If you have acne, then you likely have some amount of acne scarring. Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world and is typically caused by a combination of hormones, acne-causing bacteria, oil production, and dead skin cells. When acne does not heal correctly, it can leave your skin with scars and blemishes. Luckily, at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY, there are some acne scar removal treatments you can explore to perfect the appearance of your skin.
How Can You Permanently Remove Acne Scars?
First and foremost, it is possible to permanently remove or reduce acne scars. Because acne scars are usually caused by a combination of collagen malformation and skin discoloration from inflammation or sun damage, many aesthetic treatments that resurface and rejuvenate the skin can also address acne scars.
To permanently remove textural acne scars, your treatments will need to focus on restructuring the collagen in your skin. For some treatments, this can mean breaking down malformed collagen, while for others, this can mean increasing healthy collagen production to improve the texture of your skin.
For moderate to severe acne scars, laser treatments are often the best acne scar removal option. Laser treatments are powerful enough to resurface the skin and stimulate new collagen production, while also improving the superficial appearance of the skin. Laser treatments can be used on virtually every area of the body, which is why they are another good option for many people.
For those who have mild to moderate acne scars, chemical peels may be an ideal option. Shallow acne scars on the face can often improve after repeated medium-depth chemical peels since the exfoliation will stimulate new collagen production. Many people are able to achieve long-lasting results for acne scar removal with chemical peel treatments.
Topical medications may also be an option for you to explore with your dermatologist, particularly if you only have minor textural concerns such as shallow rolling scars or enlarged pores. Topical medications that include prescription-strength retinol can increase collagen production in the skin and shed surface skin cells, which will refine the appearance of the skin over time.
Finally, your dermatologist may explore the use of dermal fillers for particularly deep acne scars that do not respond to other types of resurfacing treatments. For example, ice-pick scars deep in the cheeks or chin may not always respond to increased collagen production. However, because dermal fillers can increase the volume of skin in a localized area, they can be an ideal option for very deep acne scars.
What Type of Acne Scars Do You Have?
It’s important for you and your dermatologist to identify the specific type of acne scar you have, as this will directly influence the acne scar removal treatment that is most appropriate for you. For example, textural scars can include keloid scars, rolling scars, ice pick scars, and boxcar scars. The severity of these textural scars will also determine the treatment that is best for you.
However, if you are more concerned about skin discoloration or visible blemishes, you may need to learn about post-acne marks and the best way to treat these skin concerns.
What Is the Difference Between Acne Scars and Post-Acne Marks?
After a zit or pimple goes away, many people will experience skin discoloration. Post-inflammatory erythema is the redness and inflammation that lingers on the skin for several days or weeks after acne, while post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a darker, longer-lasting mark on the skin that typically worsens after exposure to the sun. However, both of these post-acne marks are not technically considered acne scars.
Because post-acne marks only affect the superficial layer of the skin, they may not be a permanent issue. Over time, post-acne marks may fade after good skin care and your natural cellular turnover eliminates the affected skin cells. However, if you want to speed up the process of fading post-acne marks, you may want to consider aesthetic treatments.
How Can You Correct Post-Acne Marks?
Fortunately, correcting the appearance of post-acne marks is just as easy as acne scar removal. Ultimately, you and your dermatologist will need to talk about your skin concerns and discuss your skin type to determine the aesthetic treatment that is best for resurfacing the superficial layer of your skin. Some of the most common treatments to correct post-acne marks include:
LED light therapy can be a powerful, non-invasive option that can correct dark spots, inflammation, and blemishes, while also controlling active acne breakouts. Specifically, blue light therapy is ideal for reducing both acne and post-acne marks.
Exfoliation treatments such as chemical peels may also be a good option to reduce post-inflammatory erythema and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Specifically, light and medium peels can gently resurface the skin to improve your overall skin tone and complexion. Chemical peels can also help control active acne breakouts.
Finally, facial treatments such as microdermabrasion and dermaplaning may be your best auctions for reducing post-acne marks. These are exfoliation treatments that remove only the upper layer of skin cells, which can greatly improve the appearance of blemishes left over from acne.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
For the most effective results, whether you are fading post-acne marks or resurfacing the skin to remove acne scars, you will usually need at least three treatments to see optimal results.
Of course, the severity of your skin concern may mean that you require additional treatments for ideal results. Much of the time, your treatments will be spaced at least one month apart, regardless of the specific treatment being used.
Is There Anything You Should Do Before or After Treatment?
Before any treatments to resurface the skin, you should stop using chemical exfoliants for at least one week. You should also avoid waxing, self-tanning products, or sun exposure, as all of these activities can irritate the skin and potentially cause hyperpigmentation concerns. Furthermore, after treatment, it’s vital that you continue to avoid direct sunlight.
How Can You Prevent Post-Acne Skin Concerns In the Future?
If you want to prevent post-acne scarring or post-acne marks in the future, then you must focus on getting your skin condition under control. A skin analysis will determine the specific type of acne you have and will help your dermatologist make the best recommendations for how you can prevent breakouts in the future. You have many options for acne treatments, including:
Topical medications can include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinol, and even skin-lightening creams. Some of these medications can reduce the appearance of post-acne marks, while others can control acne breakouts directly. For example, prescription-strength retinol can correct oil production, exfoliate the skin, and address acne scarring all at once.
For those who have severe acne, such as cystic acne, oral medications may be the best option to prevent skin concerns in the future. For many patients with acne, a medication such as Accutane will reduce the oil production in the skin, which will prevent acne breakouts. Your doctor may also consider antibiotics for certain types of acne.
Acne-Prone Skincare Products
It’s also a good idea to use skin products that are designed for acne-prone skin. Usually, acne-prone skin has a combination of issues, such as dry patches and oil overproduction. By using skin care products that are formulated specifically for your skin type, you can often dramatically improve the appearance and health of your skin, which can reduce breakouts and prevent acne scars in the future.
One of the major keys to preventing post-acne skin concerns is protecting your skin from the sun. Unprotected sun exposure can make post-acne marks much worse since inflamed skin is more vulnerable to hyperpigmentation.
Good Skin Habits
It’s also a good idea to have good skin care habits. For example, you may need to train yourself out of the habit of picking your skin or popping zits, as this can disrupt the healing process for your acne and make the likelihood of developing acne scars much higher.
Try Acne Scar Removal Treatments for Blemish-Free Skin
People who are struggling with acne scars and post-acne marks are typically good candidates for acne scar removal treatments. These treatments can drastically improve your skin appearance, particularly when you combine acne scar removal treatments with acne treatments that can prevent breakouts in the future. To schedule your first appointment, call Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY today.