Acne is an inflammatory condition involving hair follicles. Hair follicles become plugged with keratin and oil produced by the sebaceous glands, which is acted upon by the acne-causing bacteria, creating compounds that are irritating to the skin. Those compounds cause irritation in the hair follicle, resulting in a massive inflammatory reaction. This causes a typical, red acne bump. People with dark skin or those with the ability to tan frequently get brown spots at the site of acne marks. This happens because the surface layer that contains melanin pigment to protect us from the sun is temporarily damaged. This pigment, which is supposed to reside in the top layer of skin (the epidermis), then falls into the deeper layer of skin (the dermis). This is especially true if the person with the pigment is constantly in the sun.
Although they can last a very long time, these brown marks are not usually scars and thus can be made to go away with topical bleaching agents. If inflammation is too great, the skin surrounding the hair follicle is damaged and a scar can result. Scars are composed mostly of collagen that is arranged differently that the collagen of non-scarred skin. Acne scars are usually depressed areas of skin at the site of severe acne. They can be shallow depressions or become deep holes, as with “ice-pick”-type scars.
I often use a combination of topical treatments and laser treatments to improve acne scars. I often combine two types of laser, including the Fraxel Dual laser to improve acne scarring. Depending upon the type of scar, I will use different combinations of lasers and topical treatments to derive the most improvement. Most treatments result in no, or very little, down time. Most often a series of 2-4 treatments is best for improving these scars. Acne itself may also improve following laser treatment, and the improvement can be long-lasting in many cases, although response of acne is often more variable than the consistent improvement most often seen following treatment of acne scarring.
Please also visit The Patient’s Guide to Acne Scars website (click here for site) for more information about removing acne scars, cost information and treatment reviews.
To answer your specific questions or schedule a consultation, call Dr. Bernstein today at 610-645-5551
Main Line Center for Laser Surgery is proud to offer eMatrix treatments, a novel fractionated radiofrequency energy source used in a fractionated delivery system for skin rejuvenation and improvement of a acne scarring.
Dr. Bernstein was part of the first large-scale study of the pioneering Active FX and Deep Fx Laser over a decade ago and continues to use for treatment of photodamage and acne scarring.
Dr. Bernstein has completed clinical studies on the Candela Quadralaser CO2 laser which treats sun-damaged and aging skin, as well as scarring.
Dr. Bernstein has completed clinical studies on the exciting Affirm CO2 Skin Rejuvenation Laser which treats acne scarring. His research has helped further this new device and the treatment of acne scars.
Dr. Bernstein performed a research study for Solta, makers of the Fraxel Dual, to further knowledge of this innovative treatment. The Fraxel Dual is one of Dr. Bernstein’s leading treatments for photodamage and acne scarring, and is the market leader in fractionated or pixelated lasers.
Dr. Bernstein was the first physician in the United States to get the Fraxel Permea Clear and Brilliant to treat patients with wrinkles.