ACNE & SCARS
Acne Vulgaris is a common chronic condition that is prevalent in more than 80% of our local population. Although most people expect acne to occur during adolescence, we see a rising trend of adult hormonal acne which first occurs or recurs in the 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s. There is also a common misconception that acne only happens in people with oily skin. This is not always true, as a lot of adult hormonal acne sufferers in fact have dry skin. Besides obvious physical pain and scarring, many underestimate the psychological distress acne causes as well.
Acne is caused by a complex interplay of factors like genetics, hormone changes and lifestyle practices. Facts on acne and its treatment are readily available on the internet. However, a positive treatment outcome depends greatly on an experienced doctor being able to identify trigger factors specific to you and then recommend an appropriate treatment program tailored to your skin type, acne type, acne severity, lifestyle and cost concerns.
At Harmony Aesthetics, we adopt a holistic and evidence-based approach towards treating acne based on more than a decade of experience, whilst incorporating up-to-date treatment methods. Early prevention, multi-pronged treatment and long-term maintenance are key to successfully tackling acne and its associated scarring.
A customized blend of effective skincare products is essential in maintaining a non-conducive environment to acne formation while encouraging skin healing.
Oral medications may be necessary when hormone changes de-stabilise acne control, or when other treatment options have failed to produce satisfactory improvement.
Vascular lasers like the Dual Yellow and Clarity II target active breakouts by destroying acne-causing bacteria, regulating sebum production, and reducing overall skin inflammation.
Q-switch and Pico Lasers
Q-switch and Pico lasers like the Spectra XT and PicoPlus can help to reduce sebum production, as well as comedone formation.
Steroid injections are useful in treating deep nodulocystic acne. Such acne responds poorly to topical products, as penetration of active ingredients is limited.
Gentle deep cleansing facials coupled with regular comedone extractions are an important complement to maintaining acne control once initial acne breakout has been stabilized.
The mildest form of acne ‘scarring’, acne red or brown marks are not considered true scarring in the sense that they are not permanent. Red marks are made up of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that form under the skin due to inflammation and healing. Brown marks are a result of melanin overproduction triggered by inflammation. There is no permanent collagen damage, and the skin remains level (i.e., not depressed or raised). Although temporary, acne marks appear unsightly and can take anywhere from 3-9 months to fade, depending on factors such as age, skin colour and skin quality.
Potent yet gentle ingredients in our customized skincare range ensure increased cellular turnover and enhanced healing, while suppressing unwanted melanin production in scars. Sun protection with a broad- spectrum sunscreen is highly recommended to support scar healing.
Oral Glutathione supplements both lighten scar marks and prevent their formation by cutting down free radical damage and inflammation in the skin. Oral Sunblock supplements reduce UV damage and melanin production in scar tissue.
Vascular lasers like the Dual Yellow and Clarity II significantly speed up the clearance of acne marks, especially red marks. They also boost collagen re-modelling and therefore scar healing, while improving skin tone and texture concurrently.
Q switch & Pico laser
These lasers selectively target and break down pigments in brown marks. They stimulate collagen production which speeds up scar healing, while producing skin brightening and pore-minimizing effects.
Rejuran, Profhilo, and Hyaluronic Acid Skin Boosters all serve to enhance collagen production, speed up wound healing, reduce oxidative damage and suppress skin inflammation.
Gentle exfoliative facials with whitening and healing functions help to hasten acne mark healing when combined with other medical treatments.
Atrophic or depressed scars, form as a result of permanent destruction and loss of collagen in the skin. They are categorized into rolling scars, box scars and ice pick scars. The same treatment gives rise to varying levels of response in different types of scars. For example, resurfacing lasers do not work on ice pick scars. Conversely, what works on ice pick scars cannot be applied to rolling scars and may in fact worsen them. As most people tend to suffer from a mixture of scars, a multimodal approach is much more effective than a singular treatment. Here at Harmony Aesthetics, rest assured that you will receive a thorough skin evaluation before a comprehensive and targeted treatment program – based on your skin type, scar type, expectations, lifestyle and budget – is recommended to you.
High concentration Trichloroacetic (TCA) acid is helpful in resurfacing stubborn ice pick and deep box scars, which are poorly responsive to other forms of treatment. This process does not resolve scars completely. It results in shallower scars, which would then improve further with other treatment modalities.
This treatment involves using a hypodermic needle to break up fibrotic strands tethering the scar to underlying tissues beneath the skin surface. The release of these strands coupled with new collagen deposition from wound healing allows the scar to lift up further when other treatments are subsequently performed.
The PicoPlus effectively treats rolling scars and shallow box scars with the aid of Laser Induced Optical Breakdown (LIOB) technology. LIOBs create micro-injury zones beneath the skin while sparing the surface from damage. The wound healing process in these micro-cavities creates new collagen and elastin fibres, resulting in scar re-modelling and textural improvement.
When injected into scars, Rejuran serves as an excellent synergistic treatment to resurfacing lasers, TCA cross and subcisions. It aids in the building of healthy collagen fibres to replace damaged tissue, while preventing new scar reformation concurrently.
Profhilo injections not only improve overall skin texture but boost scar remodelling as well. They work especially well when applied in combination with other scar treatment modalities like Pico lasers, TCA cross and subcisions.
Filler injections can be performed to give an ‘instant’ lift to depressed scars, or when all other methods have failed to produce a satisfactory result in deep scars. This result is temporary however, since the hyaluronic acid in fillers will be naturally broken down by your body over 9 to 12 months.
Tissue damage can sometimes lead to overproduction of fibrous scar tissue. This creates hypertrophic scars and keloid scars. Keloid scars are especially challenging to treat due their reactivity to skin tension, with resultant inflammation leading to tissue overgrowth. Insufficient or poorly timed treatments allow keloids to recur repeatedly even if they seem to respond initially. Scar prevention coupled with aggressive early management and well-timed combination therapies tend to yield better treatment results.
Steroid injections help to suppress inflammation and inhibit cell proliferation in keloid scars. BTX injections work by reducing skin tension around the scar and suppressing cell overgrowth. With its wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties, Rejuran is especially useful in preventing keloid formation in the early stages of scar development.
Vascular lasers like the Dual Yellow and Clarity II reduces the presence of abnormal blood vessels in scars. This in turn cuts down on tissue overgrowth and inflammation. Lasers function synergistically with steroid and BTX injections to enhance treatment effect.