Acne scar is one of the most common skin conditions in Singapore—and also one of the most common skin conditions we get the most questions for. Acne is an inflammatory disease of the skin, which develops when dead skin cells and oil become trapped within hair follicles. If not taken care of immediately, you may need to receive a treatment to remove your acne scars.
Acne can cause mild to severe acne breakouts typically found on the face, chest, shoulders, or back. The pimples are typically red or brown spots that are either raised or flat with a rough texture.
If the infection worsens, cysts may form under the skin, which can basically be thought of as tiny abscesses filled with pus. These painful nodules require immediate treatment by a doctor, who should also determine what triggered its development. Cysts are commonly found deep inside the face where they cannot be seen, but they might leave behind scarring if not treated early enough.
There are three main types of acne scars: hypertrophic, atrophic, and pigmented. The most common type of acne scar is the atrophic type. Atrophic or icepick scars appear as very narrow, deep indentations in the skin’s surface and usually occur when severe cystic breakouts heal without treatment.
These tend to be wider than hypertrophic types, which look like small bumps and often result from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation where blemishes heal, leaving dark spots behind instead of scar tissue. One common denominator between all these different kinds of acne scars is that they can last for years to come; however, their appearance can be minimized with the use of anti-acne products such as Retin A (Tretinoin) and laser treatment.
How long do they usually last, and what can be done to Speed up the Healing Process?
Timely acne scar treatment in Singapore is recommended if the scars make you self-conscious. This is important because the scars left behind from acne breakouts typically take years to heal completely.
The sooner any type of acne scar is treated, the better it will look in the long run. Pigmented scars often become less noticeable with time but may require additional treatments such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion to reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin’s surface. Hypertrophic scars are raised above the skin’s surface due to excess collagen formation during wound healing.
In contrast, atrophic scars are indented depressions below the skin’s surface. They form when too little collagen forms after an injury. Atrophic acne scars may take many months to heal; however, hypertrophic and pigmented scars can be minimized if left untreated. It is important to remember that the best way to treat any type of acne scar is with a combination of treatments such as laser resurfacing and topical remedies such as Retin-A (Tretinoin) cream, which helps remove the thickened upper layer of skin, stimulate collagen production and improve the appearance of atrophic acne scars.
Those are not the only options for acne scar treatment in Singapore though. There are a number of effective treatment options available for reducing the appearance of different types of acne scarring. Topical creams containing Vitamin A derivatives such as Tretinoin work by exfoliating the skin’s surface, thereby promoting healthy new cell growth.
Other ingredients that can reduce acne scars include topical antibiotics such as erythromycin and clindamycin phosphate, azelaic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acids, which effectively prevent collagen loss. Laser resurfacing with CO2 laser treatment works by removing layers of damaged skin to promote healthier skin regeneration.
Laser resurfacing may be used with microdermabrasion for optimal results on atrophic acne scarring. Fillers are another option for treating acne scarring; however, they are only temporary treatments because the body cannot absorb fillers, so they will eventually need to be replaced once again.
Another popular treatment option is the application of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which stimulates collagen production to fill in acne scars. PDGF works by injecting a sterile solution containing the patient’s own blood into the scarred area, which encourages soft tissue regrowth due to elevated levels of human growth factors produced by the body.
Both surgical procedures and injectables such as dermal fillers can treat depressed acne scars; however, their results only last until the treatment itself wears off. Therefore, it is important for patients considering one of these options for acne scar treatment in Singapore to discuss long-term goals with their dermatologist, who may recommend a combination of treatments such as microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing, which will result in longer-lasting improvements without creating too much downtime.
How do you Deal with Scars if you’re Self-conscious about them
If you’re self-conscious about acne scars but still can’t get the necessary treatments for any reasons, one way to minimize their appearance is by using makeup. Many foundations contain salicylic acid, which helps reduce the appearance of redness; however, it is important to make sure that any facial makeup does not block pores as pimples can form if plugs form within the skin’s hair follicles.
Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the mouth at night may also help reduce the formation of new lines on the face. Generally, it is important for patients who are self-conscious about their acne or scars to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist who may be able to suggest treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser resurfacing, which can reduce the appearance of some pigmented acne scars.
Can anything be done to Prevent Scars from forming in the First Place?
Even though common, acne scars can be prevented from forming in the first place. If at all possible, it is important for patients with acne or hormonal imbalances that trigger breakouts to see a dermatologist who may be able to prescribe topical medications such as Retin-A (tretinoin), Differin (adapalene), or benzoyl peroxide, which help prevent the formation of new acne lesions by unclogging pores and preventing dead skin cells from clogging up hair follicles on the face.
It is also advisable for patients with acne-prone skin to avoid picking or popping pimples because this can lead to scarring; instead, it is recommended that they schedule an appointment with a dermatologist for professional extraction. Patients should also wear sunscreen or stay out of the sun to prevent dark spots from forming on the face.
The Bottom Line
Acne scars really shouldn’t give you sleepless nights. There are plenty of dermatological procedures and products available to help reduce or eliminate the scars so you can feel confident in showing off your beautiful face.
Harmony Aesthetics Clinic Singapore
101 Irrawaddy Rd, #09-01 Royal Square @ Novena, Singapore 329565
+65 6970 5418