The topics and questions about Acne and Acne Scars are simply overwhelming – how and why Acne Breakouts happen, and how to cure it. Subsequently, after curing it, another problem arises which is the formation of Acne Scars.
This article discusses how Acne Scars are formed, what works and what doesn’t get rid of them. Being equipped with information and knowledge is the first step to curing and removing Acne Scars.
Why does acne cause scars?
As part of your body’s natural healing mechanism, your skin will try to heal itself by repairing the damaged skin tissue that has been destroyed by active Acne. Scarring occurs when the body produces too much collagen in an aberrant/ abnormal fashion.
The acne lesion can heal to become a raised scar – known as a hypertrophic scar (or, in severe cases, a keloid) when the body creates too much collagen resulting in an accumulation of scar tissue.
On the contrary, destroyed skin tissue from acne and the “pulling down” / tethering of the skin by scar tissue can also result in skin depressions – also known as atrophic scars (depressed scars)
As for the Dark Pigmented Scars, these are just pigmentation or discoloration of the skin. Such pigmentation occurs when the skin is damaged that results in the pigment cells producing more pigment than normal.
Why do I get Pigmented scars from acne?
Experts usually advise not to press or pop your acne or pimples so as to avoid further inflammation that can cause scarring. However, even if you abide by the rules, you may still see reddish or brown marks that are left behind on your skin. These reddish marks are called Post-Inflammation Erythema and the brown marks are called Post-Inflammation Hyperpigmentation. But not to worry, you are still better off not popping your acne as these marks will usually fade within a few months or can be lightened more quickly with lasers.
Factors that influence the severity of Acne Scarring
- Genetics: If your family has a history of acne scars, you may want to be extra careful about taking care of your skin.
- Sun exposure: Intense sun exposure may not directly cause scarring, but it definitely plays a role in making your pigmented acne marks darker and more noticeable. We recommend the usage of sunblock to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
- Puberty: Acne Breakouts is rather common amongst teenagers due to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies.
- Acne severity: The intensity of scarring is proportional to the severity of Acne. When acne is more inflamed, more widespread, and more deeply rooted in the skin, scarring will happen.
- Gender: Both males and females develop acne scarring but research has shown that it is more prominent among males. This is because of the male hormone – testosterone that is more abundant in males.
- Time: The faster you treat Acne, the faster the recovery process of your skin, thus shortening the severity of scarring.
What would happen if you leave Acne untreated?
Left untreated, Acne can result in the formation of Acne Scars. Acne Scars can exist in 3 forms:
- Depressed Acne Scar (indented): when there is a loss of tissue, resulting in an indentation in the surface of the skin.
- Hypertrophic Acne Scar (raised): skin creates collagen during the healing process but over-stimulation of collagen will result in a raised scar type.
- Dark Pigmented (discoloration): Scars with dark brown or red spots on your skin.
Over time, untreated Acne/ Scars will modify your overall appearance, affect and diminish your self-confidence, influence your mind on people’s perception of you and deteriorate your quality of life.
What doesn’t work in treating acne scars
Removing Acne Scars, whether using home-based remedies or visiting a dermatologist or an aesthetic doctor requires effort and determination. There are a lot of myths and beliefs that claim to help to remove Acne Scars but on the contrary, not only do they not have any effect but may in fact make the scars worse.
Applying and using lemon:
While lemon is rich in Vitamin C and helps to lighten dark pigments, the high concentration of acid makes your skin more prone to breakouts and more sensitive. Lightening of pigmentation will not happen after 1 session and requires patience to continuously apply for results to show. For depressed scars, there is no effect on it.
Stop applying sunblock
The myth of sunblock causing your pores to be even more congested is not true. When exposed to heat and UV rays from the sun, acne can flare up even more. The heat is damaging and can further irritate your skin.
Yes, it can be a challenge to find the right sunscreen formula for acne-prone skin. And it is true that the wrong type of sunscreen can cause the skin to react adversely and result in a flare of acne.
There are many types of sunscreen in the market (oil, water and cream-based) and it is recommended to apply a thin layer of water-based sunscreen every day, especially if you’re going to be exposed to the sun in your daily lifestyle.
What works in treating acne scars
Thankfully with the advancement of technology, you do not have to be stuck with these Acne Scars.
At M-Aesthetic Clinic, we have the full range of Acne Scar Removal Treatments -Chemical Peels, different Laser & Radiofrequency Treatments, Fillers and Subscision that helps to remove all kinds of Acne Scars.
Some of our treatments include:
Advanced eCO2 Fractional Laser
The eCO2 laser is the premier fractional ablative laser that delivers exceptional, effective results using technology to minimize downtime, increase patient safety and maximize comfort.
Multiple Micro-Ablative Columns are emitted to destroy and break up scar tissue and regenerate collagen so as to smoothen the skin and remove acne scars.
For deeper / rolling scars, a more intense Micro-Needle Radiofrequency treatment can be used. This method of treatment is unique and highly effective for stubborn/ deep acne scars.
Gold-plated ultra-fine needles first smoothly penetrate the deep acne scars before emitting Radiofrequency energy to break up the scar tissue and stimulate collagen.
It is a great treatment for deep acne scars that requires deeper penetration of energy and a more intense approach.
Despite being more intensive, downtime is actually still kept to a MINIMAL.
A manual method where the scar tissue is released by using a needle to loosen the scar tissue beneath the skin. It is essential in treating depressed scar types and is commonly used in combination with other treatment options.
Chemical Peel (TCA CROSS)
TCA Cross is a technique where by very high concentration TCA acid is carefully applied to individual acne scars to “fill” up the depression and make the acne scar less depressed.This technique is especially useful in treating Ice-pick scars and some Box-car scars.
The number of sessions required will depend on the severity of the acne scars.
In certain cases, fillers can be used to fill up depressed scars to smoothen out the skin surface.
Numbing cream is first applied to the entry point of the area that is to be filled, and then the filler is administered via the entry point to raise the depressed scar.
The advantages of fillers are that effects are seen immediately, and MINIMAL to NO downtime is required.
Venus Viva Radiofrequency Skin Resurfacing
The Venus Viva is a Radiofrequency (RF) machine that utilises its Nanotechnology to effectively treat different scars with MINIMAL downtime as compared to the CO2 or Erbium laser treatment.
Multiple columns of RF energy are emitted into the scars to break the scar tissue up AND stimulate new collagen. This effectively evens out the scars and improves the texture of the scarred areas. Treatment is quick (about 30mins) and comfortable!
Conclusion, if you are facing issues with Acne Scars, it is important to take immediate action so that you will be 1 step closer to achieving clear skin again.
Enquire within to find out how we can help you remove your Acne Scars and regain your confidence.