For so many adolescents and adults, acne breakouts are uncomfortable, painful and embarrassing. Patients are so relieved when they finally find an approach to manage breakouts and improve the appearance of their skin. However, another issue comes to the fore: acne scarring. So, do acne scars go away? Let’s investigate and we are going to discuss how chemical peels can contribute on helping to treat acne scars.
The Truth About Acne Scars
Acne scars are stubborn, there’s no doubt about it. Whether they are depressed, pigmented or raised scars, they serve as a constant reminder of breakouts that you would probably rather put behind you.
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times before: don’t pick or squeeze at your spots because they might scar. But you might not have been told that they may form scars regardless of what you do (or don’t do).
Why Does Acne Cause Scars?
Sometimes breakouts may cause the oil glands to collapse. This anchors the skin downward and results in indented scars. There may also be a breakdown in collagen production, which prevents the skin from springing back into shape and position. These are known as ice pick or boxcar scars because of the shapes they make on the surface of the skin.
Some patients might experience pigmentation scars. This occurs quite commonly in darker tones and is the result of the stimulation of pigment cells which occurs when the skin undergoes trauma or inflammation.
When the skin over-produces collagen, you may end up with a raised or hypertrophic acne scar that is difficult to cover up, and which is noticeable in the texture of your skin.
So, Do Acne Scars Go Away At Any Point?
Fortunately, there are aesthetic and dermal treatments that are minimally invasive and that can help to improve texture and the appearance of acne scars. Some treatments can address acne breakouts and scarring, refining the surface of the skin and improving its appearance. It is highly unlikely that acne scars will fade without aesthetic intervention, however, particularly if you have had severe acne, and it’s best to be proactive by discussing your treatment options with a medical aesthetician.
What Can Be Done About Acne Scars?
To change the appearance of an acne scar or two, you need an intensive treatment plan that may involve laser, chemical peels, micro-needling and or dermal fillers. Sometimes a combination of therapies is required, depending on the type of scarring that is prevalent on your skin.
It’s vital that you have a consultation session before trying any kind of treatment. These are professional treatments that need to be used correctly and safely, and some may not be suitable for everyone. It’s also essential that you consult with a professional aesthetician or skin expert. While there may be salons and informal establishments offering these treatments, they may not have the skill level to diagnose and treat your acne scar – and that’s where a lot of horror stories begin.
Consideration also needs to be given to where the acne scars are present. For some patients, it may only be their faces but for others, areas such as the neck, shoulders, back and arms may need to be treated.
How Can Chemical Peels Help With An Acne Scar?
Chemical peels work by removing the outer layers, to reveal new, smoother skin below it. Peels resurface the skin and can be used at different depths. Light peels may be used more often than medium and deep peels but usually, the deeper the peel, the less likely you will be to repeat it.
Chemical peels may offer other benefits such as smoothing out skin tone, lightening dark spots, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, and cleaning your pores out to prevent future breakouts. They do an effective job at exfoliating, without spreading the infection below the skin’s surface, the way that some topical exfoliants might. Significantly, a chemical peel also stimulates the production of collagen in the skin, which is a useful defense to get rid of scars and signs of premature ageing, in a short period of time.
Dermal Fillers For Your Depressed Acne Scar
Patients who have depressed acne scars may benefit from fillers, particularly if the scarring is very deep. Dermal filler can be used to restore volume in a deep acne scar, and also stimulates the production of collagen so the body has a better defense against future scars.
Dermal fillers may only offer a temporary solution for some patients and may need to be repeated as the filler is absorbed by the body.
Laser Treatment For Your Acne Scar
Laser treatments work in a similar way to peels in the sense that they remove the outer layers of skin, however, the mechanism for achieving this is different because it uses heat. Laser treatment is especially effective if your scars are painful or itchy.
Laser treatment also promotes the production of fresh, new skin underneath while fading scars. Depending on the type of laser being used, it may not be suitable for patients who still experience acne outbreaks, or for patients with dark skin or those prone to hyperpigmentation.
Important Considerations About Your Treatment
Whether you have laser treatment, chemical peels or fillers to address your acne scarring, you must stay out of the sun afterwards, otherwise you may develop hyperpigmentation.
You’ll also need to let your aesthetician know if you smoke or if you are using retinoids, aspirin or vitamin E.
Do acne scars go away? That depends on the quality of treatment you have access to. For a skin evaluation and treatment plan, please contact us for a confidential appointment: (02) 8599 7161.