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Acne Scar Removal and Treatment

Acne scars appear as pitted, raised and sometimes dark patches of skin mostly in areas susceptible to acne such as the face, back and chest.

What are Acne Scars?

Acne scars result when inflamed acne breakouts penetrate the deeper section of the skin and the surrounding tissues beyond the initial pore. The body tries to repair the damage by producing collagen, leaving a scar.

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne scars occur when a person treats the acne on their body, and it begins to heal. This risk of getting acne scars may increase when the person:

  • Has inflammatory (reddish, swollen, and painful) acne: Acne cysts and nodules are the types of acne spots that penetrate into the deeper part of the skin and cause damage. The more time you leave the inflammatory acne, the higher the risk of becoming an acne scar.
  • Picking, squeezing, or popping acne: This also increases inflammation, which in turn increases the risk of the acne forming a scar.

Has a family member who developed acne scars: There is a genetic link in the tendency to get acne and acne scar formation.

Can acne scars be 100% removed?

Acne scars can be significantly reduced and improved, but whether they can be 100% removed depends on the type, depth, and severity of the scar, as well as the individual’s skin type and healing capacity. Here’s a breakdown:

Atrophic Scars (Boxcar, Ice Pick, and Rolling):

These scars can be reduced in appearance through treatments like laser resurfacing, dermal fillers, and subcision. While they may become much less noticeable, complete removal is challenging.

Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars:

Intralesional steroid injections can flatten these raised scars. Laser treatments and surgical removal can also be effective. However, keloids, in particular, have a tendency to recur even after treatment.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH):

This discolouration can fade over time on its own, especially with the help of sun protection. Topical treatments, chemical peels, and laser treatments can expedite the fading process. In many cases, PIH can be entirely eliminated.

Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE):

These red or pink spots can fade over time, and treatments like laser therapy can speed up the process. They have a higher likelihood of fading completely compared to atrophic or hypertrophic scars.

It’s essential to set realistic expectations when seeking treatment for acne scars. While modern dermatological procedures can achieve significant improvement, complete removal of deep scars is often not possible. However, the appearance and texture of scars can be greatly improved, making them much less noticeable.

Moreover, early intervention and treatment of active acne can prevent or minimise scar formation.

Can you prevent acne scarring?

It is possible to prevent acne scars by treating acne effectively. Do not wait until acne becomes severe before you get it treated, it might lead to serious scarring, whether you’re at higher risk or not.

Find out more about acne treatments here.

Types of Acne Scars and Treatments

We see many different types of acne scarring as it can present itself differently depending on collagen production. This is why we offer a tailored skin solution: acne severity levels, collagen healing processes, and scarring appearance vary for different people and cases.

The NHS states there are three types of acne scarring:

  • Ice pick scars – small, deep holes in the surface of your skin that look like the skin has been punctured with a sharp object
  • Rolling scars – caused by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin, giving the surface of the skin a rolling and uneven appearance.
  • Boxcar scars – round or oval depressions, or craters, in the skin

Treatments for Acne Scar Removal and Treatment

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