What are Your Options for Acne Scar Treatments?

In Dermatology by Alim R. Devani, MD

Let’s say you already got your acne under control and now you’re faced with pits and acne scars. What you can do about them (with the aid of your dermatologist) will depend on what the scars look like right now.

Different Types of Acne Scars

Acne scars can be categorized in four different categories:
1. Ice pick scars – These are small and look like an ice pick went into the skin.
2. Rolling scars – These are somewhat indented and don’t go as deep as the ice pick scars.
3. Keloidal scars – These look like raised bumps on the skin.
4. Boxcar scars – These have sharp edges and appear to be boxed.

Laser Acne Scar Treatments

Laser treatments are one of the state-of-the-art acne scar treatments that may be chosen by your dermatologist as the ideal treatment for you. This is because he or she can precisely control the treatment and constantly monitor how deeply the laser goes into the skin. Laser also brings a high degree of rejuvenation with it by removing wrinkles and discolorations. A series of treatments may be required depending on the severity of the scarring.

This is a video of Dr. Devani explaining Fraxel Laser. Fraxel is a treatment we often perform on patients whose main concern is scarring.

Radio Frequency Microneedling for Acne Scarring

One of the latest techniques that dermatologists use is Radio Frequency Microneedling. This device combines gentle heat with microneedles. The patient is given a topical numbing cream prior to the treatment.  The gold plated microneedles pierce the skin and send the skin the message that there’s damage that needs to be fixed. That is when the collagen starts to remodel itself, thus filling in the gaps caused by acne scars. The results of microneedling are seen in approximately 4-6 weeks after the skin has remodelled and the “micro holes” have filled in. For deeper scars, a series of treatments would yield the best outcome.

In this video Dr. Alim Devani explains INFINI Microneedling with PRP (platelet rich plasma). This treatment has been coined the “Vampire Face Lift”. The growth factors found in your PRP help the skin to heal and rejuvenate faster. PRP does not help directly with acne scarring but is used for anti-aging.

This video is a closer look at the mechanism of action of the INFINI RF Microneedling Device.

If you have ever been curious about dermalrollers for home use, be aware there are tremendous differences. The INFINI RF Microneedling device will have much better and precise heated penetration of the skin which will result in an improved look within a shorter time. With the home version, it will take months to simulate the same amount of improvement and there are risks of infection or break outs. Another reason why you don’t want to do the home version is because you may not be comfortable with causing pain on your face – or drawing blood. It’s a lot easier to simply make the appointment at the cosmetic dermatologist’s office and have it performed by a trained professional.

Medical Grade Skincare: Is it worth the extra money?

The answer to that questions depends on the products you purchase. Not all skin care is created equal and it all comes down to the active ingredients, concentration of the active ingredients and how they penetrate the skin. Medical grade skin care is only available through a medical office and offers the highest percentage of active ingredients available without a prescription. The medical grade skincare lines we carry are ZO SkinHealth, SkinMedica, Vivier, Elta MD and GLOW Mineral Make up.

We often recommend a combination of products and treatments for the best result for acne scars. ZO Hydroquinone Kit, SkinMedica Retinol .25%. SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 and Vivier Seequin 4% Hydrquinone Serum are examples of products that can be used to lighten the pigment around scars to make them less visible.

Let Your Doctor Tell You the Best Method for Acne Scar Treatment

This brings up one more thing you should think about. You really don’t want to go into your cosmetic dermatologist’s office, thinking you want x procedure and nothing else. Often to give baby smooth skin to their clients, the acne scar treatment protocol will involve a few different procedures. Let your doctor make the smartest decision for you; don’t overlook all the years of his training and experience seeing what works on different patients.

Every dermatologist will have over a handful of possible treatments and you just have to get started with a consultation. Give us a call today at 403-271-3627. We can help.