Acne scars occur as a direct result of deep trauma to the skin caused by acne inflammation leading to either over or under production of collagen. External factors such as picking on acne lesions can worsen scar formation.
Acne scars typically occur in the form of permanent depressions or indentations in your skin. Scars can sometimes be elevated as well. They result in textural changes of the skin.
Acne scars are often a result of the inflammation your skin undergoes when acne is formed. The inflammatory process damages the skin tissues in your skin. When the skin is damaged, a scar is left behind in the deep layer of the skin, known as the dermis. Often, this scar is contracted or does not contain enough collagen fibres, leading to an irregularity or depression in the skin. They are often worsened if you are prone to picking or popping your pimples.
If acne is treated in its early stages, it is possible to avoid acne scars completely.
Not all acne scars are the same. There are a variety of types of scars, each of which requires a different or customized procedure to treat effectively. It is common to have a combination of a few types of scars.
Ice pick scars have a narrow opening but are often deep acne scars in the skin.
Box car scars are relatively shallow scars and have rather rectangular, well-defined edges of the openings.
Rolling scars appear as broader depressions. These scars don’t have well-defined edges but rather, often have rounded or sloping edges.
These scars are elevated. They appear as lumpy scars that remain after acne has healed.
This is because after the skin is inflamed, fibrous scar tissue will form over the wound to repair the wound site. Sometimes, these scar tissues grow excessively, resulting in an elevated bump over the original wound.
Post Inflammatory Erythema usually appear in the form of pink or red marks that are a result of a severe acne outbreak.
Post Inflammatory Erythema often develop due to the dilation or damage of small blood vessels (called capillaries) near the surface of the skin. They are generally caused by inflammation and trauma, such as picking or popping pimples.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is often seen as dark spots on the face after acne has resolved. These marks are different from Post Inflammatory Erythema. They appear when the skin is healing, when the red marks fade away to leave a variety of discolouration spots that can be pink, red, brown or black.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is generally caused by trauma to the skin such as burns, excessive picking, rubbing, or irritation to the skin caused by chemicals. This results in the overproduction of melanin, resulting in the discolouration of the skin.
Acne marks are commoning mistaken for acne scarring due to the discolouration and redness they appear in. After an inflammatory acne outbreak, it is common to have a variety of marks and scars left behind.
Although they are easily confused, acne marks and acne scars are different.
Acne scars are often permanent depressions or elevations on your skin. They can be categorized into atrophic or hypertrophic scars, and they occur in a variety of shallow scars to deep scars. For example, there are ice pick scars, boxcar scars, rolling scars or keloid scars.
On the other hand, acne marks are generally not permanent. However, they can be extremely stubborn and last for weeks or months. Treatment options can help to significantly reduce the time needed for these marks to fade.
Unlike chemical peels and dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing using Fotona Er: YAG provides a controlled treatment of deep scars while leaving the surface skin undamaged. The precise and gentle delivery of Er: YAG laser energy vaporizes scarred tissue and stimulates the production of new skin-boosting collagen without harming the top skin layer. Recovery is faster with optimum results.
Er: YAG is increasingly becoming the laser treatment of choice in the treatment of acne scars due to its low occurrence of adverse events and faster recovery time. It has been clinically proven that CO2 laser treatments cause more discomfort and a higher chance of causing Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (i.e. darkened scarring of the skin after laser treatment) when compared to Er: YAG laser treatments.
The treatment procedure itself takes only about 15-20 minutes, topical numbing is applied beforehand for the acne scar treatment. Most patients are able to go about their normal daily activities after the treatment.
The Fotona laser treatment is effective with no pain involved. The skin may slightly warm post-procedure but this is highly tolerable.
The number of treatments required depends on the individual’s skin but generally, 2-4 sessions are recommended for acne scar treatment.
The permanence of your acne scars depends on the type of acne scars you have. Some shallower scars or marks may fade away over a period of time. They can also be treated simply with some over the counter topical cream applications for faster and more effective removal.
However, deep acne scars such as ice pick or rolling scars are generally permanent and require laser or other acne scar removal treatment options. Book a consultation with our doctors as they are best equipped to counsel you on the most effective acne scar treatment that is best for the types of scars you have.
Generally, there will be an average improvement of at least 50% after acne scar treatments. For most cases, you can expect a higher percentage than that. Results vary since every individual has different acne scars, skin conditions and genetics.
You will usually see the most improvement in your acne scars after the first few scar treatments.
The Fotona laser treatment accelerates the healing process of the scarring tissues and stimulates the production of natural skin-boosting collagen, producing effective long-term results.
Yes, the Fotona Laser is a viable treatment option even if you are on other medication since it is a non-ablative laser treatment.
Acne scars can definitely be prevented.
Acne scars generally root from problems with inflammatory acne. To prevent acne scars from forming, it is best to treat the root of the problem. Acne can sometimes be treated with various home remedies and over the counter medication. However, if your acne problems are not resolved by these options after months, it is wise to seek a consultation with your doctor.
At Fusion Medical, we have a variety of acne treatments available. By seeking early intervention for your acne, you can prevent the formation of scars, and save on the need for future acne scar removal treatments.
Fusion Medical was set up in the year 2015. Our founders, being passionate about offering one-stop quality healthcare services at affordable rates, decided to set up the first Executive Medical Centre in One-North. This centre is equipped with diagnostic and imaging equipment to provide convenience to our patients. Diagnostic and imaging equipment include X-Ray, Ultrasound, ECG treadmill, Spirometry, Tonometry, Mammogram, Electrocardiogram, Audiometry Tests and Bone Densitometry.
Dr Wenus Ho is a family physician and a designated workplace doctor with more than a decade of clinical experience. She is also currently a postgraduate tutor for the Graduate Diploma of Family Medicine (GDFM) Training Program in the Yong Yoo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore....
Dr Amy graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2008 and has undergone various postings in emergency departments, inpatient wards and polyclinics. She found her calling in Family Medicine and went on to attain...
After graduating from Guys’, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine in the United Kingdom, Dr Juliana went on to complete her Graduate Diploma in Family medicine at the National University of Singapore. She is currently pursuing her diploma in Occupational Medicine. Dr Juliana applies her...
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