Whether it’s a scar from a particularly nasty spot.
Or a case of more widespread acne scarring.
Acne and the scars it leaves behind can be emotionally challenging.
You likely know from experience that these scars are challenging to treat.
That is why we have put together this acne scars before and after guide.
Where we will explore the types, causes, and treatment of acne scars.
So, you are armed with all the practical solutions to improve the appearance of your skin.
Acne scars often result from deep cysts beneath your skin, making them more likely to leave lasting marks than regular pimples or blackheads.
Cystic acne is particularly troublesome, and attempts to pop or squeeze these deep-seated blemishes will make matters worse.
Research (1) suggests that roughly 50 per cent of scars result from picking at your face.
Avoid Picking Your Acne
Resist the temptation to pop or squeeze your breakouts, no matter how many pimple-popping videos you’ve seen.
This increases the likelihood of scarring and introduces bacteria and infection, driving inflammation even deeper into the skin.
Inflammation significantly contributes to scarring, as scars result from an imperfect inflammatory healing process.
To prevent post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) and further skin damage, adopting safer methods for managing acne is essential; this is why we put together this article on blackheads, where you can learn how to extract them without scarring your skin.
Topical Treatments for Acne Scars
- Niacinamide is both a spot and a scar treatment, offering anti-inflammatory benefits to soothe blemishes and scarring. Our B+ skin shot combined with N acetyl glucosamine is the perfect balancing formula to help with dark spots and PIH.
- Salicylic acid, found in BHA products, can reduce inflammation and the risk of scarring despite its seemingly counterintuitive nature. Try our Clarify, Calm and Balance gel to help heal your acne scars.
- Retinol and Vitamin A derivatives are highly successful when it comes to acne scars before and after treatment. Regular application over three months can lead to an improved appearance of discolouration and a smoother texture in your scars. Try our A+ retinol skin shot.
- Roaccutane will help if you suffer from frequent cystic breakouts; consider taking oral retinoids like Accutane, which can be a preventive measure against scarring. Speak to your health provider first and research, however, as it can be hard on your liver.
Clinical Treatments for Acne scars
Chemical peels, which may include salicylic, glycolic, and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels at varying concentrations, are effective treatments for acne scars before and after treatment.
Light chemical peels can also help to re-texturise and lift discolouration from your skin.
Microdermabrasion is an advanced exfoliation method designed to rejuvenate your skin by removing dull, lifeless cells, revealing a fresher and more radiant complexion.
This non-invasive procedure involves using fine crystals, which are gently propelled onto your skin’s surface under pressure and simultaneously suctioned away.
The dual action of this process not only exfoliates your skin but also stimulates circulation and encourages the renewal of your skin cells.
Microdermabrasion effectively minimises the appearance of enlarged pores and de-congesting the skin, making it a popular choice for a smoother and more revitalised skin texture.
This treatment can also play a pivotal role in reducing the visibility of acne scars.
If you have acne inflammation, it might be worth avoiding this treatment; however, redness and a tender sensation immediately following a microdermabrasion session can happen, which may worsen the inflammation.
LED Light Therapy
LED Light Therapy offers a gentle path to skin rejuvenation. It is a non-invasive treatment that can remarkably soothe and stimulate your skin’s natural regenerative processes. It utilises different wavelengths of light to target specific skin concerns, providing a painless and revitalising experience.
Blue Light: One of the primary applications of LED Light Therapy is blue light, which is particularly effective for acne scars before and after treatment. It addresses the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts while promoting skin cell turnover. Additionally, it has a soothing effect on inflamed skin, making it a versatile solution for acne-related issues.
Red Light: Red light enhances the skin’s natural defence mechanisms. This serves a dual purpose: it accelerates the healing process and encourages the development of happier, healthier skin. Red light therapy improves overall skin health by stimulating the skin’s innate protective responses.
Fractional Co2 Laser for Acne Scars
Fractional Co2 Laser treatment employs precise laser pulses that penetrate your skin’s deeper layers, deliberately inflicting controlled damage to the cells below.
This process triggers your skin’s inherent healing mechanism, prompting basal layer cells to regenerate, returning stronger, firmer, and more rapidly. The outcome is smoother, tighter skin with a more even tone, making it particularly effective if you have deep ice pick scars.
We typically recommend 4-5 treatments every 4-5 weeks for optimal results. Post-treatment, you may observe micro-wounds in the form of tiny dots evenly spaced across your skin. Your skin might feel warm and sensitive immediately after the procedure, with potential itchiness as the initial inflammation subsides.
Photo Rejuvenation for Scar Reduction
Photo rejuvenation is a laser treatment that safely delivers high-energy light beams through your skin’s surface.
This targets skin pigmentation in the underlying tissue and minor surface blood vessels. The process generates heat, eliciting an inflammatory response in the skin, thereby triggering a healing process that diminishes pigmentation and red blood vessels.
Once the targeted pigment rises to the skin’s surface, it flakes away. This is a highly effective method for reducing hyperpigmentation caused by acne and retexturing your skin.
Following the treatment, temporary redness is expected, typically lasting from a few minutes to up to 24 hours, depending on your skin’s resilience.
Pigmented areas will darken within a few hours, and small dark spots may form (a sign that the treatment is working), which can persist for three days to 3 weeks.
For optimal results, we recommend a series of 4-5 treatments every 4-5 weeks, like fractional laser, ensuring that you achieve significant and long-lasting improvements in your skin’s appearance.
Fillers & Injections for Acne Scars
Hyaluronic acid fillers offer a promising solution in some instances for acne scars. These fillers address acne scars and pitting, imparting your skin a smoother and plumper appearance.
They work by injecting hyaluronic acid beneath the scar, lifting the depressed area and creating a more even skin surface.
Treatments for Severe Scarring
When acne scars are characterised by hardness or lumpiness, your dermatologist may recommend cortisol injections.
Cortisol injections are administered to alleviate the severity of these scars, aiming to soften and flatten their appearance.
More advanced treatments or surgical procedures may be required for more severe cases, particularly with deep ice pick scars.
These cases often necessitate a customised approach to effectively address the depth and extent of scarring. Book a consultation with a skin specialist to determine the most suitable treatment options for your acne scars. During this consultation, they will discuss your concerns and assess your skin to identify the best action to achieve the desired results.
To conclude. The naked truth
Acne scars can be both a physical and emotional challenge, and finding the right solution is vital to restoring confidence and achieving smoother, blemish-free skin.
In the journey to understand and address acne scars, we’ve explored the various treatment options that cater to different scar severities. Many choices exist, from topical treatments like niacinamide and acids to more advanced options such as Co2 laser and photo rejuvenation.
Each treatment offers unique benefits for distinct scar types and skin conditions. However, the key to success is seeking professional guidance and a personalised treatment plan to meet your needs.
Whether dealing with mild scarring or more severe cases like deep ice pick scars, the path to improved skin begins with understanding your options.
Consult a dermatologist or a skincare specialist to discuss your concerns; they will assess your skin’s condition and determine the most suitable option to achieve your desired results.
By taking these steps, you can journey towards healthier, scar-reduced skin and remember, you’re not alone; many acne scars before and after treatments are available to help you achieve clear skin.
- Acne Scarring—Pathogenesis, Evaluation, and Treatment Options
- Chemical peels in the treatment of acne: patient selection and perspectives.