Does acne and acne scars make you want to hide? This post is all about acne and scarring treatment options here at Pamper Medical Skin Clinic Geelong.
Together, we offer complimentary skincare consultations and we can find the right treatment choice for you.
Acne is a skin condition characterised by inflammation and is a common problem. It can be anything from the occasional blemish through the spectrum of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and even large painful cysts. Patients with condition should be assessed by competent medical practitioners and in cases of severe acne, by dermatologists.
If you have moderate to severe acne, there can be extensive damage to the surface and underlying layers of the skin. This can leave you with flat, discoloured scars or a variety of other forms including pitted or indented skin and thick raised scars. Some scars improve over time, others stay the same, and some can get worse with time. Although you can usually disguise scars with makeup, the scarring is a permanent reminder of your experience with acne. You can prevent scarring with early, effective treatment.
There are various types of acne scarring, classified based on their severity and morphology. Acne scarring treatment programme is tailored individually to the patient’s scarring type, skin type, and recovery time available. Many treatments available for acne scars which can improve and soften the appearance of the scarring.
Acne and scarring are treatable at Pamper Medical Skin Clinic with different methods: laser and light systems, dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and Dermapen. A combination of treatments may be required. It is unrealistic to expect the return to completely normal skin following treatment.
Skin care for acne scarring
It is important to address on the general quality of the skin as well as treating the acne scars. This helps to reduce the overall appearance of acne scarring. Acne commonly induces changes to skin pigmentation and skin tone. This occurs particularly on olive or darker skin types affected by acne. Hyperpigmentation can occur after trauma to the skin induced by an acne lesion. The hyperpigmentation that occurs is usually a result of inflammation caused from acne, and is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hypopigmentation, or a loss of pigmentation, can also occur as a result of acne, can often be permanent. Redness of the skin is common after an acne lesion has passed.
In many cases, these changes in skin pigmentation tend to resolve themselves with time, once the active acne has subsided. Often patients will want to expedite this process, as natural regression of this problem can often take more than a year. Retinoids, or analogues of vitamin A, can help skin turnover and keratinisation (which can block pores) and reduce acne. Using a non-comedogenic sunscreen can also help to reduce post-acne skin tone changes.
The key priority is to treat any active acne, and often using medical grade, cosmeceutical skin care can be helpful. Here at Pamper Medical Skin Clinic together with our sister business “The Skincare Company” we have developed an extensive range of clinical strength products that are now available nationwide.
Treatments for acne scarring
Fraxel treatment uses small columns of laser energy that are fired into the skin, and the skin in between these columns is spared. This leads to faster healing times, and less risks and complications from treatment. One of the other key advantages of fractional lasers is their ability to penetrate deeper into the skin than non-fractional lasers. By doing so, these lasers are able to effectively stimulate the production of new collagen. This raises indented or atrophic scars to the level of the normal skin, as opposed to non-fractional resurfacing which shaves the layer of the normal skin down.
Dermapen is a very effective method of treating superficial acne scars by puncturing the skin with multiple fine needles. This stimulates collagen production and helps to lift up any ‘indented’ or atrophic acne scars. The advantage of this treatment is the fact that it can be used on all skin types including olive and dark skin types. Also, it penetrates very deeply so that collagen can be stimulated on deeper acne scars. Usually it takes 3 to 7 days to recover from the treatment, depending on the degree of the treatment.
Chemical peels are another method of treating more superficial acne scarring. Generally, medium to deep chemical peels are required to achieve a significant result, but a series of more superficial chemical peels could help achieve some improvement in milder acne scarring without significant downtime.
The acid is left on the skin for a few minutes (3-5 is typical) and then removed. Depending on the strength and type of peel, the acids in a chemical peel cause the skin to peel and sometimes blister over a period of a few days. This exfoliation signals the cells inside the skin to regenerate faster, which can help hasten skin turnover, improve skin texture, and prevent pores from becoming clogged.
This is a treatment that gives the skin a ‘cut and polish and a vacuum clean’. It has a superficial buffing effect, which smooths the surface and the suction cleans out comedones and pustules which are the lumps and bumps on the skin. You will usually need a series of treatments. However microdermabrasion is not regarded as a stand-alone treatment but may be used in association with topical or oral medications. If used alone for repeated sessions, it can make acne worse for some people with sensitive skin.
Volume replacement for acne scarring
In many cases, volume loss occurs under the skin as a result of acne, in particular cystic acne. Replacing volume can aid in the treatment of acne scarring. Dermal fillers are a quick and effective means of replacing volume loss to improve acne scarring. By injecting dermal fillers underneath scarring, they help to replace lost volume, and lift the skin towards its normal level. Hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm, Teosyal) are accurate, simple and effective techniques however, they do not result in a permanent improvement and may have to be repeated.
Number of treatments and treatment result expectations
Although there have been many advances in the treatment of acne scarring, it remains a difficult skin concern to correct. In most cases, an improvement is achieved, but due to the nature of the problem (scarring), it is not possible to completely remove scarring in most cases.
Most of the treatments described require multiple treatments to achieve the best result. Each treatment stimulates remodelling of the skin’s collagen, and to get the best results. As a general rule, we allow 2 months as a minimum period between treatments. This time interval between treatments is a balance between the time required for new collagen to form and the patient’s desires to achieve results quickly. New collagen formation can occur for up to 1 year post treatment, but patients are usually reluctant to wait a full year prior to deciding to retreat.
Why choose Pamper Medical Skin Clinic for acne and acne scarring treatments?
There are many factors when deciding what treatment to use when treating acne and acne scarring. Our dermal therapists are highly experienced, and will be able to help you decide which treatment best suits you and your skin condition/type. A skin consultation with one of our therapists will help assist you in your decision about which treatment will best suit your goals and lifestyle. As a rule of thumb, the more invasive the treatment, the greater the downtime, and the greater the improvement. Our in-house skin care by The Skincare Company was developed by a team of skin specialists, bio-physicist and a plastic surgeon; it is based on years of real patient feedback, clinical experience and cosmeceutical skincare research. It was specifically formulated to repair, maintain and restore your skin, using only clinical grade materials. The first step is simply contacting us for your initial skincare consultation on 035221 1330, where we will discuss with you what is a realistic and achievable outcome, and what to expect from your treatment.
Written by Tatiana