Acne scarring treatments

10/02/24Acne scarring treatments

This before and after image is an Asian gentleman’s cheeks after the first stage of treating his acne scars. 

His post inflammatory hyperpigmentation had vanished with just 7 weeks of homecare! The before and afters also reveal a marked improvement of his atrophic scars and overall skin texture.

Case study:

This young man was conscious of his post acne scarring. He had researched and spent a fortune trying lots of over the counter creams but nothing was working. 

What he had was some localised atrophic (sunken) scars and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH is the result of the proliferation of melanin following inflammation and/ or trauma and is very common in skin of colour. In his case, it was as a result of acne. He also had ice pick scars, rolling scars and box scars. These are terms used to describe scars if you look at a skin biopsy in cross section. I could see that the pigmentation was more bothersome than the sunken scars so we prioritised treating this first.

There are several ways PIH can be treated:

Skincare and peels. Click here for more info and read what a patient sais about her skincare regime here


Radio frequency microneedling

Red light therapy to assist healing

All of these are delivered at Dr K’s Clinic.

The sunken scars can be treated by several modalities: 

Topical high strength topical Tretinoin prescriptions and skin resurfacing with a phenol peel (like The Perfect Peel that is suitable for skins of colour) Click here for more info

TCA cross. This is a very high strength peel applied in drops to ice pick scars. Click here for more info

Minor surgery subcisions with a nokor needle where the tethered scar is released from below.

Skin punch biopsies where one removes a small cylindar of a deep scar and the skin heals as the edges are brought together.

Injectables with Polynucleotides (Plinest, Plenhyage) Click here for more info

Skin boosters (Restylane Vital and Restylane Vital Light are used in clinic) Click here for more info

Skin remodellers like Profhilo Click here for more info

Dermal fillers like Restylane, Belotero, Teoxane are used in clinic Click here for more info on fillers

My first-line therapy in thhis gentleman's case consisted of topical depigmenting agents that also act on the atrophic scars and could be delivered at home for cost effectiveness.

Here I used prescriptions of hydroquinone, tretinoin, hydrocortisone and niacinamide (B3 @phFormula) to reduce his pigment. The tretinoin and niacinamide will also help reduce the scars. As some of these topicals would give a lot of inflammation and irritation and potentially worsen his PIH, I also issued a gentle exfoliating cleanser (Exfo Cleanse @phFormula) and a soothing intense moisturiser with glycofilm, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E (SOS Rescue @phFormula) and of course a mineral SPF30+. I like to keep topical therapy to the bare essentials and add additional therapies if the hypermelanosis is particularly stubborn. PhFormula have Mela, TXN and Vita C that are fantastic as maintenance therapies. 

On review 7 weeks later he was amazed and very happy with his results! 

He was keen to take the next step and our aim was to improve the remaining uneven skin texture and slightly pitted scarring. We went through the options and we both agreed a course of polynucleotides. 

Happy patient= Happy doctor!


If you’d like an appointment with me, and you live less than 2 hours away, it’s better to see me in person for a 45-50 mins comprehensive assessment, as it’s helpful to touch and feel your tissue to see what treatment combinations will work best.

Those patients who live 3-4 hours away often want an online zoom consultation for an assessment. If they are treated with HA fillers or bio stimulating fillers, I ask that they stay locally for 3 days in case of rare adverse events. My online booking system is currently disabled and I’m only taking bookings through my personal assistant Lisa. See the details below.

Our normal working days are: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays and once a month Mondays. Our doctor led aesthetic clinic is set in the countryside between Wrexham and Chester. 

If you would like to book an appointment with Dr Kenningham, view availability or get the full address please click : 


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