Acne scarring is an irritating but sometimes unavoidable side effect of any acne breakout. It's an issue that can affect anyone regardless of skin type, even spreading to the surrounding skin if you aren't careful with your treatment. And given the compounding skin conditions that can affect damaged skin, overcoming acne scarring remains one of the most common skin care concerns.
Fortunately, acne scar removal procedures have progressed rapidly in the past few years, and patients have a variety of ways to make sure that their acne scar treatment is effective short and long-term. These treatments can give results comparable or even exceeding normally invasive methods like plastic surgery, no matter the kind of scarring you may have.
If you're looking for the best that acne scar treatment has to offer, book a consultation with us today. Our expert team of trained professionals can help give your skin the glowing and healthy look you've always wanted - regardless of any acne breakouts.
One important thing to keep in mind is that acne scars - just like acne - will be different depending on the person and how they treat their breakouts. Scar tissue is different depending on how severe your breakout is, and it's important to know exactly what kind of scarring you're dealing with so you can choose the appropriate treatment.
Acne scars are often divided by where on the body they breakout, namely on the face and your chest/back:
Hypertrophic scars usually occur on the chest and back area and are caused by excess collagen covering the scar tissue after your skin heals from the breakout.
Hypertrophic scars come in all shapes and sizes, but their common feature is that they're a raised scar, above the skin surface. The best way to treat them is to make them even with the rest of the skin's surface.
Atrophic scars usually occur on the face and are examples of some of the visible scarring you can get from a breakout. In contrast to a hypertrophic scar, they occur when the body doesn't have enough collagen to the scarring site, which causes a depressed acne scar.
They usually come in three types:
A rolling scar is a depressed scar with rounded edges, usually irregular in appearance. These can range from light scars to deeper scars that can also cause dark spots and other issues with hyperpigmentation.
These are wide scars that can be shallow or deep, which makes them one of the easier atrophic scars to treat. Boxcar scars respond fairly well to most types of acne treatment, though more aggressive scarring treatment is needed for larger areas on the face.
A deep atrophic acne scar is usually a pitted scar known as an icepick scar since they burrow deep into the skin. These types of scars are the most difficult to remove since there's a large depression in the skin to fill.
The damaged skin caused by acne scarring doesn't just manifest in visible scars: they can also cause issues with your skin tone, making you develop dark spots or hyperpigmentation. But by knowing the exact type of scar you have, you're able to opt for a more effective scarring treatment that can take care of the issue long-term.
Scarring treatment can be done either at home or with an in-clinic procedure, with most medical spas, cosmetic clinics, and other similar practices providing their services. The choice between which treatment to take largely depends on the severity of the scarring, though you should always consult with a dermatologist or cosmetic expert about the best method that can work for you.
Here are the different ways to remove an acne scar:
Dermal fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, and Sculptra have proven to be effective ways of raising depressed scar tissue, making it flush with the rest of the skin surface without any invasive procedures.
Dermal fillers work well for almost any skin type and do no damage to the surrounding skin during treatment, which makes them an excellent fit if you don't want to go through the downtime required from other cosmetic procedures.
A particularly significant advantage to using dermal filler to treat damaged skin from scarring is that there are several active ingredients that you can choose from, from hyaluronic acid to gel-filled microspheres. This makes dermal filler a versatile treatment option that can work on any pitted scar without too much effort.
A chemical peel is an acidic treatment that's used to remove the top layers of your skin, which can help improve the appearance of deep scars. It's also effective on the surrounding skin, though it needs particular care to ensure that it doesn't harm the skin in the process.
Chemical peels can also be used at home, though these skin care treatments can only work on shallow scars since they aren't as strong. The chemical peels are done in-clinic are more potent and can remove more skin, but require more time to administer and recover from.
Chemical peels are a relatively low-cost option for treating acne scars, but they also require significant downtime. They're not suitable for people with sensitive skin, since they can be too harsh and can cause more skin damage.
Laser skin treatments (or laser resurfacing) use laser therapy to remove the top layer of the skin, similar to chemical peels. Laser therapy uses different laser types like a fractional laser or a Fraxel laser to level the skin, aside from targeting dark spots and correcting hyperpigmentation.
The primary benefit of using laser therapy is that it can heal faster compared to similar methods like dermaplaning or chemical peels. But since it uses light energy to work, you need to find the right laser to match your skin type or your skin tone. Patients with a darker skin tone may benefit from another acne scar removal procedure.
It's also not suited for anyone who still has an acne lesion or is in the middle of an acne breakout, since the treatment may just make their acne worse. If you want to go through laser skin treatment, make sure that your acne treatments are done.
Dermabrasion is the most common procedure used for acne scarring, as it removes the top layer of the skin along with any dead skin cells that remain after acne treatment. The procedure can be done at home or in-clinic, but in-clinic procedures are more effective.
By removing the top layer of your skin's surface, you're able to level out acne scarring, though this treatment is more effective on an atrophic acne scar than a raised scar. However, the simplicity of this treatment allows it to work on shallow and deeper scars alike.
The drawback is that dermabrasion requires plenty of downtime to give the skin time to heal between treatments. Since the skin's surface is exposed by this procedure, you need to be careful for the skin to not get infected while it recovers.
For a slow yet steady approach to acne scarring, microneedling is a fairly low-cost and low-risk treatment that you can do yourself. By causing micro-injuries on your skin, you increase its collagen production, allowing it to cover scars faster.
This particular treatment can also work on deeper scars, especially combined with other skin care treatment products. The most significant benefit to using microneedling devices is that they can work on almost any skin tone, which makes them accessible to anyone.
However, microneedling is a particularly slow process, taking a few months before any visible results will show on the skin. For a patient who wants faster results, other methods are more suitable.
If you want to take care of your acne scars at home, there are at-home treatments that you can also consider using. These products can be recommended to you by your dermatologist, or be bought off the shelf.
Retinoids, salicylic acid, and lactic acid products can help limit the appearance of scarring while treating acne breakouts at the same time. They can also help with other symptoms of acne scarring like dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
You can also use skin care products if you want to continue or boost the effects of in-clinic treatments at home. In most cases, these products are usually a milder form of treatments used in-clinic.
The variety of acne scar treatments allows patients versatility with treating their acne scars, using one method if their first choice fails. They can also combine treatments for better results, though this shouldn't be done without the advice and administration of an expert.
One important thing to keep in mind before using any of these treatments is that they won't be effective if you're still experiencing acne breakouts. And while short-term treatments for acne can work for giving you visible results, you'll need advice for long-term treatments to ensure that you recover from both your breakouts and scarring.
We have extensive knowledge of the latest tools, products, and treatments that can work to reduce scarring on any part of your body. With careful consultation and consistent work, you're able to enjoy the benefits of our world-class treatments to get rid of acne.
Once your acne has been controlled, we'll work with you to give you the best options for managing any scarring that may be left behind. While not all patients experience scarring, those that do can find it somewhat difficult to manage it on their own. We believe in providing our patients with long-term solutions to scarring, while also providing them options for other skin rejuvenation treatments.
A: While compounds like aloe vera have excellent regenerative properties, they’re not enough to completely erase or lift acne scars. There’s nothing wrong with applying them to scarred areas as they do help hydrate the skin, but you shouldn’t rely on natural remedies as the only way to treat acne scars.
A: Any side effects you’ll experience will depend on the exact type of acne scarring treatment that you’ll get. In general, you shouldn’t experience any serious side effects if you get your treatment done with a professional provider.
A: Some treatments for acne scarring like microneedling can work at home, but you need the right products to make sure that you’ll get the full benefit. These treatments are best suited to shallow scars – for deeper scars, getting professional in-clinic treatment is still your best option.
Dr. V Medical Aesthetics has plenty of experience with acne scars treatments and other forms of effective, long-term scar treatment. We help our patients with acne scarring and other acne-related concerns with the latest non-surgical treatments and non-invasive procedures, combined with the best in medical spa service. We make sure our patients enjoy both results and comfort from their procedures, ensuring that every treatment session is enjoyable and effective.
If you're looking for certified skin care experts and board-certified providers for your treatments, Dr. V Medical Aesthetics can help you get to your wellness and fitness goals. Call us now to book your appointment today.