Acne is hard enough to deal with by itself, but when you add stubborn acne scarring on top of your normal skin concerns, it can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle. And the truly unfortunate thing about acne scars is that they are often an embarrassing reminder of all the skin troubles you’ve been dealing with, whether your acne started from puberty or cropped up as an adult. Luckily for you, the experts at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, Flushing, and Bronx, NY, and Englewood, NJ know that there are acne scar treatments that can correct uneven skin tone and texture left behind by troublesome acne.
Can Scars Be Removed?
The most important takeaway to underline when we talk about acne scars is the fact that the right treatment or combination of treatments can result in scar removal. That’s right – you don’t have to make peace with acne scars or live with them for the rest of your life. There is likely a treatment on standby ready to unlock the full beautiful potential of your skin, whether your acne scars are flat, shallow, or deep.
Why Does Acne Cause Scars?
Let’s talk about why we scar in the first place. Acne itself is caused by a combination of clogged pores and P. acnes bacteria, which creates inflammation in the skin that breaks the follicle wall of your pore. Although your skin tries to heal correctly, sometimes there is not enough natural collagen and elastin produced while the pore is still inflamed and that’s what ultimately leads to the formation of difficult-to-treat acne scars.
Common Scar Removal Treatments
So, how do scar removal treatments work? Right off the top, the first thing you will need to do is attend a consultation appointment so a skin expert can get a good look at your skin concerns. We will pay special attention to the type of scars you have, their location, and how long you’ve had them. If you’re still struggling with active acne, we will also need to take into account how to integrate your scar treatment with acne management, such as with topical creams.
Several treatments can assist with scar removal, and depending on the type of scars you are treating, one or more treatments may be part of your treatment plan. One of the most effective treatments are laser treatments, such as CO2 lasers and IPL lasers, both of which resurface the skin and stimulate collagen production. Microneedling and PRP can also be used to treat scars. Pigmented scars can also be treated with topical ointments.
Are Acne Scar Treatments Different?
The main difference between an ordinary scar and an acne scar is the origin of the scar. While ordinary scars are caused by injuries, acne scars are caused by incorrect wound healing. That said, there isn’t a huge difference in how ordinary scars and acne scars are treated. The only factors that might make a difference in how these scars are treated may be the location of the scars and the depths of the scars.
How Many Acne Scar Treatments Will You Need?
The number of treatments you will need will be determined by the scar type and severity. Obviously, deeper scars will require more treatments than shallow scars. Pigment-only scars, on the other hand, may need continual treatment, particularly if you are still dealing with active acne. The type of treatment or treatments you are using to correct your skin concerns will also determine the number of treatments you will need.
Laser treatments typically require about one to three treatments based on the severity of the scar. Whether it’s a Pico laser or a CO2 fractional laser, the number of treatments you will need will depend entirely on the scar depth and how well your skin recovers from the treatment. We will help you figure out the ideal number of treatments to rejuvenate the appearance of your skin.
How Soon Can You See Results?
For most scar treatments, you will need several weeks to see the fruits of your scar removal treatment. This is because to reverse the appearance of a scar, you need to build back a high level of collagen to create an even skin texture. The collagen maturation process can take two to four weeks, or sometimes longer, to complete.
The type of treatment you are using and the depth of your treatment will also determine how quickly you can see your results. Some treatments are more aggressive and while they may have a longer recovery, they also tend to show results more quickly. Less aggressive treatments have results that will appear gradually, so you may not notice the quality of your skin improvement for a while.
Are Results Permanent?
Depending on the type of scar being treated, your results have the capacity to become permanent. For example, icepick scars, rolling scars, and keloids can all achieve permanent or long-lasting results, particularly when treated with lasers. Pigmented scars can also have long-lasting results from laser treatments and topical treatments.
However, it’s important to remember that scar removal treatments will not prevent new scars from forming, so it might be the case that you can develop new acne scars in the future. For that reason, you must stick to a consistent skincare routine that will manage your acne and prevent future acne breakouts that can cause potential scarring.
Everything You Need To Know About Acne Scars
Now that you know acne scar treatment is possible – and that the results can be permanent under the right circumstances – it’s time to unpack everything else you need to know about acne scars.
Aside from how frustrating and disheartening acne scars can be when you’re trying to take a selfie or get ready to go out, acne scars can be a huge blow to your overall self-confidence. But the best way to get over acne scars is to understand why they happen, the different types of scars that can develop, and when you should see a dermatology expert for treatment.
Why Does Acne Cause Scars?
When we talk about the cause of acne scars, the keyword is inflammation. When acne-causing bacteria makes pimples come to a head, the pore containing the bacteria becomes inflamed, and it’s that inflammation that prompts the skin to start producing collagen and elastin to heal the pore. The rub, however, is that sometimes this healing process starts while the skin is still inflamed, which ultimately means that collagen is forming around a stretched-out pore. When this happens, the skin will maintain that inflamed shape, even long after acne has healed.
The same is true for pigmented acne scars, although the process occurs mostly in the surface skin cells produce too much melanin during the healing process, which then causes dark spots to form. Pigmented scars are common for those who have sensitive skin, easily scarred skin, and those who have medium to dark complexions.
What Are the Different Types of Acne Scars?
There are five main types of acne scars that may be affecting the appearance of your skin. A thorough examination by a dermatology expert will be able to determine the exact type of scars you have and their severity. Your specific acne scars may determine the scar removal treatment you should use.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a pigment-only scar that appears to be a patch of darker skin. It’s common for hyperpigmentation to appear pinkish, reddish, or brown depending on your skin tone. Although some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can go away by itself, some stubborn marks can take months to heal through natural cellular turnover.
Rolling scars have soft, sloping edges that make the skin appear uneven or waving. Rolling scars are commonly found on the cheeks and typically leave a shallow, subtle depression on the skin surface. You may not even be able to detect rolling scars by touch, even though they are visible.
Icepick scars are small, narrow, deep indentations made on the skin surface. These types of scars are often the most difficult to treat and typically require aggressive laser treatment to fully correct them.
Boxcar scars have a broad, squarish appearance with sharp edges and typically form on the cheeks and jawline, or other areas where the skin is thicker. Boxcar scars can be shallow or deep, but they can also be easier to treat than other types of scars.
A keloid scar is a hypertrophic scar, which means that it causes scar tissue to appear on top of the skin surface. Keloids sometimes form as a result of repeated acne scars on the same patch of skin and can be the same size or larger than the acne that caused them.
Can You Have Multiple Scar Types At the Same Time?
Yes! It’s completely possible to have different types of scars at the same time. In fact, most people do. Because different pores experience different amounts of inflammation, it’s possible to have icepick, boxcar, and rolling scars all at the same time, as well as hyperpigmented scars. The cheek area is the most common area of the face where multiple scar types are formed.
But will having multiple scar types impact your acne scar treatment? In general, the answer to this question is no. If anything, multiple scar types may mean that a slightly more aggressive treatment program will be used so all of your scars can be treated at one time. But for the most part, all laser treatments can address each acne scar type.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most people who have any type of scar or acne scar are good candidates for scar removal treatments. Adults who are struggling with acne scarring and who are managing current acne breakouts may be eligible for these scar treatments. Our experts will be able to determine the best scar treatment for you based on your skin tone, skin type, and skin condition. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may not be able to use some scar treatments.
Find the Acne Scar Treatment Right for You!
From difficult icepick scars to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation to gentle rolling scars that cause uneven skin texture, living with acne scarring can be difficult. But instead of trying to hide your scars with make-up or feeling embarrassed by their appearance, you can use advanced scar treatments to reduce the appearance of your scarring. Contact Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, Flushing, and Bronx, NY, and Englewood, NJ to schedule a consultation with one of our skin experts today.