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Acne and acne scarring

Obvious acne or acne scarring can be very distressing and many sufferers feel that it dominates their other features. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and wanting to shut yourself away.

A personalised treatment regime can dramatically improve an ongoing acne condition and prevent scarring. Existing acne scars can sometimes be temporarily disguised with makeup, however carefully managed aesthetic treatments can make a significant, and permanent, difference.


There are many factors which cause acne, however the key factor is thought to be the increase in testosterone experienced during puberty. This triggers the growth of oil glands in the skin, which produce more sebum (an oily, waxy substance). This mixes with dead skin cells and forms a ‘plug’ blocking the skin pore.

Other influencing factors can include stress, poor nutrition, menstruation, pregnancy and smoking. Some medications (such as steroids) can increase acne and there is also thought to be a genetic factor.

Acne causes spots and pimples which are commonly found on faces, necks, shoulders, backs, chests and upper arms. These range from relatively minor blackhead and whitehead spots to more severe forms such as nodules and cysts.

Scarring can be caused by any type of acne, however it is most commonly associated with nodules or cysts which damage the skin around them when they burst.

It can also be caused by picking or squeezing any type of spot as this can cause inflammation.


Most people find that acne occurs during puberty and has more or less disappeared by the time they are in their twenties. However, for some, acne can persist into later lives, particularly affecting women and people with oily skin.

These are the most common types of acne scarring:

Ice pick scars

These are small but deep pits in the skin which appear to have been made by a sharp implement (hence the name “ice pick”). They are the result of the body producing too little collagen when healing from an infected spot.

Rolling scars

These scars give the skin an overall uneven appearance and are the result of damage under the skin. They appear to form smooth hills and valleys across the surface of the skin.

Boxcar scars

These appear as shallow square, round or oval craters in the skin, similar to chicken-pox scars. Unlike ice pick scars they have vertical sides. They are caused by the same issues as ice pick scars – too little collagen being produced to heal the original acne wound.

Hypertrophic keloid scars

These are raised above the surface of the skin. Most hypertrophic scars will gradually flatten and fade. However keloid scars continue to grow and are very difficult to resolve.


Active acne should be treated as early as possible to control the condition and prevent scarring.

We recommend speaking to your GP about treatments available on the NHS and booking in for a free consultation with our team to discuss the additional treatment options we can provide.

Acne scarring treatments are not generally available on the NHS unless a medical need is identified. If you feel that your acne scars are having a profound effect on your quality of life, or if you are concerned that you might be suffering from depression, then we advise you to visit your GP to discuss your situation.

There are a wide range of treatments available from Melior Clinics which can greatly improve acne and acne scarring. All our new patients receive a free consultation to allow our skin care experts to identify the best treatment combination for your individual needs and provide realistic expectations of the improvements which can be achieved.

These are our current treatments for acne and acne scarring:

Skin peel

By accelerating the removal of old, dead skin cells, chemical skin peels promote new cell growth and can be effective in managing an ongoing acne condition and scarring such as boxcar scars.

Fractional mesotherapy with collagen induction therapy

Using the same electroporation, photon and LED stimulation technologies as standard fractional mesotherapy, this also includes collagen induction therapy to trigger collagen production at a deeper level which is effective in reducing a range of acne scars including rolling scars.

Laser facial rejuvenation

We use laser lights to penetrate areas affected by scarring and trigger the body’s natural healing processes. This is particular helpful in reducing ice pick scars and boxcar scars.

Obagi skin care systems

The Obagi medical skin care range is designed to improve a number of different skin conditions. The Obagi CLENZIderm treatment is a three step process specifically designed to control acne. It is suitable for teenage skin as well as adults.

CACI non-surgical facelift

By boosting blood circulation within the skin the CACI facelift can provide an overall improvement in the skin tissue, resulting in a rejuvenated appearance. Rolling acne scars are especially well managed by this treatment. In addition, the CACI treatment can help to manage oily skin, which is a cause of ongoing acne conditions.

Cosmedix facials

As well as improving the overall appearance of your skin, regular Cosmedix facials can effectively manage an ongoing acne condition, greatly reducing the risk of permanent scarring.

Skin care products

We offer a range of skin care products to compliment and enhance our aesthetic treatments. We would be happy to advise you on which combination will give you the best improvement for ongoing acne conditions.

Book a Free Consultation to discuss the best options for you


Q. How do I know which treatment is right for me?


Q. How good will the results be?


Q. What can I do at home to reduce acne?


Q. At what age should I start to treat acne?