Acne Scar Treatment
Acne is embarrassing and can deliver a major blow to self-esteem and self-confidence no matter your age. Most teens get acne and 50% of adults do too! Acne is bad enough, but post-acne scars can cause disfigurement and lasting physical, social and psychological scars including continued embarrassment, anxiety, and self consciousness.
It is important to get treatment early to prevent scarring. Without treatment, acne can leave behind dark spots and permanent scars. Professional acne care can help minimize scarring, help you gain control of your acne, and avoid complications.
When acne scars cause concern, there are safe, effective treatments that can diminish the appearance of depressed scars, and raised scars. Before seeking treatment for acne scars, it is important that you are clear of acne.
The type of treatment depends on the type of your scars. Often several types of treatments are combined for the best results. Only a board-certified dermatologist can determine the best therapy for your acne scars.
Types of acne scars
The key to effective treatment is to select treatment based on the scar type. When you see Dr. M. David Cole, he will examine your skin and recommend the right treatments for your needs.
- Depressed scars form when there is too little collagen created during healing. They can be treated with scar surgery, laser therapy, chemical peels, microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), dermabrasion and microdermabrasion, fillers, skin tightening and collagen induction therapy (medical microneedling).
- Raised scars are most effectively treated with injections, scar surgery, laser surgery and cryosurgery.
- Icepick scars are sharp, pointy scars that deeply penetrate the skin. They are caused by infected oil glands, and can be treated with punch excision. A skin graft can be used to fill the scar, followed by laser treatment to smooth out the skin. Radiofrequency treatment helps build collagen to fill in the scars from inside. Fillers injected beneath the scar can help raise and diminish the scar.
- Boxcar scars look like cut outs and are large. These often require minor surgery. Collagen induction therapy with a laser, radiofrequency or ultrasound energy will stimulate new collagen. This may be combined with chemical peels.
- Rolling scars are the most common type. They look like small round or oval skin depressions. Fat injections plus microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a very effective combination to improve the scar and skin.
For best results, treatments may be combined. Treatment often includes minor surgery, laser treatments, chemical peels and fillers.
Types of acne scar treatments
- Topical Vitamin A creams.
- Fat Injections plus microneedling with platelet rich plasma (PRP) boost collagen production to significantly improve depressed scars alone or in combination with laser skin resurfacing.
- Steroid injections can reduce the inflammation of cystic acne and help minimize scarring.
- Microneedling is a procedure that uses tiny, thin needles to create damage to the skin, to trigger collagen production. It is called collagen induction therapy because it creates new collagen which plumps, smoothes acne scars and rejuvenates the skin. It is often combined with radiofrequency skin tightening.
- Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is created from your blood. The blood contains proteins, growth and healing factors that when injected into a scar stimulate collagen production under depressed scars raising them to skin level. It can be combined with microneedling.
- Minor scar surgery
- Fractionated skin resurfacing creates columns of injured skin leaving the healthy tissue intact. The injury triggers collagen building which improves the overall appearance of the skin and acne scars.
- Cryotherapy freezes the scar tissue which forms a scab that falls off. It is not always recommended for people of color as it can create pigmentation problems.
- Radiofrequency skin tightening
- Chemical peels
- Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion
- Fillers – a dermal filler called Bellafill® is approved for facial acne scars and provides immediate improvement. Bellafill adds volume and lift of acne scars, and stimulates collagen production for lasting results. But it is best used for a few scars.
- Grafts are used when the scar is removed.
As we age, collagen production falls, and acne scars tend to become more obvious. If you are concerned about your acne scars, contact Horizon Dermatology and Cosmetic Center today to schedule a consultation to learn how you can regain your confidence and beautiful skin.
Horizon Dermatology and Cosmetic Center in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, Torrance, or Fullerton, CA provides the compassionate care and excellence that will help you achieve beautiful skin, and address all your dermatology needs.