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Acne & Scars Profile Image

Acne & Scars

Acne scar treatments depend on the severity of your case. Some acne scars are more superficial and appear in small areas of hypopigmentation, or loss of skin color. Other acne scars are more severe, appearing as deep pits or large, raised scars that can affect skin texture.

What is an acne scar?

An acne scar is a permanent depression or elevation on the skin after injury to your skin due to acne. 

Acne scars are commonly a result of cystic acne (big and red pimples) or inflamed pustular acne (pus-filled pimples), especially if you squeeze or pop them!

Atrophic acne scars appear as depressions in the skin.  

The 3 main categories of atrophic scars are:

   1    Ice pick scars: Deeper than they are wide, with a narrow opening.

   2    Boxcar scars: Broad, rectangular depressions with steep, defined edges.

   3    Rolling scars: Broad depressions that have rounded, sloping edges.

Elevated acne scars are known as hypertrophic scars and keloid acne scars.

Acne Scars vs Post-Acne Marks: What’s the Difference?

You may have an acne mark (not permanent), instead of an acne scar (permanent).

Patients often mistake dark acne marks for acne scars. It's important to distinguish between the two.

Ice pick scar Singapore

These ice pick scars are likely to be permanent, without any further treatment.

pigmented scar Singapore 

Red scar

These dark coloured post-acne marks/ spots are can be red (post-inflammatory erythema) or brown (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).

They generally disappear on their own within 3 to 6 months. You can expedite the process with a diligent treatment of topical retinoid cream, sunscreen, and pico laser treatments.

Is acne scarring preventable?

Yes!

If scarring acne (usually cystic or pustular acne) is stopped early with aggressive treatment, you can even avoid acne scars completely. 

Acne treatment involves oral isotretinoin, topical creams, and laser treatments.

Treat acne early and aggressively, because acne scarring is harder to treat and costlier to treat as well.

How much improvement can I expect after acne scar treatment?

In my experience with acne scar treatments in Singapore, most patients can expect an average improvement of 70% after treatment. For the majority of cases, patients see a 70 - 80% improvement in acne scars.

The first few treatments often result in the most noticeable improvements. 

The law of diminishing returns applies - eg. after achieving 80%, it's much more difficult to attain another 5 - 10% of scar improvement.

The amount of improvement also depends on:

  • the type and severity of acne scarring you have
  • your skin type and skin response to treatment. 

For example, dark-skinned patients with atrophic scars may only see improvements of 50%, while patients with shallow box-car scars can see improvements of up to 85%.

What are the most effective acne scar treatments? 

Acne scar treatments that have imprpoved the appearance of scars for many patients I've met are:

   1    Laser treatment eg. fractional CO2 laser

   2    Radiofrequency (RF) microneedling eg. INFINI

   3    Chemical peels eg. TCA CROSS

   4    Subcision

   5    Punch excision/grafting

   6    Dermal fillers eg. Juvederm, Restylane, Rejuran Healer, and Stylage

The treatment recommended by your doctor depends on:

  • the type and extent of acne scarring you have
  • the amount of downtime after treatment you're willing to accept

What’s the cost of acne scar treatment in Singapore? 

This depends on the type and extent of scarring you have, and the nature of treatment required.

After surveying more than 50+ clinics that offer acne scar treatments, here's the average price range of acne scar removal in Singapore:

  • Mild to moderate acne scar treatment in Singapore costs: $1800 - $3500
  • Severe acne scar treatment in Singapore costs: $2800 - $8000

Effective acne scar treatments usually require lasers and minor skin surgery procedures.

This has to be performed by a trained medical doctor in a clinic.

AESTHETIC PROCEDURE

TREATMENT NAMES

COST IN SINGAPORE

Fractional C02 lasers

DEKA Smartxide

“DOT”

Lumenis Ultrapulse

Fraxel Repair

Edge CO2 

Lutronic eCO2

Mixto SX

$400 - $1000/session

3-6 sessions required

Fractional erbium lasers

Fraxel Dual

Pixel Pro

Mosaic by Lutronic

Cutera Pearl

Sciton Profractional

$400 - $800/session

2-5 sessions required

Fractional micro-needling Radio-frequency Laser

Lutronic Infini

Intracel

EndyMed Intensif

$900 - $1500/session

2-3 sessions required

Fractional Picosecond Laser

PicoPlus

PicoSure

Picoway

Discovery

$600 - $1200/ session

2-5 sessions are required

Chemical peels

TCA Cross

$150 - $500/ session

2-3 sessions are required

Punch Biopsy

 

$500 - $2000/ session depending on severity and area of scars

Subcision (+/- filler)

 

$400 - $1000/ session

Filler costs are usually separate. From $500 onwards.

Pneumatic subcision

Enerjet 2.0

Airjet

$800 - $1500/session

2-5 sessions

Corticosteroid injection

 

$250 - $1000/ session

2-3 sessions

 

What factors affect the total cost of acne scar treatments?

Effective removal of acne scars requires several sessions of treatments. This is why the total cost of treatment can range from $3000 - $10,000.

1. Area, type, and severity of acne scars

Deeper scarring that affects a larger area of the face would require a more intensive treatment with multiple sessions. This translates to higher total cost.

For example, shallow acne scars affecting a tiny area of the cheeks may only require 1 session of subcision, and 1 session of Edge Fractional CO2 laser. That will not cost more than $800.

However, deep acne scars affecting the full face and neck may require more than 6-10 sessions of different types of treatments. This can bring the cost closer to $10,000.

2. Type and Brand of Lasers:

The price is often determined by the “brand” of the laser.

Lasers range from $50,000 to $300,000 for top lasers.

3. Doctor’s experience and expertise:

Laser technology is important because it is a valuable tool that enable your doctor to deliver results.

However, the experience of your doctor in treating acne scars matters just as much, if not more.

An expert acne scar specialist can advise on the most suitable treatments (usually a combination) for you so that you do not waste unnecessary money on treatments that are inappropriate for your scar type and skin type.

4. Post-laser Care:

Post-laser recovery creams, antibiotics, and sunblock are essentials for good recovery and to minimise complications.

Expert tip: Ask for any hidden costs! Find out if your post-laser recovery creams and sunblock are included in the treatment price.

Medically authored by Dr Justin Boey, last updated 1 Jan 2019. 

Hi, The treatment of acne scars is dealt with in much detail in the acne forum which you may wish to refer too. Realistically, 25-50% improvement will be achievable with combination therapy (subcision, scar revision, fractional lasering, fractional microneedle RF, fractional picosecond lasering...
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Hi, Over the recent years, food factors have been shown to contribute to acne flares. The 2 main food groups aggravating acne are: 1. High glycemic index foods. These include high sugar content food, fruit juices, soft drinks, desserts, sweet sna...
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This Medical Director Shares Tips On Laser Skin Resurfacing Aftercare Management

This Medical Director Shares Tips On Laser Skin Resurfacing Aftercare Management

Laser skin resurfacing is the gold standard when it comes to treating skin irregularities. In recent years, laser skin resurfacing treatments have seen a surge in popularity in various countries, including Singapore, thanks to advancements in laser technology which has made it more effective and safe at the same time. [1] However, as effective as it is, there tends to be some confusion or lack of knowledge among the public when it comes to aftercare management. Aftercare is just as important as the actual procedure as it ensures optimal results from the treatment and reduces potential side-effects from this incredible rejuvenating procedure.

Dr Chin Yee Choong is the medical director of Dermclear Aesthetic & Laser Clinic. On DoctorxDentist, he provided some valuable insight involving key issues, complications and important aspects regarding aftercare management for skin laser resurfacing. Here's what he has to say.

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Thank you for the question. The bumps on the chest may be keloids, and these may have arisen from previous acne or injury to the area. It is advisable for you to see see your doctor or dermatologist for a proper examination to confirm the diagnosis. For keloids on the chest, intralesional inject...
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Hi, Adult acne affects 5% of males and about 10% of females. In female adult acne, hormonal factors may be responsible. Treatment strategies are similar to that for adolescent acne. Mild acne being treated with topicals. Moderate acne will require additional oral medication su...
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Hi, Effective acne treatment ingredients include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, adapalene, tretinoin, clindamycin and erythromycin. Do look up on relevant topics in the acne forum to learn more how the various ingredients are used in combination to achieve synergistic...
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Treating Rolling Acne And Box Scars: A Doctor Shares Tips

Treating Rolling Acne And Box Scars: A Doctor Shares Tips

Acne is not just a passing condition. Long after the acne is gone, scars in a variety of shapes and forms can emerge. Some common scar types experienced by patients include box and rolling acne scars. Fortunately, there are specific treatments and methods that can help improve the appearance of skin with box and rolling acne scars, which a DoctorxDentist reader asked about recently.

With expertise in threadlift procedures and acne scar treatments, Dr Ho Rui Ming serves as the medical director of M-Aesthetic Clinic. On DoctorxDentist, he shed light on the most effective ways to deal with acne scars. Here are our key takeaways.

201 views 10 Jun 2019
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