Q: I have some scarring left behind from acne I had on my cheeks. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the scars or do I have to live with them forever? Ali, Winona Lake
A. Ali, I’m so sorry to hear you’re dealing with acne scarring. I know that can really affect your confidence and self-esteem. The good news is there are several treatment options available that will drastically improve or even eliminate your scars.
Acne scars come in many different shapes and sizes and each has unique characteristics. This means that no one treatment will fit each acne scar and must be determined on a case-by-case basis. This ensures that you will receive optimal results that best meet your individual needs.
One option to treat acne scarring is with a series of medium-depth chemicals peels such as the Vi Peel®. These chemical peels work on the cellular level of your skin, or below the surface, where they help to rebuild collagen and elastin which tighten skin and essentially fill in the acne scars. Generally, a series of four peels about a month apart is recommended and continued improvement will be seen after each one. To further enhance the chemical peel, I advise patients to have a laser treatment known as Laser Genesis® immediately before their peel. This treatment is scientifically proven to produce collagen, which will help fill in the acne scarring along with the peel.
Ali, another option to eliminate acne scarring is with the use of laser. For some patients with acne scarring, I recommend a procedure called Pearl Fractional®. This is the most up-to-date laser treatment available for skin resurfacing. The process removes the damaged tissue and then stimulates the growth of healthy, new skin, full of fresh collagen. This plumps the skin from below creating more volume and repairing imperfections. With minimal downtime, many patients start to see improvement in their skin after one week, but will continue to see results for up to six months following their treatment as new collagen continues to grow and plump the skin and fill in the scars.
As I mentioned, Ali, no two acne cases are the same. In order to determine which scar treatment would be best for you and your scarring, it is wise to schedule a consultation with a licensed medical professional who can assess your skin and determine the best option so you can get optimal results you so desire.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on Botox, fillers and sclerotherapy.