Author Bio: Dr. Sanusi Umar MD is the author of this article.
Last Updated on November 17, 2020 by Dr Sanusi Umar MD
A 2019 study, entitled Topical Tazarotene Gel, 0.1%, as a Novel Treatment Approach for Atrophic Postacne Scars was published by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. Researchers compared two approaches for collagen remodeling for patients with atrophic acne scars. This form of scarring is characterized by the appearance of indentations. It tends to form when the skin is not capable of producing new tissue. This particular study involved a small sample size of 13 males and 23 females, between the ages of 18-30. Each received randomized interventions consisting of one of two approaches. One side of the face was treated with microneedling. And the other side was treated with a topical drug known as Tazarotene Gel 0.1% on the other side. The researchers found comparable forms of improvement with both treatments which had induced the remodeling of collagen tissue which helped to create a smoother and more even skin texture. Tazarotene Gel is classified as a retinoid, similar to vitamin A which improves the growth of new skin cells. Patients are encouraged to educate themselves on how different treatments actually work for the treatment of acne scars and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option (including possible side effects) before making a final decision.
Acne Scar Removal Services Los Angeles:
It’s bad enough to have acne covering your skin, but it’s even worse when that acne leaves you with scars. Despite common belief, acne scarring does not only form when someone tries to pop a pimple; some acne lesions are prone to leave scarring. If treating acne scars is what you’re after, look no further. Through modern dermatology treatments, acne scar removal can be done to considerably improve the appearance of the skin.
How Do Acne Scars Form?
Acne scars form when there is a deep break in the wall of the pore, causing infected material to spill out into surrounding tissue. When this happens, deep lesions are often the result. In addition, the scars form as a result of the body producing too much collagen. This creates a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface, which then becomes a part of the skin’s structure. Unfortunately, the new skin that forms is no longer smooth.
While the composition of this collagen is the same as the fibers produced throughout your skin, it is arranged differently. This is why acne scars have a thicker texture. In normal tissue, collagen fibers are arranged in a basket weave configuration. But scar tissue (fibrosis) consists of cross linked collagen fibers. It carries a much weaker resistance to UV rays. And unlike normal skin, it lacks the presence of hair follicles. The dense buildup of collagen results from the proliferation of fibroblast tissue. There are many types of acne scars that can form on the skin.
Types of Acne Scars
- Ice Pick Acne Scars: Small, deep holes in the surface of the skin that look like the skin has been punctured with a sharp object. They resemble pits
- Box Car Acne Scars: Broad depressions within the skin that, have sharply defined edges and have an angular shape. They tend to manifest on the temples and cheeks, and resembles scars left after chicken pox.
- Rolling Scars: Broad depressions within the skin, that have sloping edges, and a wave like appearance. They tend to occur from bands which form in deeper skin structures.
- Hypertrophic Acne Scars: Thick and lumpy scars that resemble keloids. They are raised on the skin’s surface and typically red in coloration.
If you are interested in acne scar removal treatment and have a question that might help you clarify further, do not hesitate to Ask Dr. U at no cost.
Things to Avoid with Acne Scars
There are a couple of things people should avoid if they have acne scars so they don’t make them worse.
- The Sun – Overexposure to the sun will make acne scars darker causing them to look more prominent.
- Aggravating Scar – Washing and scrubbing acne scars can reduce the elasticity of the skin and enhance the appears of the scar.
- Picking at It – Dirty hands and fingernails have bacteria can possibly cause more cysts to form, making the existing acne scar larger.
Banish Acne Scars: Acne Scar Treatment Methods
A general list of acne scar removal treatment methods includes:
- punch graft surgery
- acne scar subcision
- chemical peels
- cosmetic lasers
- topical retinoids
- dermal fillers
Treating Acne Scars with Punch Graft Surgery
With this type of acne scar removal procedure, a punch tool is needed to remove individual acne scars. The resulting gap is then filled with skin grafted from a more discrete area of the body (e.g. behind the ear) to essentially replace the scar tissue that was removed. Another option is to elevate the punched skin and bring it to the level of the surrounding skin and left to heal. The depressed scar is thus reduced.
The edges of the graft may create slight irregularities in the surface texture of the skin. Therefore, microdermabrasion or chemical peels may be used to help even this out.
Acne Scar Removal by Subcision
In this case, a hypodermic needle is used to dissect the fibrous tissue teetering the scar to the deep tissues which is the cause of depressed appearance of the scarred area.
Microdermabrasion: an Ineffective Acne Scar Removal Treatment
Microdermabrasion can be thought of as a light form of exfoliation which can be used to treat very minor cases of acne scarring as opposed to moderate or severe cases. This treatment is performed using magnesium salt crystals that have been finely ground. It is generally an ineffective acne scar treatment method and not used by Dr U for this reason.
Acne Scar Removal by Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion is a very invasive acne scar removal procedure that aggressively ablates the outer skin layer using a textured metal surface (e.g. diamond fraise) This form of treatment entails substantial bleeding. Healing often requires a three month period. Results can be quite amazing for the right candidates. This procedure is often recommended for individuals with very fair skin where the risk of scarring is much less than in those with darker tones.
Acne Scar Removal Using Chemical Peels
Chemical peels involve the use of chemicals to gently remove the outer layer of the skin. While this approach may offer some improvements for very minor cases, it would not remove the thickened collagen which makes up the acne scar tissue.
More aggressive forms of chemical peels are available, but it is difficult to control how deeply chemical solutions will penetrate the skin. Therefore, actual results and safety may not be very predictable or easy to anticipate. Dr. U does not use chemical peels for this reason. Instead, he uses more predictable resurfacing laser technology to achieve spectacular acne removal results.
Treating Acne Scars with Topical Retinoids
Topical retinoids are essentially derivatives of Vitamin A. Examples include:
- Retin A
- Retinoic acid
These compounds help improve the rate of skin cell turnover and may be somewhat useful with very mild forms of acne scarring. Likewise, their properties can be helpful for supporting the main treatment strategy.
How to Fix Acne Scars Using Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers like Juvederm can be injected to help raise the depressed base of the acne scars, creating the appearance of more evenly textured skin. While this may be helpful as an immediate short term solution (e.g. photo shoots, events, television and video appearances), the results are only temporary since the body will eventually metabolize the filler.
Laser Acne Scar Removal with Fraxel Lasers
Acne scars originate from deeper skin layers. Innovations in cosmetic lasers have made it possible to address this issue from beneath the surface. Fraxel lasers work to stimulate the development of new collagen fibers. This tissue will fill in the acne scar depressions to create smoother looking skin. The Office of Dr. U offers Fraxel acne scar removal and acne scar treatments through the following systems:
1) BEST LASER TREATMENT FOR ACNE SCARS FOR LIGHTER COMPLECTED PERSONS: Fraxel Repair
- Recommended for Fitzpatrick types I-III who have very light skin tones due to minimal concentrations of melanin in their skin
- Ablative carbon dioxide laser system which vaporizes and heats tissue to promote the formation of normal collagen which fills in the acne scar depressions to create a softer, smoother skin texture
2) BEST LASER TREATMENT FOR ACNE SCARS FOR DARKER COMPLECTED PERSONS: Fraxel Dual
- Uses the 1550 nm wavelength mode to treat deeper areas of the skin
- Also uses the 1927nm wavelength mode to treat issues closer to the skin’s surface
- Safe for all skin tones
- Offers a non-ablative form of treatment where unwanted cells are not removed
What is the Best Acne Scar Treatment?
According to Dr. U, the best acne scar treatment is a combination of approaches. To start, the active acne must be controlled in order to prevent the formation of new scar tissue. Depending on the patient’s presentation, Dr U would accomplish the first phase of acne control before acne scar treatment using a variety of effective treatments that range from oral and topical medications to laser acne treatments to Photo-dynamic treatments with photosensitizers like Levulan and the V Beam laser. He specifically targets multiple causal factors resulting in the resolution of even the most stubborn acne pimples.
Once this phase of acne treatment is complete, the acne scar tissue can be effectively addressed. According to Dr. U, laser systems like Fraxel Repair and Fraxel Dual are the best acne scar treatments available. They help to promote the formation of new collagen tissue to greatly improve the skin’s texture and render the acne scars far less visible. Lasers offer a higher level of depth control compared to chemical peels and are thus safer for patients.
Laser Acne Scar Removal with Fraxel Dual: Results
This is the result of an African American client from Los Angeles. She came to Dr U to receive a Fraxel Dual laser treatment as a cure for acne scars.
This Los Angeles African American client came to Dr. U for acne scar removal through Fraxel Dual laser treatment. She was worried about her significant facial acne scarring. After just three treatments, the patient experienced dramatic results.
VIDEO: Dr. U Los Angeles Patient Results Acne Scar Removal with Fraxel Dual Laser
The patient came to Dr. U after being concerned with severe acne and significant scarring. After treating her acne with Spectra laser and medications, Dr. U treated the acne scar with Fraxel Dual laser. He chose the Fraxel Dual laser because it is safe and effective in people of color. These results in the video are shown 4 months after just three treatments, wearing no makeup. As you can see, the results are very impressive.
Monitoring Acne Scar Removal Progress by Visia Skin Analysis
The office of Dr. U is committed to helping patients receive the best acne scar treatment. Specific parameters of the skin (e.g. presence of bacteria, skin texture, etc.) are measured before and after treatment using Visia skin complexion analysis. Results are calculated as percentiles, comparing individual patients to the data of other similar individuals within their age and ethnic group.
VISIA complexion analysis was done to assess texture before and after Fraxel treatment series for acne scar removal. The result confirms objectively the degree of improvement.
Acne Scar Treatment Services Los Angeles
The Office of Dr. U provides patients with the best acne scar treatments available. Fine Touch Dermatology offers free initial consultations for patients in the greater Los Angeles area interested in acne scar removal. To get started, fill out our consultation form or call us at 1800-499-DRUCLINIC (3782) to schedule an appointment.
Acne Scar Removal Services FAQ
What do I keep in mind when choosing an acne scar treatment?
In order to receive the best results for acne scar removal, patients and their dermatologist should discuss what laser to use for their particular skin type. They should also decide how to best clear up their acne before they treat their acne scars. Additionally, the doctor should explain how to set the correct laser parameters for optimal outcome.
What are the best home remedies for acne scarring?
Here is a list of natural remedies that may help diminish the appearance of acne scarring:
- Fenugreek seeds
- Lemon juice
- Egg whites
- Baking soda
- Aloe Vera
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Potato slices
- Rose water
- Turmeric powder
How do I find acne scar laser treatment near me?
You should not focus on geographic location when looking for laser treatment for your acne scar. Why? You need to find a board certified dermatologist schooled in the use of lasers generally and understands their mechanism of action, when to use or not use them, the correct laser to use for your condition and skin type and the most effective and safe settings. It is better to not treat your acne scars than experience a major complication from an improper treatment. Dr U specializes in the use of laser for treatment of a variety of skin conditions, including acne and acne scars.
What is the cost of acne scar removal?
The cost of acne scar removal depends on the type of treatment method adopted. If using lasers, which currently are the most effective and safe for most patients, the cost ranges from $2500-$4000 depending on the type of laser used.
While the Fraxel Dual, which is not ablative, is less expensive per session, using it requires more laser treatment sessions. The number of acne scar treatment sessions needed may result in a cost that is not significantly different from the cost of an ablative laser treatment for acne scars which typically requires only 1 (or 2) sessions.
For more information on acne scar treatment, please feel free to reach out through our online portal and ask Dr. U any questions you may have on possible treatment or about acne scars in general:
Read all about acne and acne treatment in this article.