Scars from acne can often seem like a double punishment. First, there were the pimples, and now you’ve got the scars as a reminder. Wonderful, isn’t it?
Varieties of Acne Scars
It’s important to remember that not all acne is the same, so the resulting scars will be vastly different. Some common forms of acne include:
- Mild acne, which refers to the whiteheads or blackheads that most of us get at various times.
- Moderate acne, which includes red inflamed pimples called papules and red pimples with white centers called pustules.
- Severe acne, which causes nodules, painful, pus-filled cysts or lumps, to appear under the skin.
Most serious acne scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne. What causes acne? Acne occurs when greasy secretions from the skin’s oil glands clog pores. These clogged pores can develop into swollen, tender inflammations or pimples or deeper lumps or nodules. Nodules, a sign of severe acne, are firm swellings below the skin’s surface that become inflamed, tender, and sometimes infected. Acne lesions are most common on the face, but they can also occur on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms.
It’s Your Genes, Silly
Contrary to popular belief, acne isn’t caused by a harmful diet or poor hygiene. Genetics and hormones are behind most forms of acne. What this means is that an estimated 10 million Americans develop acne scars each year. What’s the best solution? Intervention. Because 95% of acne patients will develop scarring to some degree, the earlier the treatment appropriate for the severity of the outbreak is initiated, the better the odds are that scar formation will be mild. Delaying acne therapy by three or more years is likely to increase your risk of more significant acne scarring.
Do You Have Icepick Scars?
If you describe your acne scars as “deep-pitted,” chances are you probably have icepick scars. As the name implies, icepick scars are deep and narrow. In many cases, they resemble a large, empty pore in the skin. In general, all depression scars rest on top of a patch of fibrous, collagen-rich scar tissue, which anchors the base of the scar to the subcutaneous tissue, maintaining the depression and preventing the regrowth of healthy tissue. Other types of deep-pitted acne scars may include:
- Rolling scars. These scars are common individuals who have had patches of skin that have been afflicted by long-term inflammatory acne. They tend to become more pronounced as the skin ages and loses its original elasticity and fullness. Because rolling scars have rounded, sloping borders, many of the available scar treatment techniques are capable of producing, positive results.
- Boxcar scars. Because boxcar scars have more clearly defined and steeper edges than rolling scars, it is more difficult to smooth them out and blend them into the surrounding skin. Boxcar scars often cover smaller areas than rolling scars and respond better to fillers.
If you already have deep-pitted acne scarring, don’t fret. Luckily, there’s a number of different non-invasive dermal fillers available to help erase those marks.
The Latest Technology to Erase Your Acne Scars
Juvéderm is a smooth gel filler that fillers in pitted or depressed acne scars. Juvéderm is so powerful that its results last up to a year—and after only a single treatment. Because Juvéderm’s dermal gel is smooth rather than granular, a single injection of it makes skin looks smooth, natural, and youthful. This is because the unique formulation of Juvéderm’s gel promotes hydration of the skin, as well as restores volume to the skin and its underlying structures.
Juvéderm leaves other dermal fillers in the dust. It’s far superior in both consistency and results. A dermal filler like Restylane typically lasts six to nine months. In comparison, Juvéderm often lasts up to 12 months! It looks more natural too because it’s a smoother compound than Restylane. Juvéderm also boasts a higher concentration of the active product hyaluronic acid, which produces smoother, more natural-looking results that last longer. And if that weren’t enough, Juvéderm is the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler that has proven its safety and effectiveness in persons of color. Clinical studies using Juvéderm showed no increased risk of hyperpigmentation or hypertrophic scarring in darker skin tones, meaning Juvéderm is right for almost everyone!
What happens exactly during a Juvéderm procedure? Before applying the Juvéderm injections, the physician will mark strategic points on your face as guides to the appropriate injection sites for the filler. Then he or she will clean the injection sites with antibacterial soap and administer a topical anesthetic to numb the area. The actual injections take only a few minutes. Afterward, the physician will clean all the marks and apply an ice pack to the treatment site. It’s important that you don’t apply pressure to the treated areas as this could result in the displacement of the Juvéderm filler.
Although results can be seen immediately with Juvéderm, most people see their most impressive results three to five days after injection, as swelling and bruising disappear. Juvederm is most effective on depressed acne scars, especially ice pick scars.
Surprisingly, Botox boasts healing powers. It can aid in wound healing. According to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic, Botox helped facial acne lesions heal with minimal scarring. How? Because some acne scars are the result of the local muscles pulling the wound apart during the healing phase, Botox temporarily weakens the surrounding muscles, lessening the pull on the wound during the acute healing phase. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
What’s more, if you have active acne, Botox can also be used to help reduce its appearance. How? Botox, when injected into pores, prevents the production of sebum, which in turn starves the bacteria that causes pimples. Botox specifically blocks the chemical acetylcholine in the skin’s dermis, which is responsible for increasing the sebum production. After a single dose, most patients notice an improvement in sebum production and a decrease in pore size.
So how does Botox work this magic? Botox is a neurotoxin and works by attaching itself to nerve endings. Once this happens, the neurotransmitter responsible for triggering muscle contractions, called acetylcholine, can’t be released. To put it more simply, Botox injections temporarily relax the facial muscles that underlie and cause wrinkles.
The best part about undergoing Botox is that it’s quick and painless. You’ll generally receive a consultation beforehand to determine the best treatment for your needs. And when you do undergo treatment, a topical numbing gel will be applied fifteen minutes prior. Six to eight injections will be administered into the underlying muscles. Most people say that the injections feel similar to getting vaccinated – that is, they feel only a few seconds of mild discomfort as the Botox enters the injection site. A few hours afterward, the injection site may look red and feel irritated.
Since Botox works by weakening facial muscles, full results are generally seen within five to seven days. Your acne scarring will be significantly reduced, especially if Botox is used directly after your wound closes. Your results will continue to improve, until about two weeks after the procedure. The effects of Botox will gradually wear off over the next four to six months, and the scar may need to retreat.
Let Us Help You Erase Your Acne Scars
LaserAway is proud to offer the most medical spa service options of any national skincare provider. LaserAway hires only the most highly trained staff experienced and certified in administering laser and other dermatological procedures. What’s more, LaserAway uses only innovative techniques and cutting-edge laser technology. LaserAway aims to make your medical spa experience comfortable, enjoyable, and satisfying. Want to learn more about Juvederm or Botox? Then schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by emailing LaserAway.com or calling the staff at LaserAway at (888) 965-2737. LaserAway looks forward to helping you forget your scars for good!