Gentle acne scar treatment options for San Antonio
The word “acne” is derived from the Greek “akme,” meaning “highest point.” When a sebaceous gland in the skin becomes clogged and infected, an acne comedone (a pimple, cyst, papule, whitehead, or blackhead) forms. The inflammation results a noticeable “highest point,” usually in the worst possible location – on your forehead just before an important job interview, on your nose the evening of a big date, on your chest during a day at the beach, or on your back when you were planning to wear a strapless gown.
The emotional distress from acne can be as temporary as the breakout – or, it can leave a lasting impression, especially on those who suffer throughout teen years. Acne can also leave physical scars:
- “Ice picks” are small deep pits that extend through the epidermis into the next layer of skin.
- “Boxcars” are oval or round depressions, larger than ice picks. They result in the pitted complexion commonly seen on a long-time acne sufferer.
- “Rolling scars” occur when healing causes deep fibrous tissues to pull on the epidermis, forming a wavy surface.
- “Hypertrophic scars” are sometimes called keloids. These are raised scars caused by an uncontrolled overproduction of collagen during the healing process.
Fortunately, professional cosmetic dermatology in San Antonio provides a number of solutions to acne scarring. Chemical peels are a terrific, non-invasive, non-surgical place to start. Under the care of a skilled dermatologist like Dr. Vivian Bucay, chemical peels are a safe and effective method for improving acne-ravaged skin texture.
Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane. A glycolic acid peel hastens your body’s natural process of shedding dead skin cells. As it penetrates the skin, it weakens fibers that bind cells. That softens scarring and reduces discoloration, revealing a fresh complexion.
Salicylic acid is an excellent exfoliation agent. In a controlled chemical peel, it sloughs away the top layer of skin to visibly reduce smaller scars and minimize pores. As an added benefit, it also clears blocked pores to reduce future breakouts.
Depending on your skin type and the extent of scarring, Dr. Bucay may suggest a TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel. In varying concentrations, it resurfaces skin to refine texture and reduce discoloration. This is a medium to deep peel, so expect a few days of downtime.
Chemical peels are readily available at spas and salons, so why see a dermatologist? It starts with the consultation – a professional analysis of your skin type, empathy for your concerns, and a deep understanding of treatment options. Keep in mind that acne is a medical problem that requires the training and skill of a dermatologist. Acne has many underlying causes and a thorough evaluation is needed in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan. If a chemical peel is part of your treatment plan, a physician supervised peel is your best option to make sure that you receive the right pre and post care.
Dr. Bucay will also explain whether you might benefit from alternating types of chemical peels, or combining peels with microdermabrasion or laser techniques for scar minimization. No two people are exactly alike, and no two people have the same type of acne or acne scarring. Successful treatment depends on an individualized approach tailored to your needs.