The vast majority of us are affected by acne at some point in our lives, and while acne is typically a temporary skin condition, the resulting acne scars can be permanent.
Often the result of severe or cystic acne, acne scars are caused by inflamed lesions and your skin’s attempt to repair these lesions by forming new collagen fibres (scar tissue), which aren’t as smooth and uniform as in your original skin. Common acne scars include ice-pick scars, boxcar scars and rolling scars.
Most superficial pimples and lesions heal without scarring, but when the lesion is deeper and damages the dermis, a scar is formed in the skin.
Often red or brown marks can linger after a pimple or lesion has healed. These brown marks are not scars but post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, in which excess melanin is produced as a result of trauma to the skin.
Acne scars, on the other hand, occur when there is either a loss of tissue, causing a pitted or depressed area, or an overgrowth of tissue leaving a raised scar.
This type of scarring creates a raised mass of tissue on the skin’s surface, caused when the body produces too much collagen as acne wounds heal. Hypertrophic or keloid scars appear thick and raised on the skin.
More commonly, acne causes atrophic or depressed scars, where there is a loss of tissue causing divots in the skin. The three main types of atrophic scars are:
Continuing advancements in technology have revolutionised the management of acne scars, making treatment more effective than ever. The best acne scar treatment for you will depend on the type and extent of your acne scarring. The Cosmetic Medicine Centre offers a range of treatments that can help improve the appearance of acne scarring, including:
The Matrix RF uses fractional radiofrequency technology, working below the surface of the skin to create microscopic dots of thermal injury, leaving the rest of the skin intact. This activates the body’s natural healing processes to create new, healthy skin cells that help to replace scar-affected skin cells and induce collagen remodelling in the dermis.
Laser treatments may include fractional C02 or PicoWay lasers, depending on the skin type and degree of scarring.
The Matrix RF, Pulsed Dye and PicoWay lasers can also significantly improve any lasting red or brown marks (hyperpigmentation) on the skin after a pimple has healed.
For atrophic or depressed acne scars, such as boxcar scars or rolling scars, hyaluronic acid dermal filler can be injected to add volume to the depression and raise the scar to the level of normal skin.
More commonly known for their ability to fill in lines and wrinkles, and add definition and contour to cheekbones and lips, HA fillers can significantly improve the look of acne scars, filling in depressions to make scarring less noticeable and more uniform with the surrounding skin.
To reduce the chance of scarring, seek treatment for your acne early (and refrain from picking or squeezing pimples!). At The Cosmetic Medicine Centre, we offer a range of acne treatments to help treat both active acne and acne scarring. Thankfully, acne and acne scars no longer have to be a lifelong affliction.