understanding your skin
How to Treat Acne Scarring
Acne scars are the result of inflamed blemishes caused by skin pores that are filled with excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria (delicious!). As this congestion and inflammation builds, the pore swells and this can cause a break in the follicle wall.
Shallow lesions (areas of the tissue that have been affected) are usually minor and heal quickly. But if there is a deep break in the wall of the pore, the debris can spill out into surrounding tissue, creating deeper lesions. The skin attempts to repair these lesions by forming new collagen fibres and when these repairs are not as smooth as the original skin, an acne scar is formed.
Method of self diagnosis
Acne scarring comes in different shapes and sizes:
Atrophic scars – atrophic scars form when the skin is unable to reproduce enough tissue. This absence of tissue cause indented scars also known as rolling scars, boxcar scars or ice-pick scars.
Hypertrophic scars – these scars are generally raised and caused by an overproduction of collagen at the time of healing.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation / erythema (redness) - both can occur post breakouts and can last for prolonged periods of time. They present themselves as marks or redness on the skin where the breakout once was.
You can tell if you have acne scarring by performing a mini skin analysis at home.
Look – can you see any pigmentation or redness around the area of past breakouts. Are they any areas of depressed skin?
Feel – can you feel any irregularities in your skin texture such as raised bumps or dips in the skin?
What can I do?
Treat your skin with a soft, loving touch! Excessive scrubbing, washing and picking can reduce skin elasticity and cause inflammation. Incorporate lots of collagen boosting massage into your morning and evening routines. Facial massage improves the texture and tone of the skin, reducing the appearance of the scarring.
Avoid direct sun exposure as much as you can, especially if you are experiencing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation as the UV rays can increase melanin production and result in the scar staying around for a lot longer!
Don’t give up on acne scars. New techniques can dramatically improve both the depth and appearance of acne scars – it’s just about finding the best treatment and home routine for you!
How can treatments help?
It’s important to treat acne scaring sooner rather than later as scars that remain on the skin for longer are a little trickier to treat.
Targeting the skin through increasing collagen production is one of the best ways to reduce the appearance of atrophic and post inflammatory scars. These treatments work on the principle of creating controlled trauma to send your skin into repair mode. As the skin repairs, the new collagen reduces the depth of the scars.
We have two skin remodeling treatments at Pfeffer Sal:
Time Traveller – this is our medical needling treatment. The needling causes injury to the skin, triggering all your own growth factors to rush to the area and stimulating collagen to repair the scarring.
Renew You - The laser delivers high energy rays into the dermal layers of the skin, heating it up and stimulating healing. This healing process reduces pitted acne scars and pigmentation for a smoother, plumper appearance.
You can also reduce acne scars through the power of peels. Acid peels remove the upper layer of skin, encouraging cell renewal which can smooth out scarring.
With all these treatments, a course is recommended as the best results come from accumulative collagen growth and cell renewal. Your therapist will be able to recommend the most suitable treatment and course length for you.
What products support improvement?
Introducing vitamin A into your routine will not only help prevent breakouts, but it also helps with stimulating collagen production. Vitamin A reduces acne lesions, speed up cell regeneration and help lighten hyper-pigmented acne scars. It is important to note that Vitamin A can make the skin sensitive to the sun. Anyone using retinol for acne or scar treatment should wear sunscreen when going outdoors. If it’s your first foray into Vitamin A, Synergie Ultimate A contains encapsulated retinol that not result in dryness or irritation.
Further nourish your skin with collagen producing peptides and growth factors – peptides are short protein chains that act as little messengers in the body. These short protein chains can instruct the skin to do different things. Individual peptides carry very specific messages for each skin cell and the right type of peptides can instruct the skin to produce collagen. Epidermal Growth Factors also act as messengers telling the skin to produce more collagen and you can find them in Shinso Essence.
Regular exfoliation is important too. Avoid physical scrubs (think beads or grains) as this will upset your natural barrier. AHA and BHA acids will work better to help increase your cell turn over without damaging the skin. Synergie Reveal and Elequra Intense Restore Mask are both fantastic exfoliators to use when targeting scarring.
And to complete your morning routine, a beautiful mineral SPF like Esse Sunscreen will protect the skin from further pigmentation and collagen loss.