A terrible reminder of the acne that once was, albeit from pubescent years or recent episodes, acne scars happen to 30 percent of people affected by moderate to severe acne, but is more prominent in severe cases where there are blemishes with large nodules and inflammation from cystic acne.
Luckily, there are now several methods that can be used for improving the look and feel of acne scars. Choosing the right treatment for your particular case depends on the types of scars you have. Typically, there are two main types of acne scars:
Hypertrophic or keloid scarring. These scars are caused when the body produces excess collagen as acne wounds heal, which results in a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface.
Atrophic or depressed scarring. These scars occur when there is a loss of tissue. There are two common types of atrophic scarring: “icepick” scars are typically small, yet apparent holes in the skin; “boxcar” scars are round or oval depressions in the skin with steeply angled sides (they are similar to chickenpox scars).
There are a few ways to minimize, or even prevent, acne scars:
- Do not pick at pimples because the bacteria from your hands can cause more inflammation and lead to scarring.
- Do not irritate blemishes by attacking them with harsh products, over-washing, or scrubbing; this reduces skin’s elasticity and intensifies the appearance of scars.
- Do not overexpose skin to the sun (quit tanning!); sun exposure can further damage scars or make them appear darker.
When it comes to acne scars, efficacy of treatment depends on the depth and extensiveness of the scarring. There are many noninvasive treatments that can treat minor cases, such as dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, superficial peels, IPL, and lasers like Clear+Brilliant. For deep, crater-like scarring, the most effective treatments are VI peels or ablative Fraxel.
Treatments for Acne Scars
Vi Peel ™
The Vi Peel is a gentle medical-grade chemical peel for the treatment of various skin conditions including scarring, fine lines, and sun spots.
Medium Grade Chemical Peel
A Medium-depth Chemical Peel causes controlled damage of the epidermis, which restores the skin’s tone and texture in just a single setting.
This calcium-based volumizing dermal filler plumps sunken cheeks, deep wrinkles, and folds. Results are instant, but treatment is irreversible.
Juvederm Ultra Plus®
Juvederm Ultra Plus is one of the thickest dermal fillers, injected into the deeper layers of the skin to treat severe wrinkles and deep folds.
Juvederm Ultra is one of the most popular dermal fillers used to treat medium-depth wrinkles, depressed folds, sunken scars, and thin lips.
Juvederm Voluma XC™
This volumizing dermal filler plumps cheeks, cheekbones, and the chin area. Many love it because it is easily reversible.
This thick, hyaluronic acid based dermal filler is injected deep into the skin to treat severe lines, folds, and depressions.
This popular dermal filler treats medium-depth wrinkles, such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and lip lines. It's also used to plump lips.
This poly-L-lactic acid based volumizing dermal filler has the best pan-facial lifting effects. This means it adds volume over an area, not one spot.
Dermaplaning is a form of physical exfoliation that uses a surgical blade to scrape off dulling dead skin cells and annoying peach fuzz.
Microdermabrasion uses crystals or an exfoliating disk to sand off dead skin, increase collagen production, and improve skin tone and texture.
Clear + Brilliant®
Often called the "starter" laser, the intensity of this gentle skin resurfacing treatment lies between a spa facial and a more aggressive Fraxel laser.
Fraxel makes several fractional resurfacing lasers that treat a spectrum of concerns, from general skin rejuvenation to deep wrinkles and scars.
Palomar Icon ®
This multi-tasker has a fractional laser and IPL to offer a variety of treatments, from photorejuvenation to wrinkle and spot reduction.
This non-laser treatment uses intense pulsed light (IPL) to diminish dark spots, age spots, redness, broken capillaries, rosacea, wrinkles and more.