Does acne scarring upset you?
Have you been told to live with acne scarring?
Most of us have it, as teenagers we see ourselves covered in spots, everyone around us is too! So What ! One might say – its only a few zits that give some pleasure when squeezed and distract one from all the other hassles of being a teenager.
If only it was that simple…
Studies show that the effect on the appearance of acne can be so severe, that it triggers illness and depression in some. We often see individuals at university with acne that has not been treated as aggressively as one could with some serious scarring as a consequence.
For the lucky ones treatment comes in time and is successful, for the others they are left with deep craters and pits in their face, finding this really quite distressing.
What Are the Types of Acne Scars?
Box car scars: Scars that look like a cube has been cut out of the skin. They usually occur on the temple and cheeks, and can be either surface or deep, these are similar to chickenpox scars.
- Rolling scars: Scars that give the skin a wave-like appearance.
- Hypertrophic scars: Thickened, raised scars or Keloid scars (woody, pink shiny scar).
- Ice pick scars: Deep holes, that are a common form of scarring, but are the most difficult to treat.
What Can I do about my Acne Scars?
This is where it does begin to get very difficult, there are literally hundreds of treatments and claims of success that are of dubious value. We will go through and describe some of the more widely practiced treatments:
Can be helpful for treating acne and very mild scars
Used in combination with microdermabrasion can be useful for minor scarring.
For deeper scarring they are too risky as they can remove the acne scars but leave scars themselves
Dermaroller +/- Subcision This treatment is effective for mild to moderate acne scarring, it can be used on deeper scarring, however one has to use it very aggressively in a manner that would give 5-6 days downtime. Even with that degree of recovery, one would not necessarily get the results of a laser. See DERMAROLLER
Introduction 15 years ago the standard treatment for acne scarring was CO2 laser resurfacing, This was very successful and was able to reduce the scarring in most cases. The only problem was the inevitable 6 weeks indoors and the very high risk of scarring. This treatment fell out of use.
The trend developed for gentler lasers that gave less dramatic results but gave reduced down time Some of them did give good results in combination with other treatments over a long period (e.g. 2 years), others were not of any use at all.
All of this changed with the advent of the Fraxel laser. Conceptually a giant leap.
All CO2 lasers used to work by burning the whole of the top layer of skin off and relying on new skin to form from below. This was tricky as it didn’t always work, leaving the patient badly scarred!!
The genius behind the Fraxel realised that he could get the same effect as burning the whole skin off by firing columns of laser light in to the skin and punching holes in the skin that would heal from below, but also FROM THE HEALTHY TISSUE ON EITHER SIDE!! Very much like sticking a very sharp needle in your hand , hurts for a second but heals very quickly, because the sides pull together.
Fraxel quickly took the cosmetic medical world by storm. It certainly gave impressive results with ACNE SCARRING, but exceptional results with SURGICAL SCARS and other HYPERTROPHIC SCARS. At the end of a Fraxel treatment, there was sometimes a feeling that one could have got a better result with a good old CO2 laser, albeit at MUCH GREATER RISK.
Others quickly latched on to the Fraxel concept, such that every device you will see is now “fraxellated”(some more than others). Eventually the fraxellated CO2 laser was developed.
CORE (CO2RE) Laser
The fraxellated CO2 laser has been a giant leap forward in the treatment of acne scars. It has been discovered that it can still deliver the wow results of the standard CO2 laser BUT without he risks and much quicker recovery (few days rather than a few weeks).
The CORE laser is special in many technical respects but importantly for the patient allows a level of control not dreamed of, so that a treatment can be tailored much more precisely to a patient’s needs.
Problem Solved Then, We Can Just CO2 Laser Everyone?
….No not quite!
The problem comes with darker skin types. Those with darker skin and acne scarring till now could not take advantage of the tremendous benefits of the fraxellated CO2 laser. This was because at higher power, they were still at too high a risk of pigmentation . Also there are fair skinned individuals with deep acne scars that need a deeper treatment, these still hold some risk of scarring.
Yes you got it… Another revolution : RECELL
What Is RECELL?
Recell was developed by some very clever doctors working in the field of burns surgery – especially young children and babies scalded by hot water or burned by fire. The problem was that an individual came in to the burns unit with extensive burns and often required multiple skin grafts. This meant several operations and long painful rehab as well as high risk of infection and time off work or school. Also sometimes burns were so extensive that enough skin was not available for grafting.
The concept was to get some cells from a donor site about the size of a postage stamp then split them up, clean the burn and simply spray them on.EASY! Well no it isn’t but it works. In many burns centres abroad and in the NHS, RECELL has become a standard treatment that has improved and saved many lives. Amazingly what they discovered was that the burns would heal with normal pigmentation and certainly much better than without Recell.
How Does Recell Help me With my Acne Scarring?
Well it’s a short step from burns to acne scars. As you will remember from above, the problem with the fabulous CO2 laser done deeper in white skin or in darker skin is the risk of pigmentation and scarring. In these higher risk individuals we can use a combination of CORE CO2 laser and then apply RECELL on top to deliver much greater improvement than has ever been possible, with ONE TREATMENT……
What our patients say about acne scarring
"You have to be the patient type but my skin is genuinely looking better, my confidence is growing and I socialise more even enrolling on a p/t college course. If you know how low 'bad skin' can make a person feel and how much money is wasted on products that don't work you may well know how good it feels to find a solution that progressively gives better results. Follow up advice and questions asked are answered with honesty and encouraged"
— Trudy K. on Acne/Acne Scarring
Acne & Acne Scarring
Acne Scarring care you can trust
Whether you wish to have acne treatment or acne scarring treatment, our team at Zenith Cosmetic Clinics will discuss your options honestly and thoroughly to determine the best course of action for you in order to achieve results you will be happy with.