Not all acne leaves scars. But when scarring does occur, it can be disfiguring and lead to a lack of confidence in some individuals. These scars can appear on the face, chest and back.
Methods to Minimize the Look of Scars
Acne scars may be deep, and therefore difficult to diminish. Procedures that are most often used to reduce their appearance include:
- Chemical peels, especially with TCA (trichloroacetic acid), which is the strongest type of peel. The chemicals exfoliate surface skin. Once the skin has healed, it appears smoother.
- Dermabrasion, a process that uses a fine wire brush or a laser to exfoliate surface skin. Microdermabrasion is not as effective for acne scars as chemical peels. However, some clinicians use it along with chemical peels to improve results.
- Laser treatments, which stimulate the production of new collagen and can help reduce redness, once the skin has fully healed. Some laser treatments use an ablative (abrasive) process, whereas others are non-ablative. It usually takes multiple sessions to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
- Various punching techniques, which surgically removes the scar. Excision punching can be used on shallower scars. Once the scar is removed, the wound is sealed. Punch grafting removes very deep scars and replaces them with skin from another part of the body (often the back of the ear). These procedures require local anesthesia and leave new scars, although the new scars are much less noticeable and can be reduced or removed later using laser therapy.
Microneedling May be a better option
This is an option available for helping reduce the appearance of acne scars. When delivered with a SkinPen® device, microneedling offers several advantages. It is minimally-invasive and virtually pain-free. Aside from some pinkness and minimal swelling immediately following the procedure, there are no lingering effects, so there is no downtime. Sessions take just 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the procedure area.
From the clinician’s standpoint, microneedling can be highly targeted. It is also safe and effective for all skin types and colors, which is not the case for many other options. Needle depth can be tailored to each patient’s needs.
Because of it's precision and convenience, SkinPen® microneedling is rapidly becoming the procedure of choice when it comes to reducing the appearance of scars.