Acne is a common skin condition that causes spots such as whiteheads and cysts.
Although acne scarring is normal, it can often impact people’s self-confidence.
Scars are formed when a pimple penetrates deep into the skin and damages the tissue beneath it.
Dr Sebastian Bejma from Dr Bejma Medical Clinic has offered a range of tips to help you understand and deal with acne scarring.
What is acne?
Acne, which affects around 95% of people in the U.K. aged between 11 and 30, is a common skin condition that can cause spots.
“It can cause different types of spots, including blackheads, whiteheads, nodules, pustules, papules and cysts and also oily skin and pain,” the Advanced Aesthetic Doctor explains. “It doesn’t just impact the face, it is also common on the back, which is often referred to as ‘bacne’ and the chest.”
Why does it cause scarring?
In some cases, acne spots can scar, particularly if they have been squeezed or picked.
“Acne scarring is a common side-effect of acne,” Dr Bejma notes. “Any type of spot can lead to scarring but in most cases it’s the nodules and cysts that burst and damage the surrounding skin which result in most severe scarring, either that or when spots are squeezed, popped or picked.”
Different types of acne scars
There are a “number of different types” of acne scars, which can appear differently on your skin.
“Atrophic scars are small indents in the skin and occur when the skin doesn’t make enough fibroblasts when healing,” the skin tech says. “Hypertrophic scars are raised in appearance and occur when the skin makes too many fibroblasts as the spot heals… (and) keloid scars which are usually thicker than the original spot and often come with hyperpigmentation mean(ing) they look darker.”
How to treat acne scars
There are several different ways to go about treating these pesky scars, including using salicylic acid and retinoids, but make sure you do a patch test before using them for the first time.
“Salicylic acid is a compound which helps to clear dirt and debris from the skin, helping to reduce the build-up which can lead to acne. It’s also believed that applying it to acne scars can help to reduce redness and swelling, reducing the appearance of scars,” the expert explains. “Retinoids when applied topically can help to reduce some acne scars and speed up cell regeneration.”
Radio frequency treatment
If you are looking for an in-clinic treatment to help with acne scarring, you could try out a radio frequency treatment.
“In-clinic treatments can offer more effective and long-term solutions to addressing acne-scarring,” advises Dr Bejma. “Morpheus8 combines RF (radio frequency) energy with Microneedling to improve the skin’s complexion and texture.
“It can be used on any areas that can benefit from sub-dermal renewal but the most commonly treated areas include the lower face and neck.”