Acne / Scars

Acne & Scars

You can get spots, blackheads and whiteheads at any age and in varying severities. There can be a range of causes which can be difficult to keep under control.

Our skin is covered in hair follicles. In a healthy hair follicle the sebaceous gland produces a small amount of sebum which moves up to the surface of the skin where it acts as a waterproofing agent.

The hair follicle can become blocked with a build up of sticky skin cells which can form blackheads and whiteheads. This blockage can cause sebum to build up, stagnate and starve the area of oxygen which creates the ideal environment for the acne bacteria to grow. As a result the hair follicle can become red and swollen, in other words form a spot which can then go on to develop into a pustule.

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The main reason for spots are:

  • Hormones can cause an increased production of sebum and an accumulation of sticky skin cells at the follicle opening.
  • Hair follicles become blocked causing a build up of sebum which can stagnate.
  • The acne bacteria grows and multiplies in the sebum.

As the wound heals, the body sometimes produces too much collagen, which creates a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface. This type of scarring is called hypertrophic, or keloid, scarring.

More commonly, acne causes atrophic, or depressed, scars. Atrophic scars develop when there is a loss of tissue. Ice pick and boxcar scars are two examples of atrophic scars.

In general, scars on our skin result from a wound or injury. However unwelcome they may be, scars are part of the skin’s normal healing process. Superficial wounds heal without scarring, it’s when the dermis is damaged that scars form on the skin.

The choice of treatment depends on the type of scar (box, rolling, or icepick) and on the patient’s preferences and expectations in terms of number of treatments and downtime.

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