Can You Regain Your Confidence by Getting Rid of Acne Scars?
When you finally think you have acne under control, another problem arises: acne scars.
Acne scars can be an enduring reminder of challenging skin days, impacting self-esteem. Emerging as a consequence of untreated or severe acne, these scars come in various forms, ranging from subtle indentations to more pronounced depressions on the skin’s surface.
At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, located in Fulton, MD, we understand the significance of effective scar treatments in restoring confidence and achieving radiant skin. Our expert dermatology team specializes in a range of acne scar solutions, offering safe and effective treatments to address the full range of acne scarring.
What is Acne Scar Treatment?
An acne scar treatment is an aesthetic, non-surgical treatment that revises the skin’s condition to correct uneven tone or texture caused by scarring. There are several treatments to choose from, but the best treatment for you is the one that addresses your specific type of scar and matches well with your skin type and tone. When we make our acne scar treatment recommendations, we consider every aspect of your skin so you can love the skin you’re in again.
Dermatologists play a pivotal role in the pursuit of smoother, healthier skin. Acne scarring is a medical issue that cannot be properly treated by over-the-counter products or a cosmetic center. Your dermatologist must assess your skin, and create a plan specific to you, and adjust this plan accordingly. If you’re finally ready to see smooth and clear skin, visit Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics today.
What Are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are the marks left on your skin after acne has healed. Typically, scarring happens when the skin tries to heal inflammation caused by active acne before the acne has gone away. Collagen loss and tissue damage during the acne healing process contribute to scar formation. Scarring can also be caused by exposure to the sun, repeated acne in the same area, or skin habits like picking or popping pimples.
Sometimes, your skin type is a huge factor in whether you will form a scar. If your skin is prone to burning in the sun or scarring, then you are more likely to form scars. Even genetic factors will determine how likely your skin will scar since your genetics dictate the rate of your collagen growth and other regenerative properties of your skin.
What Are the Common Scar Types?
Scarring comes in many forms, so both your skin type and the type of acne you are dealing with will determine how your skin scars after acne. As a note, while some scarring may fade by itself, such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, most scars don’t go away on their own and will require treatment. Some common scars include:
Hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin due to an excess of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. In the context of acne, hyperpigmentation often manifests as flat, discolored spots that result from the inflammation and healing process associated with acne lesions.
Dark spots, similar to hyperpigmentation, are areas of increased pigmentation on the skin. Dark spots are generally flat and can range in color from red to brown, depending on the individual’s skin tone and the stage of healing.
Enlarged pores are not scars in the traditional sense but can contribute to an uneven skin texture. They often result from the dilation of hair follicles and oil glands during acne outbreaks. The increased production of oil, combined with the inflammation of surrounding tissues, can stretch the pores, making them more noticeable and giving the skin a rougher appearance.
Icepick scars are deep, narrow pits that resemble small puncture wounds on the skin’s surface. These scars typically result from severe cystic acne that causes damage to the skin’s deeper layers.
Rolling scars create a wave-like or undulating texture on the skin. These scars are characterized by broad depressions with sloping edges, which give the skin a rolling or wavy appearance.
Boxcar scars are broader depressions with well-defined edges, resembling the appearance of chickenpox scars. These scars often result from inflammatory acne and are characterized by their box-like shape.
Generally, scarring falls into two categories; pigmented or textured. Pigmented scars are the dark spots, red spots, or flat hyperpigmentation that is left behind after acne heals; pigmented scars only affect the upper layers of the skin. Textured scars can be several skin layers deep and make the surface of the skin feel and look bumpy.
Treating Pigmented and Textured Scars
The complexity of scar treatment depends on scar type, skin type, and acne control. Generally, scarring falls into two categories: pigmented or textured. Pigmented scars are dark spots, red spots, or flat hyperpigmentation that are left behind after acne heals; pigmented scars only affect the upper layers of the skin.
Pigmented scars can benefit from simple dermatology procedures or prescription medication. However, textured scars, like icepick or boxcar scars, need a more comprehensive medical approach, often requiring multiple sessions.
At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, we offer a range of cutting-edge treatments tailored to individual needs. Get the right treatment for the scars impacting you most.
What Acne Scar Treatment Options Do You Have?
When it comes to picking the scar treatment right for you, there are several options to consider. Usually, the scar treatment you use will depend on the type of scar that is being treated, as well as how well controlled your acne is and your skin type. The following treatment options are popular at our clinic.
Chemical peels remove the topmost layer of skin cells from the skin surface, which is why peels are an ideal solution for treating dark spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels can also be extremely useful in managing or controlling acne, as well as shrinking the size of enlarged pores.
Laser treatments are commonly used to treat both pigmented and textured scarring. Laser treatments can accelerate the skin cell turnover cycle to correct the appearance of dark spots and increase collagen production. Laser treatments are ideal if you have different types of scars, but are usually most appropriate for superficial pigmented scars that cause redness. Treatments like Laser Genesis can be especially helpful for scarring.
Certain prescription creams can lessen the appearance of pigmented scars. Dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be corrected with topical creams that increase cellular turnover and brighten the complexion. Prescription creams can also help manage acne.
RF microneedling is a popular treatment that combines radiofrequency with microneedling to address complex scars and is appropriate for both textured and pigmented scarring. At our clinic, we typically used RF microneedling to treat indented scars, rolling scars, or other scars that cause deep skin texture issues. The thermal energy of radiofrequency combined with the collagen restructuring of microneedling can be a solution for even the most severe acne scarring.
Microneedling can also be used by itself to correct shallow scars and restructure collagen in the skin to create a smooth skin texture. Microneedling sometimes produces even better results when combined with PRP, which can be especially beneficial for those who have skin that easily scars.
We can also use a minimally invasive technique called subcision to treat particularly challenging scars. For many people, icepick scars are the most difficult type of textured scar to treat since this type of scarring is several skin layers deep and very narrow. Subcision works by using a thin scalpel to break up scar tissue and enable other scar treatments to be more effective.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Anyone who has challenging scars left behind by acne is usually good candidates for scar treatments. Before you can have any type of scar treatment, however, your acne must be well-controlled, which means you are not having large or severe acne breakouts.
Scar treatment can only be successful when skin inflammation caused by acne is no longer a factor that can interfere with healing your skin. If your acne is well-controlled by your current acne treatment regimen, then you are likely a good candidate for scar treatments.
Find the Right Scar Treatment For Your Skin
While some scars may go away over several months or years, some scars are stubborn enough to stay on your skin. The good news is that you don’t have to live with scarring caused by acne. From chemical peels to advanced treatments like RF microneedling, there is a scar treatment that is ideal for your skin tone and type.
Dr. Rodney is highly skilled and provides the best treatment for your skin type and needs. Dr. Rodney has extensive experience in all aspects of cosmetic, surgical, and medical dermatology for all skin types. Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics is here to help you achieve the radiant, age-defying results you desire. We serve everyone in the Columbia, Fulton, Howard County, MD, and the general DMV area.