Acne and Acne Scar Treatment

  • acne Mild Acne
    Acne can be mild, moderate and severe. It has a huge impact on self esteem and can lead to lifelong scarring. Early intervention for acne is essential to help prevent permanent scarring. Dermatologists are experts in the management of acne and will tailor your treatment to your individual needs. Acne is a complex disease and treatments that offer long term cure are better than some techniques that improve your acne for a short period only.  

    Acne Scarring and Treatment

    The residual effects of acne can leave a variety of different types of scars. Up to 40% of acne suffers with moderate to severe acne will have some form of scarring. Treatment options for acne scarring include non-ablative fractionated laser therapy along with topical retinoids and chemical peels. Surgical options are also available and these include excision and also subscision where the skin holding the scar down is removed. These options are all designed to improve the appearance of scarring.  
acne Moderate to Severe Acne

Skin Colour Changes

Skin colour changes are extremely common. In patients with white skin this is usually characterized by flat pink/ red areas that are left behind once the “bumpiness” has resolved. This is called post-inflammatory erythema. People with darker skin often get darker brown marks once the acne has resolved, this is commonly known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. White marks can also occur once acne has resolved. Unfortunately, these post-inflammatory changes do not improve with oral antibiotics or topical anti-acne therapy.   Most of the colour changes will improve naturally with time (6-18 months). Sun protection is important and some topical bleaching creams (eg Kojic and azelaic acid) can help with dark spots. Red spots may respond to laser (vascular laser). Scars develop over time and there is some evidence that early treatment of the post inflammatory redness may reduce the development of scarring in the future.
  • Severe Acne resulting in Scar formation

    Cosmeceuticals - what works?

    There are a wide variety of scar types that develop following acne. The type of scar influences the way they are managed and often multiple treatment modalities are required. Deep pitted scars are called ice-pick scar. Flat thin scars are called atrophic scars and thicker, lumpy tender scars are called keloid or hypertrophic scars. Most individuals have a combination of scar types and hence a range of approaches is required.  

Techniques

Techniques used to manage scars need to be indiviualised. These techniques include punch grafting, filler injection for acne scars, subcision, photodynamic therapy or injection of corticosteroids.
... Acne 2-months after treatment
  • Punch grafting: involves removing the scar with a special instrument and then replacing it with normal skin. This procedure is then followed up with laser resurfacing.
  • Subcision®: involves dividing the scar tissue beneath the scar and thus lifting the skin back to its original position.
  • Fillers injection for acne scars: This technique is better for deeper scars. It is not permanent so retreatment is needed.
  • Thick keloid-like scars: Keloid or hypertrophic scars require the injection of corticosteroid into them. Multiple injections separated by 4 to 6 weeks may be required.
... Acne scarring combination of post
... Keloid scarring following acne
... Keloid scarring following acne