How to Treat Acne and Acne Scars
Whether you are a teenager or an adult, the sight of a pimple on your face is enough to disturb your peace of mind. What’s even more tormenting is the dark mark or scar that persists long after the acne is gone. Everyone loves flawless skin, and that noticeable mark or scar is bothersome enough to dent your self-esteem.
What is Acne?
Acne is a condition that occurs when skin pores are clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It usually appears on the face in the form of pimples, cysts, blackheads or whiteheads.
Common Causes of Acne
The factors responsible for the growth of acne are listed below:
- Over-washing and under-washing
- Low quality skin products
- Unhealthy diet
Difference Between Acne Marks and Acne Scars
Acne marks are formed when there is no permanent collagen damage to the skin. They are smooth to the touch and are not indented or raised. They fade on their own after some weeks.
Acne scars are formed when there is damage to the skin, resulting in excess collagen production. These are of two types – raised and depressed. While the former may be firm, the latter appear like craters.
What Causes These?
An acne mark occurs when a pimple or a pustule is ruptured, resulting in abnormal pigmentation, tone and texture at the same spot.
How to Treat Acne Marks
These need immediate attention as they become darker and apparent with time. Some relevant treatments are listed below:
Sunscreen: During an acne breakout, sun exposure can result in darkening of inflammatory lesions. This prolongs their appearances on the skin and they take longer to fade. Applying sunscreen daily on your face will block harsh UV rays; today’s products are designed to be more skin friendly than ever before.
Topical vitamin C serum: It prevents excess pigment production and lightens the dark marks that have already developed. It also builds collagen and promotes healing. The serum should be applied first thing in the morning, followed by sunscreen.
Lactic acid peels and serums: These have been found to brighten marks and enhance the appearance, pigmentation and texture of the skin. There are numerous ointments, peels and serums with lactic acid.
Salicylic acid: It is used to exfoliate skin, clear pores, while lessening redness and swelling when applied topically.
Retinoids: This allows cell regeneration to speed up and improves skin texture; scars and discolouration are less visible.
How to Treat Acne Scars
Though the condition may come and go, the scars may remain for a really long time. The six treatments to remove them effectively and efficiently are:
Steroid injections: These are administered for raised scars to flatten them out without affecting the skin texture. These instantaneously reduce the inflammation of an extant scar; the cortisone in these injections can help them appear flatter and softer.
Dermal fillers: These are substances that can fill scars by elevating the depressed areas, making the skin surface more even.
Laser resurfacing: This procedure removes the top layer of the skin and has a faster healing time than other treatments. It is not effective on people with dark skin tones or anyone who continuously gets acne breakouts.
Microneedling: this procedure that involves using tiny needles gently pricking the face. This creates small ‘injuries’ on skin resulting in less hyperpigmentation, brightening of acne marks, while boosting collagen and elastin production.
Punch excisions: This procedure is suitable for people with ice pick scars that are not as wide as boxcar or rolling scars. This method is not recommended for people with dark skin tones and more prone to hyperpigmentation.
Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs): AHAs help in removing dead skin and preventing clogged pores; they can also help in making acne scars less visible. The acid exfoliates the outer layer to help remove damaged skin and discoloration.
Injections: Medications including corticosteroids and fluorouracil can be injected into indented scars to help flatten them. These are generally performed as a series with one every few weeks.
If you suffer from acne, book an appointment with the Redwood Medi Spa & Wellness Centre. Our team of experienced professionals will work with you to decide on a suitable treatment.