Acne scars treatment
Depending on their form, acne scars are treated with a different method or combination of methods which are selected after a personalised clinical assessment.
State-of-the-art technology for Skin Rejuvenation
Medical technology is taking huge steps forward resulting in continuous changes in the methods used to treat acne scars. These new treatments aim to be effective using the least invasive process in order to:
- achieve the best possible result
- ensure in-depth action leaving the skin intact
- cause the least possible pain
- require the shortest recovery period
- prevent side effects & hyperpigmentation
- be applied to all skin types
The goal of the method is:
- to focus on the breakup of the fibre bundles, which force the skin to create folds forming acne scars
- to activate and produce certain proteins of the skin such as collagen & elastin which will contribute to its regeneration. Collagen which is the most abundant component of the dermal connective tissue is divided into 7 different types. However, only types I & II constitute the main components of papillary & reticular skin layers which is what needs to be focused on in order to improve acne scars. More specifically, the increased production of the aforementioned types of collagen ensures immediate and visible effects towards acne scars improvement.
Skin Complexion Analysis System Canfield VISIA®
The first important step is to fully record acne scars according to the clinical picture of the patient, and the results of skin analysis with the specialised system Canfield VISIA® (Canfield Scientific, Inc., New Jersey, U.S.A.). The skin analysis system VISIA is used to map all the face, the depth and the width of the scars, as well as their qualitative characteristics, to firstly, conclude safely on the best method for their removal and secondly, to have an objective means to measure and compare the recommended treatment for the acne scars. Also, it allows us to specify, modify or reduce the frequency of treatment visits, depending on the progress.
RF Fractional Microneedling & Advanced LASER combination treatment
Safe results without side effects
Contemporary methods for Acne Scars Treatment include:
- RF Fractional Microneedling (System of Fractional Radiofrequency)
It’s the most cutting edge & innovative technology in invasive dermatology for skin regeneration and acne scars’ treatment can be performed year-round even during sunny periods using total sun block ointments or lotions.
The state-of-the-art RF Fractional Microneedling system involves pressing a handheld device with microneedles against the skin, which send radiofrequency energy to penetrate multiple layers below the surface of the skin.
A handheld device with microneedles is pressed against the skin, sending radiofrequency energy to multiple layers below the surface. The combination of microneedling and RF energy stimulates the body’s natural collagen and healing processes.
The advantages of fractional radiofrequency – RF System:
- in-depth action
- does not exfoliate the skin and therefore, can be applied throughout the year, even during summertime
- is suitable for all skin types;
- brief recovery time with no risk of hyperpigmentation
- use of an individual detachable head per patient ensures hygiene
- no special treatment needed afterwards
- usually only two or three sessions are required, at least 4-6 weeks apart
- able to apply makeup 12 hours after the completion of treatment
In any case, the therapeutic scheme suggested by the dermatologist for acne scarring treatment is completely personalized based on patient’s skin needs. It takes into consideration factors such as gender and race, the skin’s structure and composition as well as the characteristics of the scars as seen after a Visia derma analysis has been carried out.
For example, in the case of teenagers, acne scars treatment constitutes a smoother and gradual procedure whereas in adults the dermatologist evaluates the causes of acne persistence based always on the patient’s clinical assessment.
RF Microneedling is applied for superficial scars, however, for deeper scars, punch elevation methods should be applied first.
- Punch elevation or removal
The minimally invasive punch elevation technique is ideal for icepick scars or other deeply depressed marks. The method works by puncturing the top layer of the skin in order to physically elevate the scar’s tissue using different sized tools and punching methods. When the depressed scar appears on the surface, it is then fixed in place with a stitch or fixating tape and followed by laserbrasion.
- Diamond Microdermabrasion
- Subcision application for the improvement of acne scars
Subcision is a minimally invasive procedure, which is performed using a needle under topical anaesthesia, in order to break the connective tissues fibres that, in certain cases, “pull” the scars downwards. It is a safe method that can ensure significant improvement of the wave-like scars in the long term most of the time.
In a study examining the effectiveness of subsicion in acne scars with the participation of 40 patients, it was found that both the researchers and the patients reported that subsicion improved the appearance of rolling scars. In many cases, it is used in combination with other treatments for acne scarring.
- Celluclip Subcision
- Implants and Lipofilling
This method involves the filling of the lesion with a graft similar in size (punch grafting), which is implanted in the tissue below the scar, in order to fill it up. Hyaluronic acid, hydroxyapatite, polylactic acid, or autologous fat-lipofilling are used as absorbable implants. In parallel, the material’s infusion aims also at the triggering of collagen production. This particular method is suitable for the treatment of soft and deep acne scars only, while the use of non-absorbable materials, such as silicone, is avoided, as it can cause side effects.
- Ablative Exfoliative LASER
Ablative exfoliative laser includes the fractional LASER CO2 with a wavelength of 10,600 nm, and erbium: YAG laser with a wavelength of 2940 nm. These lasers produce epidermal ablation, thermal contraction of the dermis, upregulate type I collagen fibres, and promote the remodelling of the dermis through high-energy light pulses, which eliminate the thin layers of the skin, leaving the intermediate tissues intact.
Advanced (fractional) CO2 and Er: YAG lasers scan the skin, they induce sublimation and exfoliation in specified microscopic zones of the skin, leaving the intermediate zones intact. This procedure offers the advantage of a much more powerful healing process of the skin since the intermediate zones that remain intact serve as reservoirs for intact follicles, from which healing starts and is supported. The time needed for healing, as well as the risk of side effects, are minimised in comparison to traditional CO2 and Er: YAG Laser.
In addition, the combined application of CO2 and Er: YAG laser has also been used with satisfactory results, as it helps in minimising side effects that may result due to the use of a CO2 laser. They are applied gradually and using low intensity in repeated sessions until the desirable result is achieved. Nevertheless, their use is limited depending on the time of the year and sun protection.
- Non-ablative LASER
A variety of non-exfoliative lasers are used for the treatment of mild atrophic acne scars. Among them, the following are included: Pulsed Dye Laser (585–600 nm), long wavelength Nd: YAG laser (1320 nm), and 1.450 nm Diode Laser (1450 nm). These lasers do not exfoliate the skin; instead, they target the water-containing tissues of the skin.
Non-exfoliative LASER systems do not cause skin peeling, but they are less effective, achieving partial improvement and they can only be applied for the treatment of mild atrophic scars. It is also worth noting that the degree of clinical improvement is significantly smaller than that achieved by other methods.
- LASER for the residual red and hyperpigmented acne lesions
These advanced lasers selectively remove their chromophore target. Pulsed Dye Laser is used for red residual acne lesions and Q-Switched Laser is used for hyperpigmented acne lesions.