Acne Scarring & Acne Treatment Geelong
Acne is a very common skin problem affecting 80% of the population worldwide in some form. There are many types of acne. The most common is called acne vulgaris. Another common form is called acne rosacea (or adult acne). Acne is the most commonly diagnosed skin disorder and the number one reason patients visit a dermatologist, for acne treatment. Almost everyone goes through a period of acne at one time or another.
What are Pimples?
Pimples are an inflammatory form of acne that is characterised by excess oil (sebum) production, blocked pores, inflammation of surrounding skin and bacterial activity.
What causes Acne?
Just beneath the surface of the skin lie hundreds of tiny oil producing glands called sebaceous glands. Their function is to collect and excrete an oily substance called sebum to keep the skin healthy.
The 4 main factors that contribute to acne are:
- Enlargement of the oil producing (sebaceous) glands in the skin and excessive oil (sebum) production resulting in greasy skin and large pores.
- Blockage of the tiny pathway (duct) that takes the sebum from the sebaceous gland to the skins surface.
- An overgrowth of acne bacteria inside the sebaceous glands. This bacterium is called Proprionibacterium acnes.
- Production of inflammatory products by the acne bacteria.
Why treat Acne?
Physically acne can result in pain, skin damage and scarring. Psychologically acne can have a devastating effect on a persons self esteem and is often a source of anxiety, low self confidence and even depression. The aim of treatment is to suppress and clear acne and to prevent acne scarring. Treatment is aimed at overcoming the main factors contributing to acne namely excess oil production, blocked oil glands, overgrowth of bacteria and inflammatory products.
Laser Treatment of Acne
The use of lasers and light sources to treat acne is becoming increasingly popular due to the great results without the systemic side effects of medications such as oral antibiotics and Roaccutane. Lasers can be used by themselves to treat acne (Acne Light) or in combination with topical agents to improve effectiveness (Photodynamic Therapy).
The treatment of choice for scars resulting from past acne damage (i.e. acne scars) will depend on the type and severity of the acne scars. Treatment options range from surface treatments for superficial scars such as peels and microdermabrasion to treatments for deeper scars using advanced medical lasers such as the latest fractional laser technology.
Top Four Things About Acne Scarring
- There are different types of acne scars
- Different types of scars require different treatments
- Active acne needs to be controlled
- Scarring is often associated with pigmentation that needs treatment
Types Of Acne Scars
There are various types of acne scars and many different methods of classifying them. Many patients have a combination of several different types of acne scars at the same time. Essentially acne scars can be considered to be either raised, flat or depressed.
Raised Acne Scars
When acne causes raised scars these may be either hypertrophic when they are enlarged but confined to original area of acne or keloid when the scarring extends beyond the original area of acne. The choice of treatment depends on how raised the scars are and can include local treatment such as corticosteroid injections or more generalised treatment such as FRAXEL laser treatment.
Flat scarring also called macular scarring is largely a problem of pigmentation rather than changes in skin texture.
Initial treatment options include topical depigmenting creams such as hydroquinone or superficial peels. Resistant macular scarring often requires laser based treatments in particular the REV-LITE laser which can target both pigmentation and scarring at the same time.
Depressed Acne Scars
Acne scars can cause various types of indentations in the skin such as rolling undulations (rolling scars) punched out depressions with sharp vertical edges (boxcar scars), deep scars with loss of subcutaneous tissue (deep divots) and deep small holes in the skin (ice pick scars).
If the depressions are very superficial then peels and microdermabrasion can be effective in smoothing the skin surface.
For deeper depressions where it is necessary to promote collagen production, the use of skin needling devices can provide very effective treatment with minimal downtime.
Certain types of severely depressed acne scarring may require surgery such as subcision which aims to release depressed scars from underlying structures and fat grafts to fill very deep scars that have lost supporting tissue.
Meet one of our Dermal Therapists – Chevonne Stewart
Chevonne Stewart is a qualified dermal clinician having successfully completed her tertiary degree at Victoria University. Chevonne is also accomplished in a range of non laser skin treatments including chemical peels, microdermabrasion and skin needling. Chevonne has a particular interest in the treatment of acne , melasma, rosacea, sundamaged skin and scarring.
Book now for a free initial consultation and skin analysis with Chevonne to discuss your skin concerns.
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