Acne scars can be difficult to deal with, particularly textural scars that can’t be covered with makeup. Even more distressing is the fact that many acne scars won’t fade by themselves, which means you could be stuck with some acne scars for life. Fortunately, the skin experts at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY know that acne scar removal is possible with the right aesthetic treatments.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Acne Scar Removal?
The best candidates for acne scar removal are those who have visible acne scarring on the face, neck, chest, or back. While most acne scar treatments focus on the face, it’s possible to develop scars on any area of the body where acne scars have formed and some treatments can be used to reduce scarring on the body.
Acne scars are present in two main ways; atrophic and pigmented. Both of these main scar types can be treated with the right combination of acne scar treatments, even if you have a combination of scars on one area. To be considered a candidate for treatment, you will need to attend a consultation with one of our aesthetic experts who will analyze your skin, identify your scar type, and make the best recommendations for treatment. You may be a candidate if you have:
Pigmented scars are also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is the most common form of scarring from acne. Pigmented scars typically sit a few layers deep in the skin and are characterized by brown patches, red patches, or pink patches of skin where acne once was. These scars develop as a result of swelling and inflammation in the skin and can last for several weeks or years without fading. Pigmented scars can often worsen with sun exposure.
You may be a good candidate for this treatment if you have pigmented acne scars because this type of scar doesn’t always go away by itself or with chemical exfoliation products, like glycolic acid. And while mild pigmented scars can be easily covered with makeup, certain scars are more difficult to cover, especially large scars.
Atrophic scars refer to several types of textural scars such as rolling scars, ice pick scars, and boxcar scars. Atrophic scars create depressions in the surface of the skin where acne has broken the wall of the hair follicle in your skin and collagen produced during the healing process was not adequate. Atrophic scarring may be what most people think of when they think of acne scars, particularly those who worry about “pit marks” or “craters on the face”.
Atrophic scars will likely never disappear by themselves. In fact, they may appear to get worse as collagen production associated with aging slows down and the skin texture changes. Treating atrophic scars will usually require intervention from a dermatologist, especially deep scarring on the cheeks, chin, and forehead.
Scars and Active Acne
You may also be a good candidate for these treatments if you have both scarring and active acne. The leading cause of acne scarring is, of course, acne – and it can be difficult to correctly treat acne scarring if you’re still dealing with breakouts. Some acne scar removal treatments work to resurface the skin with topical products, which can also treat and control active acne. Getting your acne under control also benefits the overall appearance of your acne scars.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Several methods can be used to reduce visible acne scarring and you will be able to choose the treatment that is most appropriate for your skin type, scar type, preferences, and lifestyle. Because your skin is unique, it may take a combination of treatments to adequately address your scarring. In general, the most common treatments for acne scar removal include:
Laser treatments are by far the most common and effective treatment to remove acne scars. Laser treatments are an appropriate option for both atrophic and pigmented scarring since these laser systems can be customized to your precise skin needs. You can also use some laser treatments on other areas of the body to remove scarring, including the neck, chest, shoulders, and back.
Topical prescriptions are considered a conservative and affordable approach to reducing the appearance of acne scars, but these prescriptions may only be appropriate for shallow atrophic scarring and pigmented scars. Topical prescriptions can include retinoids and products that lighten the skin. These treatments are also commonly combined with other acne treatments to achieve your desired results.
You can also use certain aesthetic treatments to reduce the appearance of acne scars. For example, ice pick scars sometimes aren’t responsive to other scar treatments, but using a dermal filler can be highly effective. One of the most popular aesthetic treatments for acne scarring is chemical peels, which gently resurface the skin to reduce the appearance of shallow scarring and pigmented scars. Facials can also be used to reduce acne scars.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
For the most part, you will likely need several acne scar treatments to remove or reduce scarring. These treatments work by gradually increasing collagen production, turning over new skin cells, and correcting the appearance of the skin. For example, you will usually need three to six laser treatments to produce optimal results, while aesthetic treatments may need to be scheduled monthly to maintain your results. Topical treatments can be ongoing.
How Soon Do You See Results?
How quickly you will be able to enjoy the results of your scar removal treatment will depend on the specific treatment being used. Most people will be able to see results within a few months for laser treatments and certain topical prescriptions. For aesthetic treatments, you may be able to see results in only a few weeks for treatments like dermal fillers or chemical peels.
Of course, how soon you can see your desired results will also depend on the type of scar you are treating and the severity of your skin condition. Those who are treating shallow scars and pigmented scars will usually be able to see faster results than those who are treating severe scarring simply because the scars are not as deep.
Can You Get Results More Quickly?
If you’ve been suffering from acne scars, then naturally you will want to get your results as quickly as possible. There may be some methods you can use to enhance your results or see your results more quickly. For example, getting your acne breakouts under control and preventing new acne can help you get faster results because your skin will not be inflamed. To get faster results you should also:
Avoiding sunlight is the most important thing you can do to get faster results. UV rays from the sun can make acne scarring worse, particularly when you are using laser treatments and topical treatments. During your treatment, your scar removal process will strip away layers of skin, which will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Because new layers of skin have less protection, you can risk sunburns and pigmentation from the sunlight that can delay your treatment.
If you must be outside at all while you are having acne scar treatment, then it’s usually a good idea to wear SPF 30 or higher. You can wear SPF under makeup or as part of your makeup products. You may also want to use large hats or keep your skin covered with clothing, depending on where you are being treated for acne scars.
Keeping your skin moisturized can also help you get your desired results more quickly. Many acne scar treatments can make your skin more prone to dryness, so it’s usually a good idea to use moisturizers regularly during your treatment to protect your skin barrier and promote better skin health. We can make moisturizer recommendations based on your skin needs.
Follow Aftercare Directions
You should also follow all of your aftercare directions closely, even if you’re using at-home prescriptions. Following your aftercare directions will ensure that you are taking the right steps to help your results develop more quickly. If you don’t follow your aftercare directions, you could delay skin healing and be stuck with your acne scars for longer.
Find Your Acne Scar Removal Treatment
Acne scars are tough to deal with, but the right aesthetic treatments can effectively remove or reduce scarring. Some things you can do to remove acne scars include getting your acne under control, using laser treatments, using topical prescriptions, or using aesthetic treatments. Contact us at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY to schedule your acne scar removal consultation today.