While many people recover from acne without any scars, others, especially those with severe acne, end up with disfiguring acne scarring. In principle, acne treated with the help of a cosmetic dermatologist, should not leave behind any scarring. Click acne treatment, to read about the treatment options that are offered by Dr. Dishakjian of Nu Vela Laser medspa.
Color changes are more common with acne than scarring. When acne clears, pink, red, purple, or dark spots sometimes appear on the skin where the acne once was. It should be noted that post-inflammatory color changes of the skin is most common in those with darker skin tones or in those who tan easily. The good news is that these are not scars and will eventually fade. To be classified as scar, the skin defect has to persist a year or two after an acne lesion has healed.
Acne scars are formed when collagen within the skin is damaged from inflammation. Picking, pressing or rubbing your pimples or whiteheads increases the possibility of scar formation. Acne scars take several shapes: ice pick (deep pitted scars with steep edges), atrophic scars (pitted but have smooth borders and are not as deep), boxcar (depressed, crater-like scars are larger than ice pick scars.), rolling scars (curved indentations on the skin) and hypertrophic scar (thick lumpy scars that sit above the surface of the skin), more common on the back and chest. If you are concerned about your acne scars, speak to your doctor about choosing an appropriate treatment.
SIX MONTHS AFTER ONE TREATMENT OF PROFRACTIONAL LASER
The best way to prevent any acne scars from forming is to prevent more acne in the first place. If active acne is not treated, there will be an increase in the amount and severity of acne scarring. Even mild cases of adolescent acne can leave scars. In addition to the physical damage, acne scars can also have adverse psychological effects. Fortunately, there are a number of acne treatment options ranging from over the counter topical treatments to lasers and medications that are successful at treating even the most severe acne cases.
As for acne scar removal, a skin lightening cream may help lighten the color of dark spots. Topical applications that contain glycolic acid, retinol, or vitamin C can make shallow acne scars less noticeable by helping the body produce new collagen and plump up the skin. Unfortunately, these home remedies, unlike treatments offered by dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, are often not effective to get rid of the more severe scarring left behind long after acne clearing.
Nu Vela is one of the few cosmetic surgery centers in the San Fernando region that is equipped with state-of-the art microdermabrasion system and advanced lasers intended especially for acne scar removal. Moreover, Dr. Dishakjian, the cosmetic surgeon at the center, is highly specialized in injectable dermal fillers that are sometimes indicated for certain type of scars. During your consultation, Dr. Dishakjian will evaluate the severity of your acne scars and may suggest one or more treatments best-suited for your skin condition.
It should be noted that most successful acne scar treatments may take months or even years before a person can see significant improvement in the appearance of facial skin. The basic steps of acne scar removal may include a combination of the following procedures:
Dermal injectable fillers
These are substance that can be injected into depressed scars to plump them up to the level of the surrounding skin. Restylane™, Perlane™, Juvaderm™, and Belotero™ are good fillers for shallow to deep acne scars. The benefit from dermal fillers usually lasts 6 to 18 months, depending on the individual patient and the material used. Your own fat, taken from another part of the body, can last up to 5 years. While you can usually return to your everyday activities immediately after the injections, some minor bruising may be visible. These can be covered with a concealer. To maintain the result, the scars must be re-injected at regular intervals. More about dermal fillers.
Involve the use a chemical solution to burn away the outer layers of skin. The solutions, available in several strengths, are used according to the degree of peeling desired. A series of 4 to 6 superficial peels are effective for improving discoloration from acne, while medium depth peels or a deep peel can improve the appearance of atrophic acne scars (see above). Healing, during which a smoother layer of skin is being formed, can take from three days to three weeks depending on the depth of peeling. Protecting your skin from the sun during the healing period and following instructions given by your physician helps prevent unwanted side effects such as infection and scarring. More about chemical peels.
Is an older technology, where the skin is cleansed, numbed, and then “sanded down” mechanically , by hand , with a wire brush or diamond burr. The treatment is often recommended for severe acne scars and works well on both raised and grooved areas of the skin. Seven to ten days later, the skin forms a new, smoother layer. Patients can expect full recovery in about six weeks.
Often referred to as “skin polishing”, refers to exfoliation of the top dead layers of the skin to remove damaged skin cells. These gentle treatments can provide mild improvement to acne scars. The treatments are progressive and applied through a course of weekly sessions. More about microdermabrasion.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment with BBL™
This light-based therapy delivers pulses of light to the deeper layers of skin without harming the skin’s surface. It rejuvenates both the superficial and deeper skin layers by stimulating the most superficial collagen layer and addressing an array of superficial pigment changes and fine vascularity, which can make scars stand out. The procedure is associated with mild discomfort, is done with numbing skin cream and requires minimal downtime. Most patients receive a series of several treatments. Depending upon the type of acne scar, results can be dramatic. The improvement is gradual and continues improving even after treatment has stopped.
Laser resurfacing with the Erbium:YAG laser
Acne laser scar removal with the Erbium:YAG laser is fast gaining popularity in Los Angeles because it is safer and less painful than the alternative CO2 laser resurfacing system. Laser scar removal can be performed with topical numbing cream for more superficial treatments, while deeper and full face resurfacing is usually performed with nerve blocks and pain pills. In most cases, only a single treatment is required. Redness following treatment usually lasts 2-3 weeks and improvement in the appearance of scars continues for the next 8-12 months. Laser resurfacing with Erbium:YAG laser drastically improves the appearance of facial skin and the results are maintained for years to come. More about laser skin resurfacing.
ACNE SCARS TREATED WITH SCITON’S CONTOUR TRL™
Acne scar removal with ProFractional-XC therapy™ – the “weekend laser peel”
Sciton’s ProFractional-XC Therapy™ is your solution for achieving excellent resurfacing results with minimal downtime (3 to 4 days). Unlike full resurfacing which removes the entire surface of the skin, fractional laser resurfacing technology removes only a fraction of the skin by creating thousands of microscopic “wounds” surrounded by areas of healthy, untreated skin. As a result, the zones of untreated skin accelerate the body’s natural healing process and your skin surface heals in a fraction of the time it would require with full laser resurfacing. The treated areas on the other hand, stimulate production of new collagen, help reduce pigmentation, plump up the skin and smooth out scars and other irregularities. Normally, up to three fractional laser treatments are required to significantly improve the appearance of the skin and make shallow scars invisible and the more prominent ones less noticeable.
It should be noted that Acne scar removal with fractional laser gives excellent results when used for the removal of shallow boxcar scars, as well as for smoothing and tightening scars that have been treated with other surgical modalities. Hypertrophic scars may need prior surgical removal and ice pick scars may need dermal fillers.
We are located in the northwest San Fernando Valley, SFV, with easy connection from most local Los Angeles freeways. Click the “Contact” button for directions. You may reach our Los Angeles medical spa by calling 818-832-4500. Our receptionist will be delighted to assist you with any enquiries regarding cost, additional information, or scheduling a consultation session with Dr. Dishakjian, the cosmetic surgeon of the medical spa. Consultations with the doctor are free with the purchase of any service. We charge a nominal refundable consultation fee for the first office visit only. This fee is fully credited towards a subsequently purchased service.