Acne during adolescence and young adulthood is a source of embarrassment and self-consciousness. Sadly for some, acne leaves behind unsightly scars to serve as a painful reminder of this difficult time in your life.
Approximately 95% of acne patients develop some degree of scarring, and genetics has a significant impact on their severity. Asian and Hispanic acne sufferers tend to have more severe acne and more severe acne scarring.
Fortunately for most, acne scars are relatively mild and don’t necessitate treatment. But in situations where the scars are more pronounced on the face, medical treatment is required to help smooth the skin to a more normal level.
Acne scar treatment choices are based on many factors and not one treatment type is suitable for everyone. You can learn about which acne scar treatment options would be most appropriate for your skin by speaking with Dr. Fitzgerald, one of our other dermatologists, or a team leader in person. Please call 323-464-8046 today to schedule a consultation at our Los Angeles cosmetic dermatology office.
Types of Acne Scars
Indented acne scarring is a direct result of tissue loss that occurs with infected acne or from repeated "picking" at these lesions. There are essentially three different types of acne scars:
- Rolling acne scars – These scars are shallow with smooth, rounded edges. They spread out over a large area of your face, such as the cheeks, and are the easiest to treat.
- Boxcar acne scars – These scars are deeper and have more defined borders. They typically reside in areas such as the temples.
- Ice pick acne scars – These scars are narrower and deeper, and they are typically scattered across your face. Although the most difficult to treat, combination treatment can reduce their appearance significantly.
Because acneic skin tends to be sensitive, it's usually more prone to generalized redness. Dr. Fitzgerald can use intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy to seal up the tiny broken vessels which create this redness.
Acne Scar Treatment Options
The only way to change the appearance of indented acne scars on a permanent basis is to promote collagen growth and/or by "planing" the skin surface. While acne scar lasers utilizing fractional energy provide the most effective results with the least amount of downtime, you have many options when seeking to treat acne scars.
Depending on your unique individual needs, Dr. Fitzgerald may recommend one or more of the following acne scar treatments:
- Fraxel is a gold-standard laser for smoothing acne scars - Customized Fraxel acne scar treatments take into consideration both the depth of your scarring and your personal tolerance for downtime. Effective levels of smoothing typically require multiple sessions as each treatment process builds additional scar-lifting collagen.
- Fractora fractional RF skin resurfacing – A multi-session Fractora fractional skin resurfacing program will provide cumulative improvements in collagen production beneath and surrounding the scars. The collagen “remodeling” will help smooth the skin surface and “lift” the scar. Fractora radio frequency treatments experience an outstanding safety record while significantly reducing the risk of hyperpigmentation for ethnic skin, a common side effect of laser treatments.
- SilkPeel – SilkPeel is a sophisticated diamond tipped microdermabrasion system that exfoliates the skin while simultaneously delivering a topical dermaceutical.
- Vbeam – Many acne sufferers tend to have long term residual redness, and this redness calls even more attention to skin imperfections. One way to provide a quicker resolution for this problem is to treat the specific red areas with a Vbeam laser.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) – Photodynamic therapy is a special treatment for resistant acne that is performed with a topical photosensitizing agent called Levulan. PDT tends to reduce activity of the sebaceous glands. Although PDT is not a first line scar treatment, it does help prevent scarring from occurring in the first place.
- Chemical peels – Chemical peels remove damaged outer layers of skin to smooth texture, reduce scarring, and remove blemishes. Different peel formulas achieve different results and are chosen by need and skin type.
- Microneedling – Microneedling creates microscopic pinpoint wounds in your skin that facilitate the production of new elastin and collagen. For those averse to laser, Microneedling is a welcome option.
- Subcision – During a subcision procedure, the scar is loosened from the underlying tissue. This allows the scar floor to rise closer to the level of surrounding normal skin.
Please contact Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald using the form on the page or call 323-464-8046 today to schedule your acne scar treatment consultation. We serve patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Larchmont, California.