Acne Scarring Treatment
A number of treatment options are available for acne scarring. The best person to assess your needs and recommend appropriate treatment is a specialist dermatologist. In the first instance, it is important to control any active acne and a skin specialist is the right person to offer this treatment. The type of treatment selected should be the one that is best for you in terms of your type of skin, the type of scarring and what you want the treatment to accomplish.
Some things to consider when considering treatment are:
- The way you feel about scars. Do acne scars psychologically or emotionally affect your life? Are you willing to 'live with your scars' and wait for them to fade over time? These are personal decisions only you
- The severity of your scars. Is scarring substantially disfiguring, even by objective assessment?
- A dermatologist's expert opinion as to whether scar treatment is justified in your particular case, and what scar treatment will be most effective for you.
Before committing to treatment of acne scars, you should have a frank discussion with your dermatologist regarding those questions, and any others you feel are important. You need to tell the dermatologist how you feel about your scars. The dermatologist needs to conduct a full examination and determine whether treatment can, or should, be undertaken.
The objective of acne scar treatment is to give the skin a more acceptable physical appearance. Unfortunately, no laser treatment will restore acne scarred skin to the way it was before acne, but appropriately prescribed treatments usually improve the appearance of your skin.
Skin specialist Assoc.Prof. Philip Bekhor at Laser Dermatology believes the following three types of treatment, alone or in combination, may achieve the best improvement in acne scarring.
Fractionated laser systems
This exciting new laser technology is thought to stimulate collagen regeneration. Fraxel re:store® Dual laser treatments at four weekly intervals have shown significant improvement in both depressed and 'icepick' acne scars. These are both non-ablative laser treatments that produce mild redness after treatment but do not require prolonged recuperation.
More severe scarring may respond to ablative fractionated laser treatment with the Fraxel re:pair® laser.
Vivace is an innovative machine which combines Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) by micro-needling and Wound Healing Mechanism (WHM) by Radiofrequency (RF) energy.
When it is applied to the skin, under topical anaesthesia, sterile Micro-needles are used to create many microscopic channels deep into the deep skin layer (the dermis) which stimulate the body to produce new collagen. At the same time RF produces heat energy to promote the remodelling of collagen and wound contraction.
Vivace improves facial wrinkling and and acne scarring. It is also proving to be useful in the treatment of crepy skin changes that occur with ageing - especially on the neck and arms.
Vicace is safe on all skin colours which is gives it an advantage over laser treatments for acne scarring.
Dermapen is a simple micro-needling device which has proven particularly useful in the treatment of individual, deep acne scars and chickenpox scars. Working in much the same way as the fractionated laser, there is minimal downtime after treatment. Usually a course of 3-4 treatments is required.
Deeper acne scars may be 'anchored' by fibrous scar tissue. Using a fine sharp cutting needle, Assoc.Prof. Bekhor may be able to cut these fibres and release the depressed acne scar so the contrast is minimised.
Dermal filler injections
Some types of acne scarring respond favourably to injection with natural tissue gels* (the same products used in wrinkle treatments). Although this acne scarring treatment needs to be repeated every nine to twelve months, it is often the treatment recommended by Assoc.Prof. Bekhor.
* The Therapeutic Goods Administration advertising code restricts the publication of the names of Schedule 4 products or ingredients.