Acne scarring is a huge concern to anyone who has struggled with acne. Acne in and of itself can be emotionally troubling for many sufferers, but then the scars it leaves behind can be just as stressful – and far longer lasting. But there is hope! The scarring can be treated with time and the right treatments, especially regenerative treatments like PRP and micro needling. Read on to explore the causes of scarring and how regenerative medicine can help.
Causes of Acne Scarring
Acne scars are a result of acne that went below the surface of the skin and caused deep damage which led to improper or insufficient healing. Scars are essentially disorganized fibroid tissue resulting from an injury to the skin. The initial injury causes damage to existing skin tissue and the new tissue that replaces it will then grow as needed in order to heal rather than the organized patterns of normal tissue growth. Inflammation occurs to help heal and remove dead tissue. Next, the regenerative phase allows for remodeling and regrowth.
In the remodeling stage of healing, the skin takes all those base building materials that are generated by the body’s healing mechanism and starts to put them in order. It is on the third step where things begin to go wrong and cause scarring. As the task of regrowth becomes too much for the body to manage, scars form; the body essentially piles those base building materials any which way, instead of in neat order, causing scarring in severe cases of acne or for those individuals more prone to scarring.
Although they are uncommon in acne cases, keloid is a severe, raised scarring that can occur and has to do with the body’s ability to remodel the injured area. If someone forms a keloid from a bad injury, they have a much higher risk of forming a keloid later with any other severe injury or even severe acne.
Treatment and Healing of Acne Scarring
While creams and topical treatment may contribute to the overall heal process, they seldom provide the full scope of healing needed, especially once scarring has occurred. Acne scarring responds well, however, to Platement Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. Additionally, micro needling all over the face, combined with injection directly into the scarred areas, can be beneficial. The technique and the depth of injection needed differs based on the size and depth of the scars.
At the beginning of the injection process, a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine cream, is applied all over the face. A very thin needle is used to inject PRP into the scarred areas. Those injections trigger the skin to re-order the disorganized fibers which are usually arranged in the skin in a very organized pattern, like books in a library. In a scar, fibers can go every direction and the PRP triggers new growth and healing that will help reorganize the tissue so it goes back to that library pattern.
Treatments typically require 3 to 4 sessions set about 6 weeks apart. If the scars are minimal and you are happy with the results, no further treatment is needed. If you want to take the treatment further, then the process can continue on an ongoing basis as needed. Those treatments will be spread a bit further apart, about 8 weeks between visits, so we can see maximal results before going ahead so treatments aren’t done unnecessarily.
While some treatment centers pair microneedling with radio frequency, this is often not the best treatment. Radio frequency burns the surrounding tissue to reinjure and trigger healing and reorganizing; however this may result in further scarring, especially in the hands of an unskilled practitioner.
How to Treat Your Acne Scars After Regenerative Treatment
For a day or two after each treatment, nothing should be used on the skin but a recommended oxygen-permeable line of skin creams. They allow 98% of oxygen to reach the skin and don’t block pores.
After those few days, continued good skin care is critical! Always wear sunscreen, practice good nutrition habits, and apply good skin care. It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on skin care, but it must be use consistently. Even fluorescent office lighting emits dangerous UV rays that can damage your skin, especially when it’s newly treated.
Lastly, combining the treatment with a Vitamin C IV can help accelerate healing. It’s essential to generating collagen for youthful, healthy skin. Keep in mind that oral Vitamin C supplements are not enough because they are water soluble. There’s a limit to how much your body can absorb and the excess is simply flushed. With an IV infusion, that powerful supplement gets sent directly to the bloodstream and is better absorbed.
With advancements in regenerative therapies and technologies, acne scars have become much easier to treat. Fortunately, there are many treatments to help reduce the appearance of scars. We at the National Stem Cell Clinic offer the newest and most advanced treatments available to help you renew your skin. Contact us today in Miami or Houston to see how we can help you have the skin – and the life – you deserve.