Acne Q & A Cont’d: Focus on Acne Scars and Blackheads
QUESTION 1: What helps with acne scarring?
ANSWER: When it comes to acne scarring, there are many options that can smooth out those scars, but they usually work best when used as part of a personalized treatment plan. Topical retinoids are key to use at home, as they help to rebuild the collagen especially in atrophic scars (ones that appear depressed or have a shadow). If scars are raised (so called hypertrophic scars), then cortisone shots can make a huge difference. For ice pick scars, and many types of rolling scars, I usually combine lasers with microneedling and fillers. I use lasers like the Fraxel laser to resurface the skin. Microneedling is amazing for acne scars as well. I can combine microneedling with your own plasma (the so-called Vampire Facial), or I can combine microneedling with radiofrequency energy (the Endymed Intensif). Last, chemical peels can also help to slowly even out the tone and textural changes associated with acne sequelae.
QUESTION 2: What causes blackheads in older patients?
ANSWER: Blackheads form when your hair follicles or pores become clogged because of hormonal changes or even certain ingredients in the products you are using. The sebum created by your skin becomes oxidized when it sits on your skin’s surface, so it appears black. If you notice blackheads, do not pick them, as tempting as it is! If you have resistant blackheads, I often recommend using a retinoid to combat them or sometimes I will do an in-office chemical peel which addresses blackheads and overall skin condition and health.
I look forward to sharing the next group of Q & A on acne soon!
Don’t forget to check out my book page which addresses skin conditions including acne.