Acne & Acne Scarring

At Platinum Dermatology, our medical, dermatological skincare practice, we see many patients who want to treat acne, and a growing number who want to treat acne scarring. For them, the visible scars on their faces can be just as traumatic as active acne vulgaris.

Few people manage to escape their teenage and young adult years without some pimples and blackheads, especially in Australia. Here, acne is the most common of the skin diseases:

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

In this article, the skin specialists at Platinum Dermatology give you an overview of acne and acne scarring, including innovative new solutions to this troublesome skin condition.

Acne Basics

Acne occurs when there is a blockage to the opening of the sebaceous glands. These glands bathe the skin in sebum, an oily substance that keeps skin supple and healthy.

When there is too much oil, which is often combined with excess skin cells in the oil duct, bacteria that normally live on the surface of the skin begin to digest this oily skin debris. The by-product of this process is irritated skin and acne in the form of:

  • Pimples
  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Large cysts or nodules
  • Painful swelling

Platinum Dermatology Explains the Main Causes of Acne

One of the first questions patients ask us is why they have acne. They ask whether eating chocolate causes acne and what they can do to make it go away. There are two main factors associated with acne

  • Genetics/Heredity
  • Hormones

Acne can be worsened by:

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Cosmetics
  • Environmental pollution
  • Rubbing the skin

Genetics, Hormones & Acne

Genes determine a number of things including your body’s autoimmune response when faced with bacteria. They can influence how easily your pores become plugged with excess oil. You may have inherited a tendency to overproduce dead skin cells and, because you can’t shed them quickly enough, your pores become clogged and acne develops.

Your hormones and hormonal balance influence the rate at which you produce oil within your sebaceous glands. These levels fluctuate throughout life, but are most dramatic during puberty, which explains why so many teenagers of both genders get acne.

  • Women can experience unusual hormonal fluctuations during hormonal shifts related to their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, post partum, perimenopause, and menopause. Women may also experience higher levels of male hormones (androgens) due to the condition polycystic ovary syndrome, making them prone to acne. As a result, many women experience some form of acne and acne scarring in adulthood.
  • Men also experience hormonal fluctuations. During puberty there is a surge of androgens, the male sex hormone. Androgens cause the oil glands in the skin of the face, back, neck, chest, and shoulders to enlarge and produce more oil. Combined with the stress of adolescence, it’s easy to understand why teenage boys are so prone to breakouts and acne scarring. Men’s high levels of testosterone work to normalise oil production in adulthood.

Acne is not a serious health threat, but it can cause scars.


Kleresca® is a breakthrough BioPhotonic (light conversion) treatment that significantly improves acne. The treatment offers high efficacy and safety with limited to no down time.* You will be guided by our specialist dermatologists- the ONLY specialists in skin.

Kleresca® harnesses the power of BioPhotonics to safely treat your acne and stimulate the tissue’s own repair systems. The treatment uses a high intensity in-clinic lamp together with a photoconverter gel to kill bacteria in the skin and initiate healing.* We often prescribe Kleresca in conjunction with low- dose, short course isotretinoin for enhanced results and higher cure rates.

Click here to learn more about Kleresca®.

Forever Clear BBL

For people looking to treat acne, we offer a series of innovative solutions including Forever Clear BBL. It is an effective, comfortable and quick treatment targeting the effects of deep inflammatory acne and cystic acne.*

Using broad band light and infrared light, the Forever Clear treatment targets and speeds healing of existing breakouts and prevents future breakouts.*

Book a consultation with our specialist dermatologists to learn more about Forever Clear BBL.

Platinum Dermatology Examines Acne Scarring

Contrary to what many patients at our practice believe, acne scars are not only the result of picking at a blemish. In fact, there are acne lesions that are prone to scarring even if you leave them completely alone. For example, nodular acne lesions, which appear like cysts under the skin, attract a flood of white blood cells and enzymes to fight the inflammation. This results in damage to the skin, which tries to heal itself and forms a scar.

However, picking at a blemish may cause a deep indentation that will take much longer to treat but can only be improved with a laser treatment.

There are two types of acne scars:

  • Atrophic scars appear as indentations in the skin. One type of atrophic scarring commonly seen as a result of acne is often referred to as an “ice pick” scar, which appears more deep than wide.
  • Hypertrophic scars appear as thick, raised bumps on the surface of skin.

Fractionated Laser Treatments for Acne Scars

Until recently, treatment for acne scarring was limited to ablative modalities such as

  • Dermabrasion
  • Deep chemical peels
  • CO2 laser resurfacing

The downside to these treatments for acne scars is that they require the patient to accept a significant amount of downtime in one form or another. The skin specialists at our Ultimo practice favour the use of a ProFractional or Fractionated CO2 laser with just 4 days downtime.*

The Sciton laser we use at our practice goes beyond the gold standard to the Platinum standard. Its advanced fractionated technology delivers excellent results with less downtime. It is an unsurpassed treatment tool that is extremely precise. Most importantly, it allows us to treat an individual scar as minimally or as aggressively as needed, to achieve smooth and even skin texture.*

Click here to read more about laser treatments.

Medical grade Microneedling and Radiofrequency Treatments for Acne Scars

Platinum Dermatology also offers medical grade Microneedling with radiofrequency, which is one of the most advanced forms of skin needling.

Designed to address a wide variety of skin concerns, this is a quick and effective procedure that can help improve the appearance of prominent pores and acne scars, brightening and smoothing the complexion.*

Click here to read more about Radiofrequency Microneedling.

Visit Platinum Dermatology for Solutions to Acne & Acne Scarring

If you have questions about acne, acne scarring or any skin condition, contact Platinum Dermatology on 02 8014 6500 or use the contact form on this page to learn how we can help.

* Individual results may vary.

Click here to learn more from our specialist dermatologists