Acne usually subsides with either leaving behind pigmentary disorders or worst; hypertrophic (elevated, dark colored) or atrophic (depressed & ice-pick or pitted) scars.
Scar is an exaggerated response by the skin to an inflammation. It can be elevated (hypertyrophic, keloidal, etc) or depressed (hypotrophic, ice pick, etc) scar. Depressed scars are very common after acne and chicken pox. The milder form of acne, called non-inflammatory acne or comedogenic acne normally recovers without any complications. Some may cause post acne pigmentation (discoloration), especially in Asian skin type. Unfortunately, some people suffer from the more severe form, called inflammatory acne or cystic acne, and have a constant break out covering the face, and sometimes the neck, back, chest, and shoulders. These pus-filled pimples and cysts can cause deep pitting and scarring.
During an inflammatory reaction, the underlying collagen structure within the dermis is disrupted. The lack of collagen and fibrin tissue causes the skin to “sink”. Some scars are small in diameter but deep, while some scars are wide and shallow. The technique involved in treating a scar is to induce a controlled inflammation which in turn promotes new cell formation along with increased blood flow.
Some of the methods used to treat scars are:
LASER – There are many types of LASER that can help to reduce scars, such as ND YAG LASER, Erbium YAG LASER and CO2 LASER. The selection of the LASER will depend on your skin type. Some of this LASER will have a few days downtime. ND YAG helps in reducing fine scars and improving the overall texture and complexion of the skin. Erbium YAG LASER has a more dramatic effect compared to ND YAG. CO2 LASER is still the most superior LASER for deep scars. However, the risk of post LASER pigmentation, especially with Erbium YAG and CO2 LASER is high for Asian skin type.
Non Ablative LASER Abrasion (NALA) – This is a new method that uses medical grade LASER to stimulate collagen growth, reduce pigmentation and improve skin texture. It works on a principle of thermal and mechanical stimulation of collagen. NALA has most of the LASER benefits without the risk of post treatment pigmentation. It requires a few treatments, once in 3 – 5 weeks. There is zero downtime and you can resume normal activity immediately.
DERMALITE – The DERMALITE is a 3rd generation medical grade IPL. It works on a principle of “Selective Photothermolysis”. A specific wavelength of light energy is delivered on to the skin at about 30 joules – 45 joules. For scar treatments IPL results seem to vary from individual to individual. IPL helps in reducing fine lines and improving the overall texture and complexion of the skin. It can also smoothen the skin and reduce the open pores.
Dermabrasion – It involves deep abrasion of the skin using a rotating wire brush or a diamond tipped rotator. It is popular to treat deep scars. Sometimes it is used after skin grafting to even out the skin tone and texture. Due to the high risk of contamination from the bleeding that occurs during the treatment, sterile practices and patient selection is quite important. Not everyone will be suitable for Dermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion (MDA) – It uses a fine jet of crystals abrading the skin and a vacuum, simultaneously removes the traces of powder and dead cells from the skin. Popularly known as the ‘lunch time peel’ it’s fast, safe and effective. Though the effect of MDA is less than Dermabrasion, but since MDA has almost zero downtime, patients are more compliant to it.
Dermal Fillers – This is done using dermal fillers technique such as Perlane, Restylane, etc. The substances are injected directly into the scar area. It can be done for certain type of scars only. Results are almost immediate but it lasts for about 6 – 8 months, after which the procedure needs to be repeated.
Recollagenation – This involves the introduction / implant of a substance into the scar area which allows new collagen to form around the introduced substance. This procedure has seen positive results in most parts of the world. The results are noticeable after about 4 months, but they are almost permanent.
Skin grafting – This technique involves taking tissue (skin) from healthy areas and implanting it into the scar areas. This procedure is normally followed by Dermabrasion or LASER to even out the skin tone after the procedure. This is a hospital procedure which is done by plastic surgeons or dermatology surgeons.
Glycolic peels – This traditional method still plays a vital role in cosmetic medicine in treating scars, open pores, dull skin texture and complexion. For some skin types and skin conditions, glycolic peel can still be more superior to LASER.
Q: Does everyone get scars?
A: No. Certain people have a tendency to get pigmentation, while some have a tendency to scar, either hypotrophic, hypertrophic or keloidal. Most likely it is genetically determined.
Q: What are other factors that can cause scars?
A: Pinching and forceful extraction.
Q: Will I be able to completely get rid of my scars?
A: No. Once scars have formed, they are almost permanent. Most of the treatment / techniques can only help to reduce the appearance of the scars. Depending on the technique, skin type, age and the type of scars, there can be an improvement close to about 50% – 60% (rate of improvement can vary from individual to individual). Improvement can be better with filling techniques, but it is not permanent.
Q: Does the treated scars “come back” after the treatment is over?
A: It depends on the technique. Scars are not like wrinkles, though the idea behind both conditions is eventually to stimulate new collagen growth. Once the existing scars have been resurfaced and reduced, it remains that way. However, if it’s due to a filling technique then the scars will reappear once the fillers wear out.
What our customers say:
“I just finished my first jar and I noticed an improvement in the texture of my skin in the first 3 weeks. I had 2 extremely noticeable ice-pick scars on my right cheek from acne and they are much lighter and smoother now. Hopefully they will continue to fade with the use of this product.”
Steph Gottsch. SC, USA.