Everyone has them. Some individuals are more prone to them. Scars are an amazing example of how irregular and imperfectly our skin heals after distress.
Good News - There are ways to prevent scars and dramatically improve the look of existing scars.
Bad News - Scar treatments vary from person-to-person and are dependent on the type of scarring present. You can never “remove” or “erase” a scar – just diminish it.
P. Acnes bacteria plays an integral role in inflammation and the formation of acne scars. Ultimately, the depth of inflammation determines the potential for scarring, and genetic dispositions determine the number, type and depth of the scars.
Superficial inflammation in the epidermis excites melanocytes in this layer and contributes to the formation of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). Commonly referred to as a scar, PIH is actually a deep-rooted dark spot that can fade over time – if treated properly with a beneficial skin care regimen.
Don’t wait to seek treatment for acne. It may be a temporary concern, but the impact is can have on your skin may last a lifetime. Use a beneficial acne regimen – consistently – and seek medical attention if you have deep systemic cysts.
ACNE SCAR TREATMENTS
Ice Pick Scar / Deep Trouble
These deep-rooted scars do not benefit from superficial/topical treatments. A Plastic Surgeon can excise the scar by removing it completely and replacing it with a small incision that heals the skin together.
Rolling/Soft Scars and Boxcar/Depressed Scars / Let the Hills Meet the Valleys
A slump in the fibrous network of the skin, Soft or Depressed scars may be diminished with combined peel and microdermabrasion treatments every 4-6 weeks and a series of fractional laser procedures. These procedures work beautifully together. Chemical peels and microderm. remove dead skin cells, brighten tone and soften epidermal texture. Fractional laser procedures drill deep into the skin to facilitate collagen synthesis and help “lift” the depression.
PIH / The Faux Scar
Salicylic peel procedures are beneficial for regulating oil production and preventing acne blemishes. The frosting action of the peel helps break-up superficial pigmentation and brighten the skin. First and foremost, get your acne managed with the Clearifying and Blemish Control product range. Skin types that suffer from red or brown spots around an acne lesion can benefit from the topical use of Lighten More on the spot and Lighten Cleansing Bar in the morning. And, as always, a daily application of Sun Protectant or Advanced Shades sunscreen is necessary to help prevent UV induced pigmentation.
Our San Antonio laser center treats many patients with surgical scars from a facelift and Mohs micrographic surgery. Like acne scars, deep inflammation, location of the wound, and genetic disposition play an important role in the type of scar that is formed.
With approval from the physician, scar prevention can be achieved with fractional laser procedures. This type of laser facilitates collagen synthesis and planes the skin around the incision for a smooth look. At home, keeping the skin supple with a vitamin C serum (like High-Potent C or Opti-Renew Complex) and a good moisturizer daily are important to keeping your skin barrier healthy. Finally, sunscreen is vital to preventing hyperpigmentation and PIH that may surface at the lesion site.
Hypertrophic (also called raised scars or keloidal scars) can be planed down with fractional laser treatments over time to diminish the appearance of the scar.
Key Products for Prevention and Correction
Vitamin C - Enhances photoprotection and collagen synthesis while preventing hyperpigmentation.
Hydration and Moisture - Keeps the skin soft and supple for optimal barrier function and healing.
Exfoliation - Removes very superficial dead skin cells that enhance the look of scars and encourage healthy cell regeneration to diminish/soften the look of scars.
Sunscreen - Prevents premature aging, reduces the risk of some skin cancers, and PIH.