Acne Scar Removal Treatment in Singapore

acne scar removal treatment singapore

Having acne breakouts is not fun, but having acne scars can greatly reduce our self-confidence and make us feel conscious about ourselves.

Acne scarring can be permanent, however an acne scar removal treatment in Singapore may help in reducing its appearance and removing it completely.

What exactly is an acne scar?

When your acne or breakout clears up and leaves behind a flat, reddened spot, this is called hyperpigmentation, or hypertrophic scars. Other times, remnants of the breakout can leave behind what is called atrophic scars, or depressed scars.

These are scars that form deep underneath the skin and can create an uneven, bumpy texture, and can be caused by picking at cystic acne or big pimples.

How are acne scars formed?

Your skin is generally one big organ, and as with any organ it requires time and essential nutrients to help it heal. With a scar, your skin produces more collagen to help it rebuild the skin structure and seal it, making it stronger. The formation of these scars are usually the result of your skin healing itself.

We will explain the process behind the formation of these different acne scars, the common causes as well as the process of acne scar removal treatments that are available in Singapore.

Types of acne scars

types of acne scars

Types of acne scars (source).

Atrophic acne scars form when the surrounding tissue of the breakout is aggravated, damaging the skin tissue underneath it as well. The scar will run deep in the structure of skin with acne scars, forming a depression, and to treat this your skin needs to produce more collagen.

Hypertrophic scars such as hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, occur above the surface of the skin and can happen when there is too much collagen, causing a discolouration.

Certain types of acne scars respond well to a majority of acne scar removal treatments while others may take longer to heal. Your therapist or dermatologist will need to first analyse your skin to determine which treatment will work best on your skin type.

1. Ice Pick Acne Scars

This type of scar gives the impression of punctured skin, due to the in-depth nature of the wound. On the outside, they may appear round and small (up to 2mm in diameter), but they can be difficult to treat with traditional methods.

ice pick acne scars

Ice pick scars (source).

2. Boxcar Acne Scars

Boxcar scars are more shallow than ice pick scars, and are by nature easier to remove using modern acne removal or skin resurfacing treatments. Under the skin, boxcar scars are more angular in shape, and typically appear around the cheeks and temples.

boxcar acne scarsBoxcar scars (source).

3. Rolling Acne Scars

Rolling scars can form as big as 5mm in diameter and are irregular in shape. They can be caused by damage caused deep in the skin, and have a slope-like appearance unlike boxcar scars.

4. Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars

Hypertrophic scars look like small bumps on the skin, depending on the size of the healed wound. Instead of having a depression, the wound on the skin is elevated above the skin’s surface.

While this type of scar is most common on the chest or back, hypertrophic scars can be any scar that matches the following description:

- Up to 4mm in height
- Firm and tender texture
- Discoloured, can be red or pink

Keloid scars on the other hand differ in terms of size. Keloid scars can continue to grow after a treatment, and require a different treatment to remove excess tissues from the surrounding skin and inhibit its growth.

hypertrophic and keloid scarsHypertrophic vs keloid scars (source).

5. Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Often, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH for short, is a result of an inflamed pus (pimple) and are discoloured. The excessive pigmentation on the surrounding skin tissue is the skin’s natural response to healing an inflammatory wound.

post-inflammatory hyperpigmentationHyperpigmentation (source).

Is acne scarring preventable?

Breakouts may come and go, but most acne scars are permanent. With the help of scar removal ointments that help reduce pigmentation in the skin, some scars may even fade on its own.

However, there are some ways you can greatly reduce the probability of your acne scarring.

You may even go on the impression that any form of acne, be it a lone zit or a cluster, can result in scarring, hence it is important to know how to tackle this inflammation lest it leave a scar behind that may be irreversible, save for our scar removal treatments.

Acne scars are usually the result of an inflammation of the skin, such as acne and the occasional breakouts. When the hair follicle on your skin becomes clogged with excess sebum, dead skin cells and germs, acne begins to form.

A lesion or a minor scar is caused by a rupture of the follicle wall when the pore swells up.

Severe scarring is caused by a deep rupture into the skin’s dermis layer, and damages the surrounding skin tissue.

As mentioned, your skin will need to produce copious amounts of the “building protein” collagen to repair the broken skin layer, however due to the deep tear, the resulting skin texture becomes bumpy and textured.

You may reduce the chances of these lesions forming and help your acne heal better (and faster) in the following ways:

1. Quick and swift treatment

As soon as you see it forming, make sure to “tackle” that pimple with the proper treatment. Acne-fighting ingredients like hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid can help in preventing future breakouts as well.

2. No squeezing

One of the golden rules in skincare is to never pick at pimples or dry scabs - this is to prevent the healing pimple from leaving a scar behind. Give the wound time to heal and the scab will come right off.


3. Seek professional help

If your breakout is getting out of control, forming clusters or having large cysts, see a doctor immediately. Smaller pimples can be a normal occurrence and due to many factors including hormonal imbalances, however bigger breakouts are usually a sign of a type of skin disorder, and may result in further skin damage if left untreated.

Cost of acne scar removal treatment in Singapore

The pricing of several acne scar removal treatments in Singapore may vary, though they heavily depend on the technique used and the severity of the acne scarring.


Treatment Laser RF microneedling Chemical peel Subcision Punch excision/
Cost / session $250 - $1000 $800 - $2000 300 $300 - $600 $200 - $350
No. of sessions needed 3-6 sessions 3-5 sessions 3-5 sessions 2-4 sessions -

How to get rid of acne scars in Singapore?

Some of the acne scar removal treatments available in Singapore are:

1. Laser treatment eg. Pico Laser

Laser treatments are effective in removing the surface layer of the skin, and are suitable for most skin conditions including breakouts, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acne scarring.

The Pico Laser is the newest laser technology available in Singapore, with the advanced power to emit light energy in the picosecond range, which is the fastest range in the spectrum.

By removing these damaged skin tissues through intense light beams, it will encourage the production of new and healthy skin cells. You will see an even appearance in your skin complexion with little to no downtime.

2. Radiofrequency (RF) microneedling eg. Venus Viva, INFINI, Intracel, EndyMed

Microneedling treatments are popular as they help to treat acne and uneven skin complexion through perforating the outer surface with tiny holes, thus stimulating the skin’s natural reaction in rebuilding the skin barrier with new skin cells.

Through this biological process, the radiofrequency (RF) microneedling was adapted and redesigned using RF energy, allowing for better precision through smaller needles and with lower side effects, such as redness on the surrounding skin.

RF energy also penetrates deeper into the skin, delivering better results in a shorter amount of time.

3. Chemical peels eg. TCA CROSS

Chemical peels are invasive treatments that involve the use of chemical substances to peel away the damaged tissues, thus paving the way for healthier skin cells to rise to the surface.

While harsh chemicals may help shallow acne scarring, it can result in dramatic side effects such as redness or lightening or darkening of the skin tone.

However, modern chemical peels have become more innovative and are designed specially to treat even the deepest acne scars, including ice pick scars. The latest treatments are well-known for the minimal downtime, thus allowing you to return to work the very next day.

chemical peels

4. Subcision

A subcision may be deemed as a minor outpatient surgical treatment due to the nature of the procedure. During the surgery, a small needle is used to penetrate the affected skin tissue, thus promoting cell growth and collagen production in the skin.

Subcision is more effective in treating shallow acne scarring such as boxcar scars and rolling scars, and results can be visible just 1-2 days after the first session.

Side effects after receiving a subcision surgery may include slight swelling or bruising on the targeted areas, which may last up to a week.

5. Punch excision/grafting

Also an invasive treatment, punch excision is only reserved for the most severe of acne scars.

Unlike a subcision, a small tool is used to remove acne scars like a “hole-punch” and the resulting wound is then stitched closed. It may take a week to remove the stitches, but this treatment is effective for deep scarring, like ice pick scars.

Punch grafting is similar to punch excision, however the wounds will be covered with a piece of skin taken from behind the ear to help close the wound and let it heal on its own.

What are the acne scar treatments Illumia Medical is offering?

Illumia Medical offers safe and effective acne scar removal treatments led by a team of aesthetic doctors, plastic surgeons and industry gurus, using only the latest, modern technology to help you achieve your desired skin complexion.

The Pico Laser treatment is an innovative technology designed to effectively eliminate acne, breakouts, pigmentation, melasma, wrinkles and acne scarring.

Also focusing on brightening and rejuvenating the skin, the treatment uses the speed of sound or Selective Photoacoustolysis to remove damaged particles in the skin, thus revealing the brighter, smoother skin underneath with minimal to no downtime.

Illumia’s medical team of skin experts are well-equipped to provide you with a consultation on your skin analysis and the best way to treat your skin according to your unique skin type, condition and your goals.

Schedule a consultation with our acne scar doctor today.

Acne Scar Treatment FAQs

Can acne scars be permanent?

Depending on the severity or intensity of the inflammation, the lasting impression of acne scarring can vary. While some may fade on their own with time, most acne scars are permanent and may come in the form of ice pick scars, boxcar scars, rolling scars, hyperpigmentation or hypertrophic or keloid scars.

Why do I need to consult a doctor for acne scars?

Professional therapists and dermatologists are able to perform procedures such as extractions or exfoliation as they keep a clean environment and use sanitized tools to remove the acne pus. When we do it at home, there is seldom a guarantee that our hands or fingers are 100% clean, hence we may run the risk of infection or possibly spread the bacteria from the pus to other non-affected areas.

Are acne scar removal treatments effective?

Yes, acne scar removal treatments are recommended for anyone who wants smoother-looking skin. Illumia Medical’s Pico Laser is effective in treating acne, breakouts, acne scars, pigmentation, melasma, liver (age) spots, freckles and tattoo removal.

Are acne scar removal treatments painful?

Depending on the type of treatment you are prescribed, acne scar removal treatments may range in pain intensity. For invasive treatments such as subcision, the procedures may be slightly painful due to the nature of the surgery. Non-ablative treatments like Illumia’s Pico Laser have been reported to have tolerable pressure by satisfied clients.

Am I eligible for an acne scar removal treatment?

Every skin is unique. Our specialists will run a thorough skin analysis for you to better understand your skin type, condition and its needs, and discuss with you on your treatment options to help you achieve your desired results.

How is acne scar treatments different from ointments and topical creams?

Certain scar-removal ointments containing glycolic and salicylic acid can help in gradually reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. With acne scars like ice pick scars or boxcar scars, which are some of the most common types of atrophic scars, these may require professional help.


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