- The causes of acne are multi-factorial and different for each person, and therefore the treatments used vary from person to person
- Acne is a medical problem that should be treated by doctors.
- Acne left untreated can lead to permanent scarring
- The main two modalities of treatment are oral medications and and medical grade skin treatments including skin care and chemical peels
- Using appropriate mineral-make up and sunscreen can also help with acne
- For acne that is resistant to the normal modalities of treatment, laser, photodynamic therapy or oral isotretinoin can be used.
What causes acne?
There are a number of contributors to the formation of acne. Excess oil and sebum production exacerbated by hormonal influences on sebaceous glands, as well as dead skin physically blocking pores can cause acne. A bacterium named Propionibacterium acnes (p.acnes) has also been implicated as a cause of acne. All treatments for acne will address one or more of these issues.
On the other hand ‘minigrafts’, tiny hair –bearing pieces of skin of one, two or three hairs, can produce a greater density since they allow for subsequent fill-ins with the ultimate density being superior to that of follicular grafts.
Acne Scarring Treatments
- There are various types of acne scars, each treated with different methods
- As a rule, the more invasive the treatment, the longer the recovery period and the better the results
What types of acne scars are there-
- Macular scarring – this type of acne scarring is characterised by flat areas of increased and decreased pigmentation as a result of acne. Although there are not any indentations in the skin or raised scars, this is considered as a scar by many patients who have this problem.
- Boxcar scars – these acne scars are superficial punched out scars that have sharp vertical edges on cross section, and can be round or oval shaped when seen from above.
- Rolling scars – these acne scars appear as undulations in the skin and are usually caused by tethering of the skin to underlying structures
- Deep divots – these are simply very deep scars that involve loss of subcutaneous tissue volume and result in a large divot.
- Ice-pick scars – deep but small holes in the skin, similar to the indentation left by an ice-pick.
- Hypertrophic scarring – where there is a raised and often pigmented scar as a result of acne.
- Keloid scars – where the size of the scar is significantly raised, red/purple, and disproportionate to the size of the initial trauma caused by the acne
What categories of severity of acne scars are there?
Acne scarring can be categorised as (Goodman & Barron);
- Grade 1 – macular scarring or flat scarring that is characterised by flat areas of increased or decreased pigmentation visible from greater than 50cm.
- Grade 2 – mild disease that is visible at distances of less than 50cm and can be covered by make-up. Examples include mild rolling acne scars.
- Grade 3 – moderate disease that is visible at 50cm or greater and is not easily covered with make-up or the normal shadow of a shaved beard hair. Stretching the skin can flatten the scar. Examples include more significant rolling scars, shallow boxcar scars, and mild to moderate hypertrophic scars.
- Grade 4 – severe disease as in grade 3 but scarring is not flattened by stretching the skin. Examples include severe boxcar scars, deep divots, ice pick scars, and hypertrophic/keloid scarring (very raised/pigmented scars).
Why should I choose The Skin Life Clinic as my provider of acne scarring treatments-
There are many factors when deciding what treatment to use when treating acne scarring. Our doctors are highly experienced in the treatment of acne scarring, and will be able to help you decide which treatment best suits you and your skin condition/type.
A consultation with one of our medical staff will help assist you in your decision about which treatment will best suit your goals and lifestyle. Due to the large number of treatments available, a consultation will help you decide which best treatment suits you. As a rule of thumb, the more invasive the treatment, the greater the downtime, and the greater the improvement.
The first step is simply contacting us for your initial skin consultation, where we will discuss with you what is a realistic and achievable outcome, and what to expect from your treatment