Fillers for Acne Scars – How They Work

A common issue for many people during their teenage years is acne (which is primarily a hormonal condition). Sensitivity to these male hormones, combined with bacteria and fatty acids within oil glands, can cause acne. Common sites for acne are the face, chest, shoulders, neck and backs they are all sites of oil glands. Acne can sometimes leave behind scars that can be corrected with fillers. One of the many treatments for acne scars is fillers that can be used on areas of the face including the cheeks, nose, lips and chin as well as around the mouth.

Learn how dermal fillers work to treat and reduce acne scars

Fillers for Acne Scars Explained

  • Dermal fillers are injected into the skin to raise depressed areas of acne scars or stimulate the natural production of collagen in the skin. Different options for fillers include the use of hyaluronic acid (Restylane and Juvederm), poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) microspheres with collagen (Bellafill), poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) and autologous fat transfer that is fat transferred from your body into the acne scar.
  • If the filler you have decided to take contains bovine collagen, you will have to take part in an in-office allergy test and share both your medical and allergy history to make sure you’re not allergic. In this test, collagen will be injected into your forearm and you will be monitored for any negative reactions. If you show no reaction to the test, you will be able to go ahead with your appointment. Your doctor will mark your face in order to know the exact spot to be injected. Each syringe of filler will contain the numbing agent lidocaine to make the procedure less painful. The procedure can take anywhere from 15 minutes to about an hour depending on the depth of the scar and the size of the treated area.
  • Bellafill is dermal filler that is used to treat acne scarring. It is made of collagen which is used to add volume to the skin and small poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) beads used to structurally support the skin. Keep in mind that you must be over the age of 21 to receive Bellafill and not have any allergies to bovine collagen. Bellafill is said to work on both men and women with a variety of skin types. Bellafill is considered long-lasting or permanent and is the only FDA-approved filler to treat acne scars.
  • In some cases, hyaluronic acid fillers, like Juvederm or Restylane, may be used to treat acne scars. These fillers aim to improve the contour of the skin and reduce depressions in the skin caused by said acne scars. However, these fillers are considered temporary and you will need to have them injected every few months. Another type of filler, poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra), is used as well. This substance is not like other fillers in that it won’t immediately plump your skin. Instead, it boosts the production of collagen to reduce the appearance of acne scars over a few months.
  • An autologous fat transfer can be considered more in-depth or invasive in comparison to fillers as fat is pulled from your body to be injected into your acne scars. The final results depend on how much of the injected fat will develop a blood supply and survive.

Safety of Dermal Fillers for Acne Scars

All dermal fillers are generally considered to be safe even if it is necessary to perform skin testing for allergies prior to certain procedures such as the use of certain fillers with bovine collagen. Many of the newer fillers are made from sugar that is naturally found in the skin and the overall chances of them causing allergic reactions are rare.

There are still certain side effects that you need to be aware of including swelling, bruising, itching, redness and an allergic reaction to the lidocaine. Another risk is blood vessel occlusion which is when a blood vessel becomes blocked and can cause the skin to break down. It should be noted that this is rare for fillers used for acne scarring because they are typically placed in such a way where the risk of occluding a major vessel is unlikely.

The procedure is rather easy to perform so, after any fillers, you can resume most activities right away and you should be able to drive yourself home. Avoid strenuous activities and try not to itch or rub the injection site for a number of days after your treatment. Filler injections should only be performed in-office by a trained medical professional for safety and the optimum results. Be sure and consult with the medical professional before having fillers for acne scars to discuss any questions to concerns and to find out the type of results you can expect to see after the treatment. Once you and the medical professional are in agreement about the procedure, you can schedule your fillers treatment to address your acne scars.

– JM

Vitamin E – Does it Reduce Scars?

While it is known that vitamin E assists in moisturizing the skin, research also shows that vitamin E oils and supplements have little to no effect on scars. Vitamin E’s extensive range of benefits includes maintaining both the health of the eyes as well as strengthening the immune system of the body. There is a common belief that vitamin E will help reduce the appearance of scars but there isn’t much evidence to prove this belief is accurate.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E consists of a group of fat-soluble compounds with antioxidant effects. Antioxidants will protect cells from the effects of free radicals as they are known to damage cells and contribute to the progression of both cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin E can exist naturally in some foods while some manufacturers are also known to add it to other foods. The most naturally-occurring sources of vitamin E include, but are not limited to, nuts, spinach, whole grains, olive oil, and sunflower oil. In other instances, the vitamin is available as an oral supplement or as oil that people can apply to the skin.

Vitamin E and Treating Scars

Scars for Vitamin EWhen treating burns and scars, vitamin E is often a very popular option. However, there have been multiple studies conducted to prove the validity of that use and unfortunately the results have been disappointing in some cases.

In a study from 1999 that looked at the effects vitamin E had on scarring, it was actually shown that one-third of those studied actually had allergic reactions to it. In fact, 90% of the people reported that they either had an allergic reaction to the vitamin E or there were no visible effects on their scarring. It was proven that vitamin E does help other skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis AKA eczema. As of today, there isn’t much information available to prove that vitamin E will help diminish scars. Plus, a 2016 review concluded that there has to be more research conducted to come to a conclusion on the matter.

Vitamin E and the Skin

While vitamin E’s assistance in reducing the appearance of scars may seem questionable, one fact out of these studies concludes that moisturizing the skin during the process where the wound is healing will definitely help. If the person isn’t allergic to vitamin E, they can use moisturizers that contain the vitamin. This still discounts the effects of vitamin E’s presence in moisturizers but the act of moisturizing the skin is still beneficial. If someone wants to use vitamin E oil or take the supplements, it is suggested that they speak to a healthcare provider.

Alternatives to Vitamin E

Hydrogel (also known as silicone gel) adhesive dressings are an option to apply over, and flatten, scars. The silicone helps to hydrate the scar and slow down the production of collagen fibers. In doing so, the scars will begin to come in flatter, softer and paler than usual.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) has suggested applying the silicone sheets for 12 hours a day for three months. A treatment that many choose is a scar massage which is said to soften the scar while helping reduce pain, itching and sensitivity. Be sure and massage, for five minutes at a time, 3-4 times throughout the day. Trusting a scar specialist will ensure proper advice on the best technique to use on a particular scar.

A dermarolling procedure involves rolling tiny needles over the surface of the skin. There are people who think that by puncturing the skin and creating injuries, the skin will heal itself and improve the appearance of scars. In a clinical trial done on dermarolling, it was found, after three treatments, there was a visible improvement of the scars. There have been a few participants that reported instances of pain from the procedure so consult with a dermatologist before having the procedure.

Other procedures that may reduce the appearance of scars include:

  • Laser therapy which requires the use of light to target blood vessels that make scars appear inflamed. According to the NHS, the procedure will also boost collagen production and reduce pitting. However, there aren’t many long-term studies on the effectiveness of laser therapy.
  • Dermal fillers are placed in the body in order to plump the skin. This can reduce the appearance of pitted scars but it isn’t a long term treatment as the results are not permanent.
  • Cryotherapy freezes keloid scars in order to prevent them from growing or spreading. It also flattens the appearance of the scars. This procedure uses liquid nitrogen and can lighten the skin in the area.

The time it takes for a scar to fade on the skin can vary and depends on the initial size and depth of the injury. According to the NHS, scars from injuries such as cuts or surgical incisions usually takes up to two years to flatten before they begin to fade. Hypertrophic scars can continue to thicken for six months before they start the process of fading for the next few years.

Vitamin E and Scar Treatment – Is it Worth It?

There is not much clinical evidence that proves that vitamin E oil or supplements can help reduce the appearance of scars. However, there is good evidence to support the fact that the positive effects people notice from vitamin E can be the result of moisturizing or massaging the scar and not the vitamin E itself. Patients might be better of considering other scar treatments like silicone sheets, massages and dermarolling.

Scar Treatment Options – What You Need to Know

The appearance of scars on the body is quite common after an accident. Some of the scars might fade on their own while others might be permanent additions to the appearance of a person. While the appearance of a scar is normally not a reason for a person to be concerned, there are many people that want to lessen the appearance of them.

Here are some of the most effective, and popular, scar treatment options to reduce or eliminate the appearance of scars:

Scar Treatment Techniques to Try at Home

Scar Reduction at HomeThe use of home remedies for scars can help to reduce the appearance of the scars located on the body. In general, home remedies are ideal for treating new scars or scars that are relatively minor in their appearance. If a scar on the body is older, or considered to be extensive in its appearance, it is best to visit a doctor to discuss medical cosmetic treatment options instead of home remedies.

  • It is important to start treating a scar as soon as possible to achieve the best results in reducing its appearance. Patients should keep the scar clean by washing it daily with water and a mild soap. Petroleum jelly can be applied to the wound to keep it moist and stop scabs from forming. A wound can be covered with a bandage or, if the wound is larger, a silicone gel sheet.
  • Once the wound has healed, a regular regimen of exfoliation can help to remove any dead skin cells so the wound can enjoy a faster recovery time. Patients can exfoliate the area that surrounds the scar and then apply natural oil or moisturizer after the exfoliation is completed.
  • A gentle massage with oils on the area around the scar can help to reduce the amount of collagen that builds up in the targeted area and flatten the scar. Patients are advised to massage the skin three or four times each day for 5 minutes at a time. One of the most popular natural oils for treating scars is coconut oil. Studies have shown that coconut oil can encourage the healing of skin tissue.
  • Aloe Vera gel has been shown to improve wound healing in patients. While Aloe Vera gel might not improve the appearance of scars, it can hydrate the skin to reduce the amount of tightness in the scar.
  • Sunscreen will not get rid of scars but it can help them to fade and also reduce the amount of skin discoloration.
  • OTC medicated gels and creams are able to improve the level of wound healing as well as reduce the appearance of scars.

Scar Reduction – Medical and Cosmetic Treatments

Cosmetic Scar Reduction Medical TreatmentOlder scars that tend to be more visible might only respond to medical or cosmetic treatments of the scars. Here are some examples of the most effective medical and cosmetic scar treatments:

  • Dermal fillers can be injected into the area where the scar is located. The fillers work to plump us the area where the skin is indented to make the scar less noticeable to others.
  • Chemical peels are placed on the skin to remove its top layers and reduce scars that range from moderate to severe.
  • Botox injections reduce the visibility of the scar and smooth out the skin.
  • Cryotherapy is when a doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the scars in order to flatten and reduce their overall growth
  • Corticosteroid shots work to flatten out scars that are raised as well as reduce the size of the scar.
  • Microneedling is when a small pen or roller is used to poke small holes in the top layer of the skin where the scar is located. The small pen or roller contains hundreds of tiny needles. The punctures from the holes encourage the production of collagen in the body to reduce the appearance of scars.
  • Laser therapy is when a focused beam of light is used to treat scars that are classified as severe. The laser light removes the outer layer of the skin or it stimulates the production of new skin cells to replace the damaged skin cells.
  • People that have a scar that is very tight can have scar reduction surgery to lessen the scar and also reduce any restrictions in the movement of the body where the scar is located.

Choosing how to Treat Scars

Patients should be aware that different types of scars can require different treatment options. It is important to consult with an experienced doctor about the best treatment option for a scar. Scars from a sports accident or mishap at home will need to be addressed differently than a scar that is the result of a burn.

The final result of any type of scar treatment varies depending on the age, depth and type of scar. While the scar treatment might not be able to completely reduce or eliminate the appearance of the scar, there should be some improvement in the overall appearance of the area of the skin where the scar is located.

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MedScar Medical Watch: Causes and Treatments of Acne Scars

If a person suffers from acne as a teenager or as an adult, there is a good chance that a scar will appear during the process of treating the acne that appears on the body. In general, scars are a common side effect of acne. They can occur when the deep parts of the skin tissue are irreversibly damaged and are then replaced by scar tissue.

Thankfully, there are multiple methods that can be used to prevent scarring on a patient as well as treatment options that can also reduce scarring.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that is considered to be chronic. It impacts close to 633-million people around the world. Acne occurs when the hair follicles of a person become clogged with dead skin cells. Some of the most common symptoms associated with acne include blackheads, pimples, whiteheads, oily skin and scarring. Acne is most prominently seen on areas of the skin that contain a large amount of oil glands. These areas of the body include the face, the back and the upper part of the chest.

What are the causes and treatments for acne scars

Types of Acne Scars

Scarring can impact almost 95% of people that suffer from acne. These scars are formed secondary to any inflammation seen in the dermal layer of the skin as part of the response from the immune system to dead skin cells. The layers of the skin that are damaged are then replaced by fibrous scar tissue.

In general, there are two types of acne scars. The difference in the way they are classified depends on the presence of excessive collagen accumulation or collagen loss in the tissue that is damaged.

  1. Atrophic acne scars most commonly impact the face of the person. These scars have a depressed surface of the skin that sits below healthy skin tissue. This condition is caused by a loss of collagen in the skin which results in a reduction of the skin’s ability to form healthy connections between the cells and the basal layer. The 3 types of atrophic acne scars are
  • Rolling scars – Scars with an irregular appearance with edges that are typically rounded
  • Ice pick scars – Scars that are narrow and deep
  • Boxcar scars – Wide scars that have a U-shape while including sharp edges that vary in depth
  1. Hypertrophic acne scars are created when excessive collagen has accumulated in the skin during the formation of scars. These scars are normally raised above the surface of the healthy skin that surrounds it and they usually appear on the chest and the back.

Preventing and Reducing Acne Scars

A balanced diet that is low in carbohydrates is recommended to help decrease the severity of scars. In order to reduce inflammation, patients are advised to use daily skin care products that are hypoallergenic so they do not cause skin irritation. Some over-the-counter skin care products help reduce inflammation and skin discoloration. However, the results are often dependent on the skin type of the patient.

The treatment plan for acne scars depends on the type of scar tissue that has formed on the body. In general, hypertrophic scars are easier to treat than atrophic scars since they do not impact the deep layers of the skin. If a scar is considered to be shallow, it will respond better to a treatment plan.

Patients can use in-office or in-home treatments to treat their acne issues. Acne treatments all work to reduce inflammation, alter hormone levels, target any bacteria and/or skin shedding and sebum production.

Popular at-home acne treatment options include topical therapies that use alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, nicotinamide, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids. There are also systemic therapies that use keratolytic soaps, antibiotics, anti-androgen medications and hormonal therapy.

When it comes to treating acne, the most commonly used treatments that are listed above include topical benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and antibiotics. Some of the above treatment options can be combined with each other to produce superior results.

In-office acne treatment options include light therapy, dermabrasion, laser therapy, dermal fillers and microneedling.

Before deciding on any kind of acne scar treatment, patients should consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine which approach is the most effective one to achieve the desired results.

Learn how to Finally Get Rid of Acne Scars

Once those red or white menaces make an appearance on your face, you normally have three to five days of dealing with the unsightly appearance of pimples. While some people have the ability to leave these little monsters alone, others tend to pick, scratch and pop them until there’s no life left in them. Doctors and dermatologists suggest that leaving pimples alone can help minimize the aftermath since further trauma to the skin can cause acne scarring. However, even a pimple that is untouched can turn into acne scarring that seems impossible to conceal. Nevertheless, scarring doesn’t have to be permanent. Learn how to finally get rid of acne scars.

Acne scar removal

At-Home Treatments for Acne Issues

Skin care experts agree that there are numerous ways to prevent and treat acne scarring. Resurfacing products can help with existing acne and acne scars. Glycolic acid and Lactic acid help to minimize the depth and severity of scars while working to keep the pores clear. A cream with the active ingredient of salicylic acid can also work well. Retinol or vitamin A is known for a variety of skin-boosting benefits but few know about its resurfacing attributes which can help with acne outbreaks and scar healing. In mild doses, vitamin A can dry up the production of sebum. When there is less sebum in the pores, the odds of the pores becoming clogged is reduced which decreases the chance of an outbreak. In a case where a person already has scarring caused by acne, vitamin A promotes shedding of the dead skin cells. This stimulates cell turnover and collagen production to help minimize the depth of scarring and combat existing blemishes. While these treatments can work very well, it can take time to see great results. Therefore, some people opt for one of several clinical treatments that can quickly and effectively remove or reduce acne scarring while clearing the pores for a brighter complexion.

Non-Invasive Treatments for Acne Scarring

Microneedling, dermal fillers and microdermabrasion are some of the less invasive clinical treatments available for acne scarring. Each of these treatments can minimize the appearance of scars by allowing the body to naturally heal itself while encouraging or increasing collagen production. Microneedling uses tiny acupuncture-like needles to encourage the skin’s natural repair system. This treatment does not remove any layers of skin so it can be performed on any skin type and has minimal recovery time. Dermal fillers can be used to fill-in depressed skin that is created from volume loss caused by the inflammatory process during an acne infection. The filler is injected into the depressed scar to plump up the skin. Most dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid which naturally occurs in the body. Therefore, they are easily accepted by the body and have little to no side effects or recovery time. However, dermal fillers are temporary and will be naturally absorbed by the body over time. Microdermabrasion is a treatment which uses a diamond tip device or a spray of fine crystals to buff the superficial layer of dead skin cells. The body interprets the exfoliation as an injury and replaces the dead cells with healthy new cells. Microdermabrasion can also be used on all skin tones and does not require a lengthy downtime. Since these non-invasive treatments tend to be gentler, it can take several treatment sessions to gain adequate results.

Customized Treatments for Acne Scarring

Alternative treatments may include laser resurfacing or chemical peels. Both treatments are considered minimally invasive. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels can be customized from light treatments with a minor recovery period to an aggressive treatment requiring up to 14 days of recovery. These treatments work by removing the top layers of skin with either heat or chemicals creating a controlled wound. The body will respond to the trauma and create a new layer of skin which will be smoother and firmer looking. Although these cosmetic procedures have the potential for a higher rate of complications, they can quickly and effectively treat acne scarring with as little as one treatment. Anyone considering these treatments should consult with a board-certified doctor to see if laser resurfacing or a chemical peel is right for them since these treatments are not recommended for patients with darker skin tones or certain medical conditions.

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Carrie Underwood Scar Scare

It is Stanley Cup playoff time in the NHL. This normally means quite a number of selfies from Carrie Underwood in support of her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher. Fans are curious, in general, about any new selfies from Underwood after she suffered a painful fall last November.

Carrie Underwood Facial ScarUnderwood is considered to be one of the most beautiful women in country music so her fans were alarmed when she announced the fall. Her injuries included a broken wrist and over 40 stitches in her face thanks to a gash around her upper lip. According to Underwood, she was taking her dogs out when she tripped after missing a step. She tried to catch herself but was unable to stop herself from taking a tumble.

While the resulting scar was not noticeable during her recent appearance on the ACM Awards, it was easily seen during a videotaped radio interview as part of the “The Bobby Bones Show”.

After suffering the fall, Underwood warned her fans that, when they saw her next, she would not quite look the same. Bones pointed out that, to the average eye, Underwood did not look any different than she had in the past.

Underwood has been very open about coming to terms with the changes to her appearance. She told Bones that one of her main worries was that her son would be scared of her after the fall. She also noted that, in her own words, she has been “very fortunate in the healing process”. At the time the accident happened, she didn’t know how she would end up looking after the scar healed. During the Bobby Bones interview, she remarked that she was “at a point where I didn’t know how things were going to end up. I didn’t know what was going to go on. I didn’t know what it was going to heal like.” She was also worried that she would run into fans at the supermarket who would ask her “what happened” to her face and that they would post a photo of her appearance on social media.

There are a number of scar treatments that are available to patients. Each one has advantages and disadvantages and patients should discuss their options with a board-certified doctor. Some of the treatment options include:

  • Injectable fillers – can fill-in the depressed area and improve the contour of the scar surface. This is normally a temporary solution and will need to be repeated on a regular basis.
  • Laser Resurfacing – A high-powered laser removes the scarred top layer of skin and also promotes smoother and tighter skin. Laser resurfacing options include CO2 lasers that penetrate deeply into the skin, YAG lasers that treat shallow scars and fractionated lasers that use tiny beams of light to penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen production. Non-ablative lasers heat the inner skin layer, while leaving the surface untouched, to promote collagen production and new skin cells.
  • Dermabrasion – A wire brush or diamond wheel (with rough edges) removes the scar tissue through scraping.
  • Chemical Peels – A chemical remove the top layer of skin and reveals skin that is smooth and healthy.
  • Scar Removal – Surgery to remove the scar uses a tissue substitute or skin graft to close the incision.

In a later interview with The Today Show, Underwood spoke with Hoda Kotb about how she is adjusting to being back in the public eye following her accident. According to Underwood, “Every day I feel a little more back to normal.” As mentioned above, Underwood did not know how her scar would end up looking following the accident. When asked to describe the appearance of the wound after the fall, she described it as “It just wasn’t pretty.”

During the interview, Hoda told Underwood that she doesn’t see much of a change in her appearance. Hoda described looking at Underwood as, “I’m looking at you and I feel like you look the same”. While thankful for the compliment, Underwood’s response implied that there is a lot of behind-the-scenes makeup that plays a big role in hiding her scars while she is out in the public eye. Underwood laughed as she said, “I have a dedicated team of professionals who can spackle and paint and paste.”

MA

What Can Be Done About Scarring?

ScarScarring is the result of tissue fibers replacing normal skin after a trauma. Scarring can result from surgery, burns, open wounds, or any other abrasion of the skin. Scars are caused when the deep thick layer of skin, also known as the dermis, is damaged. Once trauma occurs, the body forms a collagen fiber which aids in the healing process of the wound and causes a scar. Because the tissue is a different consistency and quality the scar becomes visible.

Some scars can be easily hidden, while other will always be visible. Even though scars can never be removed completely, there are procedures offered that will improve the appearance of the scar. Laser resurfacing can be used to remove the surface layers of the skin, resulting in a less visible scar. If a person has a larger scar, surgery is an available option to reduce the size of the scar. Scalp Micro Pigmentation is a new method being offered which uses dermal pigments to camouflage the scars on hair bearing areas of the scalp or face.

If a scar leaves an indentation in the skin, you can use filler injections to raise the scar to the level of the surrounding skin. This type of treatment will be temporary, meaning it should be done a few times a year. If you have a keloid scar, scars that are raised, steroid injections can help flatten the scar giving it an enhanced appearance.

To reduce heavy scarring, topical creams and ointments can be used directly after trauma. Certain scars will fade away after a year and will not need any special method of treatment. For all other cases, it is best to see a specialist who can further assist you.