For so many people having acne can be traumatic and unpleasant but when your hormones have calmed down and the inflammation settles, you may find yourself struggling with acne scars that do not go away. The good news is that advances in dermatology and aesthetic treatments mean that treating acne scars can be done in a variety of efficient and non-invasive ways. Let’s investigate how getting rid of acne scars can be achieved.
Understanding Acne Scars
While it may be possible to camouflage an acne outbreak with concealer and foundation, many women find that acne scars are not dealt with as easily. Unfortunately, acne breakouts cause inflammation and changes to the texture of the skin that remind you about the condition long after the pimples have gone.
Scars from acne actually form during the healing process and the quality of the scars depends on the amount of collagen that is present in your skin. If your skin produces too much or too little collagen, it’s quite likely that your skin will develop scars.
What’s The Difference Between Acne Scars?
Acne scars are divided into two primary categories:
- Atrophic scars that form as a result of tissue loss. The visual effect is damage to the skin texture, characterised by depressions in the skin.
- Hypertrophic scars that form as a result of too much tissue. These scars tend to look swollen or raised against the surface of the skin.
Atrophic scars have been further subdivided into three other categories
Icepick scars form small holes in the surface of the skin but they are noticeable despite their size
Boxcar scars are larger depressed areas that may be oval or round in shape with angled sides.
Rolling scars present as shallow dents on the surface of the skin and give it a textured and wavy appearance.
How Do Acne Scars Form?
When the pores of your skin become blocked with oil, bacteria and dead skin cells it causes inflammation. The swelling causes the cell wall to break. If this break occurs deep in the cell it is possible for the infected material to escape the cell and leak into the surrounding tissue. This causes deeper lesions to develop which the skin attempts to heal by itself through the production of new collagen fibres. However, the newly formed collagen is not as smooth as the original collagen, which leads to changes in the texture of the skin.
It is possible for anyone to have scarring as a result of this process, but if you irritate your skin by squeezing or picking at spots and pimples you can expect quicker and deeper scars. If you have inflammatory acne, cysts or nodules, you can expect more severe scars to develop.
Getting Rid Of Acne Scars: How To Prevent Them?
Do Not Touch Your Spots
While it may seem tempting to deal with a break out yourself, you are actually doing yourself a major disservice. When you do this, you transfer bacteria under your skin, leading to further cysts, and bigger scars.
Avoid The Sun
It may surprise you to know, but UV exposure can actually enhance the appearance of acne scars.
Don’t Over Cleanse
Although it may sound counter-intuitive, cleaning your face too often or too hard should not be part of your defense of treating acne scars. In fact, this can dry your skin out, robbing it of natural oils. This can actually affect your skin elasticity, leading to worsening scar development.
Getting Rid Of Acne Scars: What You Should Do
If you have inflammatory acne, getting professional help as soon as possible can reduce the serenity of a breakout. Your aesthetician will recommend a course of treatment to help you get rid of your acne scars.
Intense Pulsed Light Treatment (Ipl)
Similar to laser treatment, IPL exposes your skin to different wavelengths of light. The light can penetrate the second layer of the skin without doing any damage to the top layer.
Skin needling is an effective way to address superficial acne scars and boost your skin against future acne breakouts. During this aesthetic treatment, lots of small needles are used to prick the surface of your skin. This causes dozens of small injuries that your skin produces collagen to repair. As your skin forms new collagen it evens out the texture and tone, resulting in smoother tighter skin.
The evidence suggests that skin needling works best on depressed acne scars and not as effectively on raised scars. This is because people who have raised scars are already producing too much collagen.
Patients who have large depressed areas of skin caused by acne may benefit from dermal fillers. Dermal fillers add volume to the skin and are especially useful in areas where patients lack volume.
Furthermore, having dermal fillers can also boost your own collagen production, making it an effective way to address depressed areas of skin.
If you are treating scars as well as other cosmetic issues such as sun damage or fine lines and wrinkles, you may benefit from a chemical peel. Chemical peels can also be used to address other skin concerns such as sun damage, ageing, pigmentation or to improve the texture and appearance of the skin. Chemical peels are customised for each patient and can penetrate superficially or go very deep into the skin. Sometimes your aesthetician may recommend a course of treatments, beginning superficially and increasing in intensity over time as your skin responds.
Having scars from acne breakouts is not a life sentence and thanks to modern dermatology, patients now have a number of treatment options available to them. If you need help getting rid of acne scars please contact us for a confidential consultation: (02) 9158 6375.