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.

Acne Scar Treatment Options for You

For many young people, dealing with acne can be tedious and frustrating. Acne flare-ups can be bad for your confidence as it isn’t visually or aesthetically appealing. Dealing with scars from acne can seem like double punishment since you’ve dealt with the pimples and now you have the scars to show as a reminder. The occasional picking and squeezing that tends to happen with dealing with the acne further increase the risks of scars appearing. Acne scars tend to be stubborn and there is no one solution that makes it easy to deal with them. Instead, there are many options whose effectiveness depends on the severity of the scars, the scar type, and the quality of your skin.

Common Acne Scars

The different types of acne scars vary depending on skin types and severity of the acne. The most common scar is the atrophic scar as it forms when not enough collagen is being produced when the wound is healing. There are many instances of this type of scar that includes the wide U-shaped boxcar scar, the narrow V-shaped ice pick scar (that tends to be the most difficult to treat) and the rolling scar.

The hypertrophic (or raised) scar tends to appear after a serious case of chest and back acne as they appear above the surface of the skin caused by too much collagen when healing.

Discoloration and dark spots that appear after a case of acne are often mistaken to be a scar but this is not the case. These spots tend to go away or fade after a few months without treatment.

Types of Acne Scars

Acne Scars Treatment

When starting your treatment for scars, it is important to treat your acne first and seek the help of a dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to tell you exactly what is going on with your skin so you will know what treatment would be best for you. As stated before, the type and condition of the skin makes the effectiveness of treatments vary. The dermatologist can also let you know if your condition is related to the acne or not.

  • AHAs – or alpha hydroxy acids – tend to be found in products treating acne and work to remove dead skin and prevent clogged pores. This process is done by exfoliating the outer layer of the skin. Lactic acid is found in many products and is often recommended as a home treatment with it being in many peels, ointments and even distilled apple cider vinegar.
  • Many lotions and face cleansers contain salicylic acids which are also found in many different treatments. Salicylic acids work to reduce redness and swelling while exfoliating and clearing pores. Products containing salicylic acids can be used in daily routines or they can be used for less frequent chemical peels. One of the side effects of salicylic acids is that it tends to cause dryness or irritation and it is recommended that those with sensitive skin use it less often.
  • Given the fact that sun exposure can make scars much more visible or darken them, it’s also recommended that you wear sunscreen every day. However, while “at home treatments” can help mild or moderate situations, some cases will require the care of a skin specialist or healthcare provider.
  • One of the more effective and common treatments for acne scars is dermabrasion. Dermabrasion employs the help of a wire brush to deeply exfoliate the skin. Chemical peels use a strong acid to strip away the top layer of skin and tends to have much more dramatic results in comparison to the ones used at home.
  • An option that works similarly to both dermabrasion and chemical peels is the use of laser resurfacing. This removes the top layer of skin and actually has a faster healing time. However, when undergoing this treatment, you must remain bandaged until you are fully healed. There is also the fact that laser resurfacing isn’t as effective on those with dark skin.
  • The use of injectables has become an option to treat acne scars as some healthcare providers have started to use them. Fillers can be made with collagen and/or commercial filler and injected into the skin to fill out areas that need a more plump and smooth look. If you deal with boxcar and rolling scars, fillers would be your best option. For the most part, fillers would have to be redone every 6 to 18 months but there are some out there that are permanent and wouldn’t require more than the initial injections.
  • For the more deep and raised scars, there’s always the option of surgery. Dermatologists or surgeons can completely remove the scar and, while it leaves behind a scar of its own, it can eventually fade with time.

While most these treatments may work, there is also the possibility of more permanent scars that may not be able to be eliminated. However, providers can offer solutions to reduce their appearance. At the end of the day, in order to reduce the chances of further scarring it is required that you refrain from picking at your skin during acne breakouts as it can irritate and damage the tissue that will eventually lead to scarring.

– JM

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.

MA

Discover Scar Surgery Options for Patients

The appearance of a scar on the skin can cause a person to have less confidence in their appearance as well as worry about how to remove the scar or at least revise its overall appearance. Some of the medical options available to surgeons include removing excess scar tissue or reconstructing the skin that surrounds the scar as well as other soft tissues that are located near the scar. Here are some of the most popular surgical methods used by doctors across the country to address the appearance of a scar on the skin.

Scar Revision Techniques

Techniques for scar revisionScar revision surgery is performed to minimize the look of a scar as well as help the scar better blend-in with the skin that surrounds it. Scars can be the result of a surgical procedure and they can also appear after an injury or accident occurs to a person. Once an injury or wound appears on the skin, the soft tissues that surround the wound or injury can change shape or become uneven, sunken or raised in appearance as the wound heals.

If the scar is the result of a surgical incision, the sutures or stitches used to close the incision can alter the look of the scar. Stitches need to be removed before the top layer of the skin heals around them or the entry point of the stitches might become a permanent feature on the body. This is often referred to as a “railroad scar”.

If a scar forms after an injury occurs, it might heal in an uneven manner which can cause the skin on the side of the scar to be higher in appearance as opposed to the skin on the other side of the scar. If this type of scar occurs, it is often referred to as a “trapdoor scar”.

The decision about the extent of the revision surgery, as well as the scar revision technique used, depends on the size and location of the scar as well as the type of scar that is being treated. The surgeon can reposition the scar so it is in an area that is less visible on the body, reduce the size of the scar or smooth the contour of the skin and other soft tissues to correct the look of scars that are dimpled or sunken in appearance.

When it comes to repositioning a scar on the face that was caused by the closing of an incision, the surgeon can remove and reposition the scar so that it heals along a natural fold in the skin. The surgeon can also “break up” the appearance of the scar so it is not as noticeable to others. If the scar is a large scar from burns, the surgeon can realign the scar tissue so that it follows the natural body contours.

Patients that do not want to have surgical scar revision can have fat placed in a sunken scar area to fill-in the sunken portion of the scar. The fat is typically removed from the body of the patient so there is little chance of an infection occurring after the fat is placed in the targeted area.

Scar Removal Techniques

There are times when the surgeon feels that the best option for treating a keloid or large hypertrophic scar is to remove it. There are times when keloids go beyond the margin found in the original wound. In these cases, keloids will require removal so the surgeon will be able to reconstruct the surrounding tissue and skin and also restore some of the underlying structure of the damaged area. A large hypertrophic scar can also be removed which gives the surgeon the ability to create a new scar that is thinner and much less noticeable in appearance.

Scars from a burn frequently cover a large area of the skin. The surgeon can use a technique known as skin expansion to replace the scar from the burn with normal skin. During the skin expansion process, the surgeon will implant a small balloon beneath the healthy skin of the patient (located next to the scar). In the weeks before the surgery, the balloon is filled slowly with saline water when the patient visits the office of the doctor. The purpose of filling the balloon with saline water is to expand the healthy portion of the skin. During the scar removal surgery, the surgeon will be able to use the expanded skin to replace the skin that has been burned. The new skin will then heal naturally on the body of the patient.

Scar Surgery – What to Expect after the Procedure

Once the surgery is over, the surgeon will place a bandage over the wound and the stitches (if applicable). There will be a follow-up appointment about a week after the procedure so the doctor can evaluate the healing process and remove any necessary stitches.

Over the next few months, the skin will heal and the new scar (that is smaller in appearance) will start to flatten and fade so it matches the surrounding skin. It can take up to a year for the healing process to finish.

If it looks like a keloid or a hypertrophic scar is starting to form after the surgery, the doctor can administer a corticosteroid injection to lessen its appearance. It might take several injections into the new scar tissue to prevent any recurrence of the keloid or hypertrophic scar.

Patients that have any questions about scar revision surgery or scar removal surgery should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified, experienced surgeon to examine the scar tissue and determine the best option to address the appearance of the scar. Whether it be for a mole, a hair transplant scar, or another type of surgery, consult with an experienced surgeon in person for the most accurate assessment.

MA

Scars from Burns – Learn how to Reduce their Appearance

Besides the pain that comes from getting a burn on the skin, patients can be at risk for a number of other complications including a risk of infection, damage to the nerves, a lack of mobility in the impacted area and a change of scarring or discoloration in the area where the burn is located. Thankfully, there are some opportunities for people that suffer a burn to lessen its impact on the skin and greatly reduce the chance of a scar resulting from the burn on the body. Let’s take a look at the different degrees of burns and also how to treat the burn during the healing process in order to lessen the appearance of a scar of any size that might appear on the skin.

Different Degrees of Burns

When people refer to the degree of a burn they have experienced, they are discussing the depth of the damage to the skin. Here are the various degrees of burns that patients can experience:

  • Scars from Burns - Learn how to Reduce Their AppearanceFirst-Degree Burn – The burn only damages the epidermis of the skin (top layer of the skin) and causes skin discoloration that is pink to red. In addition, the skin will show some minimal swelling and patients will experience some moderate discomfort but the burn can normally be treated at home.
  • Second-Degree Burn – This type of burn normally goes a bit deeper into the skin as it impacts both epidermis (top layer of skin) and dermis (bottom layer of the skin). In addition, a second-degree burn can cause blistering on the skin. Patients should place a clean bandage on the blisters that result from the burn. While patients can normally treat a second-degree burn at home, they are encouraged to seek professional medical attention if the burns are larger than the palm of their hand or if the burn involves the face, toes or fingers or if it goes across a joint. If the second-degree burn impacts any of these areas of the body, there is a higher risk for scarring that might limit the mobility of the impacted area.
  • Third-Degree Burn – This type of burn damages the entire epidermis and dermis and is called a “full thickness burn’. The skin can look black, white or brown and the condition requires emergency medical attention.
  • Fourth-Degree Burn – These burns cause the deepest damage to the body as they can reach the bones, muscles and tendons. Much like a third-degree burn, the skin can look black, white or brown and the condition requires emergency medical attention.

In addition to the burn degrees listed above, the two most common types of burns are chemical and thermal burns:

  • Chemical burns are the result of exposure to acidic cleaning products such as bleach or hair relaxers and straightening formulas that contain lye, AKA sodium hydroxide, which can burn the scalp if there is prolonged exposure to the product on the scalp.
  • Thermal burns occur when the skin comes into contact with heat that is so intense that the proteins that make up the skin cells start to break down. A thermal burn can also occur if exposure to a lower temperature takes places over an extended period of time (like a heating pad on the skin) or higher temperatures for a short amount of time (such a hot drink spilling on the skin).

The severity of either type of burn depends on the length of the contact as well as the temperature of the object causing the burn.

How to Treat a Burn Immediately after it Occurs

Immediately after a person experiences a burn, they should remove any clothing or jewelry near the burn but do not remove anything stuck to the burn.

If the burn is not serious enough to require immediate attention, the person should flush the burn with lukewarm water for 10-20 minutes to reduce the pain and slow the initial injury.

Do not flush a chemical burn with water if the chemical is known to react with water. Seek medical attention if the chemical burn is causing breathing difficulties or covering a large area of the body.

Do not pop any blisters that appear as they are helping the skin heal since there are white blood cells under the blister helping to get rid of bacteria that can cause an infection. Keep the skin clean and covered with a bandage or ointment until it is no longer oozing or open.

Treating Scars from Burns

The scars that can result from a burn can change the texture of the skin and make it darker or lighter in appearance. It can take years for the skin to regain its normal color and the discoloration can be a permanent change to the body.

Nanosecond and picosecond lasers can be used to stimulate the removal of hyperpigmented skin discoloration that comes from a burn injury and this is similar to the process of removing a tattoo with a laser.

In addition, pulsed dye lasers such as Vbeam, have proven to be effective in reducing the appearance of burn scars that are reddened in appearance.

For scars that are more complicated in nature than simple discoloration, CO2 ablative fractional lasers are ideal in treating scars that are hypertrophic (raised) or scars that have contracture. Low-density, fractionated, micro-ablative lasers have been shown to rehabilitate scars and improve the aesthetic appearance of the impacted area by giving the skin more flexibility and reducing the signs of burning.

Any of the above laser treatments normally require multiple treatments to achieve the best results and should be conducted by a board-certified doctor that is an expert in performing laser treatment of scars.

MA

Discover the Benefits of Laser Treatments for Scars

Scars that are visible on the body can cause a person to be ashamed of their appearance and try and hide them from the view of others. In addition, these scars can cause pain and itching on the part of the patient. In order to reduce the size and appearance of a scar, patients often turn to laser treatments to address the look of the scar, Laser treatments for scars stimulate the growth of new and healthy skin while also making the scar less noticeable and not as uncomfortable for patients. Laser therapy for scars can be used on acne scars, surgical scars and scars that are the result of an injury.

Laser Treatment for Scars Explained

Laser treatment for scars penetrates the outer layers of the skin in order to stimulate the growth of new and healthy skin. The laser works to remove skin that is older and damaged so the new skin can take its place.

A scar is a natural response that the body creates when there is an injury. While they do not normally require any type of treatment, scars can be painful and also impact the self-image of a person. In addition, a scar might limit the range of motion of the skin around the scar so reducing the scar helps the area located around it.

Doctors have a number of lasers they can choose from to reduce the appearance of a scar. These laser choices have different light wavelengths. Some of the lasers are ablative which means they remove the top layer of the skin while others are non-ablative which means they go underneath the surface of the skin to make the desired changes.

Some of the most popular laser choices include:

  • IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
  • Ablative Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser
  • Non-ablative Fractional Laser

Before making the final decision about which type of laser to use to treats scars, the doctor will need to perform a thorough examination of the scar to determine the amount of changes and improvements that can be made to the scar.

Learn how laser treatments for scars lessen their appearance

Types of Scars that can be treated with Lasers

There are many types of common scars that can be treated using lasers including scars from an injury as well as acne scars and scars that limit the range of motion of the area around the scar. In addition, scars that are the result of a burn or scars that appeared as the result of a previous surgery can also be treated using lasers.

There are times when laser therapy is not enough to treat a scar and provide the desired final appearance. In these cases, doctors might use injectable filers to plump up the skin around the scar which can make the actual scar less noticeable.

Laser Treatments for Scars Procedure

Although different types of lasers can be used by doctors to treat scars on the skin of a patient, the laser treatment for scars procedure is often the same for patients:

  • The doctor will clean the area located around the scar
  • The doctor might use a numbing cream or local anesthetic to lessen any pain or discomfort
  • The doctor places gauze or wet towels around the area with the scar to absorb any laser pulses that might impact the otherwise healthy skin
  • The doctor moves the laser over the scar tissue with the occasional use of a cooling saline on the skin
  • Once the laser treatment is finished, the doctor applies ointment to the treated area and places a dressing on it to protect the treated area

The area that is treated by the laser might be red for several hours after the treatment. There could be some mild swelling and a stinging sensation that is similar to sunburn.

Laser Treatment for Scars Risks

Some of the most common risks of laser treatment for scars include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Skin Discoloration

Laser Treatment for Scars Cost

Patients will need to pay for their laser treatment for scars if the procedure is being performed for cosmetic reasons. If the treatment is being performed because of any health reasons, insurance might pay for some of the treatment.

In general, the cost for laser treatment for scars is in the range of $2000-$2500 for an ablative laser treatment and $1100-$1300 for non-ablative laser treatment.

Laser Treatment for Scars Consultation

Patients interested in undergoing laser treatment for scars should schedule a consultation appointment to have their scars examined by a doctor. The doctor will be able to tell the patient the best type of laser to use to achieve the desired results as well as set realistic expectations for the changes that can be achieved using the laser treatment. Once the laser treatment for scars is performed, the patient will enjoy a reduced appearance to the scars while also having new and healthy skin growing to provide the person with skin that is rejuvenated and refreshed in its appearance.

Every Type of Scar – Learn how to Treat Them

The reaction to having a scar on the skin varies per person. Some have an initial reaction of shock followed by feelings of anxiety of what the scar will look like after it completely forms. Others have feelings about the scar that are related to the event such as anger and shame.

No matter what the reaction is from a person when it comes to a scar, patients want to find a way to lessen or eliminate the appearance of the scar. Let’s take a look at different types of scars and the best methods to treat them.

Methods to treat different scars

Types of Scars and Their Treatment

  • Raised Scars – Raised scars, including keloid and hypertrophic scars, occur due to an overgrowth of tissue that is dense and fibrous after an injury to the skin heals. There are some differences between these two types of raised scars. In general, hypertrophic scars are the same size as the wound that caused them. The scar could be the result of injuries from a burn or piercing or cut. On the other hand, keloid scars extend beyond the limits of the injury and they are often found in patients with pigmented skin. They do not usually diminish or go away by themselves and often require some form of treatment to soften or flatten the impacted areas. Some of the most popular treatment options for raised scars include surgical removal, creams, medicinal corticosteroid injections, freezing, laser therapy, gels or dressings that put pressure on the scar.
  • Superficial Scars – A superficial scar is a red blotch that appears on the skin post-acne. Retinol is a good scar treatment solution for most skin types and it seems to work very well for those who suffer from this type of scarring. There are some patients that have been advised to avoid retinol because they are pregnant or they have skin that is sensitive on a regular basis. These patients can try a product with bakuchiol which is a natural alternative for exfoliating and it also increases the rate of cell turnover.
  • Ice-Pick Scars – As their name suggests, ice-pick scars are small, deep holes that are caused by acne. Their overall look makes it appear that the person with these scars has been punctured by an ice pick. Unfortunately, there is no “cure-all product” that patients can buy over the counter. Many doctors recommend against the use of lotions, creams or oils to treat ice-pick scars as they are often ineffective against these types of scars. Since many skin care products are not effective in the treatment of ice-pick scars, patients suffering from them are better off seeking out the expert help of a board-certified dermatologist.
  • Boxcar Scars – Boxcar scars are a broad depression that has sharply-defined edges that create the look of a “crater” in the skin. Some of the most popular treatments for this type of scar include dermal rolling and using a laser to stimulate collagen in order to smooth the acne depression by plumping the skin. It should be noted that most doctors recommend having any boxcar scar treatment performed as soon as possible since it can be more challenging to treat older scars.
  • Rolling Scars – This type of scar is quite similar to boxcar scars in that they have a deep “crater-like” appearance. The main difference is that rolling scars have more of a sloped edge. Rolling scars can generally be treated the same way as boxcar scars but, if the scars are extreme in nature, cosmetic treatments might need to be considered by the cosmetic doctor. One option is fillers that can be injected into the treated area in order to stimulate collagen to treat the scarring. In addition, there is a resurfacing technique that is performed by the Venus Viva system that uses NanoFractional radiofrequency to heat the tissue and encourage collagen production. If the scars are deeper in the skin, a laser treatment like the Erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) laser can be used to physically remove layers of skin. Once the layers of skin are removed, a wound forms around the removed layers which force the skin to regenerate at a more optimum level.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation of Scars

The condition known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a common side effect of acne and it can leave dark marks in patches or dots on the skin. The treatment options for this side effect can include products that are used topically to fade the dark patches such as hydroquinone that is prescribed by a board-certified doctor. Patients should also search for ingredients that suppress excess melanin pigment such as vitamin C, licorice extract, retinol, niacinamide and bakuchiol. In addition, the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen on a daily basis helps to prevent the condition from getting any worse.

Don’t Pick at the Scars during Scar Treatment

When it comes to treating scars, it is important not to pick or squeeze a scar because the pressure can increase the inflammation and infection deep into the skin. This warning is also the same when it comes to picking at scabs because this can increase the chances of scarring. It takes time and patience to achieve the best results and patients need to relax and give the scar treatments listed above time to properly treat the scars.

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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