Young or old, no one likes unsightly acne scars. Scarring is caused by picking of acne, sun damage, and steroid injections, although some skin tends to scar regardless. Often it is the indentation in the scars that forms a shadow in light and makes them so visible. The psychological impact of acne, from inflammatory eruptions to post-inflammatory acne scars, can be devastating, especially on a young adult. Indented scars are the most commonly observed type of acne scars and are notoriously difficult to treat. Multiple treatments are used to remove, raise, or lighten acne scars. Techniques to improve acne scarring include: chemical peels, Dermapen® micro-needling treatments, surgery, and injection of fillers such as Juvederm® or Restylane®.
Acne scars are stubborn, and no single treatment is best for everyone. However, various procedures can improve your complexion.
Medium and deep chemical peels, like the SkinMedica Vitalize® and Rejuvenize™ Peels, are effective for deep indented scars. At out Connecticut practice, we treat patients with acne scars with the deeper chemical peels that remove the outer layer of damaged skin, allowing a controlled wound healing process to increase collagen and elastin content in the skin. This subsequently improves the color and texture of the skin.
Dermapen® is a new fractional skin micro-needling device. The device uses multiple vertical needles to cause micro-injuries to the skin, stimulating the release of healing growth factors and fibroblast proliferation. This encourages and harnesses the power of the body’s innate ability to re-grow and repair the skin by building collagen. Because the process never involves heat or thermal energy or other chemicals, the skin can quickly heal with almost zero downtime. We treat patients with a series of 3-5 microneedling treatments for acne scars at our Connecticut plastic surgery office.
For very deep “ice-pick” acne scars, the best method is to surgically remove the scars. Dr. Jandali makes a small ellipse around the indented scar to remove it. The area is then sutured together to give a small straight line scar instead of the previous indented round acne scar. The scar fades with time and has a better cosmetic appearance than the previous acne scar since it is no longer indented and dark with shadow. A dark, indented scar that catches a shadow is much more difficult to hide with cover-up makeup than a smooth straight line scar.
Filler injections such as Juvederm® and Restylane® are used to fill in and raise depressed acne scars. Juvederm® and Restylane® are both made of hyaluronic acid, which is a purified natural substance in the human body. It comes in gel form and absorbs water after being injected, allowing it to fill grooves and indentations. When injected underneath acne scars, Dr. Jandali first performs subcision, which is needle release of the tethered scarred fibers underneath the indented acne scar. This allows the filler to be injected into the empty space underneath the acne scar instead of being squeezed to the sides of the scar if the tight fibers are not released. Long-term improvements can be seen after one or two treatments.
Acne scars can be greatly reduced with these treatments, leaving the skin smoother and brighter. Acne patients must have realistic expectations - acne scars are not made overnight, so they can’t be repaired overnight. Treating acne scars will take a series of treatments over a period of time, depending on the depth and amount of damage. It is essential to be patient and committed to your treatment protocol as well as using prescribed skin care to help obtain your desired skin rejuvenation results.
If you are interested in acne scar treatment with a chemical peel, Dermapen® microneedling, Juvederm or Restylane injections, or surgical removal, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shareef Jandali today. Call 203-374-0310 to set up an appointment.