If you thought your acne-related anxiety ended when you finally got control over your breakouts, then you may be dismayed to learn that acne scars are a new issue you may have to deal with. At Metro Dermatology in New York, NY, we offer several acne scar treatments to help you rejuvenate and recover your skin after your long battle with acne has ended. But is there a best age for these treatments?
What Is the Best Age for Acne Scar Treatment?
Truth be told, there is no “best” age to have a treatment for acne scarring. This is because your ability to have scarring treatments will depend on the health of your skin instead of your age. In other words, the earliest you will be able to have scarring treatments will be when you are no longer having acne breakouts.
For this reason, many people will be able to start having scarring treatments between the ages of 20 and 30, which is when most people will have acne out of control. If you have ongoing adult acne concerns, then you may need to explore acne treatments before you can consider scarring remedies. At Metro Dermatology, we can help you treat both active acne and acne scarring.
Do Scars Get Better With Age?
Yes and no. There may be some types of acne scars that do get better as you age, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that may gradually fade as your skin naturally turns over new skin cells. Other types of acne scars, such as depressed or atrophic scarring, may not improve as you age.
In fact, depressed scars may appear more severe as your skin loses more collagen as you get older. Many people find that the appearance of certain acne scars can appear worse as they age rather than better.
Can All Scars Be Treated?
Of course, one of your biggest concerns may be whether or not you will be able to improve the appearance of all types of acne scars. The good news is that acne scar treatments can be used to treat all types of scarring.
Whether your scarring is related to pigmentation or you have scars such as enlarged pores, ice picks scars, rolling scars, or boxcar scars, there is likely an acne treatment that you will be able to use. For people who have multiple types of acne scars, you may even be able to combine different treatments to reduce your scarring and improve the appearance of your skin.
Acne Scar Treatment Options
So, what are your acne scar treatment options? At Metro Dermatology, we offer several treatments that can be used to customize a treatment plan for you so you can feel good about your skin and feel more confident overall. Some of the most common acne treatments we offer for scarring include:
Retinoids are topical treatments that are both the first line of defense for controlling acne breakouts and also one of the first treatments that will be explored for improving the appearance of acne scars. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that are used to accelerate natural cellular turnover, which essentially means that these topical creams or gels will be used to quickly shed affected skin cells.
When retinoids are used to treat acne, they can regulate oil production and ensure that your pores don’t become clogged. When retinoids are used to treat acne scarring, the accelerated cellular turnover will improve the appearance of enlarged pores and hyperpigmentation.
Skin Lightening Creams
Because retinoids may not be appropriate for all skin types, patients may also have the option of using a skin lightening cream to improve the appearance of acne scars. Skin lightening creams work similarly to retinoids because they will exfoliate the surface of the skin to restore a more even complexion.
These creams will be applied daily to the skin to brighten the appearance of dark spots and improve post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Some skin lightening creams may also be used to reduce skin redness.
Microneedling is a fairly conservative method that can be used to address both pigmented and textural acne scars. Microneedling works by repeatedly piercing the surface of the skin with sterile needles that stimulate the production of collagen, elastin, and other skin healing properties to improve the appearance of the skin.
Microneedling can resurface the skin and also correct textural concerns, so it’s a good option if you have a combination of scars. For example, if you have rolling or boxcar scars on the cheeks along with hyperpigmentation, a microneedling treatment will be able to improve the appearance of these scars over time.
Chemical peels are a topical facial that deeply exfoliates the skin to improve the appearance of pigmented lesions like acne scars, as well as certain types of shallow scarring. Chemical peels can be customized to your skin type and skin tone, which makes them an ideal option if you have sensitive skin. Chemical peels for scarring are typically light or medium peels depending on the severity of your scar concerns.
Sometimes, dermal fillers are also used to treat acne scars. Dermal fillers work by artificially increasing the volume of the skin, which then smoothes the surrounding skin so that the texture of the skin is even. For acne scars, dermal fillers are usually only used for very deep scarring like ice pick scars on areas such as the cheeks or the chin. Dermal fillers can be used in conjunction with many other treatments as well.
IPL therapy is an increasingly popular option to reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and other skin damage that may be associated with acne. Intense pulsed light therapy works by exposing the skin to specific wavelengths of light that will encourage the skin to shed more rapidly and will reduce the appearance of vascular lesions, enlarged pores, and much more. IPL therapy is usually a good option for people who have mild acne scarring related to pigmentation or texture.
Laser treatments use a combination of thermal energy and other energy-based resources, such as radiofrequency, to stimulate collagen production in the deepest layers of the skin. By increasing collagen in the subdermal layers, the superficial layer of the skin will appear more even and acne scars will virtually fade away.
Some laser treatments can also resurface the skin, meaning they can exfoliate the upper dermal layers to improve the overall tone and appearance of the skin. Laser treatments may be a final option if you have not found success with more conservative methods.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Determining the number of treatments necessary to correct the appearance of acne scars will depend on the treatment you are using. For example, you may need three to six IPL therapy or laser treatments to reduce certain acne scars, while the number of chemical peels you need may be ongoing to improve scar appearance.
How Soon Will You See Results?
You will likely be able to see the results of treatments for acne scarring within a few weeks or months depending on the treatment that is being used. Energy-based treatments generally will produce noticeable results within six to eight weeks, while topical treatments may require eight to 12 weeks to show any significant improvements in your skin appearance.
Are Results Long-Lasting?
The results of treatments for acne scarring can be long-lasting, particularly if you are taking good care of your skin and preventing breakouts that can cause future scarring. You can expect the results of certain treatments to last for at least 12 months at a time, such as energy-based treatments.
Are You a Good Candidate?
If you have mild, moderate, or severe acne scarring, then you were likely a good candidate for one or more acne scar treatments. Your eligibility for these treatments will be based on your skin type, your skin tone, the severity of your scarring, your preferences, and the type of scarring you are trying to treat. A consultation with one of our skin experts will be able to identify which treatment is most appropriate for your needs.
Find the Best Treatment for You
Getting rid of acne scars can be the last step to recovering from your acne journey. If you want to find a treatment that works with your skin type and skin tone, then you will need to attend a consultation to create a customized plan for your acne scar treatment. Contact Metro Dermatology in New York, NY, today to schedule your consultation.