Acne & Acne Scarring

At FBW, our doctors meet with women of every age, shape, and size who share a common complaint: acne. They visit our specialist rooms so our friendly team of experts can help them with professional skin treatments.

Our acne treatments are designed to:

  • Cure active acne
  • Reduce acne flare-ups
  • Correct acne scarring

Is that something you’d like to do, too?

In this article, the patient-centric medical professionals at FBW give you an overview of acne and acne scarring, including innovative new solutions to this troublesome skin condition.

Women in southern Australia are fortunate to have a wide range of choices when it comes to taking care of their health and enhancing their beauty. At FBW, we’re dedicated to offering the highest level of service, merging medical expertise with aesthetic skill.

Part of our mission is to provide a superior patient experience from the first moment a patient contacts our team. We pursue that mission with a passion, getting to know each woman that visits our practice as the individual she is. Then and only then do our professionals tailor a customised approach that is just right for the goals of that individual patient.

We don’t just treat the problem. We treat the person.

Acne is caused by inflammation of the hair follicles. The problem begins with a blockage to the opening of the sebaceous glands. These glands naturally bathe your skin in sebum, an oily substance that makes skin healthy and supple.

The blockage creates a condition where there is too much oil. Bacteria living on the surface of the skin begin to digest the oil, causing the skin to become irritated, leading to acne.

Acne flare-ups appear most during the teenage years, just when young women (and young men) want them least. Starting at age 12 or so, young people eager to be attractive suddenly find the once-flawless skin on their faces and bodies riddled with spots:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Pimples

Another type of facial spot that can develop is a cyst. Cysts are lumps under the skin. They are filled with pus and other tissue, but do not come to a head. They can cause blotchy, uneven skin colour, pitting, and scarring.

Regardless of age, the emotional impact of acne can be as scarring as the condition itself, stripping millions of women in Australia of their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Acne is a skin disease which affects 85% of Australians and can be very severe in 5%.”Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia

For this reason, FBW is pleased to offer a wide range of effective treatments to combat this all too common problem.

One of the first questions patients ask the experts FBW is why they have acne. The more accurate question is “Why am I prone to acne?” The answer is:

  • Genes control your body’s autoimmune response. When faced with bacteria and excess oil on the skin, your genetics influence how easily your pores become clogged. A woman can inherit a tendency to produce dead skin cells extremely quickly. If the body can’t shed those cells quickly enough, pores become clogged and acne develops.
  • Hormones and hormonal balance affect the rate at which your sebaceous glands produce oil. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout a woman’s life, with some very dramatic changes happening during puberty. Men also experience hormonal fluctuations. However, their elevated levels of testosterone work to normalise oil production in adulthood, so as they pass out of adolescence they are less prone to acne than women.

After puberty, other times a woman’s hormones fluctuate and sometimes trigger acne problems are:

  • Menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy
  • Post-Partum
  • Perimenopause
  • Menopause

The team at FBW is highly educated in the workings of a woman’s body, allowing us to approach acne and skin health from a medical, as well as an aesthetic perspective

Acne flare-ups can wax and wane for many years. In some cases they continue to trouble women well into their forties, when stress levels elevate and cause changes in the body.

Cortisol is a stress chemical produced by the adrenal glands. Evidence shows that it is associated with triggering the acne cycle. As a result, many women experience some form of acne and acne scarring in adulthood whenever their cortisol levels rise.

Did you blame Cherry Ripes and potato chips for your acne? According to the Better Health Channel

Many people think that lollies or chocolate cause pimples. Research has not shown any strong link with these foods, but if you notice that eating certain foods causes pimples for you, try avoiding them.”

Your diet is not the cause of your acne, but what you eat can worsen breakouts and increase flare-ups. Key factors that can contribute to a bad case of acne include:

  1. Diet
  2. Stress
  3. Medications
  4. Cosmetics
  5. Environmental pollution
  6. Picking at your skin

At FBW, we encourage our patients to take an active part in healing their acne. Simple lifestyle changes, such as adopting a meditation practice to deal with stress, can have a tremendous impact on the frequency and severity of acne flare-ups:

  • Try a New Hair Style – Keep hair clean. The oil from your hair can aggravate acne. Don’t overdo your washing routine, as too much washing will dry out your hair. Also try to keep your hair off your face and neck.
  • Take a Hands-Off ApproachYour hands are covered in dirt and oil. Picking at inflamed skin will only worsen the condition. It can also lead to scarring.
  • IceAn ice compress can minimise acne swelling and relieve some of your discomfort. Don’t apply ice directly to your delicate skin. Wrap it in a towel or paper towel.

We are so proud of the patients at our practice who follow our advice regarding skin care and see wonderful healing results. Unfortunately, not everyone’s results are the same. While many acne scars are caused by patients who can’t refrain from picking at their skin, some acne lesions are prone to scarring even if they aren’t touched at all.

One such type of acne bump is a cystic acne lesion. It grows under the skin, where its presence draws white blood cells and enzymes to fight the inflammation it causes. This results in damage to the skin, which tries to heal itself and forms a scar in the process.

Picking at an acne bump must be avoided at all costs. Picking may result in a deep indentation in the skin. It will take much longer to heal and can only be erased with professional treatment

There are two types of acne scars:

  • Atrophic scars – indentations in the skin. They are sometimes referred to as “ice pick” scars and look more deep than wide.
  • Hypertrophic scars – thick, raised bumps on the surface of skin.

Until recently, treatments for acne scarring was limited to ablative modalities such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, and CO2 laser resurfacing.

While effective, these solutions for acne scars require the patient to accept a significant amount of downtime in one form or another. The skin experts at our practice favour the use of other, more modern, methods.

Home care is an important part of acne care and treatment, but often-irritated skin requires intervention by a skincare specialist who can provide professional-grade treatments and products.

  • HydraFacial – This is one of the best-loved treatments offered at our practice. It removes impurities and, with the help of medical grade antioxidants, improves the tone, texture, and appearance of acne-prone skin.
  • LED Light Therapy – One of the most exciting skincare breakthroughs in the 21st Century has been in the area of light therapy. This effective, non-invasive treatment is a revolutionary therapeutic use of light to stimulate cellular function. Light therapy can shorten healing times, relieve pain, quiet active acne, and promote skin rejuvenation.
  • INFINI/MicroNeedlingAn effective treatment for reducing wrinkles, microneedling with the INFINI system is a proven process that enhances collagen production. It is extremely valuable for improving acne scars.
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – IPL is another form of light therapy, sometimes referred to as a photo-facial. It is extremely effective at targeting the pigmented cells that remain active when acne lesions disappear. At FBW, we often recommend that IPL treatments be combined with other methods of acne clearing like the ones mentioned above, as well as with topical products.

At our practice, the team at FBW are excited to introduce our patients to cosmeceuticals, particularly those patients who are struggling with acne. Cosmeceuticals, also known as ‘active skin care’ products, are formulated with both cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients. They contain an elevated percentage of active ingredients, making them more effective at relieving acne problems than their over-the-counter counterparts.

Among the powerful active ingredients you’ll find in our skin care products are:

  • Retinoids – to even out irregular pigmentation and promote collagen formation.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids – to improve the condition of the skin and encourage the production of collagen.
  • Antioxidants – to neutralise free radicals and repair damage resulting from acne.

What’s important to know about cosmeceuticals is that they are medicine and may only be sold where there is a doctor or dermal practitioner available. At FBW, our skin experts are highly trained and experienced, making them well qualified to advise and instruct our patients about which products to use.

If you have questions about acne, acne scarring or anything related to women’s health and beauty, contact FBW on (08) 8819 0414 or use the contact form on this page to learn how we can help.