Acne and pimples is part and parcel of your skin - excess sebum production, wrong skin care usage, bacteria and dirt can contribute to outbreaks. Treating it quickly and effectively is key to avoiding long term acne scars - they are often caused by clogged pores hardening over time and becoming part of your skin.
Acne scars are very common and reducing scars requires different treatments depending on its severity.
Why does acne leave scars on your face, back and body?
The skin is our bodies' largest organ and consist 3 main layers: the epidermis (outermost layer), the dermis and the hypodermis. These layers protect you from harmful UV rays, bacteria, pollution and more. They also contain sebaceous glands - they produce oil to hydrate your skin and keep it healthy. However, excess sebum production can cause clogged pores and lead to acne.
Not treating acne, blackheads and inflammation effectively and quickly can cause scarring when the skin tissue is damaged. This can be caused by excessive extraction where the tissue is damaged repeatedly in an attempt to remove the acne, or when bacteria spills into surrounding tissue and affect the skin's response to repair the scar by forming new collagen fibres. This can cause bumpy scars.
There are 2 main forms of acne scars: indentation in the skin, or a bumpy scar when your skin creates collagen to help heal the wound. However, too much collagen can cause raised scars.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
This is temporary scarring that can show up as pink, red or brown marks following a breakout, or after extraction. This is caused by overactive melanocytes in the skin, which are the cells that produce melanin (dark skin pigment).
All humans, regardless of your skin tone, have melanocytes and can get activated when inflamed. This leads to overproduction of melanin. This is similar to dark patches that appear following rashes or burn wounds on your skin.
Effective treatment can quickly reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) within a few weeks.
Best Acne Scar Treatments for PIH
It is a 2-step process in treating PIH - minimising the discolouration while eliminating the source of inflammation. This treatment is going to be much easier when the breakout is treated with, or affects a small area of your skin. However, a good treatment plan is crucial if there is severe acne affecting a large area of the skin.
A gentle peel treatment that stimulates cell regeneration and promotes cell renewal to eliminate your dead skin cells and promote growth of new cells. This brings back renewed smoothness and radiance to the skin. It also balances skin PH levels, clears blocked pores and provides deep-penetrating vitamin and nutrient delivery.
This treatment contains glycolic acid, vitamin A & C and other active ingredients to stimulate collagen production and elastin, as well as to reduce blemishes and acne scar effectively.
Atrophic Acne Scarring
Atrophic scarring refers to indentations on the skin and can be categorized into pock marks, ice picks, rolling, or boxcar scars. These scars are harder to treat and will require more intensive treatment.
Such scars occur when the skin does not produce enough collagen to heal and treat the wound during the skin's remodeling process. It can also appear lighter than your skin colour and severe acne, coupled with picking your skin can worsen atrophic scarring.
Best Treatments for Atrophic Acne Scars
This form of scarring is more severe and will require longer term treatment with a professional. Keeping your skin clear by exfoliating your skin regularly, using masks at least once a week and having a good skin care regime is essential to prevent further acne outbreaks.
Reach out to a professional to see how we can help you with atrophic acne scars!
Hypertrophic Acne Scarring
Hypertrophic acne scars appear as smooth, raised bumps isolated to the area of injury. These scars can appear as the same colour as the rest of your skin, but can also appear red, pink, brown or tan in more severe cases.
As opposed to atrophic acne scarring where insufficient collagen is produced, hypertrophic scarring occurs when your fibroblasts, which are the collagen producing cells in your skin, create too much collagen. This causes a thickening of the scarred area and therefore raised bumps.
Best Treatments for Hypertrophic Acne Scars
Similarly to atrophic scarring, these scars involve changing your skin's texture to smoothen it and reduce its appearance. It is important to find someone professional who can help with improving hypertrophic acne scars.
- Steroid Treatments: Your doctor may recommend “intralesional kenalog injections,” which are steroid treatments that minimize inflammation.
- Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy literally translates to cold therapy and works by freezing the affected area with liquid nitrogen, which breaks down and destroys scar tissue.
- Laser Therapy: There are 2 types of lasers that can help with hypertrophic acne scarring by targeting the blood vessels in the scar. This prevents additional growth and minimise discolouration.
Call us at 63370060 to see how we can treat your acne scars!