Acne scars are a frustrating reminder of your breakouts. At Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY, we understand that you want to see clear, uninterrupted skin. Treating acne is a challenge, and you deserve smooth, glowing skin once the process is done. We offer several options for people who want to make their scars go away. What is the best acne scar treatment for you? Read on, and we’ll explain some of the most popular methods.
Why Does Acne Leave Scars?
To understand how to treat acne scars, it’s important to know why they occur in the first place. A scar is your body’s way of healing a wound quickly. When your skin is damaged, your immune system gears up to close it as soon as possible. This is an effective way to prevent infections. Unfortunately, when your body rushes to do its repair job, it doesn’t always heal your skin with a smooth texture. That’s why scar tissue stands out visually from the rest of your complexion.
Acne causes scars because it traumatizes your skin. The breakouts themselves are caused by excess oil, dead cells, or P. acnes bacteria. When the acne causes certain pores to become infected, the surrounding skin cells are damaged. As the acne erupts, it destroys cell tissue. This can happen whether or not you leave them alone.
How Are Acne Scars Treated?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for acne scars. Instead, there are a lot of great options that yield excellent results. The skin heals in a variety of different ways, and there are several types of acne scars. Your treatment will depend on what kind of scars you have. Often, people have several different types at once. In that case, a combination of different approaches can be effective.
Most of the best treatments are done with medical-grade laser technology. Today, laser treatments offer a powerful solution to many medical and cosmetic concerns. They can do everything from removing sun spots to getting rid of tattoos. There are many different types of lasers that address acne scars. We will choose the ones that work for your skin type and the nature of your condition. In the case of very severe scarring that doesn’t respond to laser treatments, dermal fillers, and minor surgical procedures can help.
How Do We Determine the Best Acne Scar Treatment for You?
To make a plan for your acne scars, it’s important for us to see you in person. When you come in for a consultation, we will assess your skin damage. Sometimes, it is helpful to use indirect angled light to see exactly what kinds of scars you have. Basically, this means that we shine a light at an angle to your face to reveal the depth of your marks.
The consultation is a great opportunity for you to get to know us, too. You can check out our practice and ask us questions about the different treatment options. Together, we will discuss the results you want to achieve, the kinds of scars you have, and the different ways we can help. Going forward from there, we can make a plan that will give you smooth, clear skin.
What Are the Best Laser Treatments for Acne Scars?
This technology addresses scars by removing damaged skin tissue, stimulating your body to produce new cells. When this healthy cell turnover occurs, the new skin that forms has less evidence of scarring. Simultaneously, ablative lasers encourage your body to increase its collagen levels. Collagen is a protein that repairs damage to your body. In the case of acne scars, it can help heal the affected areas.
Non-ablative lasers stimulate collagen production without removing any tissue. They do this with infrared light that delivers intense heat in a safe way. In response, your body’s defensive responses kick in, producing collagen which can then improve the scars. Basically, the lasers work by tricking your body into thinking it’s being damaged.
Fractional lasers control the extent to which your tissue is affected by breaking up the light beams. These lasers can be either ablative or non-ablative.
Sometimes, a single laser uses a combination of ablative and non-ablative beams. The Halo laser is one example.
What Are the Different Types of Acne Scars?
The best acne scar treatment for you depends on what kinds of scars you have. Here are some examples of scars we tend to see in patients:
Ice Pick Scars
Do you have small, deep areas of your skin that appear to have been punctured by something sharp? If so, you probably have ice pick scars. They occur when an area deep within your skin becomes infected and explodes out to the surface. The force of the eruption causes permanent damage to the skin above.
Rolling scars are wider and rounder than ice pick scars. They happen when your body forms bonds that connect the upper layers of your skin to the lower ones. As a result, the texture takes on an uneven, rolling appearance.
If some of your scars have steep vertical edges, they are probably boxcar scars. They occur when acne damages the collagen in the lower layers of your skin. When it gives out, the top layers cave in because they don’t have support from below.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a discoloration that occurs as a result of acne. It happens when your cells produce too much melanin during the healing process. This causes your skin to appear darker in the areas that were affected by acne. The good news is that this is a fairly mild form of scarring that can be corrected easily with gentle laser treatments.
When you see raised areas of scar tissue forming after your breakouts, it means you have hypertrophic scars. This happens when your body produces too much collagen. While collagen is an important part of the healing process, it can go above and beyond in a negative way. In this case, it produces too much tissue, causing raised areas that stand out on your face.
The Benefits of Getting the Best Acne Scar Treatments
When the skin has been scarred by acne, it usually responds best to professional treatments. Over-the-counter solutions are not generally strong enough to repair skin that has been deeply altered. This is partly because scars can cause damage beneath the top layer. Topical creams are not able to absorb into your skin deeply enough to address the problem.
Getting professional attention for your acne scars has many benefits. Here are a few:
They Work With Your Natural Healing Process
When your skin heals a damaged area, it produces collagen. The problem is that it doesn’t do so in a precise way. Sometimes there is too little, sometimes there is too much. Professional laser treatments can stimulate collagen production in a way that results in smooth skin.
They Can Treat Large Scars and Old Scars
Two types of scars that can be tricky to deal with are ones that are large and ones that have been there for a while. These scars have less of a chance of going away on their own, and they typically don’t respond to at-home treatments. With the help of a dermatologist, you can get them the care they need to blend in with the rest of your complexion.
They Will Clear Away the Evidence of Your Acne
When you have acne, getting rid of it isn’t really the goal. What you want is clear skin. If you have a lot of scars left behind, it can be frustrating to feel like your skin still has unwanted marks. Treating your acne scars will finally let you enjoy clear skin that is even in tone and in texture. It’s a look you probably couldn’t wait to have while you were fighting the blemishes.
They Can Help You Love Your Skin
Your skin is beautiful, and professional treatments can help you love the way it looks. It’s important for you to feel like you are in control of your appearance. Today, laser technology lets us make a significant improvement in the appearance of acne scars. A few decades ago, scars were something that people had to live with. Now, you can say goodbye to them with laser treatments. For many people, having clear skin improves confidence and self-esteem.
They Have Extra Perks
Everybody loves little extras. Most laser treatments work by stimulating collagen. When present in a healthy abundance, collagen does many things to improve the condition of your skin. After your treatment, you might notice diminishing sun spots, fading fine lines, and other improvements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Laser Treatments Safe?
A: Yes–they have been approved by the FDA for cosmetic purposes for decades. Millions of people have enjoyed the results of laser treatments worldwide. The process is straightforward and has very little chance of causing an adverse reaction. For that reason, laser treatments are some of the most popular services offered by dermatologists.
Q: Do They Work for All Skin Types?
A: People with darker skin cannot be treated with certain types of lasers, but there is a great variety of equipment available today that means there’s a solution for everyone. If you are not eligible for one kind of laser, we will most likely be able to find another that works for you.
Q: How Many Sessions Are Needed to See Results?
A: That depends on your scars. Some people only need one session whereas others require more. The severity of your scars will indicate how many sessions you should schedule. As you progress in your treatment, you will have the satisfaction of seeing improvements that increase steadily.
Q: How Long Should I Wait Between Sessions?
A: Usually, we will book your sessions four to six weeks apart.
Q: Do Laser Treatments Work if I Still Have Acne
A: It is usually better to resolve your acne before you start treating the scars. If you are still having breakouts, we can offer several solutions that will improve the condition of your skin. There are a number of topical creams and medications that could help you. Antibiotics often make a big difference. There are also laser treatments that are specifically designed to address active acne.
Discover the Best Acne Scar Treatment for You
We take a personalized approach to every patient. Acne scarring is a condition that varies greatly from person to person. We can help you find the best way to treat your skin and finally get rid of your acne scars. Whether they are recent or old, our treatments can improve them. The recent advances in laser technology are amazing, and they can deliver results that create healthy, even-looking skin.
Contact Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY for more information on our acne scar treatments. We are excited to share them with you.