Need COVID-19 guidance? Check out our latest resources

How to smoothen acne scars? (photo)

  • Answered2 times
  • Viewed1,058 times

Doctor’s Answer (2)

Hi Ruzaini 

From your photo, it appears that you do have some shallow box car (crater type) and ice pick scars on your cheek.  

For treatment of the box car scars, the fractional CO2 laser is a good choice. This creates micro-columns of heat injury in the skin to stimulate new collagen. As a result, the scars will gradually become shallower and less prominent. At least 3-5 sessions spaced 6 weeks apart are needed to see improvement, and there is downtime to be expected of at least 4-6 days with post treatment redness. The SMARTXIDE will be a good example of a fractional CO2 as it is combined with RF simultaneously for increased effectiveness. 

You can also consider a fractional PICO laser (e.g. PICO Discovery) , which is newer in the industry. It creates special light induced breakdown in the skin to stimulate new collagen production in the scars. Similarly, a few sessions will be needed to see improvement. 

Any larger box car scars can be treated with subcision, where a needle is inserted under the scar to break down and release the scar tissue. This can also be combined with fillers to get the scar as shallow as possible. 

For small ice pick scars, TCA cross can be considered.

On a sidenote, it is also important to control any active acne you may currently be having as you do not want to get any new scars whilst on treatment. This can be done by either topical or oral medications. Please see your doctor to discuss the most suitable treatment for you.

I hope you find this helpful!

Wei Sheng


"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

You have a combination of rolling scars and boxcar acne scars. From your photo, you do seem to have ice-pick acne scars as well.

I tailor my treatments according to the type of scars that my patients have.

For your Rolling/ Atrophic Scars, the treatments of choice are: 

  • Fractional CO2, 
  • Micro-needling Radiofrequency (Infini RF), 
  • Fractional PicoLaser

For your Boxcar Scars, I suggest:

  • Subcision with fillers, 
  • Fractional CO2

For ice-pick acne scars, I suggest:

  • TCA Cross 

The dark brown spots that you see are Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). These tend to fade over time. However, if you would like to speed up the removal of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, you can consider a Picosecond Nd-YAG Laser.

Several sessions of each treatment are required for optimal scar improvement results. I usually combine several types of treatments in 1 treatment session to target each scar specifically.

Treatment intervals are usually 1 month apart.

For more details, see these 2 posts on Acne Scar Treatment Costs in Singapore and Pico Lasers in Singapore.

Hope that this helps!

Warmest regards,

Dr Justin Boey

Not the answer you're looking for? Just ask your own question now FOR FREE.

Read This Next
A Complete Guide To Pico Lasers In Singapore (2020)

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

“Pico Toning” is a recent buzzword in aesthetic medicine, so it's no surprise that Pico Lasers in Singapore are one of the most popular treatment nowadays.

Patients who see me for pigmentation problems commonly ask me these questions:

  • “Is PicoLaser a brand or a type of laser technology for treating Pigmentation?”
  • “Doctor, how is PicoLaser different from other lasers? Which is better?”
  • “What can PicoLasers treat?”

This guide explains in detail how Picosecond lasers can help you for your pigmentation issues. 

Acne Scar Removal Treatment in Singapore: Cost & Types

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Battling acne scars? Find out exactly how much you need to spend to get rid of these pesky marks from an experienced doctor.  

An Aesthetic Doctor Reviews Acne Scar Removal Treatments in Singapore (2020)

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Dealing with acne in your youth is bad enough, but the scars left behind can be a real nightmare.

New patients often ask me 2 common questions:

  • “I’ve tried one laser session before. Why don’t I see results yet?”
  • “I still have acne scars and uneven skin texture despite 10 sessions of chemical peels. Why?”

This is why I have decided to write this article to help those of you who are struggling with acne scars. The best outcomes usually result from a combination of different methods, individualised to your skin type and scar! Here's what you need to know. 

All You Need To Know About Hormonal Acne: A Singaporean Aesthetic Doctor Explains

Acne… oh, acne… It can be super frustrating as it really affects our appearance.

Hormonal acne can affect anyone at any age. It is named as such because changes in our hormone levels can cause it. You may be wondering how hormonal acne can be treated. For instance, you may be considering:

  • home remedies,
  • OTC creams or 
  • medical treatments.

Read on to find out in more detail how you can get hormonal acne treated!

The Ultimate Guide to Fractional Lasers by an Aesthetic Doctor in Singapore (2020)

Having smooth skin that is free of acne scars and wrinkles is the dream of many. There is little we will not do to achieve skin that becomes the envy of others.

As an aesthetic doctor who specialises in customised laser treatments, I have written this article about fractional lasers to help guide you in choosing which fractional laser treatment works best for you. 

Request Quotes From Doctors

Based on your requirements, we will recommend up to 5 expert medical doctors.

Get Treatment Quotes
Related Questions
In the treatment of acne scar, the most commonly used peel is TCA (trichloroacetic acid). This peel, like most chemical peels, can be used at different concentrations, varying from 35% to 100% for acne scars. Lower concentrations are useful for ... Read Full Answer

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Hi! Thank you for your question and photos. From your photos, you have a combination of acne scars - you have depressed scars (ice pick acne scars, box-scar acne scars) and post-inflammatory erythema (red marks). It is best to treat these acne ... Read Full Answer

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Hi, Severe acne scars can be improved and smoothened to a significant extent - improvement by a few grades on the acne severity score or up to 80% improvement.   Your acne scar types are rolling and box car acne scars. The most ... Read Full Answer

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Your skin would be the most sensitive during the recovery phase after laser resurfacing for acne scars. It takes away the top layer of your skin and a part of the second layer of your skin by superheating water within it. This controls the ... Read Full Answer

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Hi!Your boxcar and rolling acne scars can be improved and smoothened to a significant extent - improvement by a few grades on the acne severity score or up to 80% improvement. I use a combination of different types of acne scar treatments to ... Read Full Answer

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

Hi, There are much more effective and proven treatments for acne scars such as subcision, fractional lasers and micro-needling that you should consider first. Rejuran Healer may be the current craze for anti-ageing treatment but it is more ... Read Full Answer

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

Hi, Generally, very deep acne scars that are less than the diameter of the punch (usually 3mm in diameter) are candidates for punch excision as these scars respond very poorly to other modalities of acne scar treatment such as subcision and ... Read Full Answer

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

Hi, As acne scars are deep and due to disorganized collagen scar tissues formed following active acne inflammation, topicals (creams, gel, lotions) are generally ineffective in treating them. Hence, aloe vera gel will not help with acne scars. ... Read Full Answer

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

All topical treatments including Hiruscar only give a minimal improvement of any acne scars. The main effective treatments still depend on energy-based devices such as : Laser treatment Good for acne scars and acne marks. ... Read Full Answer