Just like acne itself, acne scars can affect a person’s self-esteem and overall sense of well-being. Fortunately, acne scars can be improved and, in many cases, eliminated with the proper treatment. Here are three such procedures we offer at San Diego Cosmetic Laser.
A Cosmelan peel is an effective treatment for modest, less severe acne scarring that has caused a discoloration or darkening of the skin. Cosmelan is a de-pigmentation treatment that reduces the melanin in the skin that produces dark spots.
After the skin is cleansed with an acetone solution to remove dead skin cells, a mask is applied using Cosmelan that will remain in place for four to eight hours. The mask is applied at the clinic and can be removed by washing it off at home at the designated time. Thereafter, a cream is applied to protect new skin growth.
Initial results will show in the first week, but in two to four weeks more significant results should be apparent.
Benefits of Cosmelan include:
- Lighter-colored, clearer skin
- Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
- Provides a gentler treatment option as an alternative to abrasive chemical peels
Cosmelan treatments include azelaic and kojic acids. The azelaic acid removes bacteria and promotes new skin growth. Kojic acid stops production of melanin which is what darkens the skin. The follow-up cream contains kojic and phytic acids, each an antioxidant that assists in healing and protecting skin.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive, painless and quick skin treatment that speeds the exfoliation of dead skin cells. Abrasion combined with vacuum pressure technology facilitates the exfoliation of top skin layers, known as the stratum corneum. The process needs to be repeated every three to four weeks for ongoing improvement.
Microdermabrasion uses diamond-studded tips or very small crystals to wear down, then suction-up and remove dead skin cells. There is little recovery time involved and most people return to their daily routines immediately.
Microdermabrasion is most effective for shallow acne scars. The skin will also become smoother, reducing early sun damage and fine lines.
Photodynamic Skin Treatment (PDT)
Photodynamic Therapy light treatments offer those with moderate to severe acne scarring a viable, non-invasive treatment option. Originally approved by the FDA for treatment of actinic keratosis, a condition caused by excessive sun exposure that can develop into skin cancer, PDT has been found to be a safe and effective treatment for acne scarring as well.
Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is used as a light sensitizing agent that is applied to the skin. After 30 minutes, the skin becomes more responsive to light. A blue light treatment is then administered to reduce the size of the skin’s oil glands and the bacteria that causes acne is also diminished. Sunscreen must be applied afterward to protect the skin and bright light should be avoided for at least two days.
PDT treatment can result in dramatic improvement in acne scarring with pitting and large pores.