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How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

You’re not alone if permanent acne scars have a profound effect on how you see yourself and relate to others. Acne affects about 80% of people ages 11 to 30 years old, with most people experiencing some type of scarring. 

Your risk for developing acne scars increases if you have inflammatory acne, a condition that produces swollen, red, or painful cysts and nodules. Delaying treatment of inflammatory acne and picking, popping, or squeezing cysts and nodules increase the likelihood of scars forming. You’re also at the mercy of genetics since having a blood relative who developed acne scars makes you more likely to have the same reaction. 

While you may achieve some improvement with over-the-counter or home remedies, one of the most efficient and effective ways to minimize and remove acne scars involves laser technology. Skin care specialist James Volpe, DO, of GLO Aesthetics in Philadelphia, has over 20 years of experience in primary care and aesthetics and is double-board certified in family medicine and hospice and palliative medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. Dr. Volpe and his technicians provide expert treatment with the Icon™ Aesthetic System to help patients with acne scars achieve a smooth and clear complexion.

Find out what’s involved in permanently getting rid of embarrassing acne scars and restoring your self-confidence with a flawless appearance. 

Acne scar formation

Acne scars form as permanent indentations and changes to the texture of your skin as the result of severe acne. In severe acne, acne cysts, which are large pus-filled pockets, form. The cysts destroy skin tissue and disrupt the collagen in the skin. 

When the cyst eventually empties and the area heals, the lost collagen isn’t always replaced appropriately during the healing process. If the body produces too little collagen during the healing process, depressions or pits form. If the body produces too much collagen, a raised acne scar develops.  

How the Icon laser works

The Icon laser uses fractional laser technology. This non-invasive treatment system delivers energy deep into your skin, where it destroys scar tissue without damaging the surrounding healthy skin. 

When the energy is applied to the scarred area, it stimulates your body to produce more collagen, a key component of healthy skin structure. The collagen fills in the scar depression and evens out damaged skin tone for a smooth complexion.

Best candidates for the Icon laser

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends treatment for acne scars when patients feel that their scars are affecting their quality of life. Dr. Volpe determines whether the Icon laser system is appropriate for your skin condition and aesthetic goals.

The Icon laser system can provide successful acne scar removal on any skin type, including skin that is very light or very dark. While it can treat a wide variety of acne scars, the Icon laser system provides the best results when used to treat shallow scars that appear as slight depressions in the skin. 

Skin resurfacing for acne scar removal

The Icon laser can also be used to provide skin resurfacing to improve your skin appearance and feel. Laser resurfacing removes the outer layer of your skin, contours areas of acne scars, and lightens redness around healed acne lesions. It can also treat other skin issues like sun damage, wrinkles, and age spots. 

Depending on the condition of your acne scars and other skin concerns, Dr. Volpe determines if overall laser skin resurfacing is your best option for acne scar treatment.

What to expect with laser treatment

During treatment with the Icon laser system, you may experience some mild discomfort, but the cooling mechanism on the equipment and topical numbing cream work to moderate this sensation. Sessions can last about 30 minutes depending on the area being treated.

Treatment with the Icon laser system requires minimal downtime. Most people can resume their regular activities after a session as long as they protect the treated area from the sun.

You may experience redness or pinkness that resembles a sunburn for up to eight hours after your laser treatment. Some patients feel a stinging sensation for the first few hours. Mild swelling may occur for a few days. Cold packs or damp cloths can relieve these symptoms. 

Achieving noticeable results

While you may achieve an immediate result from laser treatment, it can take several weeks or months for complete improvement. Your body needs time to heal entirely and produce new collagen.

Most patients benefit from three to five sessions, typically scheduled two to six weeks apart. Dr. Volpe designs a treatment plan targeted for your needs and goals.

Find out more about getting rid of acne scars and improving your quality of life with smooth and healthy-looking skin. Call or request an appointment online today.

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