Acne is a skin condition that, regardless of its severity, makes a lot of people feel self-conscious. After treating and beating acne, a notoriously stubborn skin condition, you might think that your skincare troubles are over. What a lot of people don’t realise is that their battle with acne has been taken up by a fresh rival: acne scars. How, if at all, do you get rid of acne scars?
How acne scars form
There are two main types of acne scarring: the dimpled kind that appears as craterous areas of skin, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Neither are more severe than the other, with thousands of people suffering with acne scarring all over the UK. In fact, you don’t even need to have been formally diagnosed with acne or have been on aggressive medication to find that certain spots and blemishes have scarred.
Dimpled acne scarring occurs after tissue damage. When an inflammatory break-out happens, it destroys collagen and jeopardises your skin tissue. The skin then either loses support and heals into a depressed area, or over-produces collagen in an exaggerated healing response that leads to uneven skin texture. Some forms of acne scarring make themselves known in the appearance of larger pores, because a swollen blemish has stretched the pore or follicle wider than it otherwise would’ve been. While enlarged pores aren’t technically acne scarring, they don’t tend to shrink back to their original size and might benefit from treatment. For enlarged pores, IPL treatments might be beneficial.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin experiences a wound or open sore that causes a traumatic and inflammatory response. Once the initial trauma has been dealt with and as the skin is healing, it produces too much melanin that is often too dark (or sometimes light) in colour. What hyperpigmentation and dimple acne scars have in common is that both show the body over-producing skin components to heal a wound as quickly as possible which, unfortunately, doesn’t always have the best cosmetic appearance.
How to treat acne scars: microneedling
Microneedling uses tiny needles to repeatedly deliver tiny punctures to the skin. These microscopic punctures close almost as soon as they’re opened, but it’s their opening that triggers the skin’s healing processes. These tiny wounds in the skin trigger a regenerative response and the fresh production of collagen. However, this collagen production is much more controlled than the initial imbalance that caused the dimpled acne scars, so there is very minimal risk of further developing. Instead, the surface skin cells are damaged and therefore eventually shed by the body, sloughing them away and making way for fresh skin cells. By ‘relevelling’ the skin, microneedling safely treats dimpled acne scars and acne-related hyperpigmentation.
How to treat acne scars: skin peels
Skin peels treat both acne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, too. By applying a skin peel treatment that contains a controlled amount acid in it, we damage and dry out the top layer of skin. Skin peels perform what is called a chemical exfoliation, because these dead and dried out skin cells are then shed, and a fresh layer of skin takes their place. This not only helps to relevel hyperpigmentation, but it also kick-starts the production of collagen within the skin in a controlled manner. Furthermore, this treatment is great for balancing the oil production within the skin and can therefore help protect the skin from future break-outs.
Acne scars might seem permanent purely because they’re scars but rest assured that they don’t need to be. By treating the skin not only on a superficial layer but also helping to remodel those that lie deeper, we can treat acne scarring safely and successfully. Enquire online or speak to a member of our team on 020 7584 4777 to book your skincare consultation today, and we’ll help you feel confident in your skin again.