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Is retacnyl, laser treatments or chemical peels more effective for eliminating acne scars?

Acne & Scars Aesthetic Medicine Laser Treatment Laser Treatment

Hi, I just had my first consultation with a dermatologist and was given retacnyl as I have acne-prone skin. I had asked about accutane but my doctor was hesitant in prescribing to me due to my history with depression. My dermatologist said that the retacnyl will help to clear my acne(very few) and my dark spots and mild acne scars. Would it actually help to eliminate my acne scars? I did ask about laser treatments/chemical peels but was recommended to try out the cream for some weeks first, since the cream is much cheaper than the other treatments.

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

I had asked about accutane but my doctor was hesitant in prescribing to me due to my history with depression.

Accutane is usually reserved for severe, recalcitrant, cystic acne or as a last resort.  Additionally, Accutane can also affect your liver, cholesterol, causes muscle aches, headaches, cause dryness to the skin/ mouth/ eyes etc.

In mild cases of acne, using such a “sledge hammer” option might not be the most appropriate choice.

My dermatologist said that the retacnyl will help to clear my acne(very few) and my dark spots and mild acne scars. Would it actually help to eliminate my acne scars?

True acne scars (depressed or raised) usually require more intense treatments but check back with your dermatologist on that for a definitive treatment plan.

Hope that helps.

All the best!


Dr Ho Rui Ming
MBBS

 M-Aesthetic Clinic

Royal Square @ Novena, #18-07, 101 Irrawady Road, Singapore 329565


2665 views 24 Jan 2018

Thanks for your question. I fully agree with the advice from your dermatologist and Dr Ethan.

Accutane carries risks, so if your acne is mild, its best to start with a retin A cream like retacnyl.

Retacnyl can control your acne breakouts and lighten your dark spots, which are called PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It promotes skin renewal and can help with the appearance of mild acne scars.

Achieving good control of your acne is the important principle towards helping your acne prone skin. This prevents new scars from forming, which is a big step forward. Dont be too worried about your existing acne scars. Focus on prevention first!

Hope this helps!


Dr Daniel Chang
MBBS, MRCS


2601 views 24 Jan 2018

Hi Aaron – I completely agree with whatever your doctor has done.

I had asked about accutane but my doctor was hesitant in prescribing to me due to my history with depression.

I’d err on the side of caution as well, as depression, although rare, is one of the side effects of accutane.

Moreover, you described your acne as mild so accutane would be an overkill.

My dermatologist said that the retacnyl will help to clear my acne(very few) and my dark spots and mild acne scars. Would it actually help to eliminate my acne scars?

It will certainly help to control your acne (best topical agent IMHO). This will prevent more scars from forming in the first place – great!

For acne scars, unfortunately retacnyl will only be more helpful for shallow scars and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), as its effects are primarily epidermal.

You didn’t mention what kind of acne scarring you have – The depth and type of your acne scars have to be evaluated. If the scars are deep, then there are more effective alternatives such as fractional laser, TCA peel, subcision.

I’d have done exactly as your dermatologist did however – start you on a topical cream to get the acne under control first. Prevent more scars from forming, rather than worry about the existing ones. You are going to have a lifetime to treat them – not to mention, if the scars are new, the skin is still remodelling and they may appear better over time too (especially if it’s PIH).

Cheers


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2559 views 24 Jan 2018
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