The key to management of patients with acne scarring begins with a thorough analysis and a clinical examination with an emphasis on determining the cause of scarring, preventing scarring, and the types of scars. Once all these factors have been determined, we can design the options for treatment of the scars.
A scar, in the simplest terms, forms at the site of injured tissue. In the case of acne, the injury is due to the body’s inflammatory reaction to sebum, the oily substance produced by sebaceous glands as well as bacteria and dead cells in the clogged sebaceous follicles. The type of scarring that results in people who are susceptible to scarring ranges from depressed scars such as ice-pick scars, to raised scars such as keloids, to hyperpigmented scars and dark spots. Facial scars resulting from acne regardless of how they manifest themselves often give the illusion of facial asymmetry or poor skin texture. My goal in the treatment of facial acne scarring is managing by way of removal or lightening of such unsightly areas for my patients regardless of skin color or ethnicity. My objective is to give the skin a more acceptable physical appearance with the understanding that total restoration of the skin to the way it looked before the occurrence of acne is not possible. Our treatment approach will accomplish a tremendous improvement of the appearance of the skin.
Old and new methods in treatment of acne scarring are only effective when taking into consideration the patient’s skin type and ethnic background. Knowing the patient’s susceptibility is important in the choice of techniques for management and effective treatment of acne scars. A variety of treatments are presented to the patient ranging from old methods such as the age old hydroquinones and peels to new methods such as laser treatments and fat transfer or adipose accentuation of the sub-dermis. Our approach consists of a combination of old and new techniques integrating medical strength product regimens, peels, microdermabrasions, laser treatments as well as stem cell laden fat transfer.
The scar treatments currently availableinclude:
Peels Only deep peels such as phenol based peels work on acne scarring yet are not recommended for dark or asian skin types. Worth mentioning is the new Vi-Peel™, a medical grade peel specifically designed for darker skin types and works on all skin types, it offers significant improvement to dark spots, hyperpigmentation and acne scarring in African American, Latin and Asian patients.
Microdermabrasions A surface form of dermabrasion, microdermabrasion using crystals or crystal free passing through a vacuum tube to remove surface skin requires multiple treatments and may not have an impact on improving acne scarring. However, a microdermabrasion performed immediately prior to a Nd-Yag laser treatment such as the Cutera Genesis, contributes to a better laser procedure. A combination microdermabrasion-complexion blending laser treatment can help significantly to improve scars.
Laser Treatments Laser and light based treatments for acne scarring and hyperpigmentation have increasingly become the appropriate approach where other methods have failed or as an integral part of a combination treatment plan that combines traditional methods such as topicals, peel and systemic approaches. For example the results with the Nd-Yag Cutera Laser Genesis treatments preceded by a microdermabrasion produce an excellent result for patients with hyperpigmentation and old acne scarring. The treatment results in smoothing out skin texture and reducing visible scars and blemishes. Scar tissue can be recontoured and redness around healed scars and acne lesions can be reduced depending on the type of wavelength and intensity of the laser used.
Fat Transfer When used to correct deep contour ice-pick scars resulting from cystic acne, fat transfer where fat is taken from another body site and prepared for injection into one’s own skin can elevate depressed scars with the longest lasting results than all other methods. Recent studies have proved that the newly injected fat contributes to the healing of the surrounding tissue where it is placed due the high number of stem cells in the transferred fat. The stem cells are involved in the repair of the skin and a remarkable repair of scars as well as an enhancement of the quality of the skin underlying the transferred fat. Multiple fat transfer procedures can achieve more of a permanent result.
Products Patients seeking treatments of acne scars should also commit to a customized home care regimen that combine cleansers instead of traditional soap which can strip the skin of its natural oils, with topical retinoids (Retin-A) to reduce blackheads, whiteheads and induce skin cell turnover with the added benefit of reducing wrinkles, a skin lightening cream or hydroquinone to reduce or remove hyper pigmented scars, and has an increased bleaching quality when used in combination with the retinoid. No regimen is complete without a moisturizer and a sunblock or a combination moisturizer sunblock as the final step to any customized home care regimen. The decision to seek treatment for your acne scars depends on many factors, the most important one being the way you feel psychologically and emotionally about your scars and whether or not you are willing to live with your scars. Another important factor would be whether you have the budget and discipline to seek the treatment options presented since acne scar treatments is not covered by health insurance. Most physicians offer treatment package options and patient financing to ease the burden of the cost involved. The uniqueness of our approach is geared towards making our patients feel good not just look good. At Luxxery we take care of your acne scars and surround you in beauty.