Emma Wedgwood

Acne Scarring

Jan. 30, 2023

As a medical professional, and someone who has suffered with acne in the past, I know how distressing having acne can be. And so often, acne is also a double whammy. No sooner have you cured the acne itself, the acne scarring then won’t go away on its own. It can feel very unfair and really impact how you feel. But there are ways of treating both acne and acne scarring.

In this blog, we look at the different types of acne and acne scars, and how to prevent and treat both conditions, to improve the tone of your skin and minimise the risk of problems in the future.

Types of acne

There are several types of acne, from mild acne in the form of black or whiteheads, through to inflamed cystic acne which causes painful pus-filled bumps. All acne can cause distress and a serious knock to self esteem, and most types of acne can lead to scarring. Cystic acne is usually the cause of the worst acne scars, picking or squeezing incorrectly is the biggest culprit. Speaking to a medical professional about the right treatment for your acne while it is active can help prevent scarring, but acne scars can also be successfully treated with the right approach.

Types of acne scars and treatments

Atrophic scars

Atrophic scars form because the skin is unable to create new tissue, leaving shallow skin indentations. There are several types of atrophic scars, including boxcar scars which have sharply defined edges, ice pick scars which are wider at the skin’s surface and narrow the deeper they get into the skin, and rolling scars are caused by bands of scar tissue under the skin.

The best treatment for atrophic scars depends on the type of scarring you have. But the first line of treatment will always be to try and smooth out the surface of the skin. Some of the treatments I might suggest include:

Hypertrophic scars and keloids

For better wound healing and reduced scarring, collagen is usually our friend. But sometimes the body makes too much collagen, which can result in hypertrophic scars and keloids. Hypertrophic scars are thickened areas of skin which appear at the site of an injury, keloid scars are raised skin growths which have about 20 times more collagen than normal areas of skin.

Both keloid scars and hypertrophic scars are triggered by injury or trauma, and they are best treated with laser therapy. Both ablative and non ablative laser therapy can be used, and I recommend Fraxel® which treats both the surface of the skin and the deeper layers.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, known as macular scarring by medical professionals, is where there are changes to the colour of the skin following injury or trauma. After being damaged by acne, the skin can develop flat red, pink or brown spots caused by the body producing excess melanin as a response to inflammation.

The best treatments for PIH are any which resurface the skin. This might include:

All skin is different, and it’s really important to get specialist advice about your acne and acne scarring to ensure the right treatment for your condition as it can be a complex condition. You don’t have to live with acne or acne scarring, I offer a complimentary consultation to discuss the best treatment for you. Get in touch today, I’d be very happy to help.

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