Acne scars can be a troublesome condition. We all want our skin to be smooth and flawless.
However, acne scars can have an adverse effect on your appearance as well as your confidence. They are usually caused by inflamed blemishes on your skin. These blemishes occur when your pores are filled with excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells.
When your pores are clogged, acne breakouts happen. If you are lucky, the resulting break in the follicle wall of your skin is minor and it heals smoothly. However, a deep lesion can result in your skin trying to compensate with collagen fibres. When this happens, the attempted skin repair will be rough, resulting in acne scars that don’t heal smoothly.
Over time, we have discovered that many people are confused as to the different options that can get rid of acne scars. That is why we have prepared this article for you. This article contains information on the different types of acne scars, the acne scars treatment options that are available and details of solutions for acne breakouts.
Types of acne scars
There are two types of acne scars. They include:
1. Keloid Scarring
Keloid acne scars are the direct result of the overproduction of collagen by your skin. When your skin tries to repair lesions, it produces collagen. Excess collagen in your skin can result in the development of raised tissue that scars the surface of your skin.
2. Atrophic scarring
Atrophic or depressed scarring is caused directly by a loss of tissue. Mostly they occur in two forms namely:
- Ice pick scars: They look like small, depressed holes in your skin.
- Boxcar scars: They look like oval-shaped depressions with sharply angled sides. They are very similar to common chickenpox scars.
Treatments for acne scars
Acne scars can be challenging to treat. They are very stubborn to remove. A treatment that works for your friend may not work for you. Sometimes depending on the assessment of your medical aesthetician, you may have to consider combining two or more treatments to improve the quality of your skin.
The active treatments for acne scars include:
1. Home care:
Depending on the severity of your acne scars, they can be combated by a variety of over-the-counter medications and bleaching agents. This form of treatment can be complicated as you may risk aggravating your symptoms. Most of the time, it is best that you consult with a medical aesthetician before taking any drastic steps.
2. Soft Tissue or Dermal Fillers:
The injection of tissue fillers such as fat and collagen can be an effective strategy to eliminate indented scars. These fillers have the effect of filling out your skin and stretching it out making acne scars far less noticeable. However, the results for this course of treatment are temporary, and you would have to get injections periodically.
3. Laser resurfacing:
Laser skin treatments can be very effective at improving the quality of your skin and reducing the appearance of scars. They have the added advantage of being able to penetrate deeply into your skin to display noticeable changes.
4. Energy-based treatments:
Apart from laser resurfacing, intense pulsed light and radiofrequency can be used to make acne scars far less noticeable. These treatment methods are non-invasive and will not damage your skin in any way. The only drawback is that the result may sometimes be subtle; which means you need repeated procedures.
This treatment method is recommended for highly severe acne scars. Dermabrasion involves the removal of the uppermost layer of the skin using a piece of specialized equipment. By the end of this process, surface scars will be removed entirely, leaving less noticeable deeper scars.
6. Chemical peels:
Chemical peels are highly rated by most medical aestheticians. It involves the use of specialized acidic peels to remove the topmost layer of your skin. This has the added advantage of inducing controlled collagen production increasing skin elasticity and smoothness. Some chemical peels can also improve texture, acne, clogged pores and pigmentation.
This involves the constant rolling of specialized needle-studded applicator over the affected area. Mostly, this is done in a bid to stimulate the affected underlying tissue in an attempt to cause skin repairs. It is a safe and straightforward method of reducing the appearance of acne scars. For microneedling to yield long term results, you will need to undergo multiple treatments.
Very serious cases of acne scarring may require your medical aesthetician to recommend undergoing surgery. The surgical procedure for eliminating acne carrying is called punch excision. During this process, the cosmetic surgeon will cut out acne scars individually, repairing skin breaks with stitches.
9. Botox injections:
In some cases, the skin surrounding acne scars may pucker up. If this happens, the area would need to be relaxed with Botox injections before subsequent treatments can continue. The injections will be repeated periodically to make sure that the results stay in place.
How to choose the best acne scar treatment for you?
As mentioned earlier, there is no straight route to eliminating of acne scars. Sometimes all you need is a simple over-the-counter medication. Other times, you may need multiple treatments even surgery. Choosing an effective treatment plan is not your job. It is recommended that you consult with a medical aesthetician to select the best course of action for you. Your medical aesthetician will select a treatment plan for you based on:
- The severity of your scars
- The desired effect
- Your medical history
- Physical health levels
- Financial constraints
Acne scars can be irritating, but a look at effective plans for treatment will not be complete without a look at the number one cause of acne scars – acne itself. Essentially, knowing the causes of acne and how to prevent them can go a long way in helping you avoid the breakout of acne scars.
A brief overview of acne
Acne is a common skin condition that is caused when hair follicles are blocked by oil, dead cells, and dirt. Acne can manifest as whiteheads, pimples, and blackheads. Most of the time, it appears on the face, chest, forehead, shoulders and upper back.
Acne is caused majorly by four factors. They include:
- Excess production of oil by your sebaceous glands
- Blockage of skin pores and follicles by residual matter
- Increased activity of the androgen’s hormone
When the walls of your skin follicles bulge, the result is a white head. However, when this blockage is exposed to the atmosphere, it gets oxidized, turning black and leading to blackheads. Pimples, on the other hand, are raised spots that develop as a result of the inflammation of hair follicles or bacterial infections. Pimples are usually red, with a distinct white centre.
Factors that worsen acne breakouts
Different factors may trigger or exacerbate an acne breakout. They include:
Androgens are the hormones that are responsible for puberty changes in teenagers. They also cause sebaceous gland to produce more sebum. Hormonal changes that are caused by pregnancy, as well as oral contraceptives, can lead to increased sebum production. Also, low amounts of certain hormones in the body con worsen acne.
Different medications can trigger an acne breakout on your skin. Medications containing lithium, testosterone, and corticosteroids can lead to severe acne breakouts.
Different studies have linked changes in diet to an outbreak of acne. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates such as chips, bagels, and bread may worsen acne. Chocolate has also been related to worse acne outbreaks although this hasn’t been proven scientifically.
Increased levels of stress have been to be known to increase the outbreak of acne. When you go through increasingly stressful situations, your body may react by producing increased levels of sebum leading acne breakouts.
Selecting the best course of acne treatment for you is best left to your medical aesthetician. However, before a consultation, it is also essential that you get familiar with effective forms of treatment. Treatments for acne may range from topical medications to oral medications and then to cosmetic therapies.
Topical medications for acne
The most common topical medications for treating acne include:
Retinoids exist in the form of gels, lotions, and cream. Usually, they are derived from Vitamin A and exists as tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene. Retinoids are applied to the affected area three times a week until your body becomes used to the treatment. Subsequently, they may be administered daily. Retinoids work by removing sebum and other residues that plug hair follicles.
Antibiotics work by removing excess bacteria in the skin. Usually, they are combined with a retinoid to increase their effectiveness. All you would do is apply the antibiotic in the morning and the retinoid in the evening. Sometimes, your medical aesthetician may prescribe benzoyl peroxide alongside to prevent your body from developing a resistance.
3. Salicylic acid:
The effectiveness of salicylic acid is limited. However, many studies show that it is effective at preventing the plugging of hair follicles.
4. Azelaic acid:
This compound occurs naturally in cereal grains and animal products. A 20% azelaic acid topical cream is often seen as an effective acne treatment when used twice every day for several weeks.
Oral medication for acne
Effective oral medicine for acne includes:
They may be prescribed for you if your acne is severe. They reduce bacteria while simultaneously fighting off skin inflammation. Antibiotics should only be used for short periods to prevent your body from developing a resistance. Additionally, they should only be used as prescribed by your cosmetic aesthetician or doctor.
2. Combined contraceptives:
For women who need drugs for contraceptive purposes in addition to fighting acne breakouts, combined oral contraceptives are a good option. You may not notice the results for a few weeks. For maximum effectiveness, they are usually combined with other treatment plans.
3. Anti-androgen properties:
Drugs that block the effective functioning of the hormone androgen can be effective at stopping the outbreak of acne. They are usually prescribed for young women and girls if other treatment forms are not working.
Related article: 7 Easy Tips to Be Acne Free
Cosmetic treatments for acne
Depending on the severity of your situation, a consultation with a cosmetic aesthetician may lead to a prescription of non-invasive treatment procedures. They include:
1. Laser therapy
Different therapies that make use of specialized laser beams have been determined to be effective at treating acne outbreaks. The ideal method and source of light that is used for your treatment is dependent on your aesthetician.
2. Chemical peels
In addition to treating acne scars, chemical peels are an excellent option for the treatment of acne. Salicylic acid, retinoic acid, and glycolic acids are the common chemical solutions that are used as peels for acne treatment. Usually, chemical peels will require periodic sessions to prevent further outbreak.
Sometimes, whiteheads and blackheads can be extracted using special tools. This is used after topical medications fail. This treatment technique usually leads to scarring.
4. Steroid Injections
Cystic and nodular lesions can be combated by the injection of steroid drugs. This method is very effective. However, the injections have to be administered by a trained aesthetician.
Acne scars and acne can be treated effectively. You just need the right form of treatment. Here at Canada MedLaser Clinics, our medical aesthetician can draft out the right treatment plan that will leave your skin positively radiant and smoother. Book a free consultation session with us today.
Microdermabrasion, an advanced exfoliation method, has a wide range of uses for patients looking to correct various skin issues such as large pores, fine lines and damaged or dull skin. It is especially well suited for treating general scarring and acne scarring. At Canada MedLaser, we specialize in all uses of microdermabrasion including scar treatments. In this article, we’ll discuss microdermabrasion’s advantages for scarring and its best uses.
What is Microdermabrasion and How Does Microdermabrasion Work on Scars?
Sometimes referred to as a “lunchtime facelift,” microdermabrasion has a reputation for being able to be performed quickly and leaving patients with minimal side-effects, allowing to receive the treatment over a lunch break and return to work without showing any redness or scarring.
However, despite this nickname, microdermabrasion is not a facelift at al. Instead, it is a way of removing the top most layer of skin from a patient’s face with a spray of abrasive microcrystals while also suctioning away the dead cells for a fast and efficient process. This process requires no chemicals and is completely non-invasive and, while the process of removing a layer of skin may seem harsh, when done properly there are minimal risks, pain and side-effects.
Because microdermabrasion only targets the very top layers of skin, there is minimal redness and pain. Despite its relatively gentle nature, with a proper regimen of applications (scarring often requires multiple sessions), you will see scars become less visible and healthy, fresh skin coming through.
Where can Microdermabrasion be Used?
Microdermabrasion is most commonly used on the face due to its ability to give patients a natural, fresh glow. However, this method has also been used successfully on the chest and other body parts for people looking to eliminate or reduce the appearance of scars.
Microdermabrasion is also able to be used for a general rejuvenation treatment and not just in the presence of scars. When this is done, the top layer of skin is removed to reveal new skin beneath without harming your skin and the process will even encourage collagen production to make the effects even more dramatic.
Will my Scarring Respond to Microdermabrasion?
While Microdermabrasion is considered quite safe and effective in many situations, there are some limitations. For example, many scars are too deep to be effectively treated with this method and other, more invasive measures may be needed. Severe skin conditions that penetrate deeply into the skin are also not good candidates for Microdermabrasion. Examples of this include rosacea, dermatitis and certain deep acne types.
When you schedule your consultation with Canada MedLaser, a certified and knowledgeable team member will examine your skin visually and also take into account your medical history and other factors to determine if Microdermabrasion is the best course of treatment to meet your goals.
Can Microdermabrasion be Used to Reduce Acne?
Along with helping acne scarring, Microdermabrasion can also be used to effectively reduce and control active acne inflammation. Because of the abrasive quality of the procedure, it is an excellent way to unclog pores and remove acne.
This produces the best results when combined with other measures such as a glycolic peel – a chemical peel that also works to clear away top layers of skin. Medical extraction of active acne and cysts may also be a part of expediting the process. Microdermabrasion ability to suction and clear away dead cells is also an important part of this process.
Microdermabrasion Toronto: How Many Sessions are Required?
For general rejuvenation, a single session will produce some results. However, since skin regenerates every 4 weeks or so, Microdermabrasion’s effects are not permanent. Moreover, scarring issues are likely to require more sessions at regular intervals to ensure the scar is treated properly and progress is not compromised.
Acne Scarring treatment summary
For many suffering from acne and acne scarring, microdermabrasion offers an effective, non-invasive treatment form. While some limitations exist for conditions like rosacea, deep acne and severe scarring, there are many applications where Microdermabrasion is ideal and able to not only reduce scarring and clear acne but also promote collagen growth to give patients long-lasting results.