Acne scarring is a form of scarring that can sometimes develop as a complication of a medical condition known as acne vulgaris – a common skin disorder which causes hair follicles to become blocked due to excess oil production from sebaceous glands (small oil producing glands attached to hair follicles), resulting in whiteheads, blackheads, red pimples, and in severe cases cystic nodules.
When a blocked hair follicle becomes colonised with bacteria, the body tries to defend itself by launching an inflammatory immune response to protect itself from what it perceives to be an invading organism. In some cases, the inflammatory response is so severe that it causes trauma to the skin which then leads to scarring. Squeezing spots can cause more trauma to the skin and makes scarring worse, which is why it is not recommended.
Acne scars can be subdivided into two main types; atrophic (reduced levels of collagen), and hypertrophic (increased levels of collagen).
Atrophic (80-90% of cases):
- There is an overall loss of collagen resulting in a hollowing in the affected area of the skin.
- Can be further subdivided into:
- Ice pick type (60%–70% of total scars)
- Boxcar type (20%–30%)
- Rolling scars (15%–25%)
Hypertrophic (10-20% of cases):
- Due to too much collagen deposition.
- Much less common than atrophic scars.
- Usually appear pink, raised, and firm to touch.
Medical grade skin peels work by exfoliating the top layer of the skin and stimulating new fresh skin to form from underneath. This stimulating action also kicks start the production of collagen which helps to improve scarring as well as the overall quality of the skin. Click here to find out more.
Dermaroller or microneedling therapy is a very effective scar reduction treatment that can be used to treat acne scars . It involves rolling cylindrical device that has lots of tiny microneedles studded on its surface over the skin, which stimulates the body’s repair mechanisms to produce new collagen. A course of 3-6 treatments is recommended to see maximal benefits. Click here to find out more.