Laser Treatment For Acne Scars: Types, Benefits, and Risks

Acne is one of, if not the most frustrating skin condition for teenagers and adults alike, usually causing unwanted blemishes in the way of pimples and lesions that just don’t seem to go away. Whether you leave these spots alone or not, the symptoms of acne will generally lead to permanent scarring that can negatively impact one’s looks and confidence.

Thankfully, acne scar removal treatments have come a long way and now offer many different options to effectively regain your flawless visage, the most popular being laser treatment. Through intense light pulses and modern laser technology, this treatment provides a non-invasive way of undoing the damage of acne scarring by facilitating the body’s natural healing process on the affected areas. Read on as we take a closer look at how laser treatment works and everything else you need to know if you’re considering it.

How does laser treatment work?

Laser treatment aims to prevent scars from developing from old acne outbreaks, seeing as 95% of people who have acne generally experience some degree of residual scarring. As mentioned, the treatment breaks up scar tissue by pointing concentrated light on the skin’s top layers while encouraging the affected areas to grow new and healthy skin cells and replace the removed scar tissue.

Laser treatments achieve this by using the heat from the laser to remove the skin’s top layer where scarring usually forms or skip it entirely and only affects the underlying layers. No matter which of the two is used, the result is the same, and your acne scars will look less noticeable while your skin appears much smoother. The laser’s heat and light also affect the blood vessels around the scar, drawing better blood flow to the targeted area, promoting healthy skin growth and reducing inflammation.

Types of acne scarring laser treatments

Just like there are different types of acne scars, there are also various laser treatments  best suited to deal with them, including:

PICO Laser

PICO Laser technology is renowned for its ability to deliver energy at an exceptionally rapid pace, making it a versatile solution for addressing a range of skin concerns, including the treatment of acne and associated issues.

Fractional Pico Laser

Fractional pico laser is a specific application of Pico laser technology. Fractional lasers, in general, treat only a fraction of the skin at a time, leaving surrounding tissue untouched. Fractional pico lasers combine the benefits of picosecond technology with fractional laser technology. They create tiny, controlled micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and skin remodeling. This can be used for improving skin texture, reducing wrinkles, and treating acne scars, among other applications.

Frazel/Fraxel Laser

This is one of the most modern laser treatments that uses a non-ablative laser to avoid harming the skin’s outer surface and only heating the skin tissue underneath it. As a result, the old pigmented skin cells caused by scarring are burned away while stimulating new collagen production to replace them.

Carbon peel Laser

Carbon peel laser, is a non-ablative laser treatment primarily used for improving skin texture, reducing pore size, and addressing issues like acne, blackheads, and oily skin. During this procedure, a thin layer of medical-grade carbon paste is applied to the skin’s surface. The carbon particles absorb light from the laser, which heats and stimulates the skin. The laser is then used to gently remove the carbon particles, along with the outermost layer of dead skin cells and impurities, leaving the skin looking smoother and more radiant.

Pixel Lasers

This treatment applies small, pixel-sized holes in the scarred regions that promote the body to heal these harmless and virtually invisible puncture wounds. The skin can grow afresh while healing, eventually leading to smooth and even skin.

ActiveFx and DeepFx Lasers

The main difference between these two treatments is that the latter is designed specifically for shallow and smaller scars, while the latter is more suited for dealing with bigger and deeper ones. Beyond that, both share the same advantages of not harming the topmost layer of the skin and resulting in scar-free and more youthful, firmer skin.

The benefits of laser acne treatment

Thanks to the use of bleeding-edge technology, laser treatments offer many advantages over other alternatives, namely:

  • Quick and efficient

With advanced laser treatment, you can get the effective results you want without waiting too long.

  • Non-invasive

Most people aren’t too keen to go under the knife unless it is the only option for their aesthetic concerns. Since laser treatment lacks any sort of surgery, you can rest easy knowing that getting back your flawless skin won’t involve an invasive process you’re uncomfortable with.

  • Safe and convenient

When it comes to any sort of treatment, many would naturally prefer something convenient but also proven safe. Laser acne treatments have been perfected to guarantee just that while delivering their advertised results. 

  • Incredible results

The sophistication and extensive research that went into developing the many laser treatment options above naturally means they will deliver incredible results, befitting their cost.

Key risks and side effects to note

Despite the high level of safety provided by laser treatments over their invasive alternatives, there are still a few risks and side effects depending on factors like your skin type, the type of laser used, and the number of treatment sessions you need. When considering the expectation and realities of acne treatment, it’s important to be aware of the most common side effects you can expect, which include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Slight pain in the treated areas

The pain resulting from laser treatment usually goes away after an or two, while any redness that arises may take up to a week or more to subside.

On the other hand, infections and hyperpigmentation are the most prevalent risks associated with laser treatment for acne scarring, but these conditions are incredibly rare and easily preventable. That said, it is still recommended to consult with your healthcare provider about your risk factors when considering laser treatment. If you notice extensive swelling, pus, or fever following the treatment, speak to your treatment provider immediately.


Although laser treatments provide excellent results with few side effects, they are not for everyone. Different factors determine whether the treatment is safe for you, and neglecting these will only lead to worsening your condition. That is why it’s important to visit APAX Medical & Aesthetics Clinic, and consult our experts who can recommend the best laser treatment for you or guide you to a more suitable alternative. Consider visiting our Hougang aesthetic clinic, located near Kovan MRT station or our Woodlands aesthetics medical clinic, located near Bukit Panjang MRT. Our branches offer a range of cutting-edge treatments tailored to your individual needs.

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