They are permanent “indentations” or textural changes on the skin as a result of severe acne.
In severe acne, large pus-filled spaces called acne nodules/cysts are formed.
The inflammatory process destroys skin tissue and collagen which are inadequately replaced during the healing process.
This deficit is noticeable as an indentation (or scar) on the face.
Boxcar scars - Relatively shallow scars with well-defined edges
Icepick scars - Deep and narrow scars
Rolling, atrophic scars - Appear as depressions and undulations on the skin with ill-defined borders
Hypertrophic or Keloid scars - Raised and lumpy scars that remain after acne has healed
Post-inflammatory erythema - Red persistent flat marks
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation - Brown/grey marks that remain after acne has resolved
In acne scarring, Dr Edwin's aim is to restore the deficit in collagen by stimulating collagen production. The various methods to achieve this will be described below.
Dr Edwin's first method of treating acne scars is the eCO2 Acne Scar Resurfacing Laser fractional laser which has long being viewed as the gold standard in acne scar treatment.
It uses Controlled Chaos Technology (CCT™), an advanced system which increases safety, reduces discomfort and accelerates healing time.
During the treatment, precise, micro-ablative Columns (MACs) are created. This tiny areas of "controlled damage" stimulates the body's healing process and increases production of new collagen and renewal of skin.
For best results, Dr Edwin recommends combining CO2 Fractional Laser and Rejuran S (Scar).
Rejuran Scar is made of Polynucleotides (PN), which are DNA fragments that help repair damaged cells and stimulate collagen.
It is injected directly into the base of the scar to boost skin healing and remodel collagen, making it an ideal treatment for acne scars.
It involves using a sharp needle inserted beneath the scar to release fibrous scar tissue (tethers) that are "tugging downwards" on the depressed acne scars.
After releasing these tethers, Dr Edwin recommends injecting either Fillers or Rejuran Scar to add volume or stimulate collagen production whilst preventing the re-formation of tethers.
This method produces quicker results as compared to just doing CO2 Fractional Acne Scar Laser treatments alone.
2 to 4 sessions done monthly are needed for optimal results.
The Pro-Yellow laser is Dr Edwin's vascular laser of choice in reducing post-acne red marks (Post Inflammatory Erythema).
These red marks are formed due to damaged and dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin after inflammation from moderate to severe acne. In some cases, these marks may persist long even after the active acne heals.
The laser works by safely penetrating skin to break down and disperse these damaged blood vessels, thereby reducing the appearance of PIE.
PIH is commonly seen in the acne healing phase whereby red marks slowly fade to leave brown/grey marks. These marks can be stubborn and last for many months!
As its name implies, PIH occurs following inflammation and damage to the skin. The inflammatory process triggered during acne stimulates melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) to increase melanin (pigment) synthesis. These melanin are deposited in the skin and remains even during the recovery phase, appearing as the all too familiar brown marks of acne.
Every clinic offers different treatment options for acne scars and marks. No one clinic is same as the other. If you want to make sure that acne scars and marks treatments are performed safely and effectively, make sure that the clinic is experienced in offering such acne scars and marks treatments. The clinic should also offer information on the various types of acne scars and marks treatments before proceeding.