Have you ever gotten weird looks from people on the street? It’s a strange and haunting feeling, up until you face yourself in the mirror and see the culprit: ACNE SCARS. So, you open up your Internet browser and begin to type “How to…” and then find the search engine to finish your sentence: “How to get rid of acne scars.” Yes, countless individuals face this problem; it’s not only you!
Adolescent years are the worst times to be plagued by acne. Some are lucky enough to outgrow this horrifying stage as they move on as adults. However, those painful memories remain. No thanks to those stubborn facial scars!
It is not surprising that, prior to getting a proper consultation, a lot of clients experiment on different treatments on their own. Beauty salons advertise facials targeting acne scars so effectively that customers would actually be lured in to try. Some turn to weak laser treatments, hoping the wands would work on their magic. And there are others who self-medicate and would bring matters into their own hands by whipping their own concoction of home remedies. Chances are these methods do not give them the results they want. Skip wasting precious time and money by getting professional help immediately!
Throughout my time of living in Singapore, I have been able to see first-hand the different successful practices that are being offered to banish acne scars. I am passing on extensive knowledge about the topic so you may identify which treatment plan best suits your need.
Reading this may take a long while as I made this as detailed as possible, so kindly extend your patience as we go on. Rest assured we would get to the bottom of dealing with those annoying facial flaws!
Will the real acne scar please stand up?
Newsflash. An acne mark maybe deceiving you into thinking that it is an acne scar. Acne marks are actually the lesser evil between the two as they only take temporary residence on the face.
Post-inflammatory Hyper Pigmentation (PIH) is the medical term for acne marks. You may notice the appearance of these discoloured marks on your face after an inflammation has healed. In this case, a blasted pimple. The colour of PIH may differ based on a person’s skin tone. Acne marks are easier and much faster to remove as they respond well to sunscreen and religious applications of retinoid creams. The waiting period for your body to take its own natural course of eliminating PIH is 3 to 6 months.
Acne scars, on the other hand, are blemishes on the face that are either depressed or elevated. There are two suspects to these skin distortions: one is a pimple which is normally accustomed to composed of a red inflammation with a pus-filled centre otherwise known as acne pustules or painful bumps are also known as nodular acne. Acne nodules or “cystic acne,” is a form of swelling that does not usually produce a white head where the pus can rupture a pore because the abscess is embedded deep into the dermis.
Which of the 3 types of scars do you have?
You may notice that the depressions on your face may vary from shapes and sizes. These types of acne scars are classified into three (3): ice pick scars, box scars, and rolling scars. They are collectively known as atrophic acne scars.
Scars that penetrate farther into the layers of the skin and seem to look like a tiny open pore on the surface are called ice pick scars. A boxcar scar can be distinguished by its edges that are sharp and well defined. It is also wide and rectangular in shape. Bowl-shaped and circular scars are called rolling scars.
Pores that are of an unusual and noticeable size may very well be disguised acne scars. Lesions that are raised and lumpy may either be hypertrophic or keloid scars.
Are there possibilities to prevent acne scars?
Prevention is always better than cure, don’t you think? Gladly, there are possible ways to be able to avoid acne scars before they become a reality on your face! It is important to be able to identify the onset of an acne that might leave a remembrance even after its passing. As mentioned previously, individuals must be on the look out for pustular or nodular acne. Once diagnosed, oral isotretinoin and topical creams are often prescribed to combat these irregularities on the skin. You can count on this aggressive procedure to prevent any scar from showing.
Do not wait for acne to develop and ripen before you consult a licensed practitioner to check on your case. The best results for a smooth and clear face are achieved when a problem is anticipated and accurately treated. Don’t just keep this acne scar prevention tip to yourself because sharing is caring!
Where do I find the best practitioners in Singapore for consultation?
There are a number of clinics spread out in Singapore that specialize in dermatology. Before choosing a doctor to handle your case, be sure to do quality research and have several available options for second opinions.
Finding the right fit for a dermatologist may take a bit of time and effort, but put in mind that we only want the best hands to touch our skin. When considering derma practitioners inquire about the extent of the specialist’s experience in handling acne scar treatments. It is likewise important to know what kinds and how long a prescribed treatment could last. Treatments may not be just a one-time deal. Do not be shy to request for a portfolio of the procedures that have been administered to clienteles. This is to guide you to accurate expectations of the clinic’s competence in acne scar operations.
Are acne scar treatments in Singapore expensive?
The cost of scar treatments in Singapore is based on the kind and severity of your acne scars. Prices may also vary depending on the sort of treatment your skin needs. If the scarring is complex basing on the classifications (icepick, box, or rolling scars) and degree, you may be offered a treatment package, which costs $4,000. This includes 1 session each of x subcision and 1 x non-ablative laser, plus laser resurfacing that would take 3 – 5 sessions.
To be prepared, be sure to budget your finances within the range of $1,800 to $5,000.
Acne scar treatment results: Expectations vs. Reality.
A setting of proper expectations is important when awaiting results. A record of 70% – 80% improvement rate was tallied for most of the procedures done in Singapore. However, a success rate of improvement falls approximately at 50% – 70% average.
The improvement for scarring after treatments also depends on how the patient’s skin responds to the procedure, the gravity and type of scarring present, and skin type. Only 50% improvement has been observed for atrophic scars on a person with a dark complexion. Ice pick scars or narrow boxcar scars improved much better at approximately 80%.
What are the top acne scar treatments being offered in Singapore?
Note that practitioners prescribe treatments reliant on your skin condition and the time of rest a patient is willing to take. Here is a list of Singapore’s top acne scar treatments:
- Laser treatment
- Radiofrequency microneedling
- Chemical peels
- Punch excision or grafting
- Dermal Fillers
Which treatment suits me?
Because facial scarring is not uniform, it is best to have a customized treatment to be able to address each of the problems with maximum success. Be sure to get a professional to examine your skin prior to settling for a treatment you would like to take.
Below are some examples of acne scar treatments and the type of scarring that react well to:
- TCA CROSS – icepick scars, narrow boxcar scars
- RF microneedling, fractional lasers, punch grafting, and dermal fillers – rolling scars and craters
- Subscisions – tethered and anchored scars
Ready to get rid of acne scars? Bet you are!
Acne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or acne marks are best addressed with laser treatments. If you are busy and would need a treatment that would only allow a short break, consider getting pulse-dye lasers. This method is good for lessening redness of skin imperfections.
Atrophic acne scars greatly diminish when treated by fractional CO2 laser. This technique is widely used in Singapore due to its high level of success. Expect to see improvements on your skin (and a bit less of the world) in 5 – 10 days.
A breakthrough in Singapore’s market that is great for treating shallow and deep acne scars with better accuracy and shorter healing time is the Pico + MLA laser treatment.
The list of prices for laser treatments in Singapore is:
- Pulse-dye lasers – $200 – $400 per session
- Fractional lasers – $500 – $1,000 per session
Scars that are rolling, atrophic, mixed, and tethered are perfect for RF microneedling. Improvement after a procedure is continuous immediately within 48 hours after treatment up until 6 months maximum, with little occurrences of hyperpigmentation. What makes RF microneedling efficient are the small needles that penetrate the skin and emits heat energy that remodels the scar through the production of collagen. Venus Viva and INFINI are samples of this. Cost for the recommended 1 – 2 session Infini radiofrequency microneedling in Singapore and is around $1,000 – $2,500 per session.
Chemical peels are very difficult to administer, especially when scars differ in depth. Application of this peel is spread out evenly across the face and skin absorption of the chemical is faster at some parts. This can be problematic as the results may vary and would often make scarring worse.
I recommend the TCA CROSS procedure if you are targeting to eliminate ice pick scars. This method evens out deep scars by injecting a solution that gets to the bottom layers of the dermis that triggering collagen production. A 30% – 40% improvement can be expected after 2 – 3 rounds of peels and will cost $350 for 3 sessions.
Subscision of scars
Low sunken scars obtain great results with subcision. In this method, a fibrous scar tissue is inserted underneath the scar using a tiny needle. Changes will be visible within 1 – 2 weeks as fresh collagen builds up and improves skin elasticity, which levels the surface of the skin. Target 1 – 4 sessions to achieve the best results. A session may charge around $100 – $300 and would only deal with a maximum of 5 scars.
Punch excision entails the removal of a part of the skin. A device similar to a hole puncher is used to cut the acne scar and is then stitched closed. This works best on deep and narrow icepick scars. Estimated time for healing of the wound with stitches removed is one (1) week.
Grafting also involves the removal of the scar, but the difference with excision is the procedure that follows after. In grafting, the hole where the acne scar used to be is implanted with a little piece of skin usually taken from the back of the ear. Once done, a surgical tape is used to close the area and is allowed to heal completely without any other intervention.
The price range of this treatment varies from the number of scars that need to be treated. Available rates in Singapore range from $200 – $300 per session.
Dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvederm, which are best used for shallow and wide scars, on are not a popular choice in Singapore when it comes to acne scar treatments because its results do not last long. This kind of procedure needs to be repeated every 6 – 8 months.
However, there is a more permanent option for dermal fillers called Bellafill. This product is best for improving modestly to the most severe acne scars. This is also FDA-approved and is awaiting availability in Singapore.
A session of Restylane and Juvederm normally recommends 2 syringes of dermal fillers, which totals to $1,300. When bought individually, a syringe is roughly around $500 – $850 per piece.
In closing, acne scar treatment is very diverse. One procedure alone does not guarantee that all of your scars can be vanquished in an instant. As repeatedly mentioned, each classification of scarring may require a different treatment from another. It is always advised to have your skin looked into by licensed dermatologist to ensure that you get a customized treatment that would lead to optimal results.
If you are not convinced with a proposal from one clinic, move on to another to explore other possibilities. Do this until you find a convincing acne scar treatment package based on your need and budget, as well as the expertise and success rate of a doctor. Remember that your skin deserves only the best.