How To Treat Acne Scarring
January 8, 2018 By Dr. Plott
Anyone who has really struggled with acne knows the frustration pimples bring. For some, it seems that no matter how much they wash their face, they just cant make the bumps go away.
But, whats worse than those glaring red pimples? The blemishes they leave behind. Thankfully, because of acne scar treatment, theres no need to let acne scars cause any more frustration.
Hypertrophic And Keloidal Scars
Hypertrophic and keloidal scars are associated with excess collagen deposition and decreased collagenase activity. Hypertrophic scars are typically pink, raised, and firm, with thick hyalinized collagen bundles that remain within the borders of the original site of injury. The histology of hypertrophic scars is similar to that of other dermal scars. In contrast, keloids form as reddish-purple papules and nodules that proliferate beyond the borders of the original wound histologically, they are characterized by thick bundles of hyalinized acellular collagen arranged in whorls. Hypertrophic and keloidal scars are more common in darker-skinned individuals and occur predominantly on the trunk.
Are There Any Tests Performed To Diagnose The Type Of Acne Scar
A visual examination by a dermatologist is enough to determine a diagnosis. Your dermatologist may also determine how severe your acne scarring is. One measurement system has four grades of acne scarring: macular, mild, moderate and severe. Grade one, macular, is a scar thats red but flat. Grade two, mild, is a scar that can easily be covered by makeup or facial hair. Grade three, moderate, is obvious at a social distance. It is not as easily covered by makeup or facial hair. Finally, grade four, severe, is scarring that is very evident at a social distance greater than 50 centimeters . It is unlikely that facial hair or makeup will completely cover up these scars.
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Treatment Options For Acne Scars That Dont Improve Over Time
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What is the best way to treat acne scars that are a few years old? How effective and safe are treatments?
ANSWER: A variety of treatments can be used to help reduce the appearance of acne scars. To be most effective, the inflammatory phase of acne that includes active pimple formation and redness needs to be resolved before treatment for scarring begins.
Moderate to severe cases of acne can result in scars that cause discoloration and indentations in the skin. In most cases, acne scars do improve over time without treatment. Thats particularly true of discoloration. Indentations may be more stubborn and less prone to disappearing on their own.
For lasting skin color changes, creams that contain a bleaching agent can help fade discoloration. These products are available without a prescription at many drug stores and pharmacies for you to use at home. Its also important to consistently use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on your face and any other areas of scarring to protect your skin and minimize contrast in skin color.
In some cases, soft tissue fillers, such as collagen or fat, can be injected under the skin or into indented scars to fill them out. Injections of botulinum toxin, or Botox, also may be used around acnes scars to relax the skin, reduce puckering and improve the skins overall appearance. Both of these techniques need to be repeated occasionally to maintain their results.
What About Lasers For Dark Skin
While lasers are a great option for treating acne scars, it’s important you do your research and ask the right questionsespecially if you have darker skin. “When considering laser treatments I always recommend having a consultation first,” says Davis. “See if the right laser for your skin type is available, who will be the operator behind the laser, how much experience they have in skin of color, and request to see before and after images.”
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Acne Marks Vs Acne Scars
Most pimples leave behind evidence. Our hope is that their marks are superficial. If your skin remains smooth in dark or red areas, you simply have an acne mark. Those marks are not scars they are just temporarily discolored. It usually takes 3-6 months for the marks to disappear.
However, if you have a scar, youre dealing with permanent skin damage that needs treatment in order to disappear. An acne scar changes the texture of the skin. If acne has left indentations, or raised spots, the damage has occurred at a deeper level in the skin. This cobblestoning effect indicates scarring that needs more than a surface-level treatment.
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The best intervention for smooth skin is prevention. If youre experiencing acne, you need to take steps to keep these scars from occurring. Treat new acne immediately, working with your dermatologist to find the best treatment option for you. And dont pop pimples! Youll just create more long-term damage.
If you notice that your skin remains bumpy after a pimple has cleared, visit your dermatologist for an early treatment plan. The ultimate goal is to stop the scars from forming.
Learn How To Fade Dark Marks From Your Skin
Fading dark acne marks on my cheek
Post acne marks, or macules, are commonly referred to as acne scars. Real acne scars, however, are the indentations or protrusions left behind by acne. Acne marks, on the other hand, are the flat red or brown dots left behind by pimples. They are also a type of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.NOTE: Treatment for acne macules is different from treatment for acne scars. We will be covering post-acne marks and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation here. To learn more about acne scars and their treatment options, check out this very informative site.Acne isnt the only thing that can cause discolored skin marks. Other dark spots and types of skin hyperpigmentation can come from aging, sun damage, and even using birth control pills.
Most of the time, acne marks and dark marks that you get from skin wounds will go away on their own. However, for some people, it can take anywhere from six months to many years for them to lighten completely. Other forms of hyperpigmentation dont fade on their own and may even get darker as time goes on.
To treat these red marks and pigmentation issues, consider the following options:
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How To Treat & Fade Acne Scars
Do acne scars fade? The short answer is yes, over time, most scar types fade, including atrophic, hypertrophic, and pigmentation scarring, but there are treatments you can do to stimulate healing and help most scar types fade more quickly. You can heal acne scarring with various at-home and in-clinic treatments, some of my favorite are laid out below:
Professional Treatments to Fade Acne Scars:
- In-Clinic Microneedling: You can go into a clinic to get micro-needling done at a deeper level to fade more severe scarring. For best results you can use copper peptide at night and Vitamin C serum in the morning to give the skin the healing ingredients it needs while getting the micro-needling treatments.
- Fillers, Fillers are injections that can temporarily improve the appearance of indented acne scarring.
- Subcision, Subcision can help with some types of indented scarring by untethering some of the scarred area from the skin to help the scar improve.
- Lasers, Lasers work by removing the top layer of skin and by helping to stimulate skin repair responses.
Before You Totally Discount Laser Acne
Like basically all other treatment options, lasers cannot completely remove your acne scars. They can only help reduce the appearance of scars and improve your skins texture. But still, lasers offer a straightforward, effective way to make a variety of different types of acne scars less noticeableincluding raised and depressed scars. And there are actually several different types of laser treatments, with some working more gently than others.
For starters, lasers can be ablative or nonablative. Ablative ones create wounds that actually melt or otherwise destroy scar tissue and tighten up the collagen in the skin, while nonablative alternatives promote new collagen production by heating up the skin rather than causing an actual wound. Current thinking holds that ablative lasers are generally more effective for treating all kinds of scars because theyre such an aggressive form of treatment. But they are also undoubtedly harsher and riskier to use in patients of color because the wounds they create also create a greater likelihood of hyperpigmentation during the healing process. In turn, nonablative methodswhich can still be incredibly effectivehave become more popular.
Fractional treatments can be ablative or nonablative, and even though nonablative options will be less invasive and allow for a quicker recovery time, neither are without their risks.
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What Type Of Scarring Do You Have
Gross says there are four different types of acne scars one can get: ice pick, rolling, boxcar and hypertrophic. Once you figure out what type you’re dealing with, it’s easier to choose the most effective treatment to getting rid of those scars.
Hypertrophic And Keloid Scars
Hypertrophic scars are firm, raised scars that grow above the surface of the skin. Hypertrophic scars caused by acne are most often found on the torso, especially in men, but they can happen anywhere on the body. Hypertrophic scars are more common after a deep wound or trauma.
Keloids are a more severe type of raised scar. They differ from hypertrophic scars in that keloids grow larger than the original wound. They can send out raised, lateral shoots that expand much farther than the wound itself, and can continue to grow long after the original wound has healed. Some people are more prone to developing keloids.
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When Will Acne Scars Go Away
While acne feels like one of the worst skin problems you can deal with, it seems to be even worse when you are forced to deal with acne scars. Not every acne occurrence ends in scars, and not every person gets affected by them. You are probably asking yourself when will acne scars go away? There is good news and bad news when it comes to acne scars. The bad news is theres no magic ingredient to make acne scars completely disappear. The good news, however, is there are safe and effective treatments available to diminish and reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
What Are Acne Scars?According to Dr. Kathleen Garvey, Not every acne breakout will lead to an acne scar. It takes deeply penetrated acne to damage the surrounding skin tissue. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair this damage by producing extra collagen. If your body produces too much, or too little, collagen you will see a scar. There are two types of acne scars. Depressed acne scars happen when the body produces too little collagen which causes depressions or pits as the skin heals. Raised acne scars occur when the body produces too much collagen and form a visible bump. As we age, acne scars become more noticeably because our skin loses collagen.
What treatments are available?As we said earlier, there is no magic ingredient to take acne scars away in the blink of an eye. There are treatments available that help diminish the scarring over time.
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Things Your Skin Is Trying To Tell You And How To Respond
Fillers A substance such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, or fat can be used to “fill out” certain types of acne scars. Since fillers are eventually absorbed into your skin, youll have to repeat filler injections, usually every few months, depending on the substance used.
Punch excisions This type of skin surgery removes acne scars by individually excising, or cutting out, the scar. The hole left by the incision can be repaired with stitches or a skin graft. A skin graft uses a small piece of normal skin to fill in an area of scarred skin. Bruising can occur for one to two weeks after the procedure.
Microneedling Also called collagen induction therapy, this procedure involves pricking the skin repeatedly with tiny needles to stimulate the growth of new collagen. This can reduce the appearance of scars. Microneedling can improve the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and fine lines. Skin redness may last a few days, according to the AAD.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Acne Scars
Start with chemical exfoliation. Gross says using a product that offers gentle chemical exfoliation is the first step in healing scars. We like his Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel it has a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids that exfoliates dead, darkened scar skin cells while stimulating collagen production. He also says to look for anti-inflammatory and skin brightening ingredients in your serums and, such as vitamin C, a skin-brightening antioxidant, and vitamin E, which regenerates skin cells and improves the texture.
Start with chemical exfoliation
Farber agrees, recommending SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum, which has a high concentration of both antioxidants, as well as anti-aging ferulic acid. Chang says to look for topical treatments that contain retinoids, hydroquinone, and azelaic acid, which have all been proven to dramatically lighten dark marks and even melasma. Her favorite picks are the Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum and Skinbetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream. A word of caution: hydroquinone, a skin-bleaching agent, should only be used under the care and supervision of a dermatologist, since it can potentially lighten healthy skin, too.
With hypertrophic scars, the reduction of collagen is key. Chang suggests treatment options that include silicone gel, steroid injections, and lasers. Gross agrees, saying that if the acne scar is both red and raised, an in-office laser such as the Vbeam laser is an exceptional way to reduce its appearance.
Do Acne Scars Get Better
Do note that acne scars are not the same. Depending on how you healed after the breakouts, you may be left with just skin discoloration or skin disfigurement where you get raised or depressed acne scars.
If your scars manifest themselves in the form of skin discoloration, the acne scars can get better without medication. However, if the acne scars cause skin disfigurement, they may be stubborn and fail to get better on their own, implying that you will need to see a qualified doctor for acne scar removal in Singapore.
If you get severe skin discoloration due to acne and the discoloration doesnt seem to get better on its own, your cosmetic doctor or dermatologist may recommend special bleaching agents to improve discoloration. Importantly, you will also need to constantly wear an SPF 30+ sunscreen on your skin areas impacted by the scars and on the face.
This will help you reduce the risks of getting more discoloration. If youre seeing a doctor for acne scar removal in Singapore for disfigured skin, there are several options that may be ideal for you.
A qualified plastic surgeon or dermatologist will recommend a safe treatment that will help smooth out your skin to make the acne scars disappear. One of the most common treatment options for acne scar removal in Singapore is laser therapy.
Other than removing the impacted skin, laser therapy also helps encourage the growth of new and healthy skin cells. Intense Pulse Light therapy can also help with acne scars.
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Fade Acne Scars With Over
Over-the-counter or nonprescription products may also help minimize the appearance of acne scars.
Even though dark spots may fade over time on their own, an over-the-counter medicated dark spot remover with hydroquinone may help these scars fade quicker, notes Yoram Harth, MD, a dermatologist and the medical director of MDacne in San Francisco.
In addition, acne treatments with alpha hydroxy acids can stimulate the growth of new skin, minimizing the appearance of old scars while simultaneously preventing the formation of new acne, says the Mayo Clinic. When shopping for an acne treatment, look for products that contain alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid.
If over-the-counter products dont fade acne scars, concealer and foundation can help camouflage discoloration.
How Do Raised Acne Scars Form
Unlike depressed scars that result when the body produces too little collagen when trying to heal the skin damage caused from inflamed acne lesions, raised acne scars result from the overproduction of collagen during this healing process. The overproduction of collagen leads to an excess of collagen fibers that builds up on the surface, resting on top of the wound. This results in a raised, thick mass of scar tissue that is elevated above the surrounding surface of your skin.
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