The only thing that might be worse than having active cystic acne on your face as an adult, is then being left with acne scars. I am no stranger to either. After struggling for YEARS with terrible cystic acne, a dermatologist finally put me on Accutane. Accutane did finally work and when the acne stopped, I was then left with scars along my cheeks and chin. I have mentioned before that I have been attempting to find photos of my skin from back then however I would never let anyone take photos of me due to feeling so embarrassed and self conscious about my skin. It took a huge toll on me mentally and emotionally.
Another important piece of information for this topic is to know I have worked in the cosmetic industry for over 6 years in Los Angeles. Working alongside a plastic surgeon and running a medical spa where we did all kinds of cosmetic treatments including lasers, microneedling, injectables, etc… That is where my knowledge comes from when recommending cosmetic treatments to my community. I have done many myself and have worked with many clients to help improve acne and acne scars.
When it comes to acne scars, you can buy the most expensive cream or line of products and you really won’t see a change. The ONLY way to truly address scaring is by doing some kind of cosmetic treatment. That means treatments like lasers, peels, radiofrequency treatments or microneedling. The reason being these cosmetic treatments are creating a controlled wound into the skin, triggering the release of natural growth factors, new collagen, elastin and new skin cell growth.
The treatments below are non invasive which means these are not surgical treatments. You can walk into the office, get the treatment, and go home. Most of them have about a 24-72 hour downtime window. When I say downtime I mean your skin will look red like you got a bad sunburn. There might be slight swelling but that is about it.
Even with cosmetic treatments, reducing acne scars is a process. It takes several of these treatments to truly start to see a change in the scars. The more severe the scars the more treatments and time it will take. However I have seen people’s lives change after committing to these treatments as they have seen huge changes in their skin and scars. As far as the financial element, these treatments have a wide range of pricing. A lot of medical spas will offer big promotions throughout the year especially for packages. If you are not familiar with the cosmetic industry I know it can seem overwhelming or intimidating but I promise most people walking in for consultations for the first time feel the same way.
Another benefit to these treatments are that they aren’t only targeting your scars. They also are evening out your skin’s texture, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, tightening and brightening your skin. Basically just making you look younger and tighter. Who doesn’t want that?? #JLO
Below are the actual cosmetic treatments I have done personally.
Microneedling is my all time favorite cosmetic treatment for acne scars. In my experience it is the least painful procedure. For acne scars you can be looking at anywhere from 6-12 treatments. The treatments are done about 4 weeks apart. There is about 48 hours of downtime. Basically you just look super red as if you have gotten a bad sunburn. You also might have what looks like little scabs or cat scratches in certain areas. Do not be alarmed they go away! You also might have slight swelling or puffiness.
Fractora is a bit more invasive than microneedling. It uses radio frequency to stimulate a new production of collagen and elastin. You need multiple treatments of this as well, doing these treatments about 6 weeks apart. Very similar downtime as Microneedling.
Peels remove damaged outer layers of the skin to smooth texture. Depending on the severity of your scars will depend on the type of peel and how many you might need to do. If you have more severe scars, peels might not deliver the kind of result that Microneedle or Fractora will as it is a more superficial treatment.
VBeam is a laser that stimulates collagen in the deep layers of your skin. This laser will help with scars, birthmarks and leg veins.
C02 ABLATIVE RESURFACING
This laser treatment is probably the MOST effective treatment for severe acne scars. However this is way more invasive and aggressive than the treatments mentioned above. This treatment is basically creating a controlled burn to the skin. By doing this it is removing the top layer of your skin to then replace it with new younger skin. It can take up to 5-10 years off someone’s skin. However you are looking at about two weeks of downtime and the first few days are quite uncomfortable. You are extremely red and raw. Yes sounds scary I know. However after the first 72 hours it’s not so bad. For some they only need to do this treatment once. For others they might need to do it 2-3 times.