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Letting Go Of The Past: Removing Acne Scars

by Dr Wan Chee Kwang
September 9, 2022

Sometimes, the past leaves a tangible mark on us. Whether it is teenage acne, or something a little more recent, acne scars can appear in glaringly obvious spots on the face. Worse still, these scars are difficult to deal with if there is no proper treatment. Today, we’ll take a closer look at acne scars and how to deal with them!

How does acne leave such nasty scars?

Acne Scars Close up

Most pimples are temporary, disappearing after cleansing, retinoid use and the passage of time. Acne scars, however, can last for years after the pimples that caused them disappear.

Acne scars form because of three main reasons: 

  • Picking at skin located over and around the pimple.
  • Leaving acne or acne scars untreated.
  • Genetics.

Of these three reasons, picking and popping pimples tends to be the main reason for many acne scar cases. Often, the amount of inflammation and the individual’s healing ability determines the amount and risk of scarring.

In a smaller number of cases, people end up with scarring due to a genetic tendency. This is similar to situations where people inherit a vulnerability to other skin issues, like keloid scarring. If your close family members have a history of acne scarring, you might also be prone to it.

What are the effects of having acne scars?

Physically, acne scars do not cause any further negative effects. The same cannot be said for one’s mental and social well-being. 

A multi-centre dermatological study done in the United States found that acne scars had a substantial negative impact on the affected individuals’ overall social and functional well-being.

Man sitting by the table

Many subjects in the study with medium to severe scarring reported feeling less happy about their bodies, less confident, and most notably, less happy when looking in the mirror. The study also found that the more severe the scarring, the more likely the subjects would rate themselves as anxious and less social.

Having heightened anxiety and being less social causes a significant negative impact on people’s lives since anxiety and social awkwardness tends to result in less social interaction and boosts the probability of getting less out of life.

What can help to heal acne scars naturally?

Woman receiving Acne Scar Treatment

In general, acne scars will fade slightly over time. Unfortunately, some of the scars that develop might not disappear entirely.

Additionally, acne is easier to treat than acne scars. This is why the first thing that you can do for your skin is to get medical help for your acne immediately. A prescription of topical products like retinoids and antibiotics could help to reduce inflammation. In turn, this helps to reduce the severity of acne scars. 

Aside from that, here are a few things you can do to promote natural healing of acne and prevent more scarring:

  • Use a good sunblock to prevent scars from darkening.
  • Avoid picking at your acne as bacteria in your nails can increase scar formation risks.
  • Avoid smoking as it can worsen acne scarring. Some studies have shown that cigarette smoke complicates the process of wound healing, which can promote scarring.
  • Use tea tree oil on problem spots to help reduce inflammation and scarring. 
  • Some studies have shown that coconut oil may help improve skin condition by killing bacteria, moisturizing the skin, and reducing inflammation.
  • Aloe Vera regulates melanin production, helping to reduce pigmentation and discolouration to make acne scars less obvious.

What can be done to treat acne scars when they don’t heal naturally?

Patient undergoing acne scar removal

For those suffering silently, the good news is that acne scars can be treated with a variety of evidence-based treatment options. As such, they should be treated as early as possible. For those undergoing acne scar removal here in Singapore, treatment options can include:

Machine-based treatments: 

  • Fractional Infrared Lasers
  • Fractional Pico Lasers
  • Fractional Bipolar Radio Frequency
  • Fractional Microneedle Radiofrequency
  • Vascular Lasers

Procedural-based treatments:

  • TCA CROSS
  • Subcision and Filler
  • Scar Excision
  • Intralesional Steroid Injection

We can help!

Giving a hand for help

When it comes to removing acne scars, there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment. Therefore, patients with acne scars should undergo a detailed examination by a qualified doctor, who will then arrive at a suitable treatment option based on the patient’s skin type, scar type, and budget.

If you are tired of seeing an acne-scarred face in the mirror every morning, 1Aesthetic Medical & Surgery can provide you with the necessary diagnosis and treatment to alleviate the condition. Call us at 66125173, or WhatsApp us at 84899962.

References

1. Fried, R., Werschler, P., Berson, D., & Del Rosso, J. (2015, September). RESEARCH IN REVIEW - The Psychosocial Impact of Post-Acne Scarring. Retrieved from Dermatology Learning Network: https://www.hmpgloballearningnetwork.com/site/thederm/site/cathlab/event/psychosocial-impact-post-acne-scarring

2. University of California, Riverside. (2004, December 7). Cigarette Smoke A Culprit In Poor Healing And Increased Scarring . Retrieved from Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041206191153.htm

3. Palmer, A. (2022, June 8). Topical Prescription Acne Treatments. Retrieved from Verywell Health https://www.verywellhealth.com/topical-prescription-acne-treatments-15629

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