Acne Scarring

Acne Scarring

… help is here!!

The treatment of Acne Scarring should not be undertaken until all active acne has been eradicated and there are no more major outbreaks.

Our Cosmetic Physician regularly witnesses the self-consciousness, despair and psychological devastation that acne scarring inflicts on patients.

Although Acne Scars in most cases cannot be totally eliminated there are a number of procedures available that can considerably lessen their appearance and make them much less noticeable.

Your skin type, as well as the shape and depth of your acne scars, will determine which treatment or combination of treatments is best for you. As most people have a variety of scar shapes and depths, more than one type of treatment may be necessary for the best possible result.

At your Initial Consultation, our Cosmetic Physician will assess your skin and the shapes of your scars and then explain which treatment, or combinations of treatments, is best for you.

Treatment options for acne scarring may include:

  • Medical Micro-Dermabrasion to reduce the appearance of the scarring.  Micro-Dermabrasion does not significantly reduce the depth of the scars, it more changes the light-reflective properties of the skin and thereby the scars may appear less conspicuous. 
  • Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), is a treatment especially for people with coloured skin tones.  CIT aims to stimulate collagen synthesis and thereby improve the appearance of the scars.  The advantage of CIT is that, unlike Laser Skin Resurfacing, it can be used on those with brown, olive or Asian skin without the risk of pigmentation complications.
  • Dermal Fillers to fill out the scars is one of our most frequent recommendations for specific shapes of acne scarring. It is the best option for ‘valley’ shape acne scars which are less responsive to the other treatment options. Using a very fine needle, enough Dermal Filler is injected beneath each ‘valley’ scar to bring it up to the level of the surrounding skin surface.  There are currently on the Australian market a number of dermal fillers which have the ability to improve the appearance of specific shapes of acne scars by filling them out. Our Cosmetic Physician will give you a choice of suitable Dermal Fillers at your initial consultation.
  • Surgical Excision of the scars is an option for those scars that are not suitable for other treatments. The methods include simple excision, punch excision and punch grafting.  They can be easily performed under local anaesthesia.  However, be mindful that surgical excision will always leave a surgical scar, and so consideration needs to be given as to which of the two scars – the acne scar or the surgical scar – will be the least obvious.
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing delivers the best results with the shallow acne ‘pits’ and shallow ‘crater’ types of acne scars. It is not very effective for ‘valley’ scars.  However, the laser cannot remove scars that reach deeper than the laser can reach.  Realistically, therefore, you must not expect that every acne scar will disappear.  Instead, you should only expect a reduction in the number and depth of the scars.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Laser Skin Resurfacing is not suitable for those with olive, brown or Asian skin because of the risk of causing pigmentation complications.  Chemical Peeling, although excellent for other skin conditions, is generally not useful for acne scarring unless the scarring is very fine.

 

Types of acne scars & their treatments

The shape and depth of your scars, as well as your skin type, will determine which treatment, or combination of treatments, is best for you.

‘Rolling’ or ‘ Valley’ Scars are difficult to remove with any form of skin resurfacing such as Chemical Peeling or Laser Skin Resurfacing. We find that dermal fillers to raise the depressions to the level of the surrounding skin surface is usually the best option for this type of scar.

Rolling Scar

‘Ice-Pick’ Scars are small, deep pitted scars. Punch excision is usually the best option to remove these unless they are very shallow in which case Laser Skin Resurfacing could be an option.

Ice Pick Scar

‘Boxcar’ or ‘Crater’ Scars if shallow may respond well to Laser Skin Resurfacing otherwise Dermal Fillers to raise them to the level of the surrounding skin surface could be an option.

Boxcar Scar

‘Hypertrophic (Raised) Scars’ respond best to surgical excision or Laser Skin Resurfacing.

Hypertrophic Scar

As most acne scar sufferers have a variety of scar types, more than one type of treatment is usually necessary.

At your initial consultation, our Cosmetic Physician will carefully assess both your skin and your scars and then outline which treatment or combination of treatments is best for you.