with the environment in the clinic and also your attending doctor. The clinic should be clean with a wide array of services and available technologies; the practitioners should also be professional and exhibit a high level of customer care.
Here in SL Aesthetic Clinic, we ensure that all of our equipment is up-to-date and that all our medical doctors are certified with years of reputable experience in the field of aesthetics – plus a friendly smile! – to ensure that you are in good hands!
Contact Us Today to Begin Your Acne Scar Removal Journey in Singapore
If you are at your wits end because over-the-counter treatments or home remedies don’t seem to be working as well for your acne scarring, don’t worry. There are a variety of treatment methods that can help you to fade scars and smoothen the appearance of skin. If you would like to hear more about the full range of acne scar treatments available at SL Aesthetic Clinic, contact us today to book an appointment with one of our friendly and trusted professionals!