Scars from acne can seem like double punishment — first you had to deal with the pimples, now you have marks as a reminder. Most serious scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne.
Acne scars is a sequel to untreated or improperly treated acne, which could have been prevented by a correct, timely treatment. These scars disfigure your face for the whole life. A lot of patients of acne coming to us do have concomitant scarring. We, at Appleskin clinic, have treated thousands of such patients successfully.
The best approach is to get treatment for acne soon after it appears to prevent further severe acne and more scarring. If scars are forming then a person’s acne needs to be under control before scars can be treated.
Acne scars take two forms:
- scars with a gradual dip or depression (sometimes called “rolling” scars)
- scars that are deep and narrow
Scarring may sometimes be affiliated with pigmentation as well. People with deeper skin tones may also notice darkening (or hyperpigmentation) within the scars, while people with lighter skin tones may show redness (or erythema) within the scars.
There are many safe & effective techniques to deal with this problem. Treatment is individualized depending upon the nature of scars & type of skin:
- Fractional Laser.
- Chemical Peeling.
- Surgical techniques.
Treatments depend on how severe the scars are. In some cases, Appleskin may suggest a chemical peel or microdermabrasion to help improve the appearance of scarred areas. These milder treatments can be done right away.
If you have serious scarring from previous bouts with acne, there are several things you can do:
This treatment uses a rotating wire brush or spinning diamond instrument to wear down the surface of the skin. As the skin heals, a new, smoother layer replaces the abraded skin. It may take a bit longer for a skin to heal using dermabrasion — usually between 10 days and 3 weeks. Microdermabrasion appeals to younger patients as a great way to reduce occasional blemish flare-ups, a deep cleansing facial and as preventive skin care to fight the first signs of aging before they actually appear. Brilliant for the treatment of fine lines, enlarged or clogged pores, acne & acne scarring, altered pigmentation, sallow or dull complexions as well as the overall improvement of blood circulation.
Best results are achieved through a series of treatments and a regular maintenance program. Being totally non-invasive, there is virtually no discomfort, down time or recovery. Patients typically experience some redness for about an hour after the procedure. Healing time for most is just a few hours.
The laser removes the damaged top layer of skin and tightens the middle layer, leaving skin smoother. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. The doctor will try to lessen any pain by first numbing the skin with local anesthesia. It usually takes between 3 and 10 days for the skin to heal completely.
Fractional laser therapy
This type of treatment works at a deeper level than laser resurfacing or dermabrasion because fractional laser therapy doesn’t wound the top layer of tissue, healing time is shorter. Someone who has had this type of treatment may just look a bit sunburned for a couple of days.
Subcutaneous incision, also known as Subcision, is used to break up the fibrous bands that cause rolling scars. Subcision is performed under local anesthesia by inserting a specially beveled needle under the skin so that it is parallel to the skin surface. This procedure causes bruising which fades after about 1 week.
There are many types of dermal fillers that can be injected into acne scars to raise the surface of the skin and give a smoother look.
Treating Early Acne Scars
The post-inflammatory changes caused by acne are part of the skin’s natural healing process. There are certain practices and medications that can help facilitate this healing process.
- Unprotected exposure to the sun causes more skin damage and delays healing, therefore wearing a good sunscreen is important.
- Using tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) speeds up the skin’s remodeling process and helps heal post-inflammatory changes.
- Appropriate formulations of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) that contain the correct concentrations and are at the appropriate pH also help the skin’s remodeling process.
- Picking at scabs should be avoided at all costs. Scabs form to protect the healing process that is going on underneath them. Pulling a scab off before it is ready interferes with the healing and remodeling process, prolonging the time that post-inflammatory changes will be visible.