Besides oral, topical and medical procedures to help control active acne breakouts, there are a number of treatments that we offer at The Suite (the Medical Spa at our practice)
- CO2 Fractional Laser
- Fractional Laser
- TCA Cross
- RF microneedling
- PRP microneedling
There are a number of procedural and laser treatments options available to help improve acne scars.
Microneedling is also known as a form of Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). By stimulating the production of collagen and elastin with a topical Hyaluronic Acid or Plasma Rich Protein (PRP), microneedling can rejuvenate the appearance of the skin. This process triggers the body’s natural healing and repair systems and can ultimately reduce acne scarring.
CO2 Fractional Laser
This laser physically destroys the superficial layers of the skin. The wound recovery process generally results in skin that is smoother and more regular in texture. However, this type of laser generally require anesthesia, significant down-time, and potential risk of permanent discoloration. Additionally, patients with darker skin tones are not good candidates for this procedure.
The Fractional laser procedure is safe in all skin types including patients with dark skin tones. Unlike traditional resurfacing lasers, Fractional Laser devices allow treatments without the need for anesthesia and down-time is decreased. Fractional Laser Therapy delivers thousands of deep, microscopic columns of laser energy to your skin. These microthermal treatment zones leave the surrounding skin unaffected. The treatment promotes the skin’s natural healing process by producing new collagen and replacing damaged cells. The repaired skin appears healthier, tighter, and with fewer surface imperfections. An effective treatment regimen typically requires 3 to 5 sessions, spaced at 2- to 4-week intervals.
Subcision involves utilizing a thin sharp instrument to free up adherent scar tissue under a retracted scar. A small amount of blood will accumulate under the scar and result in wound healing and collagen formation that may help elevate the depression. Typically, several treatments are required and are usually combined with some form of resurfacing or fractional laser procedure. Bruising and swelling can persist for one to two weeks.
TCA CROSS is the Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars (CROSS) using trichloroacetic acid (TCA). The TCA CROSS procedure involves depositing small amounts of TCA at high concentration (70–100%) onto the surface of the atrophic scar. This causes a local inflammatory reaction leading to the formation of new collagen fibres.
Sometimes when acne disappears, it leaves behind a dark spot or area of discoloration typically ranging in colors from pink to red or brown. It is caused by a post-inflammatory skin response. Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) and Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) are not acne scars. Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) and Hyperpigmentation (PIH) are not exactly the same thing. Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is brown or black marks caused by an inflammatory reaction producing an overproduction of melanin. Causes include getting a pimple, aging, pregnancy (melasma), hormones, and sun exposure. Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) refers to the red or purplish marks left behind from acne. The redness is from damage or dilation done to capillaries near the surface of the skin resulting in small flat red marks. Patients can have a combination of both PIE and PIH.
Treatments Options for PIE and PIH include:
- Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL): Although Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) will eventually resolve on its own, some patients are interested in treating flat red scars related to more recent acne. Vascular lasers, such as the pulsed dye laser, can hasten recovery and help fade these unsightly red lesions.
- Chemical Peels
- Retinoids: Topical retinoids are another acne treatment with scar-smoothing benefits. In addition to speeding up your cell regeneration and improving your skin’s texture, retinoids can also help reduce discoloration and make scars less noticeable.
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA): are often found in products made to treat acne since they help to remove dead skin and prevent clogged pores. AHAs can also help make acne scars appear less noticeable.
- Lactic Acid: Lactic Acid helps to improve texture, appearance, and pigmentation of the skin and lighten acne scars.
- Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid clears pores, reduces swelling and redness, and exfoliates the skin when applied topically.
- Sun Protection: It seems rather simple but if your PIE/PIH gets sun exposure, it will cause even more discoloration. It is important to protect your acne marks at all times to help them fade faster