Acne is traumatic enough without scarring remaining as a constant, unpleasant cosmetic reminder. While make-up can provide a temporary disguise, women and men with acne scars remain self-conscious and frustrated with the irregular texture and shadows that are a feature of acne scarring.
There are different types of acne scars, depending on their appearance. Different types of scars often require different treatments for optimum results. At Venus Medical the texture, roughness and depth of the scars will be measured quantitatively during consultation with Dr Prendergast using our Antera 3D imaging system.
Rolling acne scars
These scars are usually shallow and have rolled, rounded edges. They may cover large surface areas of the face. There are a number of effective options to improve this type of scarring. The most dramatic results can be achieved using our fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing. This requires one week of downtime aftewards with vaseline and adherence to the post-treatment skin care protocol. For deeper scars, more than one treatment may be indicated, with an interval of 3-6 months. If you cannot tolerate downtime and wish to have a less aggressive treatment, we recommend a course of Silkpeel, a lighter treatment that is similar to microdermabrasion, with the added benefit of infusing serums at the same time. Combining Silkpeel with microneedling or mesotherapy provides even more collagen stimulation and improves the appearance of rolling acne scars further, with minimal downtime and allowing you to return to your normal activities the next day.
Box-car acne scars
Box car acne scars are depressed scars that can be shallow or deep and have sharp edges, like a box. If they are shallow, fractional CO2 and the other treatments used for rolling scars will help. For deeper scars, Dr Prendergast uses fillers to instantly lift them out, creating a smoother skin surface. Safe, hyaluronic acid fillers are used, and they are placed quickly very fine needles, with minimal or no discomfort.
Ice-pick acne scars
These scars are termed ice-pick scars because they are deep, with a narrow entrance. They are stubborn due to underlying fibrous tissue tethering them down. To release them, a needle can be placed underneath the scar under local anaesthesia to free the connective tissue bands. This technique is called subcision. In resistant cases, a small punch excision may be used to directly remove the scarred skin.
Scarring with redness
Acne frequently leaves skin red, blotchy, or with even more prominent purple areas. At Venus Medical, we are pleased to be able to offer to our patients the most effective pulsed dye vascular laser, VBeam Perfecta, to treat these bothersome skin discolourations. We usually recommend four treatments, one per month. During the treatment we will monitor the substantial improvement using special imaging. However, even without imaging cameras you will see the benefits of this laser treatment quite easily.
Scarring with brown pigmentation
If you have a darker skin type, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after acne can leave your skin with dark spots and patches that detract from your complexion, even if the active acne has long disappeared. For scarring, we may recommend one of the above treatments following a consultation. For pigmentation, you may be prescribed prescription strength retinoids and pigment lightening agents such as hydroquinone. These are applied topically and are very effective for clearing pigmentation gradually. To accelerate this process, Dr Prendergast may recommend one or more chemical peels, designed to remove unwanted pigmentation and block the production of melanin by the pigment-producing melanocyte cells. Acids that improve pigmentation include kojic acid, glycolic acid, and azelaic acid.
Call our clinic advisor on 01 2962747 for help with getting rid of your acne scars.