- Macular scarring which is identified and characterised by flat areas of varying lighter and darker skin pigmentation arising from the acne. Although indentations in the skin or raised scars are absent, macular scarring is considered as a scar by many patients who have this problem;
- Boxcar scars are superficial scars with sharp vertical edges, they can be round or oval shaped;
- Rolling scars appear as surface undulations of the skin and are typically caused by the skin adhering to underlying structures of the dermis;
- Deep divots: are deep scars that involve loss of subcutaneous tissue volume and result in a large divot like hole (alluding to golf course divot holes);
- Ice-pick scars: these are deep but small holes in the skin, so called because they similar to the indentation left by an ice-pick
- Hypertrophic Scarring: is raised and usually pigmented as a result of acne; and
- Keloid Scars: these are significantly raised from the surrounding skin surface and typically a reddish purple colour.
Acne scarring is best 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).
Acne scar reduction
Up until recently, the treatment for Acne Scar Reduction was limited to several harsh treatments including:
- Chemical peels intended to improve the appearance of the skin using chemicals to remove the dead skin, the underlying skin was usually less wrinkled than the old skin; and
- Surface ablation of the skin (dermabrasion and microdermabrasion), sometimes referred to as resurfacing because it caused the skin surface to regenerate, dermabrasion was achieved by several processes including older forms of laser devices referred to as “Ablative” laser treatment.
While laser is currently not appropriate for most categories and grades of Acne, it is appropriate and effective for Grade 1 macular acne scarring. Grade 1 macular scarring is one of the most common presentations of acne scarring.
Laser therapy for Macular Grade 1 Acne Scarring
Grade 1 Macular Scarring is primarily a problem of skin pigmentation so is readily treatable by advanced laser technology devices such as the MedLite® used by City Laser Clinic. Because macular grade 1 acne scarring does not involve changes in the skin texture, good results can be obtained using laser to treat the areas where there is more pigment as a result of a previous acne lesion.
City Laser Clinic has achieved good results improving the cosmetic appearance of macular Grade 1 acne scarring and improving the overall appearance of the scars and skin using the q-switched Nd:YAG laser but we do not guarantee entire removal.
At City Laser Clinic, we understand the impact of acne scarring and the social impact to all people that have acne scarring. City laser Clinic therapists have established that the MedLite Q-Switch laser is the most effective resource for treatment skin pigmentations including macular Grade 1 acne scarring.
City Laser Clinic therapists have the experience, training and qualifications to provide safe and effective therapy to achieve improvement in the appearance of macular grade 1 acne scarring. Skin Rejuvenation treatment is included in all 8 – 10 recommended weekly treatments for scare reduction. As with all Laser therapy treatments, the frequency and number of treatments will depend on your skin type, the area affected and the size of that area. Contact us to arrange a free consultation to discuss a treatment plan that suits your needs.
Are there any Precautions to take during treatment?
As with all laser treatment, you must avoid exposure to direct sunlight before treatment, during treatment and for some weeks following treatment. Use of harsh acid based cosmetic products is not recommended during the course of laser treatments.
At City Laser Clinic, our experienced qualified therapists will advise you based on your skin type and the nature of the treatments that you are receiving. The City Laser Clinic therapists do sometimes need to refer clients to their General Medical Practitioner for assessment and when in doubt will not treat until a Medical Clearance is provided.