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How to get rid of mild acne scars and marks? (photo)

Acne & Scars Skin, Hair & Nails

I've had acne scars and marks left behind after an outbreak 2 years ago. What are my options in getting rid of these? Thank you very much.

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

The issue you are facing is a very common problem faced by many people. Looking at your photos, you essentially have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (the brown spots), superficial scars and enlarged pores.

Although post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) self resolves, it may take months to years! Topical creams containing retinoids and hydroxyquinone can be prescribed to hasten the lightening of the marks. Use of sunblock is also very important as sunlight exposure can darken the spots.

With regards to your superficial scars and enlarged pores, chemical peels , laser photo-rejuvenation (e.g. using Q-switched laser) and Broadband Light (BBL) treatment can be used to improve the appearance of your scars. Chemical peels work by removing the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less irregular in appearance. Lasers and BBL work by stimulating collagen growth, thereby plumping up and reducing dept of scars. They also have the additional beneficial effect of improving appearance of PIH. Several sessions of treatments are usually needed for optimal results

Lastly, it is important to prevent further acne outbreaks as they can cause further scarring and PIH. Fortunately, topical retinoids that you may be using for your acne scars will also help prevent further outbreaks.

It is best to discuss treatment options with your treating physician. Individual preferences and costs also play a part in determining the best treatment plan for you.

Hope you find this helpful!

Best regards,

Dr. Soh

434 views 21 Jan 2019

Thanks for writing in, this question resonates with a lot of readers. I hope that your acne has improved and you experience less outbreaks now. It is important to minimise the occurrence of new pimples so that you do not have further scars.

As the resolution of your photo is limited, I can see brown marks as well as shallow scars, and enlarged pores on your face. 

Do apply a non-oily sunscreen daily to minimise the brown marks, as excessive sun exposure can worsen the marks.

Topical retinoids such as tretinoin cream (to be prescribed by a doctor) can help to prevent new acne and improve the appearance of shallow scars.

As your scars do not appear to be deep, options such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing (fractional or non-fractional picosecond laser resurfacing) can help in collagen renewal and scar improvement.

Do visit a dermatologist for a proper assessment. 

Best regards,

Dr Ker Khor Jia

793 views 6 Dec 2018

Thanks for your close up photos.  

You have brown marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), shallow atrophic scars and enlarged pores on your face. 

Best Treatment for brown marks in Singapore - Post-Inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Brown marks (Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) tend to fade over time.

However, some of my patients have PIH that can take close to a year to resolve.

1. Sun block/ sun protection

2. Topical retinoids

3. Pigment Laser (eg. Pico Laser)

Best Treatment of Atrophic scars and Enlarged pores in Singapore

1. Chemical peels 

2. Laser resurfacing (fractional or non-fractional picosecond laser resurfacing)- will help to improve your scars through collagen stimulation.

3. Subcision- helps to release underlying scar tissue.

Usually several sessions of acne scar treatments (laser/non-laser treatments) will be required for best acne scar removal results.

Acne Scar Treatment Cost in Singapore

Before starting treatment, you might want to check out this guide on acne scar treatment costs in Singapore.

Hope this helps!

Warmest regards,

Dr Justin Boey

758 views 8 Dec 2018
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