What categories of severity of acne scars are there?
Acne scarring can be categorised as (Goodman & Barron)
- Grade 1 – macular scarring or flat scarring that is characterised by flat areas of increased or decreased pigmentation visible from greater than 50cm
- Grade 2 – mild disease that is visible at distances of less than 50cm and can be covered by make-up. Examples include mild rolling acne scars.
- Grade 3 – moderate disease that is visible at 50cm or greater and is not easily covered with make-up or the normal shadow of a shaved beard hair. Stretching the skin can flatten the scar. Examples include more significant rolling scars, shallow boxcar scars, and mild to moderate hypertrophic scars
- Grade 4 – severe disease as in grade 3 but scarring is not flattened by stretching the skin. Examples include severe boxcar scars, deep divots, ice pick scars, and hypertrophic keloid scarring (very raised/pigmented scars).
How can I treat macular, grade 1 scarring?
Grade 1 macular scarring is a problem mainly of pigmentation rather than changes in the skin texture. For hyperpigmented areas (areas where there is more pigment as a result of a previous acne lesion), this can be treated with lightening agents or the passage of time. Hyperpigmentation is usually a result of inflammation caused from acne (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Hypopigmentation (a loss of pigmentation) can often be permanent.
How can I treat more superficial, grade 2/3 scarring?
For superficial scars, a course of elos Skin Tightening treatments will stimulate collagen and elastin production and help to plump out scars. The number of treatments will depend on the scarring. Treatments are performed 3-4 weeks apart and results are visible in approximately 3 months, the time it takes for collagen to remodel.
Skin needling is an effective method of treating superficial acne scars by puncturing the skin with multiple small needles attached to a small rolling pin. The advantage of this treatment is the fact that it can be used on all skin types including darker skin types. People of Asian, Indian, African, and European background are able to have this treatment with minimal risk of hyperpigmentation post-treatment. Skin needling generally requires several treatments, usually once a month.
Chemical peels are another method of treating more superficial acne scarring. Generally, medium to deep chemical peels are required to achieve a significant result, but a series of more superficial chemical peels could help achieve some improvement in milder acne scarring without significant downtime.
Microdermabrasion can also help with mild acne scarring. It uses a gentle vacuum to bring your skin in contact with a diamond-coated head that gently abrades the top layer of dead skin. This stimulates collagen production and helps with scarring. There is no downtime with microdermabrasion.
SKYN Solution – How can I treat severe/grade 4 acne scarring?
Deeper scarring may require filling Dermal Fillers. This procedure is performed by a Dr Jass Narulla.
Overall, there are a number of treatments that are effective in the treatment of acne scarring. At your complimentary consultation your SKYN dermal therapist will discuss with you what is a realistic and achievable outcome for you, and what to expect from your treatment.