Acne Scarring and Laser Treatments


Acne comes in three forms. Mild acne causes the common blackheads and whiteheads that you might occasionally find on your nose or chin. Moderate acne includes red and inflamed pimples that are called papules and the reddish pimples that have white centers, which are called pustules. These types of acne are unlikely to leave scars on your skin.

Severe acne is the type that leaves scars. With a case of severe acne, painful pus-filled cysts develop into nodules under the skin. Once the nodule opens up, a pit or scar is left on the face. The scar results from abnormal healing of the skin.

What Are the Types of Acne Scars?

Acne scars come in two forms. They can be rounded and pit-shaped, making a depression into the skin. The other type is a long and narrow scar. The deeper the scar, the more difficult it can be to treat.

Who Is Most at Risk of Developing Acne Scars?

Almost everyone develops acne at some point. The most common time of life to develop acne is during puberty when hormone levels increase. It is this type of acne that often results in scars. Women may develop acne cyclically with their menstrual cycles. Pregnancy acne can also develop, but it is less likely to cause scarring.

Treatment Options for Acne Scars

There are many creams that can be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription, but these are often ineffective with severe acne scars. A more effective way of treating severe acne scars is with laser resurfacing that is offered at our Silicon Valley medical spa. With laser resurfacing, the energy from the laser is used to even out the skin’s surface. The top layer of skin around the scars is removed. The middle layer of skin is tightened, which causes it to look smoother. The stimulation also encourages the body to form new collagen. As one of the building blocks of youthful skin, collagen is a protein that helps to create a solid and smooth surface that is elastic and evenly colored. The new collagen helps to fill in the fissures and pits.

Laser treatments for severe acne scars take about 60 minutes per session. A few treatments may be needed in order to achieve the desired level of smoothness, especially on the face.

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