About Acne Scar Treatment
Have you been suffering from the physical and emotional pain of acne scars? Have your attempts to treat your scars fallen short of your expectations? Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center can help you.
At Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, we are pioneers in the treatment of acne scars. Whether you have never tried to treat your acne scars in the past, or whether you are seeking help after failing treatments like chemical peels, TCA cross, dermabrasion, microneedling/radiofrequency (RF) microneedling, or other laser treatments, our board-certified dermatologists are confident that they can help you improve the appearance of your scars, so you can start to move past the psychological pain that they have caused you.
At Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, we offer an innovative, multi-step treatment for acne scars that is unlike any other treatment protocol in the world. This treatment approach to acne scars was developed and refined over the course of many years at Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, and has been published in Dermatologic Surgery, which is the flagship medical journal of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery.
Although our approach might vary depending on an individual’s scarring, broadly speaking this comprehensive treatment involves the following components, all delivered during the course of a single 60–90-minute treatment session:
- TCA chemical peel
- Tangential laser resurfacing to blend the edges of the scars
- Finely focused ablative laser to eliminate ice-pick acne scars and enlarged pores
- Tumescent anesthesia
- Scar band subcision with a surgical instrument that was invented at the Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center
- Fully or fractionally ablative laser resurfacing (choice of laser depends on the severity of the scars, as well as the patient’s skin quality and skin tone)
- Laser-assisted delivery of a collagen stimulator to the dermis
- Platelet rich plasma to optimize results and promote healing
- Possible surgical excision of the most severe scars
While this combined approach may sound complicated, it actually allows for greater improvement in a single treatment session without any more downtime or risk. In most cases, the entire treatment for facial acne scarring can be completed in about an hour of treatment time, and with just one or two weeks of recovery time.
What types of acne scars can be treated?
There are many types of acne scars—icepick, rolling, box-car, and variations on these three—but all can be treated in a single session on the same day.
Am I a good candidate for acne scar treatment?
The simple answer is likely—yes. However, since there is individual variation in the type and number of acne scars, which parts of the face are affected, depth and severity of scars, skin tone, age, skin quality, other skin issues (wrinkles, laxity…etc.), and past medical history, our board-certified dermatologists will consult with you first to obtain a detailed medical history, analyze the types of scars that you have, and devise a customized plan that will incorporate many of the above-listed treatments, in the pursuit of bringing about the greatest improvement in your acne scars in a single treatment session.
Does the treatment hurt?
We strive to make our patients comfortable during their acne scar treatments, as we understand that this condition has already caused them a great deal of physical and emotional pain. To that end, we give our patients oral medications, topical numbing cream, and complete tumescent anesthesia, to ensure that they experience little to no pain during and after treatment.
How long is the recovery?
Most patients require 7 to 14 days before returning to work or to sensitive social situations. The recovery is not painful and is easily managed at home. Special healing ointments developed by the Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, and light treatments to stimulate the skin and promote healing, are used to support your recovery. Periodic office visits with Dr. Taylor, Dr. Huerth, and Dr. McClean are also conducted throughout your recovery period.
How much will this treatment improve my scars?
It is unfortunately not possible to predict exactly how much improvement you will obtain from our treatment protocol. In a study that we published on our own patient outcomes, we found that patients obtain around 70% average improvement in their acne scars with our single session, multistep treatment described above. Keep in mind, however, that 70% is an average—this means that some people might experience close to 90% or more improvement, while others only experience 30-50% improvement.
For those patients who seek additional improvements in their acne scars after undergoing our signature, multi-step treatment described above, there are many options. Residual scars can often be revolumized with a hyaluronic acid soft-tissue filler which can provide not only instant improvement but can, with repeated treatments over time, help to gradually build back the skin that was damaged when it was scarred by acne.
There are also additional laser treatments that we can perform that can continue to incrementally improve your acne scars, while also enhancing your overall skin quality. Depending on your individual needs and goals, our board-certified dermatologists will collaborate with you to discuss further treatment options that can continue to improve your acne scars, as well as the overall health and radiance of your skin.
Is there a way to prevent acne scarring in the first place?
The only way to effectively prevent acne scarring is to achieve rapid and complete clearance of acne as soon as it appears. This is because the severity of a person’s acne does not always correlate with whether they are left with scars as a result of it. Recent scientific advances have revealed that there are certain genetic factors that influence whether an individual experiences severe acne scarring. Micro (mi)RNAs are small molecules that influence the ways that our genes are expressed. It has been found that 3 of these miRNAs in particular— miR-223, miR-21, and miR-150 –are significantly overexpressed in the skin of individuals prone to acne scarring. In addition to the study of miRNAs, it has also been found that certain markers in the TIMP2 gene are significantly associated with greater acne scar severity in certain populations.
While we cannot control or alter our genetics, we can control our habits. If you have a strong family history of acne or acne scarring, it is in your best interest to have any acne that you are currently struggling with treated in a prompt and comprehensive manner. Our board-certified dermatologists are not only experts in treating acne scars, but also in controlling active acne with a variety of medical and procedural interventions. They can help you achieve clearance of your acne, which will help you minimize the extent and severity of any acne scars that you might be left with. When it comes to acne scars, the old adage – prevention is the best cure – really does hold true.
Why trust Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center with the treatment of my acne scars?
Our board-certified dermatologists at the Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center are highly experienced in the treatment of acne scars and take an innovative approach that is unlike any other that is offered anywhere else in the world. They also have a passion for treating acne scars because they have seen how it can also heal the emotional scars and painful memories related to acne that people have internalized since they were adolescents, teenagers, and young adults. You can be assured that at the Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, you will be treated with respect and compassion, by caring, experienced dermatologists who feel honored to contribute to your healing journey – not just of your skin, but of you as a whole.