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According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. It usually begins in puberty with approximately 85 percent of those between the age of 12 and 24 experiencing minor acne. Even if you don’t struggle with this condition still today, chances are you may still have scars to show from when you once did.
Whether your scars are sharply dimpled “pock marks,” a “rolling” scar, firm and elevated, or just persistent red spots, there are lots of ways to approach treatment. A combination of surgical, laser, and medical procedures can be used to achieve ideal outcomes over the course of time and while there have been quite a number of effective technologies and surgeries used to treat acne scars over the years, it’s imperative to remember that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution and best results are typically seen over time and multiple visits. Every patient with acne scarring is unique and different, and we believe their treatments should be treated accordingly. Dr. Biesman has worked with acne scarring patients for more than 20 years, and can provide a treatment plan that’s customized and most effective for your needs. Here are a few possibilities:
Subcision is a procedure which releases acne scars that are depressed so they become more level.This is a common approach when scars are not deep enough to require removal, but are too deep to respond well to filler or laser treatment alone. Our practice is one of the few in the country that performs subcision in the specific, strategic way that we do. In this procedure, a tiny blade is used to release the scar from the underlying deeper tissues holding the scar, allowing the depressed area to become somewhat shallower. While bruising and swelling may occur, stitches are not required.
Another method for improving skin texture from acne scarring uses newer laser and energy-based technologies including non-ablative fractional skin resurfacing and eMatrix skin resurfacing. Some treatments may have more downtime than others, and some require multiple sessions while some are single treatment. Nevertheless, these approaches can beautifully improve the appearance of scarred skin.
Micro-needling is an interesting treatment that has been around for a long time, yet recently, has become an important part of our acne scar treatment. Originally in a clinical trial which Dr. Biesman helped lead, the goal was to use micro-needling (which uses tiny, sterile needles to repeatedly puncture the skin) to inject a filler into the scar. Even before using the injectable filler, patients were reporting favorable improvements in their scars, with micro-needling alone, which lead to this discovery. There are many different types of micro-needling and various degrees of aggressiveness, and Dr. Biesman can evaluate which might be best suited for you if you’re a candidate.
When treating the deep and narrow ice pick scars, surgical excision is usually required as lasers or technology-based approaches aren’t the best method for correcting these types of scars. Removal of these type of scars is performed in the office with the aid of local anesthetic injections, meaning no sedation is required. As the scars are removed, sutures repair the skin and convert the deep ice pick scar to a much smoother, less depressed scar. Most often, ice pick scars are found on the cheeks and temples and a large number can be removed during a single visit. Typically, only one to two stitches are required at each surgical site and the stitches stay in place for one week.
When acne scars create divots in your skin, we can often simply inject a filler to counteract that effect. Bellafill is a FDA approved filler that uses collagen and medical-grade plastic beads to fill depressed acne scars.
Dr. Biesman began developing his unique approach to acne scarring some 25 years ago, well before he relocated to Nashville, Tenn. He’s extremely passionate about carefully assessing not only each unique patient, but each unique scar to provide an optimal treatment solution. We know how concerning it can be to live with acne scars, and we’re committed to helping you along your journey to achieve skin quality that you’re proud of. To learn more about how we can help, call our office to book a consultation: 615-329-1110.