There are things in life we’ll always want to hold on to. School day photos with our best friends, great outfits (yes, we’re looking at you skinny jeans!), even those old family stories that get repeated every single Christmas. But acne and acne scarring? That’s one thing in life we wish we could do without!
Whether you’re a teen or well into adulthood, acne and the marks it can leave behind are one of the tricky parts of growing into our bodies that pretty much all of us have to deal with in some way, shape or form. But why are some people more affected than others? How does acne even start? And most importantly, what is the best treatment to tackle it and the scarring it can leave behind?
Let’s get beneath the skin of it all and take a deep dive into what causes acne and acne scarring, then take a look at the most effective ways to go about treating it.
What causes acne
Starting in our formative teen years, one of the most common reasons for acne developing is a change in hormones as our bodies develop (particularly between 13 to 15 years of age). At this time, more testosterone is produced, causing an increase in glandular activity in the skin. These overactive oil glands often become blocked by a build-up of keratin (also called the horny layer of the skin due to keratin cells being tougher than most). This leads to the blockage and infection of pores and oil glands which in turn results in acne.
Acne’s many shapes and size
The most common type of acne is “acne vulgaris” which is the typical formation of spots around the face, back and shoulders. Usually this is a problem that affects people in their teens and early 20s. But in some cases (particularly if there is a strong family history) the problem can be more severe and continue well into later life. There are several subsets of “acnes vulgaris” that can range in severity:
- “Comedonal acne” presents itself as very bumpy skin without inflamed pimples
- “Cystic acne” is a deep form of acne that sits well below the skin resulting in inflamed, large and painful pimples
- “Nodular acne” are large breakouts that are hard and deep.
- Other forms of acne include those that are associated with other medical conditions such as:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- “Acne rosacea” which can take various forms including flushing, redness and painful spots around the face and nose.
If you are unsure about what type of acne you have (or have had in the past), don’t self-diagnose! Speak to your doctor instead.
How you can treat acne and acne scarring (properly)
Everybody is different. Therefore to treat acne successfully a combination of treatments and care regimes specific to your needs will need to be developed to achieve the best results. This will include paying attention to:
- Diet and lifestyle
- Using special face washes (such as those containing benzoyl peroxide), and possibly;
- The use of medication such as antibiotics.
At Azure Medical we like to compliment these acne treatments with other therapies, including Omnilux light therapy, Hydrafacials, Jan Marini skin products and medical laser therapy.
For those patients whose main problem is acne scarring, we often use a medical laser scarring treatment to resurface the skin and stimulate deep rejuvenation.
How laser acne scarring treatment works
It may seem as though nothing will get rid of those deep set pockmarks. Yet there is a solution to acne scarring. Our laser acne scarring treatment is a successful technique used to resurface the skin and give you a smoother skin texture, resulting in the reduction of scars. Here is how it works:
We apply a strong local anaesthetic gel to your face and take some photographs to record your progress
We perform the laser scarring treatment which takes approximately 30 minutes
We use a special silicone wound gel to accelerate healing of the skin and prevent any possible complications such as infection
Follow up appointments are organised across the next four to six weeks to assess your progress and plan your next treatment.
Laser scarring treatment aftercare
What you do next is just as important as the treatment itself. We provide you with a straightforward aftercare regime to ensure your skin looks its best moving forward. Aside from using the silicone wound gel, avoiding excessive exercise for a few days and drinking plenty of fluids, aftercare for laser acne scarring treatment is simple. It’s really no worse than a bad dose of sunburn. Our patients are usually amazed at how quickly they have recovered for such a great improvement in their skin!
Does laser acne scarring hurt?
Many people often avoid this life-changing treatment out of fear of pain. But the reality is, it doesn’t really hurt. Read our other article for in-depth information in the exact steps of the process and how much acne scarring treatment hurts here.
The results are in
Laser scarring treatment leaves your skin resurfaced and rejuvenated while giving your confidence a much needed boost. If you’ve been left with acne scarring and think you may be a good candidate for our laser scarring treatment, make an appointment with Azure Medical today.