Acne scars need not stay with you for life, according to experts.
Unless you are into the art of Kintsugi, which is the practice of repairing fractures in porcelain with varnish or resin powdered with gold, and through this transformation, the scars are prized for beautifying the object, I doubt you would be one to appreciate the “beauty” of scars on your face and body.
In a philosophical sense, scars serve as a reminder and even caution of past actions, but I’m pretty sure there are just some parts of your past you’d rather not remember. Case in point, your acne-prone adolescent years.
Acne scarring is not uncommon for those who have had moderate to severe acne. The following types of scar typically occur in acne:
- Ice-pick scars – these are deep, narrow, pitted scars
- Rolling scars – broad depressions with sloping edges
- Boxcar scars – broad depressions with sharply defined edges
- Atrophic scars – flat, thin scars or depressed scars
- Hypertrophic or keloid scars – thick lumpy scars
So, what can you do to tackle those scars? Read on to find out the top recommendations according to medical experts.
Beam me up Scottie
Vbeam Perfecta is the most advanced Pulsed Dye Laser Technology; the gold standard FDA approved, latest generation of multi-tasking laser that boasts a host of benefits including treating redness, pigmentation, stubborn acne and acne scars, while rejuvenating facial skin at the same time. The Vbeam Perfecta has a unique ability to deliver intense but gentle pulsed laser energy to selectively targeted blood vessels without adversely affecting the surrounding tissue.
“Red acne scars and even reddish stretch marks do very well with Vbeam laser” says Dr Kenneth Lee, medical director of SW1 Clinic. “In fact some of my patients do see improvements from the very first session”.
Each treatment takes about half an hour. An anaesthetic cream is applied to the area to ensure maximal comfort. A protective eye shield is then put on for you. Each pulse of laser is delivered with a spray of cool air to protect the outer skin and provide comfort, making the procedure virtually painless.
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There is no downtime after the treatment – you can apply makeup immediately after if needed and continue with your normal activities.
Wow factor: Vbeam does double duty reducing redness of unsightly acne scars as well as prevent new pimple formation, killing two birds with one stone!
One of the latest and most innovative laser to hit the market, Pico Smooth which uses picosecond laser, is an exciting new laser device which our doctors are discovering for anti-aging and complexion smoothing needs. Using ultra-short bursts of energy, the picosecond laser hits your skin in one trillionth of a second, delivering a powerful punch to your skin’s problems, without damaging normal skin surrounding it.
Pico Smooth gives hope to skin with facial acne scars as well as wrinkles, as it deeply stimulates a natural repair mechanism, resulting in growth of new collagen and elastic tissue.
“This is my personal favourite laser” says Dr Low Chai Ling founder of SW1 Clinic, who averages about twenty Pico Smooth treatments per day. “My patients love the improvement in the texture and quality of their complexion, and they tell me even makeup application is a breeze after one session”.
With a little bit of numbing, only a very mild prickling sensation is experienced at parts of the face. The picosecond laser operates at a much faster speed compared to the carbon dioxide laser, so most patients are barely aware of it working, and if they do, the laser has usually moved on to another part of the face.
The skin will be mildly pink by the end of the whole treatment. Light makeup can be applied immediately post laser.
The Pico Smooth treatment uses a fractionated picosecond laser instead of the carbon dioxide laser to smoothen out acne scars. Unlike the carbon dioxide laser which needs to be judiciously used in darker skin individuals to avoid complications, Pico Smooth can offer the same dramatic treatment, with significantly lower risks.
Wow factor: Pico Smooth not only refines pitted scars, it also smoothens skin to such an incredible degree, it has been able to transform complexion to a glassy, refined finish, hence an offering of six sessions was nicknamed the Glass Skin Program.
Better in twos
SW1 Clinic introduces the flagship Fraxel DUAL Laser to kick-start your skin’s natural rejuvenation processes for optimal skin rebirth.
In the decade since Fraxel first pioneered true fractional laser, Fraxel Laser treatment has remained as the world’s leading premiere fractional laser resurfacing technology which addresses the many different aspects of dermal aging, providing remarkable overall skin rejuvenation with minimal downtime.
As the name implies, Fraxel DUAL is actually a two-in-one duo wavelengths (1550nm & 1927nm) laser system which can be used together or separately, customized to suit the varying needs and concerns of different individuals.
1550nm for Resurfacing
By inducing collagen remodeling, it helps to rebuild diminishing collagen stores over the next few months, leading to the reduced appearance of deep wrinkles and acne scars with an overall improvement inthe skin tone.
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1927nm for Pigmentation
Used to address sun-related textural imperfections, busting undesirable superficial pigmentation such as solar lentigines (sun spots),lentigines (agespots) and ephelides (freckles) for a flawless mien. This stronger laser helps to improve fine lines, texture, pores, and even targets pre-cancerous skin cells known as Actinic Keratosis.
A thin layer of numbing cream is applied onto the skin prior to treatment, and cold air is used during the procedure to cool down the treated area(s). Most patients describe the feeling of the Fraxel DUAL Laser treatment as an increased sensation of heat.
Immediately post treatment, your skin may appear pink or red and slightly swollen much like a sunburn. This sensation usually diminishes within a few hours and gradually disappears over the next day or two.
“Fraxel Dual is great for skins that has a bit of everything, from scars to pigment as it has such a wide-reaching set of benefits” says Dr Chua Han Boon.
Wow factor: This is the latest generation Fraxel technology that combines two wavelengths to transform skin from inside out. Besides its acne-scar erasing prowess, Fraxel Dual has great collagen building benefits resulting in more youthful looking skin.
It pays to be SMART(X)
SmartX is the gold standard in laser resurfacing for individuals who want the ultimate facial rejuvenation treatment available. Utilizing highly innovative technological platforms, SmartXide DOT will truly transform the way your skin looks and feels by improving not just one but all three parameters of your skin – tone, texture and colour.
Unlike traditional CO2 and other laser resurfacing technology, SmartX micro-resurfacing laser combines advanced fractional CO2 technology with a high-speed computer scanner to deliver a precise matrix of microlaser pulses which erase skin imperfections and activate skin rejuvenation, while facilitating rapid skin healing. Deep, long lasting and immediate results can be achieved without the side effects, risks and downtime of traditional ablative lasers.
Unlike traditional non-ablative lasers, SmartX laser utilises the gold standard 10.6µm wave length in a finely controlled airbrush mode for safe and effective skin renewal – a widely recognised revolutionary product in the medical laser world to effectively treat deeper and stubborn skin problems.
“Patients report their skin feeling smoother and more supple even after just one treatment”
However, the benefits do not just stop at the immediate improvements seen. Apart from the immediate “lifting” effect of the skin, there is a secondary “skin rebirth” effect, which is the production of new collagen over the next 6 to 12 weeks.
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SmartX is suitable for all skin types desiring to improve their skin tone, texture and colour in a shortest possible time. Fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, pigmentation, enlarged pores, scars on the face and body and for improved tightness and texture on the face, neck, chest, arms and hands can be effectively improved.
“SmartX is the gold standard carbon dioxide laser and it is also great for fine lines including those near your eyes and lips” says Dr Michelle Lim.
There will be about 3 days of redness, followed by mild skin flaking lasting 3-4 days. The doctor will adjust the strength of the treatment to suit your skin and lifestyle.
Wow factor: SmartX, one of the gold standards for scar removal digs deep into the skin with its fractionated carbon dioxide beams to stimulate collagen proliferation and skin tightening.