Acne Scars – What are my Treatment Options?

Acne scarring can cause serious concerns for patients, impacting social functioning and emotional well-being. Acne scars are usually due to the results of inflammation caused by acne blemishes, and has been estimated to affect over 50% of patients with acne. Some acne bumps are small and can create shallow scars, and some acne bumps are bigger, affecting surrounding tissue and can create deeper scars. The best thing you can do if you have acne or acne scarring is to act early! Preventative measures are targeted at reducing the development of acne, which in turn reduces the development of acne scarring. Delays in the treatment of acne can increase the prevalence and severity of acne scarring.

Acne scars can be tough to treat, and there is no “one size fits all” treatment. In fact, there are many different types of medications and procedures that can help with acne scarring. Your individual skin type, the type of acne, the severity of the scarring, and your prior treatment attempts will all be considered in determining which treatment is best for you. A combination of treatments might also be recommended for a more aggressive approach.

One very successful cosmetic treatment for acne scars is microneedling. Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that can help reduce scarring caused by acne and help improve overall skin tone and skin texture. The procedure uses a sterile needle cartridge to intentionally create thousands of tiny “micro-injuries” to the outer layers of the skin. This stimulates the body’s natural healing process to produce new collagen and elastin to remodel the skin. As cited in Microneedling: A Review and Practical Guide a “series of 3-5 treatments at 2 to 4-week intervals typically produce improvements ranging from 50% to 70%” in acne scarring. Realistically, we believe patient should look forward to a 25-50% improvement with regard to skin texture and tone. Again, Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure, and these benefits come with minimal down time; however, for individuals with deeper wrinkling and more severe scarring other interventions, such as fillers, laser or surgical intervention may be necessary.

Keep in mind that while microneedling is a great treatment option, it will not completely or permanently improve your skin texture, tone, elasticity, hyperpigmentation, or scars. In short - it doesn't work miracles! We typically recommend a series of treatments at 2-4 weeks apart in order to achieve optimal results. Consult with your Dermatologist for a recommendation on the best treatment for your skin goals.

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