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At some point in our lives, especially during our adolescent years, every one of us (unless you are extremely blessed!) experienced those horrible acne breakouts. And unfortunately for some of us, the ghosts of these breakouts are still haunting us to this day - acne scars!
Are you plagued by horrible acne scars that are all over your forehead and cheeks? Could you not even post a picture without photoshopping your scars out? These horrifying reminder from our past acne affects our confidence that is why a lot of people are searching for ways to get rid of acne scars.
Are you curious about how to get rid of acne scars effectively? Continue reading to learn more!
How do acne scars form?
Before we get into ways on how to get rid of acne scars, it is vital to understand the causes of acne and how acne scars are formed. Acne develops when excess dirt, oil, dead skin cells and different skin flora cause blockage in the pores. Usually, there are two types of severe acne that cause scarring. These are:
- Cystic Acne
When this mixture of blockage particles becomes severe, it develops into a large, red, and inflamed pimple that grow deep in your skin that is very painful.
- Pustular acne (Inflamed)
Sometimes, this blockage causes some areas of the skin to bulge and form pus-containing pimples.
These severe acne usually cause lesions and inflammations especially if you couldn’t’ resist and pop them. Our body has its own way to compensate for these lesions by producing new collagen to repair the damage. As new collagen cells are formed, the texture of the skin changes by forming permanent depressions or elevations that result to a scar. In short, when your skin begins to heal, you can get acne scars. The type of acne scars that can develop will depend on how much excess collagen your skin has produced or lost during the healing process.
What are the types of acne scars?
Generally, acne scars are classified into two types: Atrophic Scars and Hypertrophic (Keloidal) Scars.
- Atrophic scars are formed when there is a loss of collagen resulting in tissue loss during the acne healing process and are characterized by deep depressions on the skin. Atrophic scars are further classified into three categories that are characterized by how the depression looks like. These categories are:
- Rolling scars: depression with large, rounded and sloping edges (typically M-shaped)
- Boxcar scars: depression with structured and steep edges (typically U-shaped)
- Icepick scars: typically narrow and deep
- Hypertrophic (Keloidal) Scars are elevated bumps on the skin caused by over-production of collagen during the acne healing process. These excess collagens settle on the area where the acne have been.
What is the difference between acne marks and acne scars?
Acne marks are different from acne scars. Acne marks are red or brown coloured spots (hyperpigmentation) that remain after a pimple heals.
Unlike acne marks, these spots are not influenced by collagen production and do not change the texture of the skin. Normally, acne marks fade and completely disappear over time (usually 2-4 months) with the help of proper skin care.
How can I prevent acne scars?
The scarring caused by acne can be prevented with early detection and administration of treatment during the early stage. If you feel that your acne is becoming severe and turning into cystic or pustular type, call your doctor instantly so you can be prescribed with proper acne scar treatment.
How do I find the right doctor in Singapore to get rid of acne scars?
There are numerous clinics in Singapore that offer a wide range of treatments to acne scars. In choosing the right doctor and clinic, keep in mind these following tips:
- Do your research and read reviews online
- Check for the doctor’s credentials (education and training)
- The type of treatments offered
- Ask for opinion from other people who have tried the treatments before
Can I really get rid of acne scars completely?
Acne scars by nature are permanent. Unfortunately, treatments only improve the appearance of the scar but cannot completely erase them. However, for some people with very bad acne scars, even the slightest improvement would mean a great deal for them and can ultimately improve how they see themselves. In Singapore, most patients can expect an average improvement of 60 – 80% after treatment. The extent of your treatment will be determined by your doctor and will greatly depend on:
- the severity of scarring on your skin (ice pick and shallow box scars are easier to treat)
- your skin type (sensitive skin may require more treatment sessions)
- how your skin responds to the treatment
How to get rid of acne in Singapore?
To help you get rid of acne scars, read on below the different conventional and advanced methods to get rid of acne scars.
Pros: Very cheap
Cons: Can be tedious, uncomfortable and not very effective
- Home Remedy Solutions
If you want a natural way of getting rid of acne scars, you may want to try home remedy solutions.
Based on what you see online, the most common home remedy for getting rid of acne is the papaya face mask—a tropical fruit mask that contains papain and chymopapain, the two enzymes that help dissolve dry dead skin cells. Combined with honey which is a natural antiseptic, this mask also helps to moisturize skin.
After application of home-made masks, you may feel very uncomfortable with the smell and may eventually become intolerable. Based on reports from patients, the results were not very effective. After subsequent use, very little significance can be observed.
- Commercial Products
Some people get rid of acne scars with the use of the commercial cosmetic product called Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)—a common skin care product composed of natural acids that act as an exfoliating product and removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells resulting to a more improved appearance of acne scarring. With the use of commercial products, a minimal reduction in acne scarring can be observed but not significant enough to even out the texture of your skin.
Pros: Very effective; can be used in combination with other treatments to produce better results
Cons: Can be very pricey
- Fractional CO2 Laser
Fractional CO2 Laser treatment is used to treat a ’fraction’ of the skin with uneven skin textures and acne scar depressions—a procedure that stimulates the natural healing process of our body to reconstruct lost collagen in the skin.
Throughout the Fractional CO2 Laser procedure, you may feel some minor discomfort and some tingling sensation, but the results will be satisfactory. Right after treatment, your face may feel swollen but after a few months, visible can already be seen as new collagen will have been formed.
Microneedling is a procedure that uses a patented microneedle system that reaches up to 3.5mm depth below the epidermis to get rid of acne scars even in the deeper tissue levels.
As shared by former patients, the results from a combination of Fractional CO2 Laser and microneedling have been proven to be very significant in getting rid of acne scars.
- Chemical Peels
Chemical peel is a procedure which uses acid to burn the topmost layer of skin off causing it exfoliates over time. Through this procedure, further acne scar improvement is facilitated. After the chemical peel procedure, your skin will have lesser uneven discoloration, and your acne scars will become evidently smoother.
- Skin Boosters and Fillers
Skin Boosters or Fillers use specially formulated chemicals that are administered in the form of micro injections to repair damaged skin. These specially formulated boosters are designed to have no side effects and packed with skin improving powers to give you a smoother and glowing look! In essence, fillers or boosters can help get rid of acne scars by improving your skin's quality as well as renew dermal cells for a healthier and even skin texture.
After consultation and prepping, the skin booster will be injected into target areas where widespread acne scarring can be found. After skin booster injection, your whole face may become red and swollen. As for downtime, you will be amazed that it will be just one sleep away! The large red swollen bumps and blood blisters after injection will eventually disappear from your face by the next morning.
For the result, gradual improvement of skin texture will become visible over time. Noticeably, the scars on your forehead will recover around the 5-6 weeks and your skin will be smoothened out significantly!
How much does it cost to get rid of acne scars in Singapore?
The prices for getting rid of acne scars in Singapore may range from $1500-$4500 depending on the type of treatment and the severity of the scars. Severe acne scarring will cause more than mild ones because severe scarring is harder to treat.
It cannot be denied that getting rid of acne scars may require multiple and successive combination of treatments. And like any other medical procedure, results can vary from person to person. To achieve the optimal results, it is best to discuss with your doctor the potentials of each treatment, so you can an informed decision and finally say goodbye to photoshop and have that photo ready skin all day!