Why do we get Acne Scars and How do we get it?
Acne scars occur as a result of a full thickness injury to the skin from inflammatory lesions such as acne, most notably nodulocystic acne. The injury involves the dermis layer of the skin.
In the attempt to repair the damaged skin, scar tissue and collagen is formed in an irregular pattern around the injury that leads to the appearance of acne scars and they can be permanent.
The bigger and deeper the acne, the more likely scarring is going to occur. Acne scars are different from post-inflammatory pigmentation, acne marks or blemishes which are temporary and usually resolves with time on its own.
There are many different types of acne scars such as, ice pick, rolling, box, atrophic and hypertrophic
So, how do I Prevent Acne Scars and what do I advise you to follow too?
I always advise my patients to treat their acne the moment it surfaces. With the right skin care products and medications, you can prevent and manage acne effectively.
For mild to moderate acne, they can be treated with topicals such as, topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide and retinoid. These can be used independently or together depending on the severity. For moderate to severe cases, I like to treat them with an oral antibiotic, topical BPO and topical retinoid. In the most severe cases, oral isotretinoin can be an option. I also like to complement the acne treatment with a series of lasers and chemical peels for the best results!
Personally, I eat everything. But when my face starts to act up, I try to have a low dairy, oily and spicy diet. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables while exercising and drinking plenty of water!
As for skincare, use acne compatible cleanser, moisturizer and sunblock. Do not and I repeat, do not squeeze and pop the angry looking volcano as it increases the likelihood of acne scarring. If you have an upcoming important event that you need to look good for, consider intralesional steroid injections of the acne by a doctor to speed up the healing process!
What is CO2 DEKA and what have I learned from the training?
I had the privilege of visiting Florence, Italy, on 20th and 21st May for a DEKA CO2 Laser training session alongside my colleague Dr. Jason Pek. During this trip, we had the opportunity to learn about the specifics of the DEKA SmartXide Punto, a versatile CO2 laser machine, and to visit the factory where the machine is made. It was an eye-opening experience!
On the morning of 20th May, we were picked up at our hotel and transported to Villa Donatello Hospital, where our training was held. Our group consisted of about 9 doctors from Singapore and Malaysia. Villa Donatella is a private hospital in the suburbs of Florence with multiple specialties. There is a big garden at the entrance of the hospital, and it was a lovely sight to see the flowers blooming in springtime.
The morning started with a series of lectures by Prof Paolo Bonan, a well-known Dermatologist in Italy who has vast experience in using the Deka laser for a variety of dermatological conditions. We went through the fundamentals of laser, the unique characteristics of the Deka laser and Prof Bonan graciously showed us his cases as well as the protocols that he had used to treat his patients. The before and after photos showed really good results! Unfortunately, I am unable to show the photos of the case studies due to confidentiality/copyright issues.