Acne Scar Treatments
It is possible to erase your skins past! At Natural Acne Clinic, we specialize in clearing acne as well as eliminating post acne redness and minimizing skin indentations. We offer complimentary consults to explore the various options and to ensure the proper procedure is chosen. It is our goal to make sure you receive a treatment plan that is guarantee to produce results.
First off, it is important to understand that there are two different types of acne scarring 1) post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (aka red, purple or brown discoloration that slowly fades away) and 2) depressed scarring such as pock mark or ice pick scars caused by cystic breakouts. In order to understand what treatments are best, we need to explain what is physiologically occurring at the level of the skin with each of these types of scars.
Minimal downtime acne scar treatments includes for post-acne redness include:
- Chemical Peels
- IPL Photofacial
- Topical Skin Lighteners
Most aggressive acne scar treatments for depressed and pitted acne scars include:
- Laser Resurfacing
- TCA Chemical Peels
Acne Scarring Treatment Options
First the good news- PIH is not truly a scar and will go away with time or quite quickly when treated with acne scar treatments such as IPL or chemical peels and topical skin lighteners applied daily!
Post-acne redness or PIH is the skins natural response to inflammation. PIH develops when a stimuli such as an acne breakout causes inflammation, which triggers the skin to produce too much melanin (aka pigment) as a protective measure. This pigment is produced in excess causing a red, purple or brown spot to be left behind weeks to months after a breakout has healed. PIH is typically caused by pustular and hormonal inflammatory acne.
One of the best acne scar treatments for PIH is an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) due to its ability to target and lighten pigment that is darker than the surrounding skin color. Keep in mind, the IPL is only appropriate for light to medium skin types.
If you have darker skin with PIH, your best option is a chemical peel. Your Esthetician will make a recommendation on the best peel for you.
Full Face IPL: $175 Single Treatment, 15% off Packages of 3 or 6
Partial Face (cheeks) IPL: $110 Single Treatment, 15% off Packages of 3 or 6
Chemical Peels & Microdermabrasion
Another great treatment option for PIH is chemical peels and microdermabrasion. This is the least abrasive way to make dramatic improvements in the skin without significant downtime. These treatments work by exfoliating off the top layers of pigmented/damaged skin. In addition, chemical peels contain specific ingredients that interact with the darkened skin and “lighten” the discoloration. With a series of treatments, PIH and redness will completely fade away. Chemical peels can be combined with microdermabrasion for an even more dramatic effect, this procedure is called a MicroPeel.
We recommend Jessners and TCA Peels for best results in addition to a home care regimen consisting of Vitamin A and skin lightening products such as Vivant Bleaching Serum Forte.
Jessners Chemical Peel………………………………….$100 Single Treatment, Buy 5 Get 1 Free
20% TCA Peel…………………………………………………….$150 Single Treatment, Buy 5 Get 1 Free
MicroPeel……………………………………………………………..$115 Single Treatment, Buy 5 Get 1 Free
Depressed (Pock Mark or Ice Pick) Scarring Treatment Options
Depressed acne scarring is caused by loss of collagen after a cystic breakout or picking at acne and is unfortunately, a true scar. The nature of cystic acne is that it develops deep within the skin and continues to erupt and spread, destroying and breaking down collagen in the process. Collagen is what gives our skin thickness and volume. When collagen is lost naturally by the aging process or due to trauma in the area one will see wrinkles, lines, sagging skin or depressed skin tissue.
Collagen is also responsible for youthful looking skin, the best acne scar treatments are collagen induction therapies such as MicroNeedling or laser procedures used to treat wrinkles and sagging that are also used to treat acne scarring. The best treatments for depressed acne scarring are MicroNeedling and Fractional CO2. There are, however, differences between these two treatments.
MicroNeedling, or collagen induction therapy, is recommended for minor to moderate, shallow acne scarring. Overall, in our experience, this is the favored choice over Fractional CO2 (except for severe, deep acne scarring). In our experience, as a whole, our clients are happier after a series of MicroNeedling sessions that they are after laser. This is because MicroNeedling is less painful, has only 1-2 days of downtime, costs less and has better results.
Treatments cost $175-275 and require 4-8 sessions.
MicroNeedling Full Face: $275 Single Treatment, 15% off Package of 4 or more
MicroNeedling Partial Face (cheeks): $175 Single Treatment, 15% off Package of 4 or more
Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing
Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing treatments are the preferred method of treating acne scarring when it is severe and/or deep. The CO2’s long wavelength gives it the ability to deeply penetrate the skin below the epidermis, which is where our collagen is located. The laser causes an injury and the body then responds by making new collagen and rebuilding the thickness of the skin. This is ideal for severe acne scarring.
Fractional CO2 is safe for all skin types and is the modern day “gold standard” for pock mark or boxcar scars. One can expect 10-14 days of downtime and up to one month to completely heal from the procedure. While these treatments are often advertised as one and done, in our experience 2-3 treatments are typically needed for desired results.
Best results are seen when combined with TCA or Jessner’s Chemical Peels and a proper home care regimen to encourage collagen stimulation.
It is important to note that acne scarring can never be completed eliminated and that results will vary from person to person. We typically is a 30-70% improvement of scars.
Treatment cost is $1600-1900 per session. Smaller areas can be treated at a lesser price, if needed. Treatments are performed every 4-8 weeks.
If you have acne scars and live in the Denver and Boulder area, please schedule a Complimentary Consultation online or call us at 720-340-2263.