Like facial features, everyone will have a unique pattern of scars- no two acne scar patients are identical. Patients will exhibit a variety of scars, unique to themselves including box car scars, rolling scars, ice-pick scars, atrophic scars, tethered scars, red scars, and raised scars.
The Synergy Program for acne scars focuses on a tailored approach to scar treatment. Each scar is mapped, and an ideal treatment is matched based upon scar type, skin colour and down time.
The Synergy Program combines chemical peels such as TCA Cross, Fractional lasers, full resurfacing, punch excisions, dermal grafting, dermal fillers, vascular lasers, radiofrequency and subscision to achieve the end goal- best possible improvement on scars.
This program works, and it makes complete sense. Each scar is treated with the best possible method. I had TCA done to my deeper scars followed by fractional laser. The whole process took over 5 months to complete, but my scars are now gone for good. Well worth it.
Due to my job, Dr Lim suggested full resurfacing followed by radiofrequency treatment. Apart from the first procedure which took over a week to heal, subsequent treatments were a breeze. Great result – see a Specialist from the outset!
Dr Lim breaks away from the usual method of acne scar treatments. Other places I visited used Fraxel laser with minimal improvement. I had 2 courses of TCA CROSS and my scars are nearly gone.
Box Car Scars
Mixed Acne Scars
Ice Pick Scars
Rolling & Depressed Acne Scars
The basis behind the Synergy Approach is to combine the very best treatment for each scar type and skin type. This program synergistically treats acne scars. Scar treatment methods utilized will depend on 3 factors-
- Your acne scar type
- Your skin type or skin colour
- Your downtime or recovery time
The foundation of the Synergy Program is to use a combination of treatments based upon your scar type and skin colour. This program is tailored according to YOUR scars.
We have 2 types of Fraxel lasers for treating acne scars. One type is suited for shallow scars and the other Fraxel laser is for deeper acne scarring. In most cases we combine 2 treatments in the one session for better results.
We have 4 types of fractional lasers to choose from. The choice of which type we use will depend on your skin type, scar type, and time off work. Darker skin patients are treated with the Erbium, deep rolling scars in Fair Skin patients are treated with the CO2RE laser.
CO2RE resurfacing for acne scars. This laser can be used in different modes to target different types of acne scars. We can use this in the fully ablative mode or in the fractional mode. Much more powerful than the Erbium laser, CO2 is ideal in lighter skin patients with deep rolling scars and mixed tethered scars. The heavy guns of laser scar revision.
RF or RadioFrequency
The newest, the latest, the safest. This form of non-laser treatment uses radiowaves to heat the scar tissue. It can be used in all skin types, including darker skin patients, and can be effective in the management of mild and early scars. Downtime following RF RadioFrequency is minimal.
This is the best way to treat deeper scar and works by decreasing the height of the scar. Ideal scars are ice pick scars. We use 3 different concentrations of TCA cross, depending on your skin type and scar type. The recovery from TCA cross is relatively short, in most cases less than 6 days. Most patients will benefit from 2-3 sessions, 6-8 weeks apart. An excellent method of acne scar revision in the right setting.
Vascular V Beam Laser
This laser is used to treat redness. V Beam can be used in several settings. If you have shallow almost flat red acne scars, several treatments with V Beam laser can lighten the scars over a period of weeks. Secondly, if you have red lumpy scars, V Beam can soften the lumps and reduce redness. Lastly, V Beam laser can speed up the recovery following laser resurfacing. Most patients require several treatments with V Beam Vascular laser.
Dermal filler scars
Subscision, Dermal Fillers, Dermal Grafting
These methods are non-laser ways to treat acne scarring. Subscision can break down anchored scars and tethered acne scars. Dermal fillers and dermal grafting can lift up acne scars that lie deep in the dermis, or fill atrophic acne scars.
Omnilux Blue light treatment
Various light sources such as Blue light with Omnilux or Red light at 630nm can help with very early acne scars, and in some cases assist with clearing up acne lesions. We never use these treatments as stand-alone methods because their effectiveness is marginal compared with our other treatments. Omnilux and red light can speed up the healing process after laser treatments.
The optimal number of treatments will depend on the type of scarring, the severity of your acne scars, but importantly your downtime and skin type.
Most patients will exhibit a variety of acne scars, and hence several types of treatments will be necessary to obtain best results.
An assessment made by your Specialist Dermatologist will give you an idea of the number of treatments needed, the down time and costs involved.
As a guide -
- Predominantly box scarring
One full laser resurfacing procedure, + 2 V Beam vascular laser + 2-3 RadioFrequency
- Ice pick scarring
2 TCA Cross procedures + Erbium or CO2 Laser+ 2-3 RadioFrequency
- Mixture of acne scar in lighter skin types
1 TCA cross +1 CO2 laser + V Beam laser+ 2-3 RadioFrequency
- Mixture of acne scars in darker skin types
3-4 Fractional Erbium laser + 2-3 RadioFrequency
- Red acne scars (macular erythema)
3-4 Vascular V Beam Laser treatments + 2-3 RadioFrequency
- Lumpy hypertrophic and keloid scarring
2-4 steroid injections + Vascular V Beam Laser treatments
Note, acne scarring is highly variable, and the above is only a guide as to the number of treatments required. All Synergy Treatments are tailored towards your skin and scar type. The majority of patients will have a combination of acne scars, including ice-pick, box car, rolling, and tethered scars
Scar improvement is highly variable. Depending on your scar type, skin type and the methods used, the percentages vary between 70-95%. Some patients respond better to scar revision and laser treatments compared to others, and this is related to one’s immune system.
Our Specialists will give you an accurate assessment and time line in regards to your acne scars.
For example -
- Fair skin patients with predominantly box-cars scars can expect to improve 90% with one session of CO2 Laser and Vascular V Beam laser 3-4 weeks later
- Fair skin patients with predominantly ice-pick scars and box- car scars can improve 80-90% with TCA Cross, followed by Full laser ablation
- Asian and dark skin patients with scars can expect to improve between 50-75% with methods such as TCA Cross, combined with Fractional lasers
- Rolling, and atrophic scars in darker skin patients are very hard to treat. Expect only a 30-50% improvement after several sessions of Fractional lasers and Dermal Fillers
No two scar revision procedure are identical as everyone will have a unique scar pattern with their skin type.
Synergy Program scar revision procedure conducted by Dr Davin S. Lim
Acne scar treatments will have different recovery times depending on the type of treatment performed, you skin type and the extent of treatment. Some treatments such as dermal fillers have virtually no downtime, whilst treatments such as full laser resurfacing maybe associated with a 10-day downtime. Treatments such as fractional lasers will have a down time of 3-5 days. In keeping with the Synergy Method of acne scar revision we combine different treatments to give patients the best possible results with the minimum downtime possible.
Examples include -
- Full laser resurfacing + Vascular V Beam laser = Quicker recovery
- Fractional and full laser resurfacing = Less number of treatments
- Fraxel or Fractional laser + Dermal fillers = Less downtime and quick recovery
- CO2RE Laser + RadioFrequency treatments = Less downtime and quick recovery
Our Specialist will individualise treatments to find that balance between downtime, results and safety. No two scar types are the same, and having a flexible method of Synergy treatments will yield the best possible results.
Yes. In fact Synergy is ideal in this setting. Darker skin patients are more prone to hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) as well as scarring. Treating darker skin patients with acne scars is very tricky, however improvements can be made in nearly all cases. In darker skin patients, we use Fractional lasers such as Erbium laser or Fraxel over the CO2 Re Laser. If full laser ablation were to be conducted, we use erbium ablation to a much shallower depth – a process known as micropeeling. This is often combined with fractional resurfacing in the one sitting.
TCA cross can also be used to treat deep acne scars, including Ice pick scarring. Concentrations are tailored according to the skin type.
Cost for the Synergy Acne Scar Revision will depend on the number of treatments you will require and how complex these procedures are. Some patients may only need 2-4 treatments, whilst others may require more than 8-10 treatments.
Synergy Acne Scar Revision program can range from $3,500 to $7,800. Some treatments such as subscision, dermal grafting, and punch excisions are partially covered my Medicare. Payment plans are available.
Full laser resurfacing and TCA peels are partially covered by Medicare, however a gap payment usually applies.
It is hard to give an accurate estimation without a through assessment. Costing for the program is reflective upon the complexity of the procedures.
|Treatment||Time||# Treatments||Downtime||Ideal scarring||Projected improvement||Costs|
|Clear Skin Program||60 min||4||Hours||Mild scarring||++||$590|
|Chemical peels||15 min||4-6||Hours||Mild||+||$95|
|RF RadioFrequency||15 min||4||0-2 days||Mild to severe||+++
|$1100 for 4|
|Fractional laser -
CO2, Erbium, Erbium Modulation,
Fraxel RF combo
|30 min||3-5||3-6 days||Mild to severe||++++||$800 - $1200 each|
|TCA cross||30 min||2-3||5-7 days||Mod to severe||++++||$490 - $900|
|Synergy approach = laser + others||15 - 30 min||3-8||1-12 days||Mod to severe||+++++||$3500 - $7800|
We offer payment plans for acne scar treatments.
The Synergy Method of acne scar revision takes the process of acne scar revision above and beyond any other methods- it is a combination of scar treatments based upon your acne scar type, and skin type. We combine the very best methods, whether it be TCA Cross, Full laser ablation, CO2, Erbium, Fractional lasers, RadioFrequency or subscision / surgical methods to achieve the end goal. This program was developed by Dr Davin Lim, Laser Dermatologist, and has been fine tuned over many years.
Unlike the majority of clinics who claim to provide treatments for acne scars, we provide effective solutions for your scarring. Our Specialist training coupled with the very latest in technology ensures that you will get the best possible results, provided by a highly skilled team of laser dermatologists and nurses. Our clinic is staffed with doctors who under go an additional specialist degree in Dermatology training, in addition to further training in lasers and scar revision techniques.
Our laser equipment is updated every 3 months to ensure that patients have access to the very latest in technology.
Acne scars, like facial features are unique to each patient. Take note of your scar type you will see that you will have at least 2-3 different types of scars, including box car scars, ice pick, rolling, atrophic, macular, and tethered scars. You will also have a unique skin type (skin colour) as well as specific requirements regarding recovery or downtime. The Synergy Method enables flexibility to tailor a treatment for your scar type and your skin type, and this in turn will provide the best possible results. This form of acne scar management focuses on the patient, and NOT the equipment. The vast majority of acne scar treatments advertise the laser or piece of equipment they have at the clinic. This is not correct. Using one or two pieces of technology is not the way to treat acne scars!
I may not choose laser as a first option, but may start treatments with TCA cross, or subscision for tethered scars. Depending on the scar depth I may use a CO2 Laser, or Ebium, or even combine CO2 with fractional in the same sitting. I usually finish off the treatment with RF (RadioFrequency). Choosing the correct treatment for your scar type and combining treatment modalities will give the best possible outcome. This forms the basis of Synergy Acne Scar Program.
Dr Davin S. Lim
Westside Laser Dermatology