Acne scars are a big issue for many people. The appearance of scars on the face can make the skin appear bumpy, dimpled, and uneven in tone, which can be a great cause for concern. Luckily, at Perfect Skin Center in Scottsdale, AZ we know that many acne scar treatments can be used to reduce or eliminate the appearance of scars. But what treatment is the best option for your acne scarring?
What Is the Best Acne Scar Treatment?
Dermatologists have access to several different treatments to reduce the appearance of acne scars. For example, some dermatologists like to prescribe skin lightening products that are applied topically to reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Other treatments may be designed to stimulate collagen in the skin to reduce the texture and appearance of scars. Some acne scar treatment can include:
Radiofrequency treatments like Thermage are non-ablative and work by stimulating the production of collagen deep within the subdermal layers of the skin. Using gentle heating technology, Thermage can drastically increase skin volume in areas where scarring is visible. This type of treatment has shown clinical significance for certain types of scars.
Laser treatments for acne scars are perhaps the most common and there are many laser systems for patients to choose from. For example, we offer ProFractional and Fraxel treatments, which are novel skin resurfacing treatments that increase collagen production and exfoliate the upper dermal layers.
The Scitcon laser is another resurfacing treatment that uses a more advanced system to reduce downtime and is most appropriate for those who have sensitive skin or skin that is not ideal for other types of laser treatments.
Microneedling with the Dermapen system is another good option. Microneedling can induce the production of collagen in targeted areas of the skin, while also breaking up fibrous scar tissue and stimulating cellular turnover. The advantage of microneedling is that it can be used by everyone with very few risks since it uses your body’s regenerative properties to reduce the appearance of scars.
Injectable treatments are also common options for acne scar treatment. Some people can use dermal fillers to increase the volume of localized scars, such as ice-pick scars that are not responsive to other treatments. Patients can use a TCA Cross treatment, which uses which injects Trichloroacetic acid into the scar to stimulate collagen production so the scar can close in on itself over time.
Botox is another treatment to consider. This treatment is a more novel approach since it addresses acne scarring in a much different way than other treatments. With a Botox treatment for acne scars, the goal is to prevent the formation of deep scars, particularly on the upper face.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Causes Acne Scarring?
Acne scarring can seem like an insurmountable challenge for many people and can be a serious cause of low self-esteem. So, what causes acne scarring? Is there anything you can do to prevent it?
The truth is that your likelihood of developing acne scars is caused by a combination of genetic predisposition, your skin tone and type, the type of acne you have, and how long your acne breakouts occur. Some of the most common causes for acne scarring can include:
Irritating Acne During Healing
You’ve probably heard it before, but you should never irritate acne during the healing process. Popping zits or picking at a pimple on your face is the absolute worst thing you can do for your skin if you want to prevent acne scars. By repeatedly irritating acne while it’s healing, you are interfering with the collagen wound healing process, which can make acne wounds heal incorrectly.
Continuous breakouts are another common cause of scarring. Regardless of the type of acne you have, continually having breakouts can put your skin in a constant state of wound healing, which means that the production of wound healing resources like collagen can become low. If you are constantly having breakouts in the same areas of the face, this can also make it more difficult for acne scars to heal correctly.
Sun exposure can also be a major risk for the development of acne scars. Certain types of acne scars, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, appear worse when they are exposed to direct sunlight. This is because the UV rays in the sun can trigger melanin production and when melanin is produced on wounded areas of skin, the skin heals in a darker tone than the surrounding skin.
Whether you were unable to afford treatments for acne in your youth or you don’t know how to start picking products that will help you control acne, improper skincare is a big issue. Many people who have acne scars may not have had access to skincare products that can eliminate acne-causing bacteria, which means acne becomes a chronic issue rather than a manageable skin condition.
If you aren’t sure where to start with products that can prevent acne, then you should visit a dermatologist or do research to find products that will work for your skin. The most common products that are used to control acne breakouts include topical retinoids, zinc, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.
2. Can Acne Scars Go Away By Themselves?
Depending on the severity of your scarring, it’s possible that your scar could go away by itself in the future. People who have very mild scarring in their youth may be able to see scars go away naturally, particularly if they can control acne breakouts. The better you can prevent future acne, the better your current acne can heal and the less likely will be to develop scars.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars are the most likely scar to go away by themselves. This type of scar occurs only on the upper layers of the skin, which means that natural cellular turnover could reduce the appearance of these scars over several weeks or months.
That said, many post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars will remain on the skin for several months or years if your skin is exposed to the sun, which means you may need treatment for acne scarring to eliminate these scars.
Atrophic scarring is the most difficult to get rid of since this type of scarring causes depressions on the skin from inadequate collagen production during wound healing. It’s very unlikely that the scar will go away by itself, although as we age, it may appear less obvious. The best way to get rid of facial scars is with advanced resurfacing treatments.
3. How Many Acne Scar Treatment Do You Need?
The amount of treatments you need to remove your acne scars will depend on the severity of your scars and the type of treatment being used. Radiofrequency and laser resurfacing treatments need three to six treatments to stimulate collagen production and cellular turnover. For micro-needling treatments, you will likely need four to six or more treatments to reduce scars.
4. How Long Will Results Last?
The results of your acne scar treatment can last for a long time, particularly if you take good care of your skin. Laser treatments can produce permanent results for hyperpigmentation and atrophic scarring because the power of the laser restructuring stimulates collagen in the subdermal layers of your skin. The best way to get long-lasting results from your treatment is to prevent future acne breakouts and limit your exposure to the sun.
5. Are You a Good Candidate?
If you have any type of acne scarring, and if your acne scarring is moderate-to-severe, you are likely a good candidate for advanced treatments such as laser or radiofrequency resurfacing. Those who have mild to moderate scarring are likely good candidates for microneedling or injectable treatments. You’ll need to attend a consultation to determine which of these treatments for acne scars is most appropriate for you.
Reduce Your Acne Scars and Perfect Your Skin
If you want to perfect the appearance of your skin, then reducing or eliminating the appearance of your acne scars may be one of your top priorities. It may be difficult to pinpoint the best type of treatment if you were only using at-home methods, such as skin lightening topical creams. With the care of a dermatologist, you can use advanced treatments to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Contact us at Perfect Skin Center in Scottsdale, AZ today to schedule your consultation.