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Treatment for Acne Scars

As frustrating as pimples can be, they can leave behind lasting proof of their existence. Acne marks can take 3-6 months to go away; acne scars are permanent. That’s because acne causes physical skin damage due to an inflammatory response. Blood and collagen at the injured site don’t always get things back to normal, and future breakouts can exacerbate the problem.

Acne scar treatment is available, depending on the type of acne scars you have. Scars can congregate across the surface of the skin, in a pattern called cobblestoning. There are three main types of acne scars:

  • Depressed scars have an indented or pitted appearance. Usually, on the cheeks and forehead, they include rolling scars, which have broad depressions with sloping edges; boxcar scars, or broad depressions with more sharply defined edges; and ice pick scars that look deep and narrow like enlarged pores. 
  • Raised scars are caused by cystic acne and appear as bulges of thick, protruding tissue caused by excess collage production. Usually appearing on the jawline, chest, and back, these are often called keloids or hypertrophic scars
  • Skin discoloration, although not technically scarring, is common. Red, brown, or white, the pigmentation may or may not fade with time. Hyper-pigmentation is when the skin appears brown, while hypo-pigmentation is lighter areas of skin where melanin is lacking. Damaged skin cells can also create permanent redness, known as an erythema.

Treatment Options

Acne scars can be treated with methods that restore the smooth, clear, and youthful look of your skin. Some of the common treatments include:

  • Lasers: Laser treatment can disperse the collagen in the skin, without breaking its surface, and are used to remove the outer layer of skin. Depending on the type of acne scar, different lasers are used. A laser can remove raised scar tissue or lighten the redness around healed lesions.
  • Dermabrasion/Micro-Dermabrasion: With dermabrasion, a high-speed brush is used to resurface the skin or remove excess tissue associated with raised scars. A less invasive form of acne scar removal, micro-dermabrasion involves a spray of tiny crystals often in a series of treatments.
  • Chemical Peels: Can reduce shallow acne scars and hyper-pigmentation. The chemical is applied to remove the outer layer of skin, thereby smoothing it out. The treatment can be provided by a physician, nurse, or spa aesthetician.
  • Retinoic Acid: In the case of keloid scars, an acid cream is applied directly to the scar tissue to help reduce its appearance. Retinoic acid is preferred for treating certain tissue scars not reduced with traditional treatments.
  • Fillers: A filler injection can fill depressed scars rather than attempt to remove them. Collagen, fat, or hyaluronic acid may be used. These eventually get absorbed, so repeat treatments are often required every few months. Recovery time is minimal.

For most treatments, a few days of recovery are required to heal, but in the case of micro-dermabrasion and fillers, there’s no downtime. If acne has caused scarring in your skin, dermatological treatment is required if your goal is to improve your appearance. Permanent scarring is still a possibility, which is why lasers are often used; they reduce this risk. For advice and treatment from the best dermatologist in Los Angeles, contact LDI at one of our three locations—LDI of Los Angeles, LDI of Covina, or LDI of Newport Beach. We offer top-notch acne scar removal services for people in Southern California. Contact us today at 866-809-1102 to learn more or use our online self-scheduler to book a visit and a complimentary consultation.