It has been said, every scar tells a story. While this may be true, many scars have stories patients would rather forget. The psychological/social impact of any visible scar that alters appearance can be a significant and negative one to many of us. Scars, particularly acne scars, can deeply impair self-esteem and quality of life.
Treating scars is a process. Treatment of scars must be individually directed to the patient – skin type, variety of scar types, location and severity of scars. For instance, ice pick scars may best treated with TCA CROSS; whereas, some rolling scars may be treated most effectively with subcision and injections of dermal fillers.
ACNE SCAR TYPES
Ice Pick Scars – narrow, pitted scars
Rolling Scars – broad based depressions with sloping edges that flatten when stretched
Boxcar Scars – broad based depressions with sharp and defined edges
Atrophic Scars – depressed scars
Hypertrophic Scars – keloid scars and other elevated scars
There is no single treatment to effectively treat all scar types. The most effective way to treat scars is to treat each scar type.
Product requirements may include Prescription Medications (topical and oral); Medical Grade Products, such as retinoids* (AlphaRet from Skinbetter Science); pigment suppressants (Skinbetter EVEN, Epionce MELANOLYTE); barrier protectants, such as Epionce Medical Barrier Cream, Renewal Calming Cream, Epionce Recovery Kit, Avene Cicalfate); sunscreen (Epionce, Elta MD).
Stretch Marks (striae)
It is believed that stretch marks may be caused by the overstretching of skin to the point collagen and elastin fibers rupture and create these linear scars. Genetics, hormones, quality of skin also influence the possibility of developing stretch marks. Further, stretch marks can develop anywhere on the body. Growth spurts, rapid weight gain or loss, pregnancy, certain medical conditions, poor diet, rapid muscle development and steroid or corticosteroid use heighten the chances.
All scars are difficult to treat; however, treating stretch marks tends to be more difficult than facial scars. Location, depth, extent and compromised skin quality are the main obstacles.
Products requirements may include Prescription Medications (topical) and Medical Grade Products (such as retinoids*, pigment suppressants, barrier protectants, sunscreen).
*RETINOIDS are one of the most prescribed topical treatments for acne, anti-aging, scars, and stretch marks. Retinoids improve cellular function of aged and damaged skin. They induce collagen production, thicken the dermis, and encourage rapid cell turnover. Cell turnover is the separating of dead skin cells from healthy ones, which in turn, improves texture, reduces dark spots, clogged pores, and clears the way for deeper penetration and increased efficacy of other products. Retinoids not only induce collagen production, but also, they decrease collagen breakdown.
There are numerous clinical studies on the the subject of retinoids. Basically, most all studies conclude, retinoids are are as close to a magical anti-aging, anti-aging, skin smoothing, glow inducing product as any can be.
Of course, the best treatment for acne scars is prevention.
Be proactive. Be patient. Stay optimistic. Stay compliant.
Acne can be controlled, and the acne scars can be minimized.
Check out our acne page for treatment options and protocols.
For many patients, isotretinoin (accutane) may be recommended. Stay on course. The results have been life changing for many patients.