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Acne Scars

Acne scars are a terrible long term side effect of chronic uncontrolled acne. Scarring results from the destruction of skin tissue from acne infection and often as a response to “picking”, which most people are prone to do.

Acne scars are always red in the beginning and eventually fade to a normal or near-normal skin color. Fractional Lasers have become the most effective and most tolerable tool in lessening the appearance of acne scars. Some other lasers can reduce initial redness.

In some instances, fillers are used to lift the “scar floor” making the scars temporarily less visible. Any and all of these treatments help minimize the psychological effects of living with acne scars. If you have active acne, a control program is extremely important in preventing scarring or preventing the worsening of scars already present.

acne-scar

Acne Scar “Types” and Treatments to Reduce Scarring

  • Red flat “scars” resulting from capillary expansion following any inflamed acne – Treated with V Beam.
  • Shallow depressed scars resulting from tissue destruction following inflammation and infection – Treated with MiXto Laser. Improved to a lesser degree with chemical peels.
  • Deep rolling or “boxcar” scars resulting from cystic acne – Treated with multiple procedures including MiXto Laser.
  • Icepick scars resulting from deeply embedded cystic acne – Treated with punch excision, subcision, followed by MiXto Laser.
  • Keloid scars – raised firm scars – are an occasional response to acne. Treated with cortisone injections to the scars.

MiXto Laser for Acne Scarring

Why do I get Acne Scars?

Some milder forms of acne don’t result in a scar, but cystic acne will almost always create some type of permanent scar. Your acne scarring is a result of tissue destruction. The infection that causes inflammation literally kills skin cells and support tissues and destroys that area of skin. It is a cruel reminder of a cruel disease.

acne scar photo

acne scar photo

Red marks left behind after acne lesions have healed are not really scars at all, but small broken capillaries caused by acne inflammation. Redness can last 6 months or longer if untreated, but eventually fades to normal. At Dermatology Group we can use V Beam for a quick shortcut to redness reduction.

acne brown marks

acne brown marks

Some acne sufferers experience brown marks following acne. In this case Dr. Blumestrauch may treat you with Cosmelan to reduce and blend pigmented areas on the face. Other options may include topical creams like Azelaic Acid and hydroquinones.

Can Laser Treatments Remove my Scars?

First and foremost, nothing will completely clear up acne scars and that is very important for patients to understand. We can provide improvement with laser treatments and minor surgical procedures such as subcision, but to date, there is not a complete remedy for acne scarring. The most realistic treatment goal is to gain visible improvement, accomplished with lasers such as MiXto Fractional Laser, which smoothes down the area surrounding the depression and helps build up the “shallow” scars by new collagen production so the scars blend better into the surrounding skin.

What Other Treatments will Help My Scars?

There are several alternatives for more minimal or temporary improvement. Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and dermal fillers such as Juvederm® can be used as well to help to reduce scar appearance.

What is Subcision?

Subcision is performed with a special needle that separates the base of the scar from fibrous “roots” that exaggerate the scar’s appearance. As mentioned above, in some cases subcision is used to free the scar tissue so it is not pulled inward, allowing it to rise closer to the level of undamaged skin. Although subcision is technically a surgical procedure, in some instances it is the best choice and is quite simple.

Subcision performed first followed by MiXto Laser can produce levels of improvement in scar depth and appearance that a single treatment cannot.

Scar Prevention

Preventing acne scars is a primary goal of early acne control, and the sooner you effectively treat and control your acne, the less risk you have of scarring.

If you suffer from severe acne, the potential for acne scarring is almost a certainty. You may be a candidate for Accutane (Isotretinoin) if you suffer from Severe and Resistant Acne and Cystic Acne. Our board certified physicians and medical staff at Dermatology Group of Southern California, Inc will assess your acne severity and if deemed necessary and other treatments have failed, may recommend this more aggresive acne treatment. (The use of this medication requires strict adherence to the FDA-required I Pledge Program). Photodynamic Therapy is also available for treatment of severe acne.

Related Procedures

  • Acne Net : skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/index.html

*For any procedure and service described on this website, individual results may vary and may not be applicable in all cases.