Acne Scars and How to Treat Them
One of the questions we get commonly is “how do I get rid of these acne scars?”
Unfortunately, there is no one right answer for every patient. Acne and acne scars can be very embarrassing and a big stressor for patients. There is no need to worry alone – there are many effective treatment options available.
1st: Stop the Inflammation
The first step when it comes to treating acne-related skin problems is to control the active acne and make every effort to prevent future breakouts. This can be done through a variety of methods, and we often recommended starting with clarifying anti-acne facials with our aesthetician on a regular basis, in addition to daily at-home maintenance using medical grade skin care products designed to treat and prevent acne flares. These at-home regimens are critically important to maintaining a beautiful, blemish-free complexion.
When it comes to at-home maintenance, several different agents can be helpful to improve the blemished complexion. An antioxidant like Phloretin CF from SkinCeuticals helps to reduce inflammation and skin damage caused by free radicals, and also improves the effectiveness of your daily sunscreen by up to SEVEN times. This combination of an antioxidant and daily sun protection helps to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that results in red spots and dark areas around acne breakouts that can take months or years to resolve. Additionally, a pigment corrector like the Advanced Pigment Corrector from SkinCeuticals can help reduce the pigmentation issues that are in place and prevent future hyperpigmentation. Finally, one of my favorite products is Blemish + Age Defense from SkinCeuticals – this can be applied one to two times per day and goes on very thin to treat and prevent acne breakouts. In my opinion, this is the key component in any anti-acne skin care regimen. If you combine these with an anti-acne cleanser, dramatic improvements are possible.
I have seen these products work their magic and am a firm believer in their effectiveness. These aren’t the only products that work, but let our team of professionals help you customize an effective regimen – please don’t rely on the lady behind the makeup counter at the department store.
2nd: Treat the Scars
Now, let’s talk about the scars that are left behind after the acne is controlled.
Acne scars can be very challenging. Scars can range from deep icepick scars to shallow depressions and boxcar shapes. Some patients will have one or two deep scars that may respond best to simple excision, while other might need aggressive dermabrasion (which is very different from MICROdermabrasion). Other patients will respond well to a series of light chemical peels and at-home topical therapy. Injectable dermal fillers (like Restylane Silk for example) can also be a great option for many scars. In most cases, patients will require a combination of multiple treatments to achieve the best results.
One of my preferred techniques is to excise the deepest scars with a very tiny punch device, close the tiny hole with dissolvable suture, and let the areas heal for several weeks. This allows the skin to be smooth rather than have a depressed scar. We can then come back and use our Phoenix Fractional CO2 Laser to resurface the skin and improve the overall scar appearance and skin texture across a broad area. Shallow flat scars can also be improved with filler injections prior to lasering as well. While not every scar can be completely removed, dramatic improvements are possible and this can make a huge difference in how patients feel about themselves.
If you have facial scars that bother you, let us help you with a customized treatment plan to get you where you want to be and restore your confidence. And remember, don’t trust your face to just anyone … your face deserves a specialist.
Call us at (469) 362-6975 or CLICK HERE to email us and we will be in touch with you shortly to schedule your free consultation.
Matthew A. Richardson, MD
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Hair Restoration Surgery
Texas Facial Aesthetics