Acne, scarring & Treatments
"I was first effected by scarring cystic acne when I was 18 years old and going to college. I battled and still war with hormonal acne today. Acne and scarring has a special place in my heart. I know the loss of self-esteem one suffers, the avoidance of any photographs, and the shame I felt. It had nothing to do with my cleanliness or eating chocolate."
Dr. Lani Doser, DNP
Acne is typically present from puberty until the early 20s but can affect both men and women as late as their 50 and even 60s. In extreme cases acne can be painful, psychologically distressing and even disfiguring. The good news is that both the acne and most scarring caused by acne are complicated to ameliorate but treatable.
For those with more mild cases of acne there are simple preventative steps for preventing breakouts such as to avoid touching the skin, washing before bed, and avoiding sun. Basically, the stuff our parents told us to do. Dr. Amanda Squiers, DNP and Dr. Lani Doser, DNP, would also add other tips such as changing your pillow case nightly, cleansing your make up brushes, and cleansing your phone often. However more severe cases have to be treated with more intensive therapies. In these cases you will want the expertise of a medical professional.
The cause of the tender papules, cysts, and nodules that form deep beneath the skin can be infection or hormonal and can often be treated with prescriptions for antibiotics or birth control. Isotretinoin can also be prescribed to both kill bacteria and reduce the body’s natural oil production.
The scarring caused by severe acne can be treated as well. SkinWise Rx offers several treatments for scarring depending on the type and severity. Know that acne scars vary from rolling, boxcar, icepick, and atrophic. Many of these types will be present in a single area of concern. Acne scar treatment is never one and done. It takes a series to lessen the impact of permanent damage.
For minor scarring, chemical peels can be an effective and relatively inexpensive solution with little downtime. Chemical peels remove the top layers of skin causing the body to generate new skin and collagen which helps fill in superficial textural changes. This smooths and tones skin and decreases discolorations. Peels can also be titrated to a very small area for icepick scarring.
For more severe scarring, options include radiofrequency (RF) microneedling and laser resurfacing. RF microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment with little downtime. Using heat and small needles, RF microneedling breaks up the scars and encourages new skin and collagen growth improving texture and pore size. Three to four treatments are typically necessary to achieve desired results.
Ablative laser resurfacing is more invasive and has a 7-10 days downtime. Depending on the severity of scarring, laser resurfacing may be the most effective treatment. Laser resurfacing removes the damaged layers of skin which generates new skin and encourages collagen remodeling resulting in smoother and brighter skin. This also takes a series of 2-4 treatments.
Both Drs. Lani and Amanda have been effected by acne and the scars they leave behind - both physical and emotional. "I was first effected by scarring cystic acne when I was 18 years old and going to college. I battled and still war with hormonal acne today. Acne and scarring has a special place in my heart. I know the loss of self-esteem one suffers, the avoidance of any photographs, and the shame I felt. It had nothing to do with my cleanliness or eating chocolate."
If you have been considering treatment for acne or acne scars and would like more information on the treatment options available to you call SkinWise Rx at 503.964.5334 for a free consultation.