5 solutions to reduce the appearance of acne scarring
Hyperpigmentation and pitting, be gone
If you’re experiencing red and inflamed spots on your face, then you may be suffering from acne. This skin disease can be caused by a hormonal imbalance (which can cause your oil glands to make excess oil), the contraceptive pill, a family history, medicines, and even if you use greasy cosmetics, which can alter the cells of your hair follicles and make them stick together, causing a plug or blockage in your pores.
Unfortunately, acne affects people of all ages, and is certainly not reserved for those in their teenage years. According to studies collated by Allergan, acne is more common in women, with 13.6 per cent of Australian adult females having acne, and 5 per cent of women still having blemishes at age 40.
As for the cause of acne, it can stem from skin with irritations such as pustules (pimples), nodules (painful and hard lumps under the skin) and cysts. When these sores become inflamed and then close up, it can result in scarring, which can look like dark spots and little holes in the skin.
"Acne scarring can be difficult to treat,” says Jodie King, owner of Skin Clinic Blyss. "This is due to textural changes in the skin, pigmentation, erythema (reddening) and more importantly, the depth of the scarring. The deeper the scarring, the more difficult to treat, so we often need to look at more than one type of treatment for improvement."
With that in mind, here are five potential ways to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
With a serum
A hard-hitting skin care serum, like Medicalia Silico-Lipid Serum, can soothe, protect and cool skin, as well as help repair skin and reduce scarring. The secret lies in its formula, which works to improve cell renewal activity to decrease the formation of scarring, wound stiffness, keloids and milia.
With a prescribed topical treatment
If you suffer from more aggressive cases of adult acne, then it’s worth seeing a professional (like a GP or dermatologist) for expert advice. Something that they may recommend is ACZONE®, which is a prescribed topical gel that can be applied daily for 12 weeks, and contains the active ingredient dapsone to reduce inflammation in skin. For best results, follow their recommended routine of washing your face with a cleanser, pat the skin dry to remove moisture, and apply a pea-sized amount of the gel all over the face.
Acupuncture can do much more than relieve tension in your body; it turns out that this needling treatment can boost circulation in skin and regenerate tissue and collagen, which can reduce the appearance of acne scars. "Cosmetic acupuncture can be really helpful in softening the appearance of acne scarring in the form of pitting and hyperpigmentation, which are dark spots of red and purple,” explains Dr. Vivian Tam, founder of Cosmetic Acupuncture Clinic. “Ultra-fine, painless needles are inserted in the affected area, which can boost blood circulation to promote healing, fade purple spots and scars, and allow fresh blood to come to the area. Scarring in the form of unevenness and pitting is softened as you are encouraging your skin to renew and regenerate tissue by promoting the production of collagen." It’s recommended to have three to four sessions of the treatment to see a difference, and each treatment’s cost starts from $105.
With a needling treatment
An in-salon treatment, like micro-needling, works in a similar way to acupuncture as it uses a device that has a head with 12 tiny needles to puncture the skin. “The Eclipse MicroPen™ is the most advanced medical-grade automated micro-needling device on the market,” explains skin care therapist Jacqueline Brennan. “It conducts controlled micro-injuries to the skin, which can encourage skin to produce collagen and elastin and improve the skin’s repair process. The Eclipse MicroPen™ can also have a positive effect on hyper-pigmentation, hypo-pigmentation and acne scars.” Note - while you may experience reddened skin straight after your treatment, this side effect can subside from one to four days afterwards.
With a laser treatment
An acne laser treatment also causes trauma to the skin, and can encourage skin rejuvenation by stimulating collagen production to therefore reduce hyperpigmentation. Cynosure’s Icon machine is great for lighter skin tones - it requires three to seven treatments (spread three to four weeks apart), with prices starting from $400 a session. On the other hand, Cynosure’s PicoSure machine is perfect for darker skin tones; it requires four to six treatments (spread four to six weeks apart), with the cost of each treatment starting at $650. Both treatments have side effects of redness, which may subside from three days or two hours respectively.
Looking for advice on covering acne scarring with makeup? Try these quick fixes.
Do you suffer from adult acne? Which of the above solutions are you most likely to try? Tell us in the comments below.
Main image credit: Getty
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.