Overview of Acne Scar Treatment:
The rule for treating acne scars is to start with the deepest scars and progressively treat them to the most superficial ones. For example, ice-pick scars are the deepest, followed by tethered, atrophic, boxcar, and rolling scars.
TCA cross, subcision or other surgical means release tethered and ice-pick scars. Dermal fillers can then be used for atrophic scars before adding radiofrequency microneedling with Secret RF, lasers and perhaps skin needling. The course of your treatment depends on the type and depth of your acne scarring.
- TCA cross is used for deep ice-pick scars. TCA cross is a highly concentrated (70-100% TCA concentration) peel.
- Subcision manually releases tethered deep acne scars.
- Dermal filler for atrophic scars. The most versatile acne scar treatment and is often combined with subcision.
- Tixel skin treatment is excellent for a range of acne scars.
- Secret RF and Infini radiofrequency microneedling combine radiofrequency and skin needling. RF microneedling is safe for all skin types and effective for improving acne scars and collagen production.
- Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing for lighter skin types, Erbium or Picosure laser for skin of colour.
- Skin needling is a well-established treatment for acne scarring, but many other more effective options exist.
Treatments for Acne Scars
TCA Cross for Acne Scar Treatment
The TCA cross solution is applied with a toothpick or fine needle. It is used for deep dermal ice pick scars and treats pitted scars and enlarged pores. Healing takes 4-5 days, and collagen replenishment takes weeks to months. Therefore, three and sometimes more treatments are usually required.
Subcision & TCA Cross for Acne Scars
Subcision involves inserting a needle under the skin and breaking the scar’s bonds. Once the scar tether is released, the subcision raises the surface instantly. Subcision and TCA cross are common treatment combinations, as are subcision and dermal filler. In addition, Acne Scars can be surgically removed in some cases.
Acne Scar Filler
Combined with subcision, dermal fillers are excellent for treating atrophic, rolling, and tethered lesions. First, the subcision raises the scar, and then dermal fillers are used to plump and smooth the skin. There is no downtime with these combined treatments, except for bruising and swelling after the treatment.
Secret RF & Infini – RF microneedling for Acne Scar Treatment
RF microneedling uses radiofrequency energy introduced under the skin by tiny needles. The heat from the radiofrequency breaks down scar collagen and stimulates fibroblasts to produce healthy collagen to plump up the skin and repair scarred areas.
Laser for Acne Scar Treatment
- Laser and RF Microneedling are commonly used in combination to treat acne scarring.
- Erbium, CO2 and Pico lasers are used to treat acne scars.
- The Erbium laser is fully ablative and treats boxcar scarring well.
- Fractional CO2 improves skin texture. In addition, CO2 laser penetrates deeper than Erbium.
- Picolasers have revolutionised acne scar treatments for dark skin.
- Other lasers perform better than the Fraxel 1550 acne scar laser.
- The best laser for acne scarring is not a laser but RF microneedling, such as the Infini or Secret RF. All skin types can use these technologies.