Although acne has always been considered an adolescent problem, the aftermath of acne scarring can persist throughout adulthood. Thankfully, advances in acne treatments have made living with the condition, both during the acne breakouts of youth and the subsequent acne scarring, a thing of the past for most people.
Acne is among the most common skin problems. An estimated 10 million Americans experience some level of scarring from acne every year; today, skin specialists say that early intervention is the best solution.
There is no way to really tell who will develop acne scars, or how sever the scarring will be. Evidence tells us that there is a genetics component involved in the likelihood of acne severity and scar formation. Additionally, the severity of preteen acne lesions appears to be associated with a more severe type of scarring later in adolescence or adulthood.
Because 95 percent of acne patients eventually develop some degree of scarring, the earlier they receive treatment that is appropriate for the severity of their condition, the better the odds of limiting scar formation. Delaying acne treatment by three or more years after the initial outbreak is likely to increase the risk of more substantial acne scarring.
Newer acne therapies have made suffering from the condition or subsequent scarring unnecessary. With early intervention—that is, when a person’s acne is not responding to over-the-counter remedies—the next step is to be evaluated by a skin specialist.
When an acne cyst forms, the sebaceous gland expands as it fills with bacteria, cells and fluid that are unable to pass through to the skin's surface. Eventually the acne cyst ruptures and excretes this matter deep within the dermis; white blood cells then move quickly, attacking the matter to fight infection.
Certain topical vitamin A creams and gels can prevent acne from erupting and erase existing blemishes before they begin to form scars. Topical treatments are an important tool in treating acne, and many excellent prescription options are available today. Prescription creams or gels containing retinol can benefit users by helping to clean out debris from clogged pores.
Laser therapy has proved to be very effective for acne and scarring treatments. Laser treatments help to heal acne lesions and treat even existing acne scars permanently. Laser treatments use various intensities and wavelengths of soft, pulsing light that works to reshape the scar tissues by causing raised scars to sink. It also works to reduce and eventually eliminate the redness of the skin around the healed acne pustules.
Some dermatologists have a two-step strategy to remedy acne, combining laser therapy with oral antibiotics to achieve immediate, positive results.
Some effective laser treatments for acne include:
• Fraxel laser treatment uses thousands of microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into the dermis, creating tiny wounds to trigger the body’s natural healing response from the inside out. Damaged tissue is replaced with healthy new skin and hastens collagen and elastin production. The result is tighter, more youthful looking skin. Because Fraxel treatments are so precise, the laser columns target only a fraction of skin at a time, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. This “fractional” treatment allows the skin to heal faster than if a large area were treated all at once.
• V Beam laser therapy is gentle enough to use on infants, yet powerful enough to treat most adult skin problems. Candela V Beam is less painful than other laser systems, due to exclusive technology known as Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD™) that sprays a liquid onto the skin before each laser pulse, cooling the skin’s upper layers for increased comfort during treatment. V Beam treatments are highly effective in reducing or eliminating acne scarring.
It’s never too late to resolve your complexion issues. Don’t waste another minute living with acne or acne scarring; today’s highly effective laser treatments can give you the lovely, clear complexion you deserve.