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Treatment of acne scarring is an extremely individualized process. Before we go any further, let us first say that we truly do understand the toll that living with acne scarring can take on a person’s life. Scars can cause severe emotional and psychological stress. We believe deeply in helping those affected by acne and acne scarring get better. No two cases of acne are the same, and neither are any two cases of acne scarring. To better understand why certain treatments are offered to some people and not to others, it helps to have an idea of what the different types of acne scars look like and what some of the recommended treatments for them are.
Atrophic Acne Scars
You’ve seen this type of acne scar many times. Atrophic scars are the most common type of acne scarring. The term “atrophic” means wasted away or decreased in size or mass. And that is descriptive of what happens to the skin in this type of scarring. The inflammation of the acne damages the skin’s fibers which gives it flexibility and resiliency. The resulting scar tissue is hard, dense, and appears tethered down to deeper skin structures. The effect is a rolling, uneven and irregular texture to the skin. These damaged, scarred areas of skin may also appear reddened. The main complaint of someone with atrophic acne scars is that their skin just isn’t smooth anymore.
Non-ablative lasers that feature non-invasive methods with little to no downtime can mildly improve this type of acne scarring, depending on how severe it is. They can also help with the redness as well if that’s a factor. However, fractional laser resurfacing with ablative lasers means a more invasive procedure and more downtime afterward but can also give you more dramatic improvement in the overall texture of your skin.
How does Celibre Medical treat textured acne scars?
We use the word “textured” to refer to any type of scar that changes the smoothness of the skin. There are many types of acne scars that fall into this category: pitted, atrophic, raised, boxcar (scooped out, rectangular shaped), cliff-edged, keloids, shallow and rolling scars can all adversely affect the texture and smoothness of the skin. For pictures of examples of each of these types of acne scars, please click here.
Celibre Medical offers several unique laser treatment programs to help improve the appearance of textured acne scars. For example, if you have mild to moderately textured acne scarring we may use a combination of non-ablative lasers for resurfacing. These treatments don’t have downtime, they are safe for all skin types, and they are quick—usually 30 minutes or less. They can help stimulate new collagen, which helps to “fill in” the areas of unevenness and create even smoother appearing skin. This process of stimulating collagen is also called collagen remodeling. These lasers create thermal (heat) injury to the deeper layers of skin where collagen lives and forces the body to heal the injury. The result is new collagen, which helps improve the outward appearance of the acne scarring. We can also use this laser to stimulate collagen remodeling in someone looking to improve wrinkling or saggy-looking skin. By forcing your body to make more collagen, we can help skin look smoother, firmer, and more even.
Let’s say that you have deeper, more extensive scars, or maybe that you are looking for the most dramatic improvement with the most aggressive treatment? Then fractional laser skin resurfacing may be the best treatment for you. The downside is that there is time away from school, work, and activities, but the upside is that this laser can offer benefits that non-ablative cannot. It’s a treatment that still triggers collagen remodeling, but it actually removes the top layer of skin, the epidermis. Part of the deeper layer, the dermis, is removed as well, which forces your body to replace and heal it. The same is true with the epidermis. So this treatment can address scarring at two, separate levels of the skin, which is why it is able to give a more impressive result.
Erbium laser resurfacing for textured acne scars by Celibre Medical in Los Angeles
Pigmented Acne Scars
While many people who’ve had acne develop textural scarring, many also end up with color changes in their skin too. This can be a really difficult problem to hide. Even the thickest make-up can sometimes just accentuate the colored scarring that you’re trying so desperately to hide.
Hyperpigmented acne scars are ones where the skin color is darker than the normal, surrounding skin tone. Acne scars can also be red too. Both of these changes in skin color are the result of long-standing inflammation in the skin that triggers changes to the pigment cells and blood vessels, respectively. And while you’d expect the changes to fade as the acne did, they oftentimes don’t go away very quickly at all. Lasers are a way that we can speed up this process.
Pulsed dye lasers can be used to help fade red-colored acne scars. Our q-switched lasers are great choices for getting rid of darker, hyperpigmented acne scars. Q-switched lasers can be used on any skin type, which is important because it is usually people with darker skin types that tend to develop hyperpigmented acne scars. Best of all, there is no downtime associated with either of these laser procedures. Lastly, we also offer ablative laser resurfacing procedures for different types of pigmented acne scars (but remember, these involve downtime) and we have some topical treatment regimens available for use alone or in combination with or without other laser treatments.
We want you to know that with Celibre Medical, you have options…a lot of different options available to you to treat your acne scarring. At our office, you are treated as an individual. We are passionate about helping our patients with acne scarring and will work with you to find the most effective, convenient, and safest treatments for you, your life, and your budget.
Advancements in laser technology over the last 10 years have opened up a new world of treatment possibilities to those who are suffering from both textured and pigmented acne scars. We have spent countless hours developing treatments plans, acquiring the newest, most proven equipment, and honing our techniques to provide you with the safest and most effective treatments available today for any type of acne scarring. We are proud to say that we’ve helped thousands of patients in the Los Angeles and Torrance area feel better about the way their skin looks and feels and we look forward to helping you too!
Pigmented acne scar treatment by Celibre Medical