Acne itself is uncomfortable during an active outbreak, but acne scars add insult to injury. Created when either too little or too much collagen is produced during healing, these scars can be a serious detriment to your cosmetic skin care. Everybody has something they don’t like about their physical appearance, but this is one problem you can do something about. Whether it’s laser resurfacing, skin fillers, microneedling, or some other treatment, let our acne scar removal treatment show you that these scars aren’t as permanent as they might seem.
Some acne scar treatments will fade these blemishes to the point where they’re no longer a cosmetic distraction. Some treatments are so effective at fading scars that they can be described as acne scar removal. Surgical removal that leaves a new, smaller scar is another approach. Put another way, while individual results will vary, there is almost always something you can do to improve the look of your acne scars. Find out which works for you by making an appointment with our dermatology clinic in Chesterfield, MO.
Types of Acne Scars
There are a few different types of acne scars that each respond a little differently to treatment. The best option for a rough-edged boxcar acne scar may not be the same as it is for widespread ice pick scars. Discoloration may not be a scar at all. Even after the acne lesion has healed initially, there may be discoloration that typically fades over the period of a few months. At the same time, despite the “permanent” nature of scarring, newer acne scars typically respond better to treatment than older ones. Discussing the characteristics of your acne scars is an important part of the initial consultation and ultimate treatment plan made with your dermatologist.
Boxcar – These scars are may be shallow to relatively deep but typically have a broad, boxy shape with sharp edges, like a boxcar. Depending on the exact shape, number, and age of the scars, a dermatologist may recommend any number of treatments including resurfacing lasers, chemical peels, microneedling, and microdermabrasion.
Rolling – More common with long-term acne problems, these shallow scars have smooth edges, like rolling hills. While some scars fade with time, rolling scars may actually become more pronounced over time as the skin loses its elasticity. Even topical treatments can help, but skin fillers and/or microneedling can really do the trick.
Ice Pick – These deeply depressed and narrow scars can be difficult to treat. Aggressive skin resurfacing methods are commonly recommended. Surgical removal is another option for isolated ice pick scars. These scars may form after type of acne, but are especially common after deep, infected lesions from cystic acne.
Other Types of Acne Scars – Less commonly, raised keloid acne scars develop when the healing process goes into overdrive following a bad acne scar. Discoloration through hyperpigmentation is another potentially permanent consequence of acne healing. There are several treatment options available for these types of scars, too, including steroid injections, topical treatments, pulsed lasers, and cryosurgery.
Methods and Treatment
Skin Fillers – This acne scar treatment is just what it sounds like. Whether from the body’s own fat tissue or a type of hyaluronic acid, there are a few different options for injectable skin fillers that can be used to minimize depressed acne scars.
Chemical Peels – This treatment uses specially-formulated chemicals to remove the top layers of skin and can help mild but widespread scarring. It typically leaves the skin smoother and more evenly toned than before.
Microneedling – During this treatment, a skin specialist creates microscopic punctures in the skin using a microneedling pen, or SkinPen®. Microneedling is an effective treatment for acne scarring, wrinkles, and other cosmetic blemishes by stimulating new cell growth and improving the skin’s appearance.
Laser Treatment – There are a few different lasers that can be used to target different types of acne problems. Laser treatment involves the removal of tissue on the surface of the skin (epidermis) through an ablative laser, deeper skin layers (dermis) through a non-ablative laser, or both at the same time through fractional laser treatment.
Microdermabrasion – With this approach, a special applicator tool is used to literally sand away the topmost layers of skin and promote new skin cell growth. The primary goal of microdermabrasion is usually to reduce the raised edges of acne scars.
Surgical Acne Scar Removal – A tiny cut, called a “punch incision,” is made to cut the ice pick scar tissue, and the surrounding skin then heals over the affected area. A thin surgical scar is inevitable, but most see it as a big improvement, cosmetically, compared to deep acne scars.
Personalized Acne Scar Removal Treatment
Not all scars are the same, and not all treatment options will work for your skin. Some work by fading the appearance of the scar tissue. Others work by filling the skin in and around the scar to smooth its edges. Some acne scars are severe enough, but also localized enough, that a full extraction with minimal surgical scarring may be the best option. Only a dermatologist can assess the location, range, and characteristics of your acne scars. They will then listen to your concerns, discuss the various options, and create a personalized plan that will best treat your acne scars.
Not everybody’s personal cosmetic goals are the same. Acne scars may be insignificant to one person but an insurmountable mental health challenge to another. Some types of acne scars can show marked improvement through a quick, non-invasive, inexpensive procedure. Some scars are likely to respond better to a more aggressive approach. While the pain can usually be easily managed, this may be a consideration for some people.
In most cases, acne scar treatment is an elective medical procedure, which means it must be paid for out of pocket. Treatment plans can be tailored to meet your personal budget for acne scar removal. Overall, the cost is rarely prohibitive. Time and permanence are additional factors. Some treatments are designed to show almost immediate improvement, while others work incrementally over many months. Some treatments must be periodically reapplied. Others are permanent solutions.
Don’t Wait to Discuss Treatment Options with a Dermatologist
While patience and proper care can minimize the chances that acne will leave a scar, there is no guarantee. There may not have been anything you could have done to prevent acne scars, especially if you experienced severe acne as a teenager or continue to struggle with acne as an adult. That doesn’t mean you have to live with unsightly scars for the rest of your life.
Contact us to schedule an appointment and discover what’s permanent and what’s can treated when it comes to your acne scars.
*Results may vary per patient.