The promise of clear skin can seem elusive for those with acne scarring. However, significant advancements have been made in acne scar removal techniques that allow even severe scarring to be dramatically improved or erased. Let’s examine some of the latest innovations in eliminating different types of acne scars for good.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing remains the gold standard for acne scar removal. Lasers work by vaporizing the scarred upper layers of skin and promoting new collagen growth. Traditional CO2 lasers provide aggressive resurfacing but require significant downtime. The latest fractional lasers deliver results with less recovery time.
Fractional lasers penetrate the skin in microscopic columns, targeting and eliminating scar tissue while leaving healthy tissue intact. This speeds up healing and allows patients to resume normal activities sooner. The Fraxel Dual is an FDA-approved fractional laser used on acne scars. Several treatments are spaced 3-4 weeks apart for gradual improvements.
Microneedling has risen in popularity for minimizing acne scars. During this office procedure, a device with fine needles is rolled across the skin to create tiny punctures. This stimulates the body’s natural wound-healing response, increasing collagen production that helps raise depressed scars. Downtime is only a few days, and multiple treatments deliver optimal results.
Combining microneedling with therapies like PRP or radiofrequency can further boost its scar-diminishing abilities. For even better outcomes, some experts recommend using the Eclipse MicroPen Elite device, which uses needles 0.25 mm wide to target acne scarring precisely.
This technique is highly effective at improving rolling and depressed acne scars. Subcision uses a needle or probe to release fibers tethering down indented scars. This elevates the scar to the surrounding skin level. Subcision is often combined with fillers, resurfacing lasers, or microneedling to smooth scars. Bruising can occur, and several treatments may be needed for best results.
Body Contouring Devices
New body contouring devices like Emsculpt and truSculpt Flex use focused electromagnetic energy to build muscle and reduce fat. Early research shows they may also improve acne scarring on the back, chest, arms, and abdomen. The radiofrequency and high-intensity electromagnetic pulses penetrate tissue to remodel skin and stimulate new collagen. Improvements are gradual over 2-4 monthly sessions with no downtime.
Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars (CROSS)
The CROSS technique applies high trichloroacetic acid (TCA) concentrations to resurface and remodel scarred skin. Dermatologists consider TCA CROSS one of the most effective treatments for atrophic acne scars. The peel improves skin texture, fills in depressions, and reduces discoloration. Treatments are repeated every 4-8 weeks with proper healing time in between for optimal improvement.
Injecting anti-inflammatory steroids directly into certain acne scar types can flatten and shrink them. Triamcinolone or Kenalog injections work best on keloid scars and hypertrophic scars that are red, raised, and swollen. Steroid shots help disrupt the scar tissue. Multiple treatments may be required. Steroids are also sometimes combined with laser therapy for enhanced results on such scars.
Scars that cause indentations in the skin can be lifted with fillers like hyaluronic acid or Bellafill. The material is injected under the scar to elevate it and stimulate new collagen growth. Bellafill contains polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres to promote longer-lasting volume improvements. Multiple filler sessions 2-4 weeks apart provide gradual acne scar reduction.
Small, deep scars like ice pick scars can be excised using a punch biopsy tool to cut them out, then stitching the edges together. Punch elevation involves threading sutures through the bottom of the scar to lift it without removing it. Both provide dramatic improvements for pitted scarring. There is about a week of downtime needed for proper wound healing.
With continued innovations in treatment techniques and technology, significant improvements in acne scarring are possible without invasive surgery. Consistently applying the latest solutions can help patients permanently erase years of distress over their acne scars and achieve clear, unmarred skin. While these treatments require patience and diligence, they can banish self-consciousness over acne scarring for good.