Acne scars are stubborn, and can be a painful reminder of your previous struggles with skin blemishes. Unfortunately, when it comes to treating acne scars, there is no single treatment that is best for everyone. Depending on your scar type, your skin type and the severity of the scarring, a combination of procedures may help to alleviate those unsightly scars.
What’s the best treatment for acne scars?
Combining one or more of the following treatments can decrease the appearance of scars over time. Corrective results can be temporary or permanent depending on the modality used. Determining the correct procedures requires a consultation with Dr.Jacob Bloomat Bloom Plastic Surgery, in Chicago and Burr Ridge, IL.
Topical Skin Protection – Using sunscreen can help limit the contrast between unscarred skin and a scar. Dr Bloom recommends using physical sunscreens with Zinc Oxide such as the Elta MD line of products, which are formulated for sensitive and acne prone skin.
Soft tissue fillers – Depending on the type of acne scar, injecting hyaluronic acid fillers, fat or other substances under the skin can plump the skin over indented scars. Typically this works best on boxcar or broad based acne scars. Icepick scars do not benefit from these treatments in most cases. When using soft tissue fillers, the goal is to make the scars less noticeable. Results are usually temporary, so repeat treatments are needed to retain the effect. This method has little risk of changes in skin color and depending on the substance injected carries limited side effects.
Steroid injection – Actively inflamed acne lesions or raised acne scars can benefit from intralesional steroid injections. This in-office procedure utilizes steroids and local anesthetic to decrease the size and color of these lesions. Injecting steroids into some types of raised scars can significantly improve the appearance of your skin. This procedure can be covered by some insurance plans.
Radiofrequency microneedling – Our Morpheus 8 radiofrequency microneedling platform can help make scars less noticeable with limited downtime. The outer layer of skin is addressed with small gold plated needles which deliver energy through the dermis (deep layer of the skin). This helps create collagen which thickens the dermis and flattens indented acne scars. Early results are subtle, and final results are seen within 6 months of finishing a series of 3-6 treatments. It’s a safe, simple and an effective technique for acne scarring. Energy can be adjusted to ensure treatment has minimal risk of discoloring the skin.
Dermabrasion – This procedure is usually reserved for more severe scarring. Dr. Bloom removes the top layer of skin with a rapidly rotating brush or other device. Surface scars may be completely removed, and deeper acne scars may appear less noticeable. Potential severe side effects include scarring and changes in skin color.
Chemical peel. Dr. Bloom can apply a chemical solution to the scar tissue to remove the top layer of skin and minimize the appearance of deeper scars. You can repeat mild and medium peels to maintain results. You can have only one deep peel. Potential side effects include changes in skin color, especially with deep peels used on dark skin.
Surgery. Using minor procedures such as a punch excision or subcision, Dr. Bloom can surgically address your acne scars. A punch excision is completed when Dr. Bloom removes individual acne scars and repairs the wound with stitches or a skin graft. With another technique called subcision, Dr. Bloom will insert needles under the skin to loosen fibers below a scar. Soft tissue fillers can sometimes assist in further addressing the scarred area corrected by subcision.
Procedure and Recovery
Depending on the procedure or procedures chosen downtime and procedural pain will vary. Typically recovery lasts 24 hours for procedures such as radiofrequency microneedling while excisional procedures can take 5-7 days to heal. In addition to strong topical and injectable anesthetics, Dr. Bloom offers ProNox to help ease patient’s pain and anxiety. Pronox provides a 50/50 mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen and is an effective analgesic that provides quick pain relief and recovery. The handheld device puts the patient in control of administering the analgesic when they feel like they need it.
Why Choose Dr. Bloom?
Why select Chicago-native Dr. Jacob Bloom as your cosmetic surgeon? Because you shouldn’t trust something as important as your appearance to just anyone! When you choose Dr. Bloom, you are choosing a warm and caring surgeon whom you can trust to make your health, your comfort, and your beauty his number one priority!
Lead plastic surgeon at Bloom Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL, Dr. Jacob Bloom is Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. His extensive knowledge of today’s advanced surgical techniques, coupled with his years of medical training in New York and Harvard University, allow him to create customized treatment plans that can match the unique goals of each and every patient, while delivering long-lasting results that will subtly—yet still dramatically—enhance your natural beauty.
If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your figure with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), mini-tummy tuck, or muscle repair with Dr. Bloom, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule your consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you!