For people who struggle with acne, most commonly during puberty, which is an already stressful period of life without the stubborn blemishes, the experience can often come and go with no lingering side effects.
However, for the unfortunate few who have severe acne or who don’t find a solution for their worst breakouts, acne can leave a variety of types of scars, from dimpled depressions to stark-edged scar tissue. Removing this scar tissue can be difficult, depending on your skin type and the severity of the acne scarring, but treatment isn’t impossible. These are the ways our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Luke Killpack, might be able to minimize the appearance of your acne scars.
Various types of chemical formulas, using compounds like salicylic acid, lactic acid, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and other ingredients, can be applied to the skin to dissolve specific layers of skin cells to break up scar tissue in targeted areas or throughout the face.
In addition to the medical application to reduce acne scarring, chemical peels are also used to brighten the complexion and make your skin tone more even, adding to the benefits of this treatment. Chemical peels come in different strengths or depths, the stronger of which can require several days of downtime to avoid exposing highly sensitive skin to UV rays and to allow for the upper layers of skin to flake off and fall away.
Retinol and similar compounds are highly prized for their ability to help tighten skin and combat the effects of aging, and they can also help acne scars look better, too. Retinoids have been shown to improve skin texture and speed up cell regeneration, empowering your skin to heal itself from the scarring caused by bad acne outbreaks.
Retinoids may not be right for everyone, however, and topical retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, which is why you should always wear good sun protection to keep your skin looking the best it can.
The sun is always radiating ultraviolet light that penetrates the surface of your skin to damage DNA in cells that can eventually lead to cellular decay, causing symptoms as far ranging as fine lines to skin cancer. Protecting your skin with sunscreen is a simple way to help keep it safe from these rays, which can prevent the look of your scars from becoming even more noticeable.
This method of exfoliating the surface of skin relies on the skill of your dermatologist, as a surgical-grade blade is gently dragged across your skin at a specific angle to physically remove dead skin cells, scar tissue, and fine hairs to help reveal healthy skin beneath this layer. When acne scars are close to the surface, this technique can help even the look of them.
Some of the more popular acne scar treatments involve laser skin resurfacing. Using one of many types of lasers available to Sunrise Dermatology, Dr. Killpack can selectively remove layers of skin cells to slowly break down scar tissue at many different depths. Some lasers are fractionated, meaning they only affect a small part of the surface of the skin, triggering the treated area to begin healing itself, often reducing the appearance of acne scars.
Acne scars can be particularly receptive to treatment with microneedling. This painless treatment creates even, consistent micro-wounds in the skin that your body then heals by stimulating collagen production over the weeks following each session. As this happens, scar tissue is broken down, both as a result of the precise injection of the tiny needles in the scar itself as well as through the healing process.
We recommend microneedling with the added benefits of medical-grade serums or platelet-rich plasma for the best results from acne scar removal.
The best approach to getting rid of your acne scars is as personal as the condition of your skin. After a consultation with Dr. Killpack, he can recommend the ideal treatment plan for your budget and skincare goals, helping to minimize your acne scars and finally close the chapter on the acne-controlled part of your skin’s life. Call or contact us online to schedule your personal consultation today.