There is a lot of readily available information about how to treat acne and prevent acne breakouts, but what if acne leaves something behind? Acne can cause permanent discoloration and textural changes to your skin, literally scarring you for life. Fortunately, Kirsch Dermatology offers several treatments for acne scars that can restore smooth, even, blemish-free skin.
Why Acne Scars Develop
Acne scars may form when acne doesn’t heal properly. For example, if acne blemishes are irritated, scratched, rubbed, or frequently picked at, it can lead to poor healing that results in a scar. Significant acne breakouts in which many blemishes appear, as well as chronic acne, can also be more likely to leave permanent scarring and/or discoloration. Even if special care is taken to minimize, treat, reduce, and prevent acne, acne scars can still develop. Acne scars are more likely to occur with more severe types of acne, such as chronic or hormonal cystic acne.
Treatment for Acne Scars
If you are bothered by your acne scars, Dr. Kirsch can recommend the following treatments to repair your skin.
A skin peel (sometimes called a chemical peel) is a skin renewal treatment that can restore skin health by correcting acne and acne scars. Skin peels can also be used to treat a variety of other skin conditions, including fine lines and wrinkles, textural issues, age spots, and hyperpigmentation.
For the treatment, a unique chemical formula will be created to match your skin care needs. This formula will be applied directly to your skin and may cause a slight stinging or burning sensation. Over the course of the following week, the outer layers of the treated skin will become red, develop scaling, and ultimately peel off. This deep exfoliation of the surface skin allows newer, healthier skin to reveal itself.
Skin peels can be particularly effective with shallow acne scars and may reduce the discoloration that often accompanies acne scarring. Mild skin peels can be performed fairly often if desired to address chronic acne problems. For deeper acne scars, deeper skin peels may be administered less frequently to achieve better results.
In addition to minimizing acne scars, skin peels restore softer, smoother, and more even skin. Removing the damaged outer layers of skin with a chemical peel that is specially formulated for your skin’s needs brings more youthful, healthy skin to the forefront and keeps your skin looking radiant.
Dermal fillers can also be used to treat acne scarring. This treatment is administered in the form of a facial injectable. Injectable fillers volumize skin affected by volume loss, including age-related skin thinning and depressed scars. This treatment is an excellent way to correct indented scars and even out skin texture.
For the treatment, a topical anesthetic may be applied to the skin. The filler will be injected into the treatment area to volumize the skin and even out depressed acne scars. The treatment lasts only a few minutes and has no downtime or recovery afterward. Results may be visible within a few hours to a few days, and results can last from a few months up to a few years (depending on the type of filler).
A number of different fillers may be recommended according to your needs and preferences. Sculptra® Aesthetic is often recommended for acne scar treatment as it can produce long-lasting results that may significantly improve acne scar depressions.
In addition to helping minimize acne scars, fillers are frequently recommended for signs of aging and volume loss. If you have also developed fine lines, wrinkles, and general skin volume loss, your filler treatment can serve as both an anti-aging treatment and an acne scar treatment.
In some cases, acne scars may be treated with subcision. This is a minor surgical procedure that requires no incisions. For the procedure, a needle is moved back and forth beneath the scar tissue. This causes the scar tissue to break up and helps even out skin texture.
If you have severe, scarring acne that is chronic, medication may be recommended to help minimize current scarring and prevent future acne scars. Isotretinoin is an aggressive medication that can reduce acne, minimize oil production, and restore healthier, more balanced skin.
Fraxel® Laser Treatment
Fraxel® laser treatments can also be administered to effectively eliminate acne scars. The Fraxel® laser destroys the damaged scar tissue left by acne lesions so that the body can create new, healthy skin cells in its place. Most patients will need approximately 3 to 5 treatment sessions spaced a few weeks apart. The results are immediate and progressive as the body heals and produces new collagen to improve skin texture and appearance.
What You Can Do at Home
In addition to these acne scar treatments, there are steps you can take at home to minimize acne scars and reduce the likelihood that they will develop after future acne flare-ups.
- Use Gentle Cleansers: Often, acne scars develop or worsen due to harsh, abrasive cleansers. It may be tempting to use strong cleansers when dealing with acne breakouts, but many of these types of cleansers can actually worsen acne and increase the risk of scarring. Instead, use a mild, gentle cleanser twice a day to help acne heal properly and reduce acne scarring.
- Don’t Touch: Resist the temptation to pick at, scratch, squeeze, or pop pimples. Doing so introduces more bacteria and spreads inflammation in the area, making it harder for your body to heal. Avoid touching acne breakouts except with clean hands, and then touch your skin only to wash and moisturize it.
- Use Moisturizer and Sunscreen: Sun exposure can dry out the skin, causing it to overproduce oil. While your skin’s natural oil barrier is an essential part of healthy skin, excess oil production often leads to acne breakouts. Applying moisturizer and sunscreen daily protects the skin and helps reduce the likelihood of breakouts and future scarring.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but sometimes all the efforts in the world aren’t enough to prevent acne scars from forming. With skin peels, fillers, and other treatments offered at Kirsch Dermatology, you can get the best treatment for acne scars and finally look forward to smooth, blemish-free skin.
If you are looking for a way to treat acne scars, Kirsch Dermatology can help. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Kirsch today, call (239) 300-9767 or contact Kirsch Dermatology online.