Many people have been left with scars on their face from severe cases of acne. The good news is it is never too late to get clear skin and there are several safe and effective acne treatment options available. The top two layers of the skin are called the epidermis and the dermis, with the epidermis being the top layer and the dermis lying just beneath the epidermis. Scars caused by acne are located in the dermis and typically become more prominent with age due to the loss of collagen. This is why it is better to get your scars treated sooner rather than later, as the loss of collagen causes the dermis and epidermis to become less elastic. Treatments for acne scars are performed or supervised by a dermatologist and can include chemical peels, laser treatments, and minor surgical procedures.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” You can prevent, or at least minimize, scaring from acne by keeping your face clean and washing your face twice daily. Acne is the result of the sebaceous glands in the dermis and epidermis becoming clogged and infected. Never pick at or pop pimples, as this can lead to infections. Try not to touch your face and avoid the sun when having breakouts. Over-the-counter topical acne medications may be helpful for minor outbreaks, but you should see a dermatologist or medical aesthetician for severe cases of acne.
Treatments for Scarring
Treatment is may not be the right choice for everyone. Some people don’t feel their scars are bad enough to warrant treatment, however, if you feel that your acne scars are affecting your daily life, you should seek treatment. Dermatologists will typically recommend treatment through a medical aesthetician if their patient answers “yes” to at least one of the following questions:
- Do you often wish you could get rid of your scars?
- Do you believe your scars limit job, scholastic, career and dating opportunities?
- Do you have less social interaction than before you had scars?
This minor surgery is designed to treat very noticeable acne scars. The goal of scar surgery is to create a smaller scar that will then fade out over time. Your dermatologist will do what is known as “lifting” the scar, meaning the scar is brought closer to the epidermis layer. This makes the scar less noticeable and also allows the body to better break down the remaining scar tissue. Anesthesia is usually used, so you will not feel any pain.
A dermatologist may suggest a dermis and epidermis resurfacing procedure for acne treatment if a patient only desires to diminish the appearance of widespread scarring. Resurfacing has a very high success rate when used to treat acne scarring that doesn’t go very deep into the dermis. This procedure removes layers of both the dermis and epidermis and stimulates the production of new cells. Types of resurfacing procedures include:
- Chemical peels
- Laser-skin resurfacing
- Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
A doctor will perform a chemical peel by applying a solution to the affected areas. This will cause the epidermis to blister and then peel off over a period of a few days. New cells will surface to replace the old epidermis as it peels off, bringing the cells of the dermis layer to the top and reducing the appearance of scar tissue. An acne chemical peel can also improve overall pigmentation and texture, making the epidermis look and feel smoother.
Laser resurfacing treatments work at the molecular level, breaking up the bonds of damaged cells in the dermis and epidermis that form the scar tissue. This then stimulates the growth of new cells, one layer at a time, until a smoother and more uniform appearance is achieved.
Dermabrasion & Microdermabrasion
Dermabrasion was originally developed specifically to diminish the appearance of scars. This is a fairly aggressive procedure that basically “sands” away the acne scars to make way for a new and smoother epidermis layer. However, dermabrasion is typically safe only for people with fair complexions, as it can result in discoloration and additional scarring if used on people with darker complexions. The recovery period for dermabrasion can be up to two weeks. Microdermabrasion employs tiny exfoliating crystals that are applied to the face and works best on more minor cases of acne scarring. One advantage of microdermabrasion is the procedure is safe for all complexion types. Additionally, the recovery period for microdermabrasion is generally only around 24 hours.
A plasma facial is an effective form of treatment for scars and acne marks. The growth factors found in the platelets regenerate tissues and create new blood vessels, improving the texture and vitality of the skin. If you are in the Austin, Addison, Dallas or Houston, Texas areas and would like more information on available acne scar treatments, feel free to give us a call. At Novopelle Med Spa we have over nine years of experience in treating a wide range of skin conditions and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.