Acne scars treatment options

Acne is a condition which, sometimes leaves behind permanent memories, in the form of depressions on the face. These scars are permanent and do not fade off even with time. Thanks to technology, we now have the tools to improve the appearance of your skin, by diminishing the depth of the scars.

Why do acne scars appear?

Your skin has collagen in the dermis layer. Collagen along with other dermal structures, is responsible for the integrity and smooth appearance of the skin. When severe acne breakouts occur, collagen tends to break down due to severe inflammation, causing the dents and depressions in the skin. This breakdown of collagen is permanent in nature until a treatment is opted. The aim of all our treatment is to naturally stimulate the formation of collagen once again, so that the scars become less visible as they fade away and merge with the rest of the normal skin.

Modalities of treatment varies from dermaroller aided abrasion to high end laser treatment. I will briefly elaborate all options.

  1. Microneedle RF treatment:

This is a relatively new technology, and the safest of all the options. It is based on the delivery of radiofrequency energy through needles into your skin. Multiple sessions are needed for visible improvement to occur. The treatment is carried out once a month and roughly 6-8 sessions are needed for significant improvement. The number of sessions are decided based on the severity of the acne scars. At Sofiyacare, we use a high end machine, imported from Israel, which is very effective in combating even the toughest and deepest scars. Complications are almost none as we have not encountered any problems with our patients. Discomfort during the treatment is minimised with the use of local anesthetic cream and recovery time post treatment is roughly 3 days.

  1. CO2 Fractional Laser:

This is a commonly employed treatment, offered by laser skin clinics. It’s the second best treatment in my opinion. It’s a laser energy based treatment, unlike the microneedle RF which is radiofrequency energy based. However, there is always a risk of hyperpigmentation in CO2 fractional laser, but it can be avoided by judicious application of the right energy settings and proper care taken during and after treatment. I usually use this treatment for very severe scars and have got fantastic results. Recovery time post treatment is more than Microneedle RF treatment; usually takes up to 5 days.

  1. Dermaroller:

This is offered by those, who do not have the facility of high end acne scar improvement machines. I do not use this treatment, because the results are comparatively dismissal. Many sessions are needed.  A disposable, easily available instrument called as dermaroller is used, which induces mechanical injury to the skin. When the skin heals again, collagen is intended to form. But this is not a very controlled treatment and exclusively depends on the skill of the practitioner. Various dermarollers with varying needle sizes are available. For acne scar improvement, generally 2mm is preferred. I don’t employ this treatment as I have much better options, but for those who insist, we offer this also.

  1. Subcision: This is a very simple treatment, in which an ordinary needle is inserted into the acne scars, to break the adhesions formed due to fibrous bands. This can be either employed as it is or can be combined with any other acne scar treatment. Its painful and not needed if a person opts for machine based acne scar treatments.
  1. Microdermabrasion: This is a very gentle form of superficial exfoliation. Many beauty parlours offer this, but this is a complete waste for acne scar improvement! I strongly recommend not to waste your time and money on this, because it will yield no results. It does not cause any damage to your skin but is useless also. It’s an excellent treatment for gentle monthly exfoliation, to be used as a medifacial step.

Acne scar improvement takes time and you need to be patient to see visible results. At Sofiyacare, we have had extremely high success rate so far as all our patients have observed visible improvement.


Causes of acne are more than skin deep

Acne is a condition characterised by repeated breakouts in the skin, leading to brown spots and in severe cases, causes also scarring. Though the condition appears on the skin only, its causative factors are various and a person may have one or more of these causes. The main problem in acne is excess activity of oil glands and their blockage. Once the blockage of the oil glands occur, inflammation sets in, causing pain, redness and warmth over the acne spot. Eventually the acne spots breaks open, and heals by leaving behind brown spot or even a depression (scar). The various factors which cause excess activity of oil glands are discussed below.

  1. Hormones: Insulin, Insulin like growth factor (IGF-1) and androgens are the main culprits. Androgens are higher in concentration in those girls, who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome. While one cannot control the production of androgens; insulin and IGF-1 can be controlled by consuming healthy diet. These hormones also increase during excess stress.
  2. Diet: Diet very strongly impacts those who are prone to acne. Unhealthy diet, containing excess of sugar, carbs, fatty junk foods and dairy products. One should pay special attention to their diet and avoid the consumption of the mentioned food items. Instead consume more of vegetables, fruits and drink adequate quantity of water. Inclusion of green tea is also recommended.
  3. Stress: Stress has become a part and parcel of modern hectic schedules, which does not just affect the skin but entire human body, including emotional and mental health also. Stress causes imbalance of hormones and most people report to have almost overnight breakout due to excess work load and lack of sleep. The only effective and natural way to manage stress is regular exercise, meditation and yoga. Everyday, dedicate 30 minutes for your health and you will observe dramatic improvement in your over all health.
  4. Pollution, humidity and environmental factors: This is actually the least important factor and will worsen only existing acne. Dust and air pollutants only clog up the skin pores, which further aggravates acne.

Almost all the time, there is an underlying cause for acne, which is overlooked by most doctors. Treatment of acne goes beyond just treating the skin and when the actual cause gets addressed, acne will disappear for good!

Acne skin care

Pimples or medically known as Acne vulgaris is a common problem faced by everyone at some time or the other. It’s a disorder of excessive activity of the oil glands and overgrowth of bacteria on the face. There are known factors which contribute to pimples formation, most important being
hormonal changes in the body. There are some things that you should and should not do at home to control mild acne.

What you should do?
1. Keep your face clean. Wash your face using a face wash containing salicylic acid at least once a day. You can also use Tea tree containing face wash if your skin is sensitive. It is mandatory to wash your face at night.
2. Include exercise in your daily routine. This helps in clearing up your skin. Sometimes, you may notice increase in your pimples but that is transient so don’t worry.
3. You can apply a gel or cream containing Retinol in it, only on the pimples; be sure to apply only at night and NEVER apply in the DAY time. Retinol can cause irritation so be careful and discontinue using it if you feel discomfort. A dermatologist can help you overcome the irritation in
such situation.
4. See your dermatologist if your pimples are getting worse and not settled after a month also. If you get a pimple every week, then its better to get expert treatment. You may be in need of oral antibiotics which your doctor can decide for you.
5. Wipe your face with clean towel/napkins or use a fresh tissue paper after you wash your face. Most of the time bacteria resides in towels which further contribute to pimples.
6. Get dandruff treated as it can aggravate pimples.
7. Wash your bed linens once a week.

What you should NOT DO:
1. DO NOT APPLY HOME MADE THINGS! This is the most important thing to keep in mind. Please, for the love of God in who you believe in, do not apply things like toothpaste, ginger, garlic, lemon, pappaya or gram flour! I have seen many patients come to me with severe irritation and superficial burns. Internet is flooded with wrong information and so please do not resort to such practices.
2. Do not pick on your pimples no matter how tempted you are. Picking on your pimples will cause scars (depression) in your skin which is much harder to treat later.
3. Avoid oily food, dairy products, excess sugars and anything that is considered as junk food. Diet plays a very important role in triggering oil glands.
4. Do not wash your face too frequently. Limit to washing 2 or 3 times maximum in a day.
5. Do not lose your confidence if you have severe acne; this condition can be controlled if you seek help from a good dermatologist.