If you’ve suffered from severe acne, chances are that your skin has become permanently altered by acne scars even after the pimples have cleared. This results from the inflammatory reaction mounted by your body’s immune system to fight the localized skin infection. White blood cells release toxins, enzymes and free radicals that are meant to destroy the bacteria causing the infection. However, the healthy skin around the pimple may also become damaged. If the damage is bad enough, or if the injury keeps happening, the body develops scar tissue around the injury.
Scar tissue is made of collagen and is unlike healthy tissue. Healthy tissue is complex with multiple layers demonstrating architectural and cellular diversity, whereas scar tissue is primitive and laid down with orderly layers of collagen, devoid of cellular diversity. The nutrients and cells that support healthy tissue can’t penetrate scar tissue, so it is unattractive, fragile and lacks hair or sweat glands. Moreover, acne scars are what are called rolling scars, and look like tiny pits all over the face.
Although it is virtually impossible to eliminate acne scarring, the appearance of the skin can certainly be improved. Here are two ways to reduce the look of acne scars:
ZO 3-Step Peel
This treatment begins in our office and continues in the privacy of your home. It is made up of vitamin A-based retinol and exfoliants to remove the top layers of skin and allow it to repair itself. This peel also fights the free radical molecules that lead to scarring with antioxidants and guards against irritation. It’s recommend that the patient have a facial peel every month for three months for the best results.
Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing
This acne scar treatment is just the thing for people who have pitted acne scars. The CO2 laser is the Gold Standard for skin resurfacing. It utilizes laser energy to vaporize the top layers of skin, removing sun-damaged epithelial cells and scar tissue. The healing process that results from the laser, leads to new cell generation on the surface of the skin. In addition, the laser treatment stimulates collagen production within the dermis of the skin, resulting in skin tightening and improved elasticity.
Patients who opt for fractional CO2 laser resurfacing usually have a local anesthesia abetted with light sedation to keep them comfortable throughout the procedure, which usually lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. Afterwards, the treated area will have a crust that lasts for a few days. It then turns a bit red in a way that resembles a sunburn. This lasts about one to three weeks and can be hidden with makeup after the first week. Patients should feel free to return to their normal activities in three to five days after the session.
For more information about either the ZO dermal peel or laser resurfacing, call to set up a free consultation at Youthful Reflections.