Serving Denver, Broomfield, Westminster, Boulder, Arvada, and surrounding areas.
Acne scars are difficult to treat and can never be truly eliminated. However, we have many treatment options for softening the look of acne scars.
What causes an acne scar?
When you have a breakout and the resulting inflammation, the skin forms new collagen fibers to try to heal the area. Visible acne scars are either raised or depressed. Raised, or hypertrophic/keloid scars are caused because the body produced too much collagen. Depressed or indented scars (a.k.a. atrophic scars) are caused by a lack of collagen regrowth. These are the most common type of acne scars.
A combination of treatments usually yield the best results.
The TCA Cross Technique (which strands for Chemical Reconstruction Of Skin Scars) is an excellent method for treating ice pick acne scars, a kind of scar, which owing to its depth and narrowness is typically quite difficult to nonsurgically treat otherwise. CROSS involves the deep placement of a high grade TCA solution, using a narrow implement, like a toothpick, within the ice pick scar. The treatment is intended to cause an inflammatory reaction, and ultimately to “close” the scar as new collagen forms in the treated areas.
Immediately following application of the TCA, the treated scars turn white and then may ooze and crust. Healing areas may resemble scratched pimples. Scars may also appear to widen, but over time, the depressions themselves will then elevate and “fill”.
In general, a series of treatments is usually required to achieve best results, usually 4 treatments, spaced out by a month or more.
A CO2 laser resurfacing treatment is the most powerful way to soften fine scars. The laser treatment causes new collagen to form. This can help smooth the treatment area, improving skin texture.
Microneedling uses a pen with tiny vibrating needles to cause micro-injuries to the skin. During the treatment, healing serums are driven into the skin, enhancing the healing process.
A series (usually three) of microneedling treatments has been clinically proven to soften the look of scars. Our patient have seen amazing results!
Scars can be filled with filler. Oftentimes, you need only a very small amount to fill in a depressed scar. Our favorite filler for treating acne scars is Bellafill which works best on deeper, rolling scars. (Fillers cannot be used to treat smaller, “ice-pick” scars.) Bellafill is the longest lasting filler available and also helps you generate your own collagen, improving the look, tone, and texture of the skin over time.
A chemical peel offers the skin intense exfoliation which can help soften the look of scarring. Peels can also help prevent future breakouts. Our favorite peel for lightening acne scars is the ViPeel, which has been proven to be clinically effective in the treatment of acne scarring. Chemical peels are best done in a series.
Retin-A is the number one most recommended skin care product in the world. It improves cell turnover, improving the condition, strength and tone of your skin. Over time, it can help fade scarring.*
Healing Scars with Lasers
Most of us have scars from old injuries, acne, or past surgeries. For some of us, those scars affect our self esteem. Historically, treating and healing the discoloration and texture of scars has been difficult, and there are very few “slam dunk” treatments. Improper or poorly performed treatments can actually make the color and texture of scars worse. You want to ensure that you are working with an expert, especially when dealing with facial scarring.
In our office, we have three preferred, non-surgical treatments that can help resolve the color and texture of your small scars. Dr. Janowski will work with you to determine which treatment or combination of treatments can help you achieve the best results.
- Dr. Janowski uses our fractional laser, the DOT, to resolve color and texture issues for scarring. The treatment uses a laser to cause micro-injuries to the skin, leading to a renewal of the skin and a healing of the scar tissue.
- Additonally, many of our patients have found improved tone and color of their scars with the use of IPL (Intensed Pulse Light) treatments. IPL can remove the discoloration of a scar when used appropriately.
- One of the newest and most exciting development in the softening and healing of scars is PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma. PRP is your own plasma, obtained with an easy blood draw, and is your body’s own most healing agent. We have had great success in injecting PRP directly around or into scars. The PRP then activates the body’s natural healing process. For additional softening of the texture of scars, microneedling has been clinically proven effective in resolving small scars. Microneedling uses a small pen-like device with tiny, vibrating needles to create micro-injuries to the skin and infuse medical-grade healing agents. We have seen success using a combination of these techniques to resolve facial scarring, especially acne scars.
For additional filling in of those deeper indentations, dermal fillers like Restylane can be injected to fill in scarring and give a more even texture to the skin.
Dr. Janowski will work with you to determine what treatment will treatment or combination of treatments will work best.
It is especially important to avoid sun exposure on old and new scars. The sun will only further damage the area.
If you have acne scars and live in Denver, Broomfield, Boulder, and surrounding areas, we can help. Call us at 303.469.0064 or send us an email, and we can set up a free consultation to see what option will work best for you.
*Results may vary from patient to patient