One main issue with acne is that it usually leaves dark spots and scarring after the blemishes have cleared. Dark marks or pigmentation tend to lighten with time and some topical treatments, but this is not always the same for acne scars. They can be difficult to heal and treat and there’s no guarantee that they will completely fade away.

Will Acne Scars Go Away Completely

Getting to know acne scars

Acne scars occur due to the inflammation from acne blemishes. When the pores have excess oils, bacteria, and dead skin cells, they swell and break down the walls of the pore or follicle. Small blemishes create shallow and fast-healing scars, while big ones can affect the surrounding tissue, resulting in deeper scars.

The skin repairs the scars or heals the wound by creating new collagen fibers. Scarring can develop when there is tissue loss, leading to indentations in the skin’s surface. There are also cases where the scars are raised, perhaps due to the excess collagen formed by the skin while trying to heal the acne wound.

Do take note that having acne does not necessarily mean that you’ll get scars. Sometimes, you’ll have dark marks, also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. They also occur as a part of the body’s healing process, leaving discolored patches, but are flat and don’t affect the skin’s texture. There are also cases where you won’t have both scars and marks. 

What are the types of acne scars? 

Acne scars, which occur as a result of trauma to the skin, can take in different forms. These include:

  • Rolling scars – Indented scars that have sloping edges and can make the skin look wavy
  • Ice pick scars – Deep pitted scars that make the skin look like it was punctured by an ice pick
  • Boxcar scars – Indented scars that have sharp edges that go deep into the skin
  • Hypertrophic scars – Raised scars that can sometimes be itchy or painful

Will the scars go away completely?

The scars don’t fade or go away completely on their own. And in the case of depressed scars, they are likely to become more visible with age or as your collagen level declines. You may be able to see some reduction in the depth of your acne scars over time, but do take note that not all types of scars will go away permanently.

The good news is there are several treatments that can improve acne scars. Some over-the-counter creams with retinoids, lactic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids can help, but if you have deeper scars, in-office treatments are more beneficial. Your doctor will help determine the right option for your acne scars

What can help treat acne scars?

There are different types of treatment and the right one can depend on the type of scarring you have. One procedure that is known to improve various types of scars and improve skin texture is professional microneedling. This is different from the use of derma rollers or DIY microneedling, which can sometimes damage the skin and lead to more scarring.  

Professional microneedling involves the use of a skin-needling device that vertically pierces the skin. This causes micro-trauma which helps speed up the skin’s healing process and stimulate collagen creation. At Cutis, we have the Dermapen 4, which is an automated microneedling device used for non-surgical skin rejuvenation. 

Microneedling via Dermapen 4 has 16 microscopic needles that can make 1920 holes per second. It causes micro-injuries in the skin that induces an immune response that leads to collagen formation. The device also has a dedicated scar setting and protocol for the revision of deep and atrophic scars, including:

  • Post-acne scars
  • Surgical scars
  • Burn scars
  • Striae scars (stretch marks)
  • Contracture scars

Apart from acne and other types of scarring, Dermapen can also help with different skin issues, such as:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Loose skin
  • Pigmentation

With professional microneedling, blood flow is improved and new collagen is produced. This then provides a healthy foundation for new skin with improved texture. Improvements can also be seen after the first session, but significant results show up after several treatments, about three to seven, which are scheduled two to eight weeks apart. Results will continue to improve over the next six to 12 months.

Other treatments for acne scars

As previously mentioned, there is a range of effective treatments for acne scars. These involve lasers, chemical peels, skin resurfacing treatments, and others.

Chemical peels – For deep and pitted scars, stronger chemical peels are usually used. TCA CROSS (Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars), for instance, is used as a spot treatment for ice pick and boxcar scars. It safely triggers an acid injury to the skin which induces collagen stimulation.

Laser skin rejuvenation – Uses a laser handpiece that gently warms the skin surface to stimulate cell growth and collagen production. Treatments like laser skin rejuvenation can help reduce skin inflammation and healing of scarring from acne. It can also effectively improve fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, and skin redness.

Skin resurfacing – Treats the skin’s top layer with pulses of laser light, causing the skin to form a natural protective dressing. This will peel off after three to five days, revealing new, healthier skin. It can reduce the appearance of acne marks, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture.

Book a consultation with us

Do acne marks and acne scars make you self-conscious or prevent you from putting your best face forward? We can help! Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out which treatment suits you best.