Acne Scar Removal

 

Acne scars are one of the most emotional conditions our patients struggle with.  They are a constant reminder of previous acne and they often have a big effect on self-confidence.   But there are excellent treatment options for acne scars including surgical procedures, lasers and injections.

Acne-Skin-Care

What types of Acne Scars do I have? Acne scars comes in all shapes, sizes and colors and there are treatments for every kind.  The most common types include red, brown and textured acne scars.

How are red acne scars treated? Red acne scars occur most often in light skinned individuals.  The healing process involves bringing very small capillaries to the area.  This result of the trauma is a pink or red area around the acne scar after it has healed.  For many patients, red acne scars will resolve on their own given a period of several weeks to several months.  If the scars do not resolve quickly enough or at all, there are several steps to speed the process.  Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, Retin A and glycolic acid can all speed up the resolution of red acne scars.  In situations where the marks are deeper or more resistant to exfoliating products, lasers are an excellent choice.  A vascular laser like the Cynosure V-Beam or Candela V-star are both good pulsed dye laser options for redness and they are commonly used for red acne scars, Rosacea and red birthmarks.

How are brown acne scars treated? Brown acne scars are similar to red acne scars in that the brown spots develop during the healing process and after the acne goes away.  The difference is that red acne scars normally occur in lighter skin types and brown acne scars occur in darker skin types.  Topical products that use the medication hydroquinone are very effective at removing dark acne marks.  Depending on the strength of the hydroquinone, fading usually occurs over several weeks to several months.  Hydroquinone is available at 2% over the counter and with a prescription for 4% and above.  Our brown acne scar patients typically use 4% – 8% and need to use the medication for a period of approximately 1 month.  If the acne scars are more resistant or the patient does not want to use a prescription medication, then we will use q-switched lasers.  Q-switched lasers were originally designed for tattoo removal but at our practice, we use them for tattoos, sun spots, birthmarks, and all types of dark scars including dark acne marks.  Usually 1-3 visits are required and patients come in monthly for laser treatment.

How are textured or indented acne scars treated? There are many ways to treat textured acne scars and they include laser resurfacing, deep chemical peels, dermbrasion, microdermabrasion, dermal rollers, punch excision and subcision.  Because there are so many options for textured acne scars and so many types of textured acne scars, there is no “best” way to treat them.  We often treat acne scar patients with a combination of laser resurfacing and subcision and Restylane.  So even for the same patient, it’s possible that 2 or 3 treatments together may yield best results.  Light chemical peels and microdermabrasion have the least recovery time but also yield very limited results.  They can leave the skin feeling smoother for a short period of time.  Alternatively, deep TCA peels and fractional laser resurfacing may require 1-3 weeks to recover but generally these treatments yield much better results.

When choosing a practice to treat your textured acne scars, find one with multiple treatment options as well as good before and after photos that appear similar to your situation.

Kevin DiCerbo is the Director of Celibre Medical. He has been working side by side with Dr. Kaplan since 2004 and has managed Celibre Medical since its inception.He is a certified medical laser safety office (CMLSO) and uses his knowledge of laser physics to help patients understand laser treatments. He also oversees the day to day administrative activities at the two offices.He has a BS in Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from UCLA.

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