Acne Scar Removal – How to treat acne scars?
Acne is a skin disease that is both ruthless and unforgiving, affecting anyone regardless of age. Acne can appear anywhere with pores but it usually appears on the face, chest, back and sometimes neck. While age is not a determining factor, acne is especially common among those aged between 18 and 25. Acne can appear in various forms, form pimples to gaping pores to cysts. If suffering from acne wasn’t bad enough, there is also the high possibility of acne scars that may or may not go away. Scars aren’t pretty and no one wants to have to deal with them.
With the advancement of technology in the field of medicine, there are many forms of treatment for acne scar removal in Singapore. The latest is laser treatment and it is usually performed by dermatologists in hospitals or clinics. The severity of these laser treatments is adjusted according to the various levels of scars or acne. This procedure both rids the area of acne and bacteria but also reduces the redness that surrounds it. Prior to conducting the actual procedure, a dermatologist will first do an assessment of the patient to determine his or her suitability. Following that, the appropriate procedure will be decided on based on the assessment.
The popularity of laser in acne scar removal (especially in Singapore) has been on the rise in recent years. However, this popularity should not be a cause for you to immediately sign up for the treatments. A substantial amount of research should be done first so that you know what to expect and what you’re getting yourself into. This mental preparation will guide you to make a very well-informed decision.
Types of laser treatments available for acne scars
There are mainly two types of laser treatments available. One is ablative and the other is non-ablative.
- The ablative treatment
In simple terms, the top layer of the skin is removed so that the newer, smoother and more elastic bottom layer can surface.
- The non-ablative treatment
Unlike the ablative treatment, the top layer of skin is not removed. This treatment is aimed at stimulating collagen production so that the scars get filled naturally.
Types of ablative treatments
There are three primary forms of these treatments that are used in acne scar removal. The first laser is a CO2 laser. It is the most powerful and is used for deep skin resurfacing. The second laser is the Erbium laser. It is safer and less aggressive on the skin. The third laser is the fractional laser that only treats fractions of the skin, allowing for the surrounding areas to not be affected by the treatment. The sizes of these fractions can range from small spots to large craters.
The science behind laser acne scar removal
Lasers emit intense pulses of light that travel at a speed fast enough to generate sufficient power to either remove skin layers or stimulate collagen production in the deeper skin levels. The benefits of using lasers include the fact that it is incredibly precise and that can be programmed to remove the skin of any thickness.
As these treatments are invasive, it is normal for the skin to swell and turn red. This can last up to several months, depending on the depth of skin that was removed. To hurry the healing process along, it is important that protective and soothing creams are applied on a regular basis. Exposure to the sun should also be avoided. Points to note would be that acne may still appear due to the use of thick creams and that there may be a difference in skin pigmentation. The skin that had undergone treatment may appear lighter or darker than the untreated skin around it. While skin infections are uncommon, the risk of getting one is still present.
The cost of laser treatment for acne scars
The cost for CO2 or Erbium lasers ranges between $3000 and $6000 per session while fractional lasers cost approximately $1000 for a session. Multiple sessions may be required depending on the severity of the scars.
How effective are these procedures
These procedures are the recommended solutions for boxcar, rolling and ice picks acne scars as they produce permanent results. While those results are ideal, it is important to either do your own research or consult your dermatologist before making a decision. This is to avoid disappointment or shock when side effects or changes are experienced.
A consultation with your doctor would be able to determine the most appropriate procedure and intensity to achieve your desired results. The doctor’s advice is critical to treatment so make sure you find someone who is experienced like Dr Liu from centreforcosmetic.com. For the majority who undergo these procedures, a single session is all that is required. However, for those suffering from more severe acne problems, multiple sessions may be needed to achieve the desired outcome. The cost of these treatments vary and some may be steep so it is important to have a solid thought process before agreeing to anything.