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Acne Scars Done & Dusted

“Acne does not discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity offender.”

By the age of 25, most everyone has experienced some level of acne. Acne does not discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity offender. Whether it’s the lumpy congestion made up of blackheads & whiteheads, the siren red pimples, the oiliness or the scarring…when it’s on our face…we want it gone.

I’m going to talk specifically about how to successfully eliminate the scarring from PIH, or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation which leaves that dreaded reddish-purple spot long after the offensive blemish has gone. I’ll also talk about correcting the depth and texture of the scars to eventually give you an improved, more smooth appearance.

Step 1. See a skin care provider for direction

First things first, the blemish is gone. Yay! Step One- Get in to see your clinical aesthetician or dermatologist for an evaluation. This is money well spent as it will save you from buying countless products and treatments that you don’t need, or that are not appropriate for you. For complete correction you will need 3 things; professional treatments, professional strength products, and the discipline to be consistent with your program. With these steps, you will have success.

Your skin care provider will likely recommend a schedule of treatments as well as a few key products. It’s all about combination therapy.

First, I recommend treatments that will stimulate new collagen which will translate to plump, new skin to begin smoothing the scar. For this, I like two treatments; (1) Microneedle with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for scars with more depth like icepick & boxcar scars and (2) Viva RF Microneedle with PRP for lighter scarring. Both treatments are done in a series with usually one every 4-6 weeks. Treatments will be $250 to $500 per session. Photo below depicts 2 Microneedle treatments at 30/60 days post treatment.

Step 2. Home use products….the key to success!

Secondly, it’s all about the product you will need to use at home daily. I always recommend an exfoliating product (to rapidly shed the dead, impacted cells) to be used 2-3 times weekly. I pair with that a core program of a Salicylic based gel cleanser for evening, and a lipid based cleanser for morning. I like Avene Xeracalm Cleansing Oil, $32. It’s also brilliant for removing all of your makeup with zero sting! A good product for day to begin the brightening process is Skin Ceuticals Phloretin CF, $169 with a 10% Ascorbic acid, and 2% Phloretin.

Over that, an excellent broad spectrum sunscreen should be worn daily. This is a crucial step that often gets overlooked (because it’s rainy or gloomy weather) but the damaging UVA/UVB rays are out regardless of sun or none. A huge part of the correction process with acne scars is removing pigment so SPF cannot be skipped. For sunscreen, I like the powdery finish of Jan Marini Antioxidant Spf33, it settles on the skin nicely with no weight. For the evening, I call it the “Two-Punch,”  a good 2% Salicylic lotion is very useful, I like Jan Marini Bioclear Lotion, $80 with Meladerm over the top, only available at www.civant.com, $49. This is a powerful skin lightener with a layered formulation that is free of Hydroquinone and safe to use daily.

Step 3. Hands Off

Lastly, keep your hands off of your face. No fiddling, touching, picking. Bad things happen when you start picking. It’s a sure fire way to scar your skin and spread the bacteria to perpetuate more acne. And no, don’t buy an extractor tool either. There is no good way to pick at your face. That’s my job.