How to Get Rid of Acne Scars.
As teens, a lot of us dealt with acne. Some still deal with acne in the form of acne scars, which can cause extreme frustration. Difficult to treat, acne scars effect several layers of skin and often require extreme actions to address. At Beleza, we understand the confidence-busters acne scars can be for patients of all ages, so we offer several ways of treating them. Unfortunately, all treatments come with the caveat that while we can often minimize the appearance of scars, it is extremely difficult to eliminate acne scars altogether, so combination treatments may be applied to get the best results possible.
Types of Acne Scars
Three main subtypes of acne scars have been described to include rolling, ice-pick and box car. Their appearance is self-explanatory and they can be found in various combinations. Treatment for each type may require specific procedures for best results.
Our newest tool in the fight against acne scars is Microneedling. A microneedle consists of an automated pen with tiny needles. As the provider rolls the pen across a patient’s face, it makes tiny perforations in the surface of the skin. Because the body recognizes that the skin is damaged, it immediately sends repair functions to the area to build up the skin again. This repair-damage-repair sequence, when repeated 3-5 times, can stimulate collagen and cause the skin to repair itself starting from within, improving the appearance of scarring.
In addition, a serum from your blood (PRP) is applied to the just-rolled face which is packed with proteins that are vital building blocks in the skin. As it sinks into the deeper layers of the skin, now accessible because of the perforations of the roller, the serum aids in the healing process that happens after rolling is complete.
In comparison to some of the other treatments we will discuss, microneedling is on the very low side of the pain scale with some patients describing it as comfortable. It also has very little to no downtime; the skin will look slightly red after the treatment and patients may be advised not to apply makeup or other lotions to the skin for several hours after but the areas will look normal within hours of the treatment.
Acne scars typically leave noticeable divots in the skin. One very effective acne scars removal method, is to inject dermal fillers into them. A dermal filler like Juvederm is carefully injected into and under the skin to lift and fill them. The effect from the dermal filler may be permanent or sometimes needs to be repeated. Dermal fillers may be combined with subcision, where a needle or small blade is used to cut the scar tissue holding the acne scar open.
Our final tool in the fight against acne scars is CO2 Fractional Laser Resurfacing, which is associated with the most downtime, discomfort and efficacy of any of our acne scar treatments. In a 45 – 60 minute treatment, a fractional laser is applied to the skin, causing perforations is a DOT pattern across the entire affected area. This treatment is the most effective in treating scarring because it reaches the deepest layers of skin to initiate the healing process. With 7 – 10 days of downtime, laser resurfacing presents the most significant downtime but in many cases, only requires one treatment to see significant results in the reduction of acne scars.
Bottom line – acne scars are difficult to treat, but the fight is worth it for many patients! A combination of microneedling, laser resurfacing and dermal fillers may sometimes be required. Make your free consultation to find out more.