What causes acne scars?
Unfortunately, acne scarring is a very common side effect of acne breakouts. The skin’s response to P. acnes bacteria can produce inflammatory acne (“pimples”), these inflammatory lesions often leave scars behind after they resolve. Some people are more prone to scarring than others, and can end up with disfiguring marks on their skin that do not resolve without treatment.
Are all acne scars the same?
No, all acne scars are not the same. There are different types of acne scarring; it is important to differentiate the types of scarring, as the treatment of each type of scarring is approached differently.
“Acne marks develop from post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This can lead to brown or red discoloration on the surface of the skin. Acne scars are deep indentations that are usually caused from picking, though not always. These are much more difficult to treat because we cannot bring the skin back to its original state once the skin has been compromised. (Although there is help to reduce the appearance of them).”
Treatments for acne marks
“There are many effective treatments for Acne marks and discoloration. Chemical peels can offer great results with no downtime to help break up the excess pigment. When people think of chemical peels, they tend to think oozing and tons of skin peeling. That is not the case with our in-office chemical peels. There will be a slight tingle to the skin for just a few minutes. Clients can immediately go back to work and resume normal activities. We treat a lot of teenagers who will then go back to school right after their chemical peel and their friends are completely unaware they had anything done. “
“Usually a series of 4-6 is needed for optimal results spaced about 1 month apart. For brown discoloration you can also use a topical prescription 4% hydroquinone. Hydroquinone’s inhibit the production of the melanin that is causing that pigment to linger. Combining both in-office peels/treatments and using medical grade skincare products will help anyone achieve faster and more noticeable results.”
The different types of atrophic acne scars are:
- Ice pick scars: Ice pick scars are very deep and narrow scars with a sharp border.
- Boxcar scars: Boxcar scars are round sunken patches with a steep border. They appear “pitted,” though they are wider than ice pick scars.
- Rolling scars: Rolling scars appear as sunken “wavy” areas of the skin, without sharp borders.
- Raised scars (Hypertrophic): Hypertrophic acne scars are usually red scars that rise above the skin and can be itchy and painful.
Treatments for acne scars
For acne scars Micro-needling is an effective treatment with very little to no down time. There are tiny pins/needles that create micro perforations in the skin which helps to stimulate collagen naturally. Micro-needling is excellent for scarring because the needles penetrate the skin and help release the tethers that are pulling the skin down. This results in lifted skin and softening of the indentations. Most patients see the best results after a series of 4 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Numbing cream is applied prior to a treatment and most patients describe the sensation as a sandpaper type feel. I am with you every step of the way and can adjust the depth of the pins so you, the patient, is as comfortable as possible through the whole process.
About Andrea Fenda
Andrea has over 15 years experience as a Medical Aesthetician. Andrea’s passion is in skin health and loves educating on preventative maintenance for all ages. When it comes to the face and body, she knows that this is the only skin we will ever get.
Click here to learn more about Andrea Fenda or call to schedule an appointment with her today!