What are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are among the most common scars in patients seeking scar removal treatments. Acne can occur at any time in our lives, whether it’s due to puberty, stress, allergic reactions, the El Paso, Texas weather, or even dietary choices. This means that from the age of about 12 and up, we can be subjected to acne breakouts at any time. There are plenty of ways to get rid of acne, but does that really clear up your skin? Once the various bumps and pimples are gone, they leave their mark behind; marks in the form of scars. These scars can vary, just as there are various types of acne breakouts. You may find different types of scarring in the breakout area, or maybe you find that your scarring is different from the next person’s. There are different acne scar removal treatments appropriate to the type of scar.
Common Types of Acne Scars
Boxcar scars are scars that give the skin a spotted look. They are typically round, wide and cause depressions in the skin. These scars are usually left behind from acne breakouts that destroy collagen in the skin, making the skin sink in. They can be deep or superficial, depending on how severe the breakout was and how much collagen was lost.
Ice pick scars are usually very deep, as though the skin was pierced by an ice pick. Unlike boxcar scars, they are narrow and extend into the dermis. They usually develop when inflamed and infected blemishes deep in the skin work their way to the surface. Sometimes they can also be large, making the pores more noticeable and open.
Other acne scars that are less common include rolling scars, which cause waves in the skin. These waves are due to the pulling of the epidermis. The skin is pulled downward, which causes rolling across an otherwise smooth surface. Keloids are another less common scar type that is due to an over-development of collagen during the healing process. They look like lumps on the surface of the skin.
How to Treat Acne Scars
For acne scars with depressions, such as boxcar scars, you may be interested in dermal fillers. A filler can add volume to areas that are sinking in, or have a lack of collagen. Some fillers, such as Juvederm, are made with hyaluronic acid, which is a protein that our bodies naturally produce. Because HA is already in our skin, it’s a perfectly safe treatment. Dermal fillers can also stimulate collagen production beneath the skin. As we age, we lose about 1% of collagen a year starting in our early twenties. This causes wrinkles, but can also be bad news for those of us with acne scars.
Laser skin resurfacing is another option for acne scar removal. Laser technology is both quick and painless, requiring no topical anesthetic (numbing agent). A concentrated beam targets your scarred tissue and stimulates collagen growth in depressions. For scars that are on the surface of the skin, ablative lasers can vaporize the scars and new skin will take its place. Non-ablative lasers can activate collagen growth without damaging the surface of your skin.
What Happens After Treatment?
Once you have undergone your treatment sessions, you may go about your daily routine. Acne scars are tricky, so you might have to be patient with the results. Meaning, for these treatments results may not be instantaneous. You should start seeing gradual results from your treatment after about a week or so.
*Individual results may vary depending on the treatment option, the patient’s skin, and how the treatments are administered. You may require more than one session to gain the desired results.
*Individual Results Vary*
How do I know which Treatment is Right for me?
Before considering any treatments, you should schedule a consultation with a specialist. During a consultation, a specialist can observe your current condition and address any concerns you may have. You may also be asked about your health history and known allergies. From there, the specialist will discuss treatment options and, if you’re interested, give you instructions on what to do before and after your treatment.
Want more Information?
For more information about acne scar removal, contact our office in El Paso, Texas. We can schedule a consultation for you to meet with one of our doctors and discuss treatments with you one-on-one.