The Acne Scarring Gameplan & What You Can Do

Dealing with acne is frustrating enough, but the aftermath of acne scarring can be equally distressing. At Vérité Dermatology Boutique, we understand the impact that acne scars can have on your self-esteem and are here to help you, hear you, and work with you to feel your best. When you feel good, you will “look” good, and feeling good is what matters.

The best results happen with a thought out game plan designed specifically for your skin’s needs and type, a consistent and effective strategy and most importantly an open, approachable and trusting relationship with your dermatologist. It takes time and some work, but we have fun doing it. 

Keep reading to explore the causes of acne scarring, the different types of scars, and the various treatment options available to you.

What Causes Acne Scarring? 

Acne scars are a result of the body’s natural healing process after a breakout or blemish. Different types of acne scars are caused by specific factors, and are often categorized as pigment scarring or textural scarring.

  • Pigment changes occur due to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, where melanocytes produce excess pigment as a protective response to inflammation. Flat redness is caused by residual inflammation that hasn’t fully resolved. 
  • Textural scars develop when inflammation affects the collagen and elastic fibers in the skin, resulting in deep wounds that lead to divots, bumps, or grooves.

Types of Acne Scars:

Acne scars can manifest in both changes to skin color (pigment) and texture. 

  • Hyperpigmentation refers to dark spots that appear after a breakout, and its severity can vary depending on your skin’s melanin levels (darker skin tones are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation and dark spots after a breakout).
  • Pink marks, known as macular erythema or red spots, are also common. 
  • Textural scars, such as pitted, boxcar, or ice pick scarring, tend to be more permanent. 

Pigment scars often improve over time (although it can take quite a while to heal without targeted skincare and intervention), while textural issues generally require intervention for improvement.

Treating Acne Scars At Home:

Image via @moniqueschreiber

Taking preventive measures during active breakouts is crucial to minimize the risk of scarring. Sun protection is key, as UV light can exacerbate pigmentation issues. 

Skincare routines should be tailored to the type of scarring present. Consider incorporating AHAs (including glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid), hydroquinone, niacinamide, TXA, and vitamin A derivatives like tretinoin, which promote cell turnover, improve texture, tone, and hyperpigmentation. 

We offer the best-in-class products including Vérité Prep Pads, Masque Vivant, and Biologique Recherche’s infamous P50 lotion, which are effective for blemish-prone skin and post-breakout congestion. 

PSA: For best results, consult with your trusted skin expert to develop an effective at-home skincare regimen that is tailored to your skin type and specific skin concerns. Simply exfoliating without proper consideration of products can actually cause more harm than good!!

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Treating Acne Scars in Office:

For more significant acne scars, especially textural scarring, we recommend developing an in-office gameplan that utilizes lasers, microneedling and more. 

When addressing both redness and pigmentation issues, the VÉRITÉ Laser is highly effective and provides results with minimal downtime. 

Clear & Brilliant laser treatments are phenomenal for brown scars, targeting hyperpigmentation and improving texture. 

LED light therapy is a non-invasive option that reduces inflammation and complements other in-office treatments. We recommend this as an adjunct to any other in-office treatments to soothe the skin and boost recovery post-procedure.

The Cool Peel laser treatment is recommended for textural concerns, including superficial textural scars or cobblestone-like bumps. Combining the Cool Peel laser with Virtue RF microneedling yields excellent results. In addition, Virtue RF microneedling with the Exact Tip can target specific scars.

The Diamond Glow facial is a fantastic maintenance option once significant improvement is achieved. We also recommend this option for those who do not have the budget for a series of laser or microneedling treatments, as this can improve discoloration and some textural concerns over time.

We can even use filler injections to provide immediate improvement for pitted scars, though this is not a permanent solution. 

Hypertrophic or keloid scars (thick raised scars) can be treated with diluted cortisone injections, which we may follow with the VÉRITÉ Laser to reduce redness. 

Trust the Process

We are here to help you and develop expert, result-driven, board certified dermatologist directed protocols to help you look as strong and confident as we know you can and will feel. We take the time needed to assess your skin and build a relationship based on trust, education and empowerment. Trust the process and seek out the expertise you deserve!

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Vérité Dermatology Boutique is the premier aesthetic boutique dermatology practice in Columbus, Ohio. Vérité is owned and operated by Board Certified Dermatologist Monique Kademian, MD.

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