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If you’ve had acne, you know if can cause serious physical and psychological changes. If the painful bumps and constant breakouts weren’t bad enough on their own, patients just like you also deal with some type of scarring from their acne.
Generally, acne scars come in two varieties: textured (raised, pitted or bumpy) and discolored (red or brown). The discolored type may also be called “hyperpigmented” because it usually causes scars that are darker than the surrounding skin. Textured scars tend to be the more permanent kind. Hyperpigmented or red scars will generally get better with time, but for lots of patients, they want the discoloration to fade more quickly. This is where medical grade lasers and topical therapies can help.
Different skin types (colors) tend to get different types of discolored scars from acne. If you have darker skin (Hispanic, African-American), then you probably tend to get the hyperpigmented or darker type of scarring from your acne. If your skin is lighter (Caucasian), then you may have more reddish discoloration after your acne clears. Either way, there are treatments available that can help.
For red acne scarring, the pulsed dye laser can be used to gently lessen that appearance of redness that comes after the inflammation of acne. For excess pigmentation, q-switched lasers and hydroquinone bleaching products are effective in breaking up excess melanin (pigment) that your skin makes in response to a breakout. Laser treatments can be done in a short amount of time in the office and there is no downtime afterward. The pulsed dye laser can only be used on lighter skin types, but the q-switch laser is safe for all skin types.
We also use skin care products to help fade hyperpigmented acne scars. Our gel solution can be used along with the laser or on its own, and it works to slow down the skin’s production of melanin (pigment) and remove brown spots that are already there. Hydroquinone is often called “bleaching creams”, but the product doesn’t fade your natural skin color. They work only where it’s making too much pigmentation.
Textured (indented) acne scarring to help your skin look smoother and more even is treated using laser resurfacing. At Celibre Medical, we offer comprehensive treatment of acne scarring and can design a treatment plan that fits your skin, lifestyle and budget. It often takes more than one type of treatment to get the very best results, but hang in there! The results can be pretty amazing!