Singaporean Doctor Reveals 3 Non-invasive Acne Scar Treatments

This author doctor has chosen to stay anonymous.

Under the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act, doctors can be warned, fined or suspended if they position themselves as an expert above their peers. Doctors also cannot use before/after photos in the article or state their preferences towards specific methods or techniques. The strict laws help uphold the repute of Singapore’s private healthcare scene and we strongly support it. Due to this, some doctors choose to stay anonymous so they can write more informative pieces.

Click To Check Cost of Acne Scar Treatment in Singapore

Acne scar treatments in Singapore cost between $150 to $1400, depending on the treatment you choose. Prices may vary depending on how severe your acne scars are. Laser treatments usually cost around $300 to $1,500 (minimum of 3 sessions required). Microneedling treatments cost around $350-500 a session (usually 3-4 sessions required). AGNES acne treatments cost around $1,000-1,500 per session.

Thought having acne is tough? Wait until it begins to scar. It’s as if having pimples all over the face is not enough, you are doomed to deal with acne scars afterwards. The great thing about advanced technology is it offers heaps of treatments for mild to deep scarring. They can put an end to the embarrassing blemishes. For that to happen, you need to schedule an appointment with a certified dermatologist and let their expertise guide you through. In the meantime, check out the most used therapies to battle scars so that you are prepared.

Scars Vs Marks

First and foremost, let us stress the fact that there is a distinction between acne scars and marks. The former are indentations in the skin that make it uneven and not very appealing to look at. In comparison, the latter is a post-inflammatory condition which occurs during the healing process. In most cases, it goes away after several months providing that no acne lesions happen.

Scars, on the other hand, do not fade on their own. There can be different types, such as ice pick scars, boxcar scars, rolling scars, atrophic scars, hypertrophic, depressed scars, etc., and they all can get worse through sun exposure, hence adequate measures should be taken when going out of the house.

Usually, people with lighter skin type get purple or red marks, and those with darker skin have brown marks. Unfortunately, if they last more than 12 months, you can bet they have become permanent.

How Acne Scars Form

Acne Forming Diagram

It is time to debunk a widely held belief about acne scars. You have probably been told repeatedly that scars emerge because you pop your pimples. You might have even heard yourself say that a number of times. But here is the thing, some lesions are susceptible to scarring anyway. So even if you leave them alone, there is still a great probability that scars happen. It’s not fair, is it?

Needless to say, that doesn’t make it okay to pick at your blemishes. But now that you know you’re not at fault for the scarring, doesn’t it make you feel better?

How to Remove Acne Scars

Hands down, there are therapies galore, both minimally invasive and surgical, that tend to remove scarring. One thing you should know is that just because one treatment is touted to be the best, that doesn’t make it the best for you. See, everybody’s acne problems are different. It depends on the type of scarring, your lifestyle, and the severity of the situation. Then again, even if your doctor says that this or that will work wonders for you, you still have to factor in your budget. And this is not to be overlooked.

So, now let’s talk briefly about the acne scar treatments that promise complete acne scar removal. That way, if your doctor suggests any of them, you will be vaguely familiar with it.

Laser therapy

Laser treatment is one of the top methods for removing the stubborn type of acne scarring non-surgically. The outer layer of the skin receives small bursts of micro-fine laser light damaging the tissue. Then, the natural healing process of the body flushes away the tissue and promotes collagen production.

Types of laser treatments for acne:

  • Carbon dioxide lasers
  • Active Fx and deep Fx laser
  • Frazel laser
  • Pixilation
  • Fractional laser treatment

The good things:

  • Laser therapies work in harmony with the skin tissue and the way it is structured.
  • The treatment is safer than surgical lasers, glycolic acid, or chemical peels which also tend to remove the top layers of the skin in a more aggressive way.
  • The results are permanent.
  • It works for dark spots as well.
  • It is better than punch excision (a technique for removing problem skin with a tiny hand-held tool).

Things to consider:

  • No matter which type of laser treatment you pick to remove acne scars, just stay out of the sun at all times. That is, before and after each session. Additionally, you want to always apply sunscreen to prevent undoing the results of the therapy. And yes, you need to wear SPF even at home.
  • Each laser has different energy settings and wavelengths. Going for the wrong setting might cause irreversible damage to your skin cells.
  • On that note, choose your doctor wisely. It is easy to come across an unregistered clinic without certified dermatologists. If they don’t know what they are doing, you are in for a poorly done laser job. Unless you want to end up with a disfigured face, don’t go down that road. There are a few good health centres in Singapore that treat acne scars in a safe and effective manner.
  • Lasers carry a big price tag. It might not be the most budget-friendly solution for you.

Possible side effects:

  • For one, burning might be caused due to poor technique or high-intensity laser treatment. In turn, this will bring about dilated blood vessels, swelling, crusting, cyst, and oozing.
  • Blood spotting might occur, too.
  • If the biggest organ in your body is sensitive, an uneven skin tone might develop in the treated areas.
  • You may develop eczema, saggy skin, cyst or acne if the treatment is inconsistent.

Microneedling as a means of Acne Scar Treatment

This therapy involves a small device with tiny needles that does small punctures to the skin. It’s about the size of a pen and it’s not as spine-chilling as it sounds. The microscopic needles scratch the surface of your skin, forcing it to rebuild elastin and collagen. During the procedure, you may feel tickling or poking, but nothing unbearable, so to say.

Microneedling might be the best acne scar removal treatment if you are in your mid 20s or 30s. It works well for intense scar tissue, too. The deeper the scar is, the deeper the needles have to go. But don't worry about it. You will feel no pain during the procedure because they will numb the troubled area with lidocaine or a cream.

Things to consider:

  • There are at-home kits suited to people who don’t want to pay more for a non-surgical manipulation. However, these may not be as efficient as the tools that a health centre has. Plus, an experienced doctor will know what they are doing and follow all safety measures. Besides, you can always consult with them if any problems arise.
  • You can have a microneedling procedure for $$$. The price will vary from clinic to clinic.
  • Strictly speaking, you will probably need more than one session.

AGNES Acne Treatment

agnes acne treatment

What is it? This is a revolutionary microneedling device that employs radiofrequency. Being a non-surgical procedure, it offers mild to no discomfort and plenty of benefits. What is more, it involves minimal risk and is efficient with regard to acne scar removal.

The AGNES device targets the sebaceous glands - the main culprits for pimples. By eliminating the problematic tissue, they not only remove the symptoms, but also the causes for acne.

Here is how it works. The doctor you task with the issue will apply topical anaesthetic cream on your face. Its purpose is to numb the area so you experience no pain during the treatment. Second, they will clean your skin, getting rid of the excess sebum. Third, they will prepare the micro-needle and then insert it into the problematic sebaceous glands. The radiofrequency current will kill the glands.

Things to consider:

  • Overall, the procedure will last between 30 minutes and 60 minutes.
  • Mind you that you will have to visit the specialist again on the next day for another session. The goal here will be to remove any impurities and debris left after the treatment. This time round they will use a surface probe to apply bipolar radiofrequency current.
  • How many sessions with the AGNES device should you attend to get rid of acne scars? Say, two or three depending on your condition. Clearly, severe scarring takes longer to heal.

And now the benefits:

  • Safety
  • No side effects
  • Low downtime
  • Low recurrence
  • Deep scar removal

If you are not convinced that this procedure is efficient, here is a review that might help:

What About the Marks?

If you are lucky enough to experience marks instead of scars, there are a few home treatments that you could include in your skin care routine to help even out your skin tone. Over-the-counter creams with lactic acid, glycolic or salicylic acids come with exfoliating properties and brighten the skin. Do not take it to extremes, though. Keep in mind that some brightening creams contain hydroquinone. Overuse of said ingredient can result in lasting grey pigmentation on your face.

Now, if you need a product that can work for both bright and darker skin tones, opt for a retinoid. It will help the healing process.

As for prescription treatments, this is something you have to consult a dermatologist about. They may put you on Retin-A-Micro, Tazorac, Differin, or any of the Elure products.

Before You go…

It is essential to remember there exist different types of scars and different kinds of people. Some of you may not need surgery at all. In fact, one of the above treatments will probably work like a charm for you. As long as you find the right therapy, complete acne scar removal is absolutely possible. Or, there is also the possibility that you are left with smaller but less visible scars. All things considered, you will see improvement in your overall complexion. The key job here is to find a specialist that has the know-how and really cares for you.

Ubiqi is a content site started by a group of professionals who work closely with the medical scene to help make factual, health information in Singapore easily accessible through the online space. All content published on Ubiqi is written either by doctors themselves or by professionals very close to the medical scene.