Acne is an inflammatory skin condition. When inflammation occurs, our immune system comes in to heal it. However, this healing process can create uneven collagen production, where our collagen malfunctions in response to that injury – from an oven burn to a blemish on your face.
If you’re struggling with acne scarring or pigmentation, we’re here to help!
Schedule a consultation to discuss treatment options, concerns, and any questions you may have. We can work together to get you on the path to smooth skin.
Why Choose DLA to help with acne scarring?
We see the difficulty and cost that it takes to treat acne scars as our patients get older, so we know they can create a lifetime of trouble.
Our comprehensive approach combines medical-grade skincare & advanced aesthetic treatments with years of expertise.
We believe that aggressive treatment is needed to fight acne – we’re not pulling any punches in this fight! It is much easier to gain control of scarring acne than it is to treat acne scars!
Resurfacing is a huge modality that we use often for acne scars. Our lasers use heat modality to break up any irregularities and allow the collagen to heal normally.
When Dr. Sawyer trained back in 2003, dermatologists used ablative resurfacing lasers that burned and took 2-3 weeks to fully heal. We now have better technology, with fractional lasers that go deeper into the skin with much less downtime.
This technology has changed the entire game for acne scars, as we are now able to tackle scars deep in the collagen. Even on a superficial setting with a Carbon Dioxide laser, we can tackle acne scars within a week.
- Our BBL (Broadband Light) laser is Dr. Sawyer’s favorite for anti-aging, as it can tackle multiple cosmetic issues in one treatment. It helps clarify skin color and improves texture quickly, especially in patients with older acne scars. As you age, the laxity that develops in your skin can reveal more scarring and texture irregularities. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) helps strengthen that collagen, promoting youthful skin on a molecular level. For aging and skin imperfections, we often recommend the BBL, as it has no downtime.
- Fraxel is an Erbium glass treatment that does a great job with scars, and it is a tried-and-true technology for Dr. Sawyer. It is her go-to laser treatment for acne scars and almost all other forms of scarring. For our resurfacing treatments, we can see an outcome as soon as 2-3 weeks after. Fraxel treatments have about a 4-day downtime. For darker skin types, we often need to do more treatments as we risk changing the pigmentation in the skin type if we are too aggressive.
- Our eMatrix laser device for sublative resurfacing can help those patients in their late teens and early 20’s who want to move past their acne quickly. It has a small amount of downtime – your skin might be pink the next day, but it’s nothing a face mask can’t help cover up!
Microneedling and Radiofrequency
Lasers aren’t the only option for acne scarring!
Some of the newer treatments, such as Microneedling (with or without radiofrequency), create a controlled wound in the skin and allows us to put an equal amount of heat into the dermis layer where acne scars live, where we can remodel the collagen without altering the pigment in your skin.
- Infini was the first short-pulse radiofrequency microneedling device here at Dermatology & Laser of Alabama. We can treat darker skin with it, treat deeper than with lasers, and have great results treating cheek scars, forehead scars, lines around the mouth, etc., and add on filler as needed to fill in.
- Dr. Sawyer will often combine Infini with Sculptra filler to help boost collagen remodeling and fill out acne scars in the face, restoring volume that patients that may have lost through aging.
One of the advantages of microneedling is that we can better treat darker skin types. Microneedling can go deep into the skin, without causing any damage to the surface. It is also often the best option for those with “ice pick” acne scarring on their face.
Regular microneedling without PRP is best for superficial scarring. Anything deeper than superficial scarring, and we’ll have to have some heat with it through a laser or radiofrequency treatment.
Recommendations for adult acne & acne-prone skin?
When we see cysts, linear scars, or bound-down collagen, we recommend oral medications such as spironolactone or Accutane, or serious laser treatments to help restore collagen and smooth out skin texture.
For clogged pores and comedones, we often recommend using Retin-A or retinol. It doesn’t have to be a prescription – many of our Skinceuticals creams with retinol are effective in managing acne breakouts. For cysts, we turn to oral medications such as spironolactone or Accutane.
For red marks and residual redness in the skin, we love using a pulsed-dye laser like our V-Beam. We also turn to our medical-grade chemical peels with salicylic acid to help treat pigment changes from acne.
Who Do You Trust with Your Face?
Dr. Sarah Sawyer is a board-certified dermatologist, specializing in cosmetic & aesthetic dermatology. She founded Dermatology & Laser of Alabama in 2006, establishing a center where people could find answers to their cosmetic questions in a safe and ethical environment. Our providers and laser technicians have years of experience, training, and certifications under their belts.
Away from all the noise, our patients can find the most “bang for their buck” when it comes to acne scars. We have a “never give up “attitude with acne scars! There are so many ways to treat acne scars – so if we aren’t seeing results with a certain modality or treatment, we simply move on to the next.
Contact Our Acne Scarring Experts in Birmingham, Alabama
We love using these treatments to help teenagers come out of their shells and restore confidence in our patients with acne scarring. Seeing the incredible results that we can achieve is so rewarding!
If you’re ready to make a change and treat your acne scarring, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Simply call our office at 205-870-3303 to get started.