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Say Goodbye to Acne Marks: Acne Scars Treatment & Removal in Singapore

Fighting acne is tough. Even if you control breakouts, the scars left behind can stick around, affecting your confidence. These scars are more than just blemishes; they can impact how you feel about yourself, leading many to search for acne scar treatments in Singapore. 

What Are Acne Scars?

When your skin is damaged, it repairs itself. This process of repair creates a newer formation of skin that is uneven from the original layer, resulting in visual scarring. Acne scars are formed when your skin heals from a serious acne inflammation that has reached into the deeper dermis layer. Conversely, superficial infections such as blackheads and whiteheads rarely result in scars.

 

There are different types of acne scars, and acne scar treatment is personalised to the type and severity of the scarring. A person suffering from acne scarring can present more than one type of acne scar. Hence, multiple types of acne scar treatments are combined to produce the best result. In this entry, we will learn about the different acne scar types and the various acne scar treatments that are available in Singapore.

Know your acne. Learn how to beat acne now.

Are Acne Scars Permanent?

Acne scars can be persistent, but they are not necessarily permanent. With professional acne scar treatments, there are various effective options to reduce the appearance or even visually eliminate acne scars. The key lies in understanding the type and severity of your scars and choosing the right treatment approach. 

Acne Scar Removal – Is It Possible?

The answer is not so straightforward. We must first understand that scarred skin is fundamentally different from normal skin. Collagen plays an important role in our skin quality and appearance. When a scar forms, the amount and ratio of various types of collagen is disrupted. Under the microscope, the collagen found in scar tissue is also arranged differently as compared to normal skin. These differences are almost impossible to reverse back to normal.

However, scar removal treatments aim to break down scar tissue, and promote neocollagenesis, or the formation of new collagen in the skin, in an organised manner. This results in the appearance of the scar to be visually as close as possible to normal skin. In the best case scenario, the treated scars will be visually identical to normal skin, even though they may still appear different under the microscope. 

Acne Scar Types

Acne scars are mainly divided into two categories: atrophic scars caused by loss of tissue, and hypertrophic scars caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.

There’s also a misconception that discolourations left behind by acne are acne scars; in fact, these are post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and will fade naturally over time.

Atrophic Scars

When a scar heals below the normal level or layer of skin, a depression is formed. This is called an atrophic scar. This occurs when the skin is unable to regenerate tissue and collagen lost from a pimple.

The size and depth of an atrophic scar depends on the amount of inflammation there was in the acne. The more severe the inflammation, the bigger and deeper an atrophic scar gets.

Atrophic scars are commonly found on the face. Examples include icepick, boxcar, and rolling scars. 

Learn more about atrophic scars

Hypertrophic Scars

Collagen, a building block of the skin, is often produced as part of wound healing. However, the skin can at times also produce an excessive amount of collagen. This results in a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface – a hypertrophic scar or keloid.

Certain areas of our bodies are more prone to keloid scars, such as the jawline, upper chest and upper back.

Learn more about hypertrophic scars.

Not sure what type of acne scar you have? Find out here.

Your Acne Scar Treatment Options

While acne scars cannot be completely and perfectly removed, they can be reduced and minimised in appearance.

But Singapore patients often wonder what is THE best treatment for acne scars. The answer is that there is simply no one treatment that is the best in resolving acne scars.

First, not all acne scars are built or made the same. There is no one-size-fits-all acne scar treatment. Second, patients respond to treatments differently from others.

Hence, acne scar treatments are highly individualised; a treatment plan must be created by a doctor following a thorough consultation and understanding of the patient’s medical history and personal habits.

So what are your options in acne scar treatments? Read on to find out.

Different Types of Acne Scar Treatment in Singapore

SL Aesthetic Clinic provides various acne scar treatment options in Singapore. The doctor may recommend a combination of these treatments for optimal results. 

Below are the acne treatments we provide at SL Aesthetic Clinic:

  1. Fractional CO2 Laser
  2. Fractional Erbium Laser
  3. Pico HEXA MLa Laser
  4. RF Gold Microneedling
  5. TCA Cross
  6. Subcision
  7. Korean PN Scar
  8. PN Restore

 

See the list of treatments, how it works and more in the table below.

TreatmentHow it worksType of scarDowntimeRecommended no. of sessionsResults
Fractional CO2 LaserPrecise areas of fractional photothermolysis stimulate collagen production and promote the remodelling of scars.Atrophic scarsPlan for 3 to 5 days of downtime for lighter acne scars, or 7 to 10 days downtime for more severe acne scars2 to 3 sessions for light acne scarring, 4 to 6 sessions for more severe acne scarringSome results visible after first session
Fractional Erbium LaserEr:YAG fractional laser technology remove textured skin and activate our skin’s wound-healing response, promoting skin tissue regeneration. Atrophic scarsPlan for 3 to 5 days of downtime for lighter acne scars, or 7 to 10 days downtime for more severe acne scars4 for mild scars, 6 for severe scarsSome results visible after first session.
Pico HEXA MLA LaserUltra-short pulses of fractional laser creates microthermal treatment zones that stimulate collagen production for scar remodelling and skin rejuvenation.Atrophic scars1-2 days for light scars, 3-5 days for more severe acne scars.6 sessions for mild scars, 10 sessions for severe scarsSome results visible after first session.
RF Gold MicroneedlingRadiofrequency heats the skin to a precise targeted temperature that stimulates cytokines and growth factors to result in collagen and elastin formation. This combined with microneedling has a synergistic effect of filling up the microneedle treatment zones with new remodelled skin that is rich in collagen, improving the appearance of acne scars.Atrophic scars, hyperpigmentationMinimal downtime for light scars, 2-3 days for severe scars6 sessions for mild scars, 10 sessions for severe scarsSome results visible after first session.
TCA CrossApplying trichloroacetic acid to the base of ice pick scars, causing controlled injury and promoting collagen formation. Skin repairs itself, producing new collagen fibres and levelling out scars.Deep ice pick scarsScar surface will frost and whiten for up to 12 hours. Skin around treated sites will be red and sore for 24 to 48 hours
Scabs will develop after 2 to 3 days, and thereafter fall off after 3 to 7 days
6 or more sessions recommended, depending on severity of scars.Some results visible after first session.
SubcisionSome scars have fibres under the skin that are holding the scar down in a depressed state. Subcision mechanically releases these fibres to allow the scars to “float up” and become level with the rest of the skin.Rolling and boxcar scars that are held down by scar fibres.Minimal for light scars. For severe scars where extensive subcision is performed, bruising and swelling may take up to 1 week to subside3 sessions for most cases of moderate acne scarring, with at least 1 month between treatmentsResults visible in one session.

May require multiple sessions for best results.
Korean PN ScarPolynucleotides from salmon fish DNA mixed with hyaluronic acid are injected into the skin, promoting collagen production and improving overall skin texture.Atrophic scarsMinimal3 or more sessions done at 1-month intervalsResults visible in one session.

May require multiple sessions for best results.
PN RestorePolynucleotides from trout fish DNA are injected into the skin, promoting skin regeneration and improving skin texture.Atrophic scarsMinimal3 or more sessions done at 1-month intervalsResults visible in one session.

May require multiple sessions for best results.

How Much Does Acne Scar Treatment Cost in Singapore?

The price of acne scar treatment varies according to the treatment type used and the scars’ severity. In Singapore, prices for standard acne scar removal procedures start at $300. You should consult with a skin specialist to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your case and get an accurate quotation.

What Are Acne Scars?

When your skin is damaged, it repairs itself. This process of repair creates a newer formation of skin that is uneven from the original layer, resulting in visual scarring. Acne scars are formed when your skin heals from a serious acne inflammation that has reached into the deeper dermis layer. Conversely, superficial infections such as blackheads and whiteheads rarely result in scars.

 

There are different types of acne scars, and acne scar treatment is personalised to the type and severity of the scarring. A person suffering from acne scarring can present more than one type of acne scar. Hence, multiple types of acne scar treatments are combined to produce the best result. In this entry, we will learn about the different acne scar types and the various acne scar treatments that are available in Singapore.

Know your acne. Learn how to beat acne now.

Are acne scars permanent?

Acne scars can be persistent, but they are not necessarily permanent. With professional acne scar treatments, there are various effective options to reduce the appearance or even visually eliminate acne scars. The key lies in understanding the type and severity of your scars and choosing the right treatment approach.

Acne Scar Removal – Is It Possible?

One fact that must be highlighted beforehand is that complete removal of acne scars is medically unachievable. Scarring is a permanent condition. Treatments may improve the condition, but rarely remove it.

The simple reason is that skin is unable to restore acne wounds, or any deep wounds for that matter, into its original state of uniform layers and textures.

The collagen and other tissues produced during the healing process cannot form a seamless layer with the rest of the healthy skin tissue.

To date, current scar treatments do not possess the capability to create a seamless healing process in the skin. This is why the aim of acne scar treatments is to improve the appearance of acne scars, not to cure or remove them.

 

Acne Scar Types

Acne scars are mainly divided into two categories: atrophic scars caused by loss of tissue, and hypertrophic scars caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.

There’s also a misconception that discolourations left behind by acne are acne scars; in fact, these are post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and will fade naturally over time.

Atrophic Scars

 

When a scar heals below the normal level or layer of skin, a depression is formed. This is called an atrophic scar. This occurs when the skin is unable to regenerate tissue and collagen lost from an acne breakout.

The size and depth of an atrophic scar depends on the amount of inflammation there was in the acne. The more severe the inflammation, the bigger and deeper an atrophic scar gets.

Atrophic scars are commonly found on the face. Examples include icepick, boxcar, and rolling scars.

Learn more about atrophic scars.

Hypertrophic Scars

 

Collagen, a building block of the skin, is often produced as part of wound healing. However, the skin can at times also produce an excessive amount of collagen. This results in a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface – a hypertrophic scar or keloid.

Hypertrophic scars, while most commonly seen on the nose and on the body, can also appear on other areas of the face, as well as the neck and the back.

Learn more about hypertrophic scars.

Not sure what type of acne scar you have? Find out here.


Your Acne Scar Treatment Options

While acne scars cannot be completely and perfectly removed, they can be reduced and minimised in appearance.

But Singapore patients often wonder what is THE best treatment for acne scars. The answer is that there is simply no one treatment that is the best in resolving acne scars.

First, not all acne scars are built or made the same. There is no one-size-fits-all acne scar treatment. Second, patients respond to treatments differently from others.

Hence, acne scar treatments are highly individualised; a treatment plan must be created by a doctor following a thorough consultation and understanding of the patient’s medical history and personal habits.

So what are your options in acne scar treatments? Read on to find out.

 

Treatment For Atrophic Acne Scars

Due to the loss of skin tissue, atrophic acne scars appear sunken on the skin. As a result, treatments that resurface, or in other words level the skin from inside out, work best with atrophic acne scars.

SL Aesthetic Clinic currently offers several atrophic acne scar treatment options. Oftentimes, the doctor will recommend a combination of more than one option for optimal results.

Type of TreatmentIcepick ScarsRolling ScarsShallow Boxcar ScarsDeep Boxcar ScarsOffered at our clinics (Y/N)
Laser (Fractional Er:YAG)
less effective effective effective effective N
Laser (Fractional CO2) less effective effective effective less effective Y (from $500)
Dermabrasion less effective ineffective less effective less effective N
Augmentation/Fillers ineffective effective less effective less effective Y (from $749)
Subcision less effective effective less effective less effective Y (from $350)
Punch Excision effective ineffective less effective effective Y (price TBA)
Chemical Peels less effective ineffective less effective ineffective Y (from $188)
TCA CROSS effective ineffective effective ineffective Y (from $300)
Skin Needling ineffective effective effective less effective N
Microdermabrasion less effective ineffective less effective ineffective N
Fractional Radiofrequency less effective effective effective less effective N
Platelet Rich Plasma ineffective less effective less effective less effective Unapproved by HSA

Summary Of Preferred Acne Scar Treatments At SL Aesthetic Clinic
Skin Resurfacing With Fractional CO2 Laser And Fractional Er:YAG Laser

Fractional CO2 Laser is a non-surgical procedure using carbon dioxide as a medium, and adapted from the Carbon Dioxide Laser for use in medical aesthetics. The Fractional Er:YAG Laser uses erbium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet as its medium.

All you need to know about Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

Learn more about Fractional Er:YAG Laser Skin Resurfacing

Both lasers fire beams of light into the deeper layers of the skin, thereby creating a grid of tiny openings.

Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing Process

Your skin then repairs these openings by pushing out damaged and uneven skin. This is then replaced with younger, healthier skin. Residual heat generated by the light energy also helps remodel your skin’s collagen web.

Finally, your acne scar will be visibly reduced over a course of sessions as recommended by our doctor; your complexion will feel smoother to the touch. What’s more, your skin’s pore size will also be minimised.

Drop us a message to find out how many sessions you’ll need.

Quick Facts about Fractional CO2 & Er:YAG Laser Resurfacing:

  • Fractional CO2 Laser is best suited for rolling and shallow boxcar scars, while Fractional Er:YAG can treat rolling scars, as well as shallow and deep boxcar scars
  • Immediately after treatment, skin feels sunburned and will peel for 2-7 days. Pinkness will remain for 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the individual
  • Plan for 3 to 5 days of downtime for lighter acne scars, or 7 to 10 days downtime for more severe acne scars
  • If you have light acne scarring, we recommend a course of 2 to 3 sessions. If you suffer from more severe acne scarring, you will require 4 to 6 sessions for better results.


Subcision And Atrophic Scar Levelling With Dermal Filler

Subcision, also called subcutaneous incisional surgery, is a minor procedure to treat atrophic scars.

 

A hypodermic needle is used to perform a subcision. The needle’s edge is used to sever fibrotic strands holding the top layer of the scar to the underlying tissue.

Thereafter, your body naturally produces collagen to heal the wound, improving the appearance of the scar over time.

At SL Aesthetic Clinic, we recommend a minute injection of Dermal Fillers to fill the gap of the newly released scar. This will optimise the results of the subcision.

Are you suitable for Acne Scar Treatment with Subcision? Find out now.

Quick Facts about Subcision and Atrophic Scar Levelling with Dermal Filler:

  • Minor procedure performed in our outpatient clinic
  • Best for rolling scars, but also applicable for other scar types
  • Some bleeding will occur but will otherwise be very manageable
  • We recommend 3 sessions for most cases of moderate acne scarring, with at least 1 month between treatments


TCA CROSS

The Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars (CROSS) using TriChloroacetic Acid (TCA), is a straightforward outpatient procedure that can be performed within the clinic.

This is done with the doctor dropping tiny amounts of TCA of between 70 to 100% concentrations onto your atrophic scar.

This triggers a very localised and controlled inflammatory reaction; your skin repairs itself from this, producing new collagen fibres.
As a result, your atrophic scars level out gradually.

The simplicity of TCA CROSS in Acne Scar Treatment

Quick Facts about TCA CROSS Atrophic Scar Treatment:

  • Minor procedure performed in our outpatient clinic
  • Best for icepick scars
  • Scar surface will frost and whiten for up to 12 hours
  • Skin around treated sites will be red and sore for 24 to 48 hours
  • Scabs will develop after 2 to 3 days, and thereafter fall off after 3 to 7 days
  • We recommend 3 to 6 sessions of TCA CROSS for most cases of moderate acne scarring, with at least 2 to 8 weeks between treatments


Treatment For Hypertrophic Scars And Keloids

Simply put, numerous methods have been explored in the treatment of these abnormal scars. But to date, no optimal treatment option has been clinically established.

Some therapies such as creams and oils, silicone gel, pressure dressings, and steroid injections, have mixed results. And almost all are used purely for the management rather than cure of hypertrophic scars and keloids.

In general, a hypertrophic scar settles in time or with treatment, but a keloid may persist, re-occur, and prove resistant to treatment.


The Tricky Case Of Keloids

Keloids can be difficult to diagnose and treat. It can develop soon after injury, or appear several months after trauma.

Keloids may feel uncomfortable to touch for some and can grow to a size larger than its original wound. They can form anywhere on the body, though the upper chest and shoulders are statistically more prone.

Scientists are still investigating the precise reason for keloid formation. So far, two conclusions have been made.

First, most people never form keloids. But amongst those who do keloids appear easily; from the most minor wound or injury such as an insect bite or acne spot.

Second, those with darker complexions are also at higher risk of keloid formation.

With that said however, keloids generally pose no harm to a person’s health and do not become cancerous.


Management Options For Hypertrophic Scars And Keloids

At SL Aesthetic Clinic, we believe in tried and tested ways of achieving safe, reliable results.

In managing mild to moderate hypertrophic scars, we recommend applying emollients such as creams and oils for most patients. This helps soothe and alleviate the condition.

We advise patients with more severe hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation to manage the conditions with steroid injections, repeating treatment once every few weeks.

Price List

ProcedurePrice EstimateAvailability
Fractional CO2 Laser
Suitable for atrophic scars such as rolling and superficial boxcar scars
From $400All clinics
Pico HEXA MLA Laser
Suitable for atrophic scars
From $450All clinics
Rejuran Scar
Suitable for the promotion of tissue restoration, reconstruction and improvement of scar appearance.
Ideal for depressed acne scars.
From $500All clinics
Subcision
Suitable for atrophic scars such as rolling as well as bound-down and tethered scars, chickenpox scars, and stretchable scars from injury or surgery
From $350All clinics
RF Gold Microneedling
Stimulates collagen remodeling, leading to a reduction in the appearance of scars and an overall improvement in skin texture
From $600All clinics
TCA CROSS
Suitable for atrophic scars such as boxcar, rolling and ice-pick scars
From $250• Causeway Point
• Jurong Point
• Plaza Singapura
• Waterway Point
• Westgate
• Wheelock Place
Keloid Injections From $350All clinics
Plinest
Increases volume and moistures and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
$700-$1000All clinics
Fractional Erbium Laser
Removes textured skin and encourages skin tissue regeneration.
$800All clinics

Interested?

Contact Us

FAQ

Preventing acne scars starts with proper acne management. Avoid picking or squeezing pimples, as this can worsen inflammation and increase the risk of scarring. Treat acne promptly, and consider seeking professional advice for effective skincare routines. Sun protection is also crucial, as exposure to UV rays can exacerbate the appearance of scars.

The level of discomfort associated with acne scars treatments can vary. Some procedures may cause minimal pain, while others involve more intense sensations. However, most acne scar removal treatments are well-tolerated, and skin specialists often use numbing agents and pain control methods to enhance patient comfort. It’s essential to discuss any concerns about pain with your specialist before undergoing a procedure.

When performed by qualified professionals, acne scars treatments are generally safe and effective. However, individual responses may vary, and some risks may be involved.

Choosing a reputable clinic and following post-treatment care instructions is crucial. Your skin specialist will provide detailed information about the potential risks and benefits based on your skin type and treatment. 

The number of sessions required for acne scars removal depends on the type of procedure and the severity of your scars. Some treatments may show improvement after a single session, while others may require multiple sessions for optimal results.

Your doctor will assess your skin before recommending a treatment plan with an expected number of sessions. Because everyone’s skin is different, speaking to a qualified skin care professional is necessary to choose the best acne scar removal method for you. 

In general, a hypertrophic scar settles in time or with treatment, but a keloid may persist, re-occur, and prove resistant to treatment. Keloids can be difficult to diagnose and treat. It can develop soon after injury, or appear several months after trauma.

Keloids may feel uncomfortable to touch for some and can grow to a size larger than its original wound. They can form anywhere on the body, though the upper chest and shoulders are the most common.

In managing mild to moderate hypertrophic scars, we recommend applying emollients such as creams and oils for most patients. This helps soothe and alleviate the condition.

We advise patients with more severe hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation to manage the conditions with steroid injections, repeating treatment once every few weeks. Other methods such as silicone dressings and pressure dressings may be helpful as well. 

Almost always.

Unless done by a professional with the right gear, picking at your acne will likely result in scarring.

This is because of several factors:

  • Bacteria exist on your hands and underneath your nails, washed or not. Picking at an acne can introduce even more bacteria into it, resulting in greater infection and inflammation
  • Professionals such as trained facial therapists have the skills and the know-how in extracting acne without causing further harm or scarring. Manual removal by untrained hands can push infected material deeper into the skin, or even cause cellulitis – a bacterial skin infection that, if left untreated, can be life threatening
  • Picking at an acne can cause infected material to spill out onto surrounding skin and result in even more acne forming

Scarring can still occur even if you do not pick at your acne.

Inflammation caused by the bacterial infection in the acne will result in damaged skin cells. The inflammation can damage and destroy skin cells that result in an acne scar. This is especially true for cystic acne.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Apart from patients genetically prone to keloid scarring, the rest of us should practice sound skincare and diet. Prevent acne from forming and avoid acne scarring altogether.

Read more about Preventing Acne here.

Yes. There is currently no way to perfectly restore scarred tissue to their former selves.

But existing acne scar treatments such as Fractional CO2 Laser and Subcision can reduce and refine the appearances of acne scars to a degree that they cease to be a source of insecurity for patients.

The Health Sciences Authority of Singapore has warned consumers of the dangers of cosmetic products marketed as “natural”, saying that “natural”, “organic”, “contains no preservative” or “100% herb” cosmetic may not necessarily be “better” or “safer”… because they contain plant ingredients, which are conducive for bacterial growth.

Always seek a medical professional’s advice when it comes to a serious condition such as acne scars.

Professional treatments performed by doctors are that; professional. They’re based on well-researched technologies that are consistently peer-reviewed for safety and efficacy.

These spots are the result of an inflammation caused by bacterial infection, hence its name Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).

And contrary to popular belief, these are pigmentation concerns and not considered acne scars. Hence its name.

After healing over, all wounds will have differences in skin tone, pigmentation, and even texture compared to surrounding skin.

Amongst fair individuals, these spots tend to appear as red or purple “splotches”. This is because broken blood vessels from the aftermath of an acne breakout remain in the healed over area.

Conversely, those with darker skin tones are more prone to developing brownish marks or hyperpigmentation.

Always avoid prolonged sun exposure to prevent PIH from appearing if you have wounds that are healing.

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