Acne and Acne Scarring
A Guide to acne and acne scarring
Whether you experienced acne through high school or later in life, many people have struggled with combating acne breakouts and often post-acne scarring which can significantly affect your quality of life. The treatment options available can sometimes be overwhelming however, understanding and assessing the type of acne or scarring you may have can be beneficial in choosing a treatment plan for you.
WHY DO WE GET ACNE?
Acne is a common condition that occurs when the oil glands of the skin become clogged with oil, dead skin and other skin debris. Acne can occur for a variety of reasons and understanding your own skin is the first step in treating acne. Hormonal imbalance, poor skincare and bacterial infections are the main reasons for acne. However, sometimes acne can be caused by new or existing medications for other health conditions or by some contraceptive medications. Diet can also factor into your skin’s health and high glycaemic index (GI) diets (e.g. sugary foods, potatoes, white bread etc) have been proven to sometimes cause or aggravate acne. Skincare products that are irritating to the face can result in inflammation and lead to acne scarring.
COMPLICATIONS OF ACNE
When left untreated, acne can result in scarring and pigmentation of the skin. Any type of acne spot can lead to scarring but it is most common when more serious types of spots (cysts and nodules) burst and damage the skin. By delaying treatment, acne can gradually spread to wider areas of the face and result in more extensive acne scarring. By treating acne and breakouts as soon as possible, scarring, pigmentation and the spreading of acne can be dramatically reduced.
Squeezing or popping pimples might seem like a quick, appealing way to reduce the appearance of acne but this is often where scarring occurs. Popping pimples only drains the contents of the clogged oil gland and if scarring does not occur, another pimple often forms in its place, creating even deeper impressions in the skin which can lead to larger scarring.
TYPES OF ACNE SCARRING
Acne scarring leaves indents in the skin and are typically caused by cystic or nodular acne. There are two categories of acne scars: depression scars and raised acne scars. Depression scars are the most common and are from the loss of tissue, whereas raised acne scars are from the overproduction of tissue. When acne is poorly treated, the skin finds it hard to heal itself and results in uneven texture and scarring. Understanding the type of acne scarring you may have can help in deciding the best treatment plan for you.
The main 3 types of acne scars include:
● Ice pick scars – small, deep holes in the skin that appear like the skin has been punctured with a sharp object.
● Rolling scars – the surface of the skin appears uneven and has a wavy texture due to bands of scar tissue forming under the skin.
● Boxcar scars – these are round depressions in the skin that are wider than ice pick scars but not as wide as rolling scars.
ACNE TREATMENT OPTIONS
There are a lot of treatment options for acne scarring including skin care regimes that can be done at home and treatments that are performed in a clinic. Regardless of the treatment, you opt for, having a consultation with a medical professional to advise you on treatment options is vital for your individual skin needs.
AT HOME SKINCARE FOR ACNE
Poor skincare is one of the most common causes of acne and inadequate skin care during active acne often leads to scarring. Combatting active acne not only benefits your skin long-term but can help you to avoid needing more invasive treatments due to scarring.
Here at Dr Matla’s clinic, we suggest AlumierMD products and treatments as they are free of parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil and dyes as well as having scientific formulations that deliver exceptional results.
The Alumiers MD Acne skincare plan we suggest includes:
● Purifying Gel Cleanser – a pH-balanced foaming cleanser.
● Bright and Clear Exfoliator – refines the complexion, brightens and reduces the appearance of large pores and congested skin.
● Acne Balancing Day serum – this penetrates pores to reduce acne, allows the skin to heal and prevents new pimples.
● Retinol Resurfacing Night Serum – this dramatically improves the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes and evens out skin tone and texture.
● HydraClaritè hydrator – moisturises the skin by working to repair the skin’s natural hydro-lipid barrier while preventing breakouts.
● Clear Shield SPF – this sunscreen protects the skin from further sun damage.
Combining AlumierMD products with Dr Matla’s extensive knowledge ensures that you receive the correct treatment plan for you and your skin.
Chemical peels are used to improve acne scarring, skin texture and tone. An acid is applied to the skin to lower the pH levels which loosens dead skin cells, exfoliates the skin and stimulates new cell growth. This process causes the layers of dead skin to peel off, revealing a more radiant, even complexion.
Microneedling is a process that uses tiny needles to create small puncture wounds in the skin to trigger the skin’s natural healing response and production of collagen. This can improve indented acne scarring by “plumping out” the acne scars and in turn, fading the scars.
MICRONEEDLING WITH PRP
Microneedling and Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) are often combined to give your skin further stimulation of collagen production and accelerate the skin’s natural wound healing. The process involves your practitioner taking a blood sample and spinning it through a device called a centrifuge which separates the plasma from the red blood cells. Plasma contains platelets and when these are added to microneedling, the PRP improves the healing process. With PRP, your dermatologist takes a blood sample and spins it through a special device called a centrifuge. This separates the plasma from the red blood cells. Plasma contains platelets and growth factors that your body uses to heal. When added to microneedling, the PRP generates better results and improves the healing process and reduction of acne scars.
Booking a consultation with a medically trained professional ensures that you receive the best treatment plan for you. At the consultation, Dr. Matla can examine your skin and advise you on which treatment options are most suited to you whether that being the at-home skincare routine, micro needling, chemical peels, or a combination of treatments.
For acne treatments, a consultation with a trained medical professional is vital in creating your bespoke treatment plan. With Dr. Matla’s wealth of experience and ability to create a unique course of high-quality treatments for each patient, you’re only a consultation away from reaching your personal aesthetic goals.