Problem skin is common during the pubescent years, often spanning into early adulthood. In some cases, adult onset-acne can occur in women due to pregnancy or menopause, with their fluctuating hormones. Some even develop the skin condition for the first time in their 40s or 50s. Men can also suffer from hormonal breakouts, and those that first occur during their adult years. Acne breakouts are influenced by a number of factors, including genetics, hormones, and facial hygiene. While breakouts are unsightly, they are, in many cases, temporary. Unfortunately, acne scars that form from these pimples can last for a lifetime. Different types of marks include dark, raised papules and icepick scars, as well other lesions. Women may feel more confident covering these marks with cosmetics, though makeup can aggravate and inflame sensitive skin, causing more acne breakouts and further scarring. Most men choose not to wear cosmetics and are faced daily with the after effects of their breakouts. Though acne scarring can be difficult to combat, Dr. Rubinstein of Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC is an expert in treating acne before it leaves permanent scars through effective methods, such as HydraFacial, Laser Genesis, and Isolaz Acne Light Treatments.
Getting Acne under Control
In some cases, patients interested in undergoing acne scar treatment have chronic acne or are in active breakout status. Dr. Rubinstein may suggest that these individuals first see a board-certified dermatologist for especially difficult-to-treat and chronic breakouts; or he may be able to provide a skincare regimen or treatment plan to clear and maintain the skin so the focus can be on the acne scars. Pustules and inflamed pores can erupt with bacteria, which may affect other areas of the face. Also, each pimple that forms has the potential create another scar, so the skin must be treated. For these reasons, the treatments detailed below each perform double duty: they help to eliminate existing acne, preventing future scars and also fade or eliminate existing acne scars.
HydraFacial for Acne and Acne Scars
A skin treatment that can benefit problem skin with scarring is HydraFacial. A common skincare myth is that acne-prone skin does not require hydration, due to excess sebum (oil) production. In reality, hydration should be maintained in all types of skin to maintain balance and prevent irritation that may lead to breakouts. During HydraFacial, the skin undergoes a deep cleansing and added hydration to improve overall skin health. Dr. Rubinstein and his medspa professionals can create a unique set of skin therapies for all issues. The benefit of this treatment is that it consists of many steps during a single setting, medical-grade skin care products are used on the skin, and it feels more like a spa treatment than a facial cosmetic procedure.
The first part of HydraFacial typically consists of an exfoliation and cleansing of the skin to slough off and carry away skin cells from the epidermis. In some patients, the next phase of treatment will be dermaplaning, where the skin undergoes a controlled scraping to further remove top-skin tissue. A chemical peel, which provides chemical exfoliation, may follow. Patients with existing blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads, or other congestion of the skin can undergo an extraction, which many feel is the most satisfying portion of the treatment. There will be a noticeable improvement after this step. Lastly, a treatment serum or moisturizer is applied to hydrate and condition the treated skin. Patients can choose a 30-minute Signature HydraFacial or the 90-minute deluxe version for more steps and additional benefits, and the procedure is safe to undergo once a month.
Another way to treat active inflammatory acne and diminish acne scarring is through a Laser Genesis session, where the non-ablative YAG laser polishes the facial skin to improve the overall complexion without damaging the top layers of skin. In order to treat existing blemishes, the laser treatment must be performed in conjunction with a skin care regimen, typically consisting of prescription-grade topical treatments.
The concentrated light penetrates below the skin, heating the tissue to collapse blood vessels near the surface of the skin, effectively eliminating redness. The heat also jump starts collagen production so new skin can be composed of healthier tissues. Because collagen is a building block of the skin, enhanced growth improves the look of pitted acne scars. Laser Genesis is safe to use on acne scarring in darker skin, and can also improve fine lines so adult-onset acne suffers will see twice the benefit. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, and patients should plan to schedule at least 6 sessions for optimal results.
Isolaz Acne Light Treatment – A Preventative Measure
The Isolaz laser for acne treatment – from mild to cystic – is performed with a unique device that combines suctioning of the pores with broadband light treatment to clear plugged pores and kill any remaining bacteria on the face. The first of its kind to be FDA-approved, Isolaz can be adjusted through its tip applicators, with a smaller head to treat the nose, and in its intensity. In addition to vacuuming the pores and deep cleaning the pores, the practitioner can also spot treat acne to extract existing pimples. This treatment is great for light or dark skin tones and everything in between.
During the procedure, the skin is cleansed to prepare for the Isoalz laser treatment. A solution may be applied to the skin, and commonly a 2% salicylic acid toner solution is smoothed over the face to help break apart the sebum, or oil within the skin. A spritz of cool water is misted over the treatment site, then Isolaz is administered. Patients will feel a light suction, then a minor zap at each site. To treat difficult acne or perform extractions, the intensity on the vacuum and light may be dialed up. The session may conclude with additional skincare, which may is commonly another application of 2% salicylic acid, followed by a 5% benzoyl peroxide topical solution. Typically, there will be at least two treatments performed, with the second one stronger than the first.
Isolaz is ideal for clearing the skin of existing acne, and preventing future breakouts. This proactive approach to skin care prevents future blemishes from forming, which can turn into acne scars. Additionally, the procedure has been shown to reduce redness and discoloration associated with skin inflammation and breakouts.
Combining Isolaz with Fraxel Laser
While Isolaz serves as a unique and effective treatment of acne and early discoloration, more serious scarring can be combatted with the addition of Fraxel Laser sessions. While the medi-spa at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC is equipped with different types of Fraxel lasers, the ideal option for acne scar treatment is Fraxel Dual 1550. Through microthermal sections, the non-ablative laser heats sections of the skin in a uniform manner, causing remodeling of the area. Collagen production is jumpstarted as the skin reacts to this heating as an injury and generates a healing response, restoring damaged tissues with fresh, healthy tissue. The result is an improvement in the texture and pigment of the skin, which is ideal for those with acne scars. It is a better solution for the wide array of skin tones patients have.
FAQs About Acne and Acne Scar Treatments
Are acne scar treatments safe for darker skin?
Laser technology for facial skin improvement has evolved to not focus on targeting pigment, which is why earlier treatments were not safe for darker skin tones. Each of the four treatment methods mentioned – HydraFacial, Laser Genesis, and Fraxel Dual, & Isolaz Acne Light Treatment – are effective for treating acne and improving acne scars in the full spectrum of skin colors. One exception may be skin prone to keloid scars, but through a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC, patients can become informed of all suitable options for facial skin correction of acne and acne scars.
What other procedures can improve the look of acne scars?
Icepick scars are pitted areas of the skin that are often very deep, reaching the dermis. These scars can be difficult to remove from the skin because of that depth. Repeated laser treatments of Laser Genesis or Fraxel Dual are great skin resurfacing methods, but can take time to show improvement because of the healing period plus the span of time between multiple laser sessions. More aggressive ablative laser treatments, such as CO2 Fraxel Repair and Erbium Frax 2940 with subcision can provide more resurfacing results. Typically, fillers containing hyaluronic acid, like Juvederm or Restylane are also recommended.
Why does acne sometimes occur during the mid or later years of a person’s life?
Acne can be triggered by the changes in a person’s hormones. During puberty or as a person ages, one’s hormone levels will fluctuate and can affect the amount of sebum (oil of the skin) produced. Female-specific hormonal changes include pregnancy and menopause.
What is the cost of acne treatments?
The cost will vary based on what procedure is needed to get the acne under control and how many treatments are needed as well as the maintenance of the treatments which will all vary greatly from individual to individual. Acne scar treatment costs will also vary in a similar manner with no downtime procedures such as HydraFacial, Isolaz & Laser Genesis costing less than the more aggressive Fraxel Dual and Fraxel Repair procedures. Dr. Rubinstein realizes how distressing acne and acne scars. He will always try to find the most cost effective way for treatment and offer discounted pricing for the maintenance of the treatments.
Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD – New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Rubinstein has a practice dedicated to treating a patient’s most important physical feature – their face. As a top-rated New York facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Rubinstein of Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC has found success by remaining current in modern technology. As a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, the doctor continues his training to remain abreast of new advancements in biomedical laser medicine. Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists offer a variety of facial & body cosmetic procedures ranging from acne care to plastic surgeries.
Dr. Rubinstein is dual board-certified through the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He has undergone extensive and rigorous training in the anatomy of the face, and works to educate future facial plastic surgeons. New patients can fill out a Patient Contact Form or reach the office at 845-863-1772.