Acne scars – you get rid of the acne only to be left a more permanent reminder of the problems you thought were left behind. The effects are both physical and emotional and are difficult to avoid if you’re one of the unfortunate individuals prone to scarring. But why do the scars form and what, if anything, can be done about it? This article helps shed some light on acne scar treatment and acne scar removal.
What are acne scars and how do we get them?
In simple terms, an acne scar is the visible legacy of your skin’s tissue damage / trauma. Whenever our skin is damaged in any way, blood travels to the area carrying a mixture of our own body’s natural defences. The body’s immediate response is to heal and prevent further problems by way of infection from external sources. Unfortunately, although our skin does invariably manage to heal itself, it often does so with scant regard to how it looked in it’s former state.
Types of Acne Scars
There are two general types of scars left behind by acne. Either caused by tissue loss or, conversely, over compensation of tissue growth. Generally, sufferers of acne scars in which tissue growth is excessive, tend to be from African or Asian backgrounds. This is called Keloid scaring or Hypertropic scarring. They form when the skin cells produce excess collagen which form the scars. It is collagen which makes up the majority of our skin structure. Effectively, Keloid scarring is the body healing itself too much.
When the scars are formed because of tissue loss, it is the lack of collagen in the skin which results in the scar being visible. This type of scarring is much more common and is known as Atrophic scarring. There are several types:
Atrophic macules. These are small, bluish-whitish skin colorations, and are usually less visible than other types of scarring.
Depressed fibrotic scars. These are large, depressed valleys on the surface of the skin. They are usually jagged.
Follicular macular atrophy, or perifollicular elastolysis. This consists in small, slightly raised lesions, similar in appearance to whiteheads.
Ice-pick scars. These less severe versions of depressed fibrotic scars, and with time, they can in fact develop into them.
Soft scars. These are gentle, scar-like depressions in the skin. They are usually small, and either circular or linear.
Different Acne Scar Treatments and Removal Techniques
Once acne scars have formed, there are several ways of removing them. These range in cost and effectiveness and it is important to do your research.
Laser Acne Scar Treatment
If the scars are extensive but not too deep, and the acne is no longer active, laser treatment is a possibility. However, it is costly in private clinics, requiring a skilled medical professional. If you are considering it, discuss it with your doctor first.
Collagen Injections to Treat Acne Scars
Some specialist clinics use collagen injections to plump out flat ‘tissue-paper’ scars and pitted ‘ice-pick’ scars. But we have all seen bad collagen injection results in celebrities, so use with caution.
Liquid nitrogen/steroid injection.
Lumpy cysts can sometimes be treated by freezing with liquid nitrogen or injecting with triamcinolone steroid. These are not treatments for scars.
Dermabrasion or Microdermabrasion for Scar Removal
Dermabrasion, ‘planing down’ of the skin using a high-speed wire brush, used to be a common method of dealing with acne scars. It is no longer used very often because of the risk of infection.
Silicone sheets. You can buy silicone sheets (‘silicone skin’) from pharmacies. You may have to ask your pharmacist to order them. You apply the sheet to your skin like a face mask. It is claimed that this can help lumpy scars, but its effectiveness is questionable.
Scars which are deep and disfiguring can sometimes be cut out by a plastic surgeon.
Micro Needling as an Effective Acne Scar Removal Method
This development has only recently been made available and this method is possible to carry out within your own home. Visit our Derma Roller FAQ page for more information. Micro needling of the skin effectively promotes the formation of collagen in the skin and is effective on the more common types of scarring. This technique is also used for the reduction of other types of scars including stretch marks.
Research from 2006 (which included tissue biopsies) has shown that a single micro needling session can encourage up to a 1000% increase in collagen levels in the skin, making it appear younger, healthier, more elastic and even textured. Read about how the Scientia Derma Roller can be used in the home for amazing results! Or visit our Derma Roller Before and After Pictures page.
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Nowadays, people are living far longer than they used to, which is, of course, brilliant news for all of us. Mankind’s advances in science and medicine have lengthened the average lifespan for humans to 72.2 years.
A longer lifespan is fantastic for all of us to hear, but as we age it’s common to go through a range of age-related problems. Whereas one of our main aims in life is to prolong it, you’ll probably agree that we’d rather not do the aging part.
Sooner or later, we will all experience symptoms like heart disease, memory loss, and winkles, to name but a few. This is mainly due to free radicals.
Free radicals are harmful oxygen molecules that damage the body’s cells, which in turn leads to problems like those mentioned above. And the best way to fight against these free radicals is by eating citrus fruit. They contain lots of vitamin C, which helps prevent wrinkles, protects our arteries, and reduces the chances of stroke or heart disease.
There are quite a few foods that can combat aging, such as spinich, which is full of carotenoids, these help to protect our eyes from macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of elderly blindness.
Grapefruit, which is loaded with glutathione, which helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Tomatoes and watermelon both contain lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant. In fact, these two are so strong, they can play a great part in helping to prevent cancer.
As we get older, it is normal for our appetite to slow down, so our body takes in fewer nutrients than it used to. Add that to the fact that a lot of us just don’t eat what we should when it comes to things like fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and what you get is a very poor diet. If you want to get the right amount of nutrients in your everyday diet, you should include the following:
- Beta-Carotene: Found in things like carrots, yellow squash, and brighly couloured vegetables. It’s an antioxidant that helps to prevent wrinkles, dry skin, cataracts, heart disease and even cancer. You can get approximately 12mg for one sweet potato.
- Vitamin E: Found in things like nuts, wheat germ, and cooking oils. You can cut the risk of heart disease in half by getting the right amount of vitamin E. That’s just 4 tsp of sunflower seeds per day!
- Zinc and Calcium: Found in things like dairy foods, leafy green vegetables. They are the two most important minerals in your diet, seriously important for preventing osteoporosis. Zinc can be found in things like meats and shellfish, and helps to keep your immune system strong.
- B Vitamins: Found in things like leafy green vegetables, potatos, bananas, meats, and legumes. They primarily help to maintain our energy levels and keep our brain and nerves functioning well.
Now, obviously, all of this helps to combat the aging process internally, but, being human, the visual effects of age will catch up to us all at some time. But there are wonderful restorative measures for that too. As well as the usual methods such as creams, lotions, and expensive surgery, there are more traditional means that have equal if not better results, such as dermatological micro needling, which actually causes the skin to look younger using it’s own healing abilities. Plus it’s far more affordable and attainable than other methods.
The Ultimate Skin Care / Health and Beauty Product
Fortunately, the Scientia Derma Roller can be used to stimulate collagen production in the skin without damaging it, in the comfort of the home – all at a price which is kind to your budget! Better yet, your favourite skin creams can be absorbed by the skin up to 40 times more effectively after use!
Smoking is bad for you: No surprises there! It is a major cause of cancer, emphysema as well as a whole host of other health related problems. It smells, it costs an ever increasing amount of money and is fast becoming a social taboo. What fewer people appreciate is that smoking is also a leading factor when it comes to aging of the skin. Wrinkles, sagging and lines are all a result of the ravages of cigarette smoke. Worse still, it does not require us to even be smokers ourselves to suffer. Simply being in a smoky environment has a negative effect on our skin. (Another hoorah for the smoking ban!)
How does smoking damage your skin?
Cigarette smoke, much like other pollutants in the atmosphere, damages the skin in part, because of its production of free radicals. The damage caused by these free radicals is present throughout our bodies. The skin, as our outermost layer, shows this damage most prominently: In particular, the face.
So what is a free radical and how does it promote these lines and wrinkles in the skin? Simply put, a free radical is a molecule with an imbalance of electrons. These unbalanced molecules react with cells in the body to “steal” electrons which in turn causes damage to the body’s cells.
According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, dermatologist and author of The Perricone Prescription (HarperCollins), the effects of smoking in terms of ageing are significant. When we inhale just one puff of cigarette smoke, more than a trillion free radicals are produced in our lungs, which then trigger an inflammatory response that circulates throughout the body.
Over time, this damage extends to the collagen in our skin. Collagen is a protein which acts as the building block of our bodies. Amongst other things, it is responsible for both the elasticity and smoothness of our skin. Effectively, the more collagen we have, the smoother and tighter our skin is. i.e less wrinkles.
The “smoker’s face” is a real medical term!
In 1985 the term ’smoker’s face’ was added to the medical dictionary. The characteristic of a smoker’s face, which tends to make people look older than they are, was defined as the following:
Lines or wrinkles on the face, particularly radiating at right angles from the upper and lower lips or corners of the eyes, deep lines on the cheeks or numerous shallow lines on the cheeks and lower jaw.
Smoking, Your Skin and Vitamin C
It is not just the production of these free radicals that reduces collagen production. Smoking also depletes the body’s stores of Vitamin C. In one study, smokers with similar intake had consistently lower blood Vitamin C levels compared to non-smokers. Vitamin C is involved in the synthesis of collagen and is a powerful anti-oxidant in itself.
Collagen production does slow down over time, regardless of it’s exposure to smoke. Hence, the older someone gets, the more likely they are to develop wrinkles. Promoting collagen production is the key to delaying this natural process as well as tackling the unnatural causes such as smoking.
Microdermabrasion, anti-oxidants and certain vitamins all found in various creams can fight both the development and existence of wrinkles by promoting the production of collagen in the skin. Furthermore, new techniques such as micro-needling also promote the development of new collagen.
The Solution to Treating and Removing Wrinkles
There are a number of invasive and expensive techniques to help resurface the skin, such as chemical peels, laser resurfacing and microdermabrasion, but these are all a trauma to the skin and are beyond the average budget.
The Ultimate Skin Care / Health and Beauty Product
Fortunately, the Scientia Derma Roller can be used to stimulate collagen production in the skin without damaging it, in the comfort of the home – all at a price which is kind to your purse! Better yet, your favourite skin creams can be absorbed by the skin up to 40 times more effectively after use!
Stretch marks (or striae as they are referred to in dermatological terms) are caused when an individual’s skin is stretched too quickly: More accurately, the skin is torn rather than stretched. They are most common around the stomach area, breasts, thighs and hips. Both men and woman can suffer from them and they affect the majority of the adult population. Fortunately, for all of us, they pose no health risks and are simply a cosmetic concern. Of course, these concerns grow in the warmer seasons as the amount of our bodies we show, increases. As a result, more people look for a suitable stretch mark reduction treatment.
Why Stretch Marks Appear
This stretching occurs when the body grows at a rate that the skin cannot keep up with. Stretch marks are most commonly associated with pregnancy but are also a normal part of puberty: Body building or quick weight gain can also result in stretch marks. But what can get rid of stretch marks?
QUESTION? What do scars, wrinkles, stretch marks and uneven skin have in common?
ANSWER: A lack of collagen! If your body would produce more collagen then you wouldn’t get them. Using a Scientia Derma Roller treats stretch marks by offering nature a helping hand to encourage collagen production in the skin, which helps prevent or reverse their formation. You can even treat stretch marks in the comfort of your own home!
Although the skin is usually fairly elastic, when it is overstretched, the normal production of collagen is disrupted. It is this collagen which keeps skin tight and supple. There are several external factors which affect the skins natural ability to produce and maintain collagen levels such as a persons diet and smoking.
When they first form, stretch marks appear as reddish purple lines. They appear indented and maintain a different texture to the surrounding skin. Over time, the discoloration does subside, turning lighter and less noticeable. The ability to heal however does vary considerably from individual to individual, and there are countless stretch mark remover products on the market as a result – some more effective than others.
Treatment of Stretch Marks
There are several methods of treating stretch marks. These vary hugely in both cost and effectiveness. They range from simple solutions such as creams and lotions that claim to remove stretch markscars, up to more extreme and expensive methods such as laser surgery.
What all these solutions have in common are that they assist, in one manner or another, the body’s own natural ability to heal itself. The skin is the largest organ in our body and anyone who has ever cut or scraped themselves, would have seen how it heals itself. Our natural defensive mechanisms are indeed one of the most wonderful things in nature.
Where our bodies do fall short, is that these natural defences do not account for our ongoing desire for aesthetics and looking good. It is here that nature needs a little helping hand. Fundamentally, to overcome this problem, we need to promote what happens in our bodies naturally, but stops once the body deems itself healed. By effectively extending the healing process, we can “trick” the body into healing itself too much – This way it may look and feels as though no physical trauma ever occurred.
For many people, stretch marks are a source of embarrassment and can make people feel very self conscious, but this can be overcome or greatly reduced by treatment to remove stretch marks.
Creams and oils promote the chemical healing process within our bodies by boosting the vitamins, minerals and other necessary elements needed for healing. Surgery for the removal of stretch mark scars on the other hand promotes the physical healing process of the body, which forces the skin to create those healing elements (such as collagen) itself.
Combining these processes, using techniques such as micro-needling, often proves the most effective method of removing stretch marks (both in terms of cost and results) for many people. It is important that anyone looking for a solution, understands the pros and cons of their chosen stretch mark removal method.