Acne Scars Treatment: Laser, Injectables, or Microneedling?

While breakouts eventually heal, they leave behind scars that can give your skin texture an uneven appearance. These are different from dark marks or spots, also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which can sometimes fade away on their own without treatment. Acne scarring, on the other hand, is a different story, as it is usually permanent. 

Since topical creams cannot treat pitted or depressed acne scars, aesthetic treatments can be helpful. At Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, we have a range of procedures that can treat, smooth out, or improve acne scars. Safe and effective treatments include: 

PicoCare Laser 

What is it: PicoCare 450 is a US FDA-cleared and CE-marked picosecond laser used for tattoo, pigmented lesions, and acne scars. It emits light pulses in 4 different wavelengths and can shatter pigments to improve overall skin tone and texture. It also helps with collagen production and can improve fine lines, enlarged pores, and other signs of aging.

How it works: It combines high peak power and shorter pulse durations to break down ink color and pigments into microscopic particles. PicoCare delivers laser energy into the skin, which the pigment absorbs. The body’s immune system then attacks the pigments for efficient and natural removal. 

It also has the HEXA MLA (Micro Lens Array) handpiece, a fractional device that can replace aggressive scar treatments. It can destroy scar tissues and significantly lift depressed or indented scarring.

What to expect: Picosecond devices (like PicoCare laser) have more photomechanical effects, but less photothermal ones. This translates to efficient results with fewer treatments and also minimal to no side effects. There may be some minor redness or pinkish skin tone for 4 to 5 days. Sun protection and moisturizing are important during this period.

At Cutis, we use the PicoCare laser system for the following skin concerns: 

  • Epidermal lesions
  • Acne scars (box, ice pick, rolling, hypertrophic)
  • Freckles, melasma, café au lait
  • Age spots (senile lentigos), solar lentigo (sun spots)
  • Seborrheic keratosis
  • Skin rejuvenation

Dermal fillers

What are they: Dermal fillers are injectable treatments used to restore volume loss and improve facial contours. They are commonly made with hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a naturally occurring substance in the body. Fillers can rejuvenate the skin, as well as help reduce skin depressions caused by acne scars and improve the contour of the skin. 

How it works: Fillers imitate a naturally occurring substance in the body (like HA) to rejuvenate the skin and improve its overall appearance. They fill in the gaps due to unwanted folds and creases, giving the skin a smoother look. HA-based fillers like Juvéderm immediately plump the skin and lift or smooth depressed scarring. 

What to expect: According to studies, fillers can improve (cheek) scars by over 50%. You can see immediate improvements, but fillers can take two weeks to fully blend and settle with the surrounding tissues. The results are temporary and can last between 6 and 12 months. There may also be some redness and bruising at the treatment site, but they resolve after a few days. 


What is it: Profhilo is an anti-aging injectable treatment that contains 100% pure hyaluronic acid. It is also referred to as a bio remodeling injectable as it can help stimulate essential skin proteins like collagen and elastin. Profhilo can boost skin hydration, address skin laxity, and treat other signs of aging.

Other benefits of this injectable include:

  • Stimulates elastin and collagen levels
  • Improve skin hydration
  • Stimulates tissue repair, which is ideal for acne scarring 
  • Treats fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improves the overall quality of the skin

How it works: Profhilo hydrates the skin from within and bio remodels it through a slow release of hyaluronic acid. This stimulates 4 types of collagen, elastin, and proliferate adipocytes (fat) stem cells. This then improves skin hydration and laxity, helping you achieve glowing skin and a more youthful appearance. 

What to expect: Patients see results immediately after the second session, which will continue to improve over 2 to 3 months. However, there are cases where some notice results after the treatment. The injectable stays in the skin for about 28 days, where it stimulates collagen and elastin. The results can last for six months, but this can still depend on the patient.

Dermapen 4 Microneedling

What is it: Dermapen 4 is an innovative microneedling system that can treat and improve a range of skin concerns. It virtually pierces the skin using 16 microscopic needles that can make 1920 holes per second. This creates fine fractional channels and helps stimulate collagen. You can turn to Dermapen 4 for:

  • Acne scarring
  • Enlarged pores
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Stretch marks
  • Loose skin
  • Pigmentation

How it works: The procedure creates miniscule needle punctures in the skin’s top layers. This causes micro-trauma in the skin, which induces an immune response that leads to collagen formation. Dermapen 4 also has a dedicated scar setting and protocol for the revision of deep and atrophic scars, including post-acne, surgical, burn, striae, and contracture scars. 

What to expect: As the procedure helps produce collagen and improve blood flow, it provides a healthy foundation for new skin. You can see improvements following the first session, but significant results appear after 3 to 7 treatments (scheduled 2 to 8 weeks apart). Your skin will also continue to improve over the next 6 to 12 months after multiple sessions. 

At Cutis, you can also choose to combine Dermapen 4 with Meso-Glide or MG-Collection serums. These formulations are specifically designed for microneedling and feature skin technologies and active ingredients that can address different skin conditions. Learn how Dermapen 4 and MG-Collection can transform your skin

Which acne scar treatment is right for you? 

The right treatment will depend on the severity of your concerns, beauty goals, and budget. There are cases where existing acne or breakouts may have to be treated first, before tackling hyperpigmentation and scarring. This is important in preventing further dark spots and acne scars.

Want to know which procedure or combination treatment is right for you? Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor