Many people struggle with active acne from their teens to early twenties and sometimes even longer. Even once the acne is under control, they’re often left with visible scars that vary in size, depth and pigment. Our medical spa at Divino Plastic Surgery in San Diego can help you improve the skin tone and texture issues caused by acne scars with cosmetic treatments.
Types of Acne Scars
There are two main types of scarring caused by acne:
Atrophic scars develop as depressed and pitted areas of skin and are often caused by collagen degradation from the inflammation caused by acne and other conditions such as chickenpox, illness, trauma or surgery. When the skin can’t repair itself correctly, icepick, boxcar and rolling scars can develop. Icepick acne scars are small but deep indentations typically found on the cheeks, and boxcar acne scars are oval or round depressed scars. Rolling acne scars vary in size, depth and texture but are larger than other types of atrophic scarring.
Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars
Hypertrophic scars are raised marks left by excess collagen in the area and are less common than atrophic acne scars. These elevated lesions may happen with body acne, and Keloid scars are more prominent and resemble bumps with a bubble-like appearance.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can also occur with acne when the body tries to heal the skin and produces too much melanin or pigment.
Medical Spa Treatments for Acne Scars
Our plastic surgeons and team of medical professionals can develop a treatment plan to improve your acne scarring. Depending on the severity of your texture and tone concerns, they may recommend one or more of these medical spa treatments:
1. Chemical Peels
Address hyperpigmentation and surface scarring with a chemical peel with a controlled chemical solution that exfoliates the skin. Dead skin cells on the surface of your face peel away, revealing new, fresh skin tissue underneath. A chemical peel can fade acne scars and remove dark spots and requires minimal downtime, depending on the depth of the treatment.
Improve deep acne scarring with little to no downtime with microdermabrasion, which sands away the skin’s imperfections and works for all skin types. Dermabrasion is less harsh than other options and can complement other treatments.
3. Laser Skin Resurfacing
Ablative and non-ablative laser skin resurfacing can provide dramatic results. With ablative laser treatment, high-energy laser light is used to exfoliate the skin’s surface and stimulate collagen production in the deeper skin tissues. Non-ablative laser skin resurfacing uses heat to promote collagen formation. Laser treatment will require some downtime.
Also called collagen induction therapy, microneedling creates micro-traumas in the skin’s top layer with fine needles. These tiny punctures stimulate your body’s healing response and produce new collagen. Microneedling is an excellent option for atrophic scars and can improve inflammatory hyperpigmentation, though the treatment requires some special care post-treatment and a short recovery.
5. Dermal Fillers
Injectables such as Juvéderm, Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra and Belotero can improve the appearance of acne scarring by restoring volume to the area. Juvéderm is particularly beneficial for rolling, ice pick and boxcar acne scars. While you will need maintenance treatments over time, dermal fillers provide acne scar improvement with no downtime and long-lasting results.