First, what causes acne scars?
Acne scars are usually the by-product of an inflamed lesion, such as a papule,pustule, or cyst. Inflamed “zits” happen when the hair follicle, or pore, becomes over-full with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
Then what? The pore swells, causing a break in the follicle wall. If the rupture occurs near the skin’s surface, the “zit” heals quickly. More serious lesions arise with a deep break in the follicle wall. The infected material spills out into the lower skin layer called the dermis and destroys healthy skin tissue.
To repair the damage done to the dermis, the skin’s inflammatory defense come to the aid of the site of damage to form new collagen fibers. Collagen is the fibrous protein that gives the skin its strength and flexibility. Unfortunately, the collagen “repair job” never looks as smooth and flawless as before the injury. That’s the acne “pock.”
Then what causes the spots?
The dark spots that remain on skin are caused by inflammation during the skin’s healing process.
When your skin is opened up (example-a pimple pop),and then closes back together, you can get abnormal tone, pigmentation and even texture.
This is a very good time to be asking what are cytokines because at this stage, topical anti-inflammatory cytokines can do a LOT of good.
Sometimes broken blood vessels that remain after an acne lesion fades can cause a red or purple “splotch” rather then a than a brown one. These are commonly seen in people who are more fair/light skinned.
Some acne marks are totally within your control while others are genetically pre-determined. People with deeper skin tones are more prone to develop darker marks or hyperpigmentation.
People with lighter skin tones may get more of the redness and purplish post acne markings. There are lifestyle habits that can make dark marks and scars worse.
Sun exposure can get those pigment producing melanocytes going,causing marks and scars to darken.
Picking or squeezing pimples creates more inflammation which will lead to more pigment issues and scarring. A special population of athletes, doing serious bodybuilding, using acne causing hormones and non-acne causing supplements like bcaa bodybuilding powders and acetyl l carnitine will need the topical treatments for skin at the end.
Special note to bodybuilders with active body acne and high DHT who don’t want to take a DHT oral blocker: High DHT can be lowered by certain bioidentical hormones like progesterone. It can also be countered with shampoos like ketoconozole which is a cutaneous DHT blocker.
Here are some of the most common and effective treatments for acne scars:
Laser treatments are either ablative or non-ablative. Ablative lasers resurface the skin by removing outer layers. Non-ablative lasers create changes in the dermis without causing damage to the skin’s surface. Unlike ablative lasers, there is minimal to no downtime.
This is the least “aggressive” ablative laser and requires at about a week of downtime. You’ll usually need 3-6 sessions to get great results.
Fraxel is the brand name of one of the first fractional lasers. The cost varies by where you live, the office, and the size of the area being treated.
A full face laser resurfacing ranges from $900 to about $1400. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Don’t worry,topical anesthetics are used.
The most common ablative lasers used to treat acne scars are the carbon dioxide and erbium:YAG lasers. These lasers burn skin tissue in a controlled manner to a specific depth.
The usual result is that “new” skin is smoother, atrophic scars are reduced in depth, and the overall look of scarring is softened.
YAG lasers are pretty much out of date. CO2 is needed for severe scarring if you can “take it.”
You should expect CO2 laser skin resurfacing to cost between $2,000 and $3,000. And you’ll be oozing for 2 weeks and red for 3 months. But the results are spectacular. It’s serious skin care but with serious downtime! CO2 lasers are the best way with a laser how to tighten skin but almost rivaled by Ultherapy which is NO down time so just choose based on sun damage and resurfacing needs.
Non-ablatives lasers for acne scars:
Non-ablative lasers tighten the skin and stimulate new collagen formation.
These lasers are most beneficial for mild acne scarring , rather than deep, pitted scars.
However, pulsed dye lasers are a form of non-ablative laser that are used to improve raised acne scars.
These can treat the pigmentation “splotches” we talked about above. They do not treat the indentations but they can even up the color. Now back to the actual acne scars carnage repair.
Punch Excision, Punch Elevation, and Punch Grafting:
Punch techniques are used to treat “ice pick” scars. A small punch tool is used to cut the scar from the skin. After the scar is excised, the skin is sutured closed.
A small scar resulting from the treatment may be left, but it is much less obvious than the original one. The new scar can be faded using resurfacing techniques such as microdermabrasion or laser treatments.
After a scar is excised, a skin graft can be used to fill the void. We’re talking serious scarring here. I’m thinking of a movie star but don’t want to mention his name. OK first name is Tommy. Why does he NOT get his skin taken care of? There are others and I ask WHY???
Punch grafts leave their own scars. But they are less noticeable than pitted scars and can be resurfaced VERY easily.
Subcutaneous incision is used to treat rolling acne scars, as well as some depressed acne scars.
“Subcision” is simple surgical procedure procedure performed under local anesthesia.
A small scalpel is inserted to run parallel to the skin’s surface. The instrument cuts the bands of tissue that tether the skin to deeper dermal structures with “messed up collagen” formations.
The skin visibly lifts once these bands have been released, smoothing the skin surface’s appearance. Yes, I’d recommend having some Fraxel treatments after this.
DO NOT GET THIS-IT’S OUTDATED. Once considered the gold standard in acne scars treatment, dermabrasion is now thought of as antiquated.It causes pigmentation changes in medium and darker skin tones.
The “down time” is more than a Fraxel treatment and it’s just plain barbaric IMHO.
Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure performed at day spas as well as in Esthetic Dermatologists’ offices.
A machine is used to discharge ultra-fine aluminum oxide crystals through a tube and onto the skin.
The crystals are simultaneously vacuumed away.
A series of treatments is needed and this is certainly not where you start if you have acne scars or “pits.” Because only the surface skin cells are removed, microdermabrasion works best on hyperpigmentation.
This is the newest , coolest “whatever the reason” skin resurfacing, collagen stimulating, scar and stretch-mark therapy. It might even work for cellulite .
Microneedling therapy is a minimally invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure. The device that used contains rapidly-pulsating fine needles.
The needles are used to puncture the skin to create a controlled skin injury.
Each puncture creates a channel which then triggers the body to fill these teensy wounds by making new collagen and elastin.
You will see improvement in skin texture and firmness, as well as reduction in scars, stretch marks and pore size. The healing process with this has been demonstrated to be assisted up to 50% with Lifeline Proplus.Microneedling procedures are performed in an office setting. It is cost-effective, and as a bonus, can be done on areas of skin that may not be suitable for laser resurfacing, such as around the eyes and mouth.
The procedure is well tolerated by patients with minimal downtime, and is personalized by going deeper on some areas where acne scars require a more aggressive approach.
Topical anesthetic cream is used to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. Multiple treatments will be necessary.
The number of needling sessions depends on the individual skin condition.
Three or four treatments are generally what’s needed for mild to moderate acne scarring. Deeper scars and stretch marks may require upward of five treatments.
An interval of 4 to 6 weeks between treatments is typical to allow for maximal collagen and elastin regeneration.
A MicroNeedling treatment on the face costs around $300.
Once you have done the initial things, dermal fillers with hyaluronic acid, calcium or (outdated-don’t use) collagen can fill in “gaps” here and there.
The newest one out is called Volumina and lasts far and away the longest.
Depending on how much you need, you are looking at $500-$2000 but again, expect this to smooth things out in the hand of some one good and expect 2 years out of it.
Next, you’ll want to concentrate on lightening any dark areas left from the acne scars:
NOW in this section I’m going to be mentioning not just ingredients but the products I carry which are Moorspa=organic=no animal testing=SkinDEEP approved=pure,pure and effective. If you think you’re going to get a sales pitch, you’re not-but I will supply you with courtesty links so, if nothing else, you can learn more about product ingredients and what they do. Many of what I have listed are products on the Kim Crawford skin care routine. So I’m just SHARING here. OK? :-)
Hydroquinone, a popular skin lightener, has recently fallen out of favor and is now being omitted from many fading creams. Why? Irritation and due to the fact that it’s a real, known carcinogen.
But there are other ingredients in skin creams sold without a prescription that can help lighten your dark spots.
Kojic acid (a natural skin lightener derived from mushroom extract) is one.
Asaf(o)etida (Ferula Assa-Foetida Extract),Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract and Sweet flag-Calamus and Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract—–Licorice Extract are all skin whiteners and all happen to be combined in our Moorspa radiance serum.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is another great ingredient to look for in masks and serums.
WE happen to have the most skin magic serum with the highest absorbable hyaluronic acid PLUS Vitamin C.
It’s one of my personal favorites. And here are other products to fade those pigment marks! A real boost in skin appeal when that happens of course.
When it comes to discolored acne scars, this ingredient just rocks. It’s a powerful exfoliant which evens out the top and bottom area of a scar.
It is also capable of removing some of the gray appearance often reported with scarring.
Acne scars reportedly become flatter and less visible with the use of a glycolic acid product for 6 months to a year.
It really does indeed make your skin look flawless-I personally use it and it makes you look almost poreless. WE have a glycolic toner also if you prefer that texture.
Salicylic wash or lotion:
Topical salicylic acid will help reduce the appearance of your acne scars.
It exfoliates your skin and removes dead skin cells from the outer epidermal layers so your pores don’t plug up.
The removal of these skin cells reduce the appearance of the surface scars and stimulate collagen production in the dermal layers.
If you are using glycolic lotion which I strongly recommend then you need only the salicylic acid cleanser or else you’ll “fry” your skin if you ALSO add a SA lotion!
Vitamin C Mask:
This concentrated dose of Vitamin C is crucial when it comes to scar healing and depigmentation.
The the free radicals that Vitamin C helps to combat are the same ones that can cause severe and permanent cellular damage to your skin.
It has been shown to really help fade acne scars, but can be used for all scars on all parts of the body.
The ability of Vitamin C to protect the skin’s immune system is vital to help to avoid additional irritation, inflammation, and potential infection of a healing wound, all of which can cause worse scarring.
This mask happens to be the mask I recommend most. It, plus other amazing hand-picked products, are in the 20% OFF anti aging skin care kit!
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