Are You Getting the Right Treatment for Your Acne Scar?

The battle against acne can be long and arduous, and for many, the fight doesn’t end with the disappearance of active breakouts. Acne scars, the aftermath of severe acne, can linger on the skin, serving as a reminder of past struggles. 

However, not all scars are created equal, and neither are the treatments designed to treat them. In this article, we will shed light on the types of acne scars, sharing the most effective treatments available so you’re well-informed to choose the right one.

Understanding acne scars

Acne scars are more than just physical blemishes; they can also carry psychological weight, affecting your self-esteem and confidence. 

These scars occur when acne lesions inflame and injure the skin. The skin’s attempt to repair this damage results in the varied appearance of scars many are familiar with. Each type of acne scar requires customised treatment.

Types of acne scars

Rolling scars

Rolling scars are characterised by their smooth edges and undulating appearance, reminiscent of gentle waves across the skin’s surface. These scars occur when bands of tissue develop between the skin and the subdermal layers, pulling the epidermis inward.

Given the structural nature of rolling scars, effective treatment often requires stimulation or remodelling of collagen deep within the skin. While some topical treatments claim to boost collagen production, they may not always be effective at reaching the depth necessary to impact the structure of rolling scars.

Ice pick scars

Sharp, narrow, ice pick scars plunge deep into the skin, resembling puncture wounds. Their name aptly reflects their appearance – as if the skin was pricked with an ice pick. These scars are often the aftermath of severe acne outbreaks.

Ice-pick scars require treatments that can remodel the skin at a deeper level, something that topical products cannot achieve. Effective treatment methods for ice-pick scars require precision in application and must be done by a skilled professional to prevent further skin damage.

Boxcar scars

Boxcar scars are angular in appearance, with sharp vertical edges, similar to the scars left by chickenpox. They result from widespread acne that damages collagen, leading to depressed areas of skin. These scars are of varying depths commonly appearing on the cheeks and temples.

Boxcar scars benefit from treatments that promote collagen induction and skin remodelling, which are essential for filling in and smoothing out these deep scars.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) refers to the dark spots left behind after an acne lesion heals. These spots are more common in darker skin tones and are caused by an overproduction of melanin during healing. 

While PIH can fade over time, it often persists without proper treatment. Many individuals apply retinoids and vitamin C to tackle PIH, but these typically take several weeks to months to show visible improvements. People often fail because they discontinue using these products when they don’t see results quickly enough or their skin shows irritation from the products.


Keloid scars are raised, firm nodules or lumps on the skin’s surface, extending beyond the boundaries of the original wound. Unlike other types of scars that gradually fade over time, keloids often continue to grow and expand, resulting in significant cosmetic and functional concerns for affected individuals.

In people who are prone to keloids, the body produces an excess amount of collagen when healing after an acne breakout. This overproduction of collagen leads to dense, fibrous tissue forming, creating keloids.

Professional acne scar treatments

Pico laser

Pico laser treatment utilises ultra-short pulse bursts of energy at a picosecond rate (trillionths of a second). These pulses shatter pigment and acne scar tissue without transferring excessive heat to surrounding tissue. This process stimulates collagen production and initiates cellular renewal.

Effective on:

At DermAlly, we use PicoSure, a pico laser device that we’ve found to be particularly effective for the removal of pigmented scars and superficial textural issues associated with acne scars. PicoSure is excellent for treating PIH, which often accompanies acne breakouts. Due to its precision and minimal heat damage, PicoSure is suitable for treating acne scars on various skin types, including sensitive skin. 


Sylfirm is a treatment that combines microneedling with radiofrequency (RF) energy. The device uses microneedles to deliver RF energy deep into the skin layers, targeting both the epidermis and dermis. The dual action promotes the regeneration of collagen and elastin fibres by creating controlled micro-damage that stimulates the skin’s natural healing process.

Effective on:

Sylfirm is versatile and effective for various skin concerns, including acne scars. It is particularly beneficial for rolling and boxcar scars because it can penetrate deeper skin layers and extensively remodel the skin structure. It can also help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne scars, making it a comprehensive treatment option.

Morpheus 8

Acne scar removal with Morpheus8 combines microneedling with fractional RF energy, similar to Sylfirm but focusing on subdermal adipose remodelling. This technology penetrates deeper than many other microneedling devices, reaching up to 4mm into the skin. By targeting the layers beneath the skin and fat, Morpheus8 effectively remodels collagen on a deeper level and can also contour the facial structure.

Effective on:

Morpheus8 is particularly effective for deeper, more severe acne scars, including rolling scars and some deeper boxcar scars. Its ability to remodel collagen deeply and tighten the skin makes it excellent for areas with laxity and scarring. It is also beneficial for those who wish to improve the overall texture of their skin while treating acne scars, as it has skin-tightening effects.

Choosing the right acne scar treatment

Assess your scar type

Firstly, understand the type of acne scars you have, as different treatments are more effective for different types of scars. Identifying your scar type can help narrow down which treatments are likely to be most effective.

Consult a skin specialist

A skin specialist can professionally assess your skin’s condition and the type of acne scars you have. They can recommend treatments suited to your skin type, scars’ severity, and overall health. They can also explain potential risks and what results you can realistically expect.

Read reviews and view before/after photos

Looking at the outcomes of others who have had acne scar removal treatments can give you an idea of the results you might expect. Many clinics provide before and after photos of their patients. Additionally, reviews can give insight into the clinic’s service quality and customer satisfaction.

Keeping these guidelines in mind, you can make a well-informed decision about the best treatment for your acne scars. It often helps to start with a consultation and then weigh your options based on professional advice and personal considerations.

The importance of a qualified provider

A qualified skin professional has the necessary training to accurately assess different skin types and conditions. They can identify the specific types of acne scars you have and understand how they interact with your overall skin health. This expertise is essential to choosing the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Qualified providers are knowledgeable about the technologies and techniques. They can offer several options and explain the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

Acne scar removal in Singapore

Effective solutions are available to help you achieve smoother skin and minimise the appearance of acne scars. Each scar is unique, and successful treatment depends on a thoughtful approach that combines the right technology with professional expertise. 

By making informed decisions and partnering with the right healthcare professional, you can take confident steps towards not only improving the appearance of your skin but also enhancing your overall well-being and self-confidence.

At DermAlly, we specialise in evidence-based removal treatments for acne scars. Our team of experts thoroughly assesses your skin to recommend the most effective treatment plan. Whether we use laser technology or other methods, we aim to restore your skin to its smoothest, most radiant state.

Let our skin specialists guide you towards a future where the reflection in the mirror is one you greet with confidence and joy.

Schedule a consultation.


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