Acne affects about 50 million Americans, making it the most common skin problem in the country. Though many people still think of it as a teenager’s nightmare, acne can haunt adults, too. A minor breakout can turn bad by leaving acne scars behind as an unwanted reminder.
Don’t ignore your acne breakouts. In fact, don’t let any acne scarring go untreated. Scarring can have an adverse effect on your social life and self-esteem, so why not enlist the help of a world-renowned acne expert at West Dermatology? The staff of cosmetic and medical dermatology specialists is proud to offer different options to best treat your case of acne scarring. Fill out our online contact form to schedule an informative consultation with a dermatology office near you in Arizona, Nevada, or California. The information and treatment you receive can help you effectively treat your acne scarring as soon as possible.
Acne and Acne Scarring
Acne can break out on your face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back. It can show up on your skin as pimples (pustules), papules, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and nodules.
Although acne is troublesome enough, it’s the scarring that can really have a long-lasting impact on your self-esteem. Acne scarring can occur from any type of acne, but it’s the most serious types (nodules and cysts) that cause the most damage to surrounding skin, although constantly picking at your acne can also cause scarring. Shallow depressions usually heal by themselves and don’t leave much of a noticeable lesion. However, deeper depressions don’t heal as nicely by themselves and leave flawed or scarred skin.
Type of Acne Scars
Acne scarring can take the form of two distinct types:
Hypertrophic (keloid) scarring occurs when your body produces more collagen than is necessary as an acne wound heals, which leaves a collection of raised tissue on the surface of your skin.
Atrophic (depressed) scarring in the opposite of hypertrophic scarring in that it results in skin depressions due to tissue loss. Two types of atrophic scarring are common:
- Icepick scars are small, obvious holes in the skin resembling indentations in your skin that look as if they came from an icepick.
- Boxcar scars are usually round or oval depressions with steep, angled sides – they tend to resemble scars from chicken pox.
Acne Scar Removal Treatment
It’s possible that your severe acne scars will shrink and fade over time, but don’t expect this. You may need cosmetic treatment for particularly noticeable severe acne scarring.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Sometimes called a laser peel, this acne scar removal treatment utilizes a laser to improve your skin’s appearance by removing the scarred upper layers of skin. This allows the lower layers of your skin to rise to the surface and rejuvenate your appearance. Another benefit is that the ablative laser heating process goes deep into your skin, stimulating collagen production and allowing your skin to heal naturally. The results? Smoother skin.
Side effects include swelling and itching or stinging sensations, but these should vanish within 72 hours. It might also take up to a week for your old skin to slough off so your new skin can shine through.
There are a variety of ablative lasers that are beneficial. Your physician will determine which type or types are best for you. Most patients can expect at least a 50% improvement in the appearance of their scars. If requested, a second or third procedure can be performed with the same of different combinations of lasers every 6 months. Each laser resurfacing will improve the appearance of scars by about 50%.
Excision and Punch Graft
During this treatment, your dermatologist gently cuts out your acne scars before stitching them up for healing. A skin graft may be taken from another part of your body – from behind the ear, for instance – and applied to the area of excision and allowed to naturally heal. This particular acne scar removal treatment is often used in combination with laser resurfacing.
Side effects include bruising, skin sensitivity, and scars from the treatment, although they are smaller and less noticeable than the originals.
Other Effective Treatments
Non-ablative fractionated laser or light therapy, radiofrequency and/or microneedling procedures and also treat your acne scarring target the scars but don’t cause damage to the surrounding tissue. Combined with other acne treatments, laser/light/energy therapy can be very effective.
There’s very little pain or downtime, and side effects are minimal and temporary – pain or soreness, swelling, and skin discoloration. Non-ablative treatments usually only provide about 10% improvement with each treatment and are usually performed every month at least 3-6 times to effect maximal improvement.
Soft Tissue Fillers
Soft tissue dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Belatero, Bellafill and others are injected into the scar with an ultrafine needle to temporarily plump and smooth the affected area. This minimally invasive procedure is very effective and comes with few side effects (bruising, swelling, redness) that usually subside within a week. Depending on different factors, the results typically last six to 18 months, sometimes longer.
This special procedure removes the outer layer of your skin by utilizing tiny rough particles for a painless, non-invasive acne scarring therapy. Microdermabrasion is safe for all skin types, involves very little downtime, and has few side effects.
Learn more about acne scar removal treatment at WebMD.com.
Suffering from Pimple Scarring? West Dermatology Can Help
Severe acne scars can disrupt your life, if ignored, by causing unsightly scarring. If you have acne scarring and are thinking about treatment, a variety of treatment options to fit your budget and particular case are available. With multiple locations in Nevada, Arizona, and California (including Hillcrest, San Diego, Fresno, and other cities), West Dermatology has been serving more than 500,000 families in a community like yours everyday. Contact us online to schedule a consultation.
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