Acne Scars Shouldn’t Follow You Into Adulthood
By: Lauren Rodrigues
As we grow up the inevitable happens: we go through puberty and for some, acne and breakouts consume our face for everyone to see. Teenagers are not the only ones who get breakouts or suffer from acne (if you haven’t had a pimple in your life, I envy you). Adults may suffer from occasional breakouts or even severe acne long after their puberty phase which could potentially lead to scarring. Pimples occur when a pore in your skin is clogged, usually with dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria, which can cause that area of your face to become red and swollen.
Adults who continue to suffer from this skin condition long after their teenage years can relate to the frustration of not finding a solution that eliminates it for good. Prescription medicine can solve the breakout dilemma, but not many of them take care of the scarring left behind after the pimple is long gone.
Acne scars can create unsightly dents, gouges or caters in your skin. Some lotions and creams might help them diminish somewhat. Lasers, dermabrasion treatments, and compound medications also work to eliminate breakouts, but might not get rid of the scars. Ultimately, very few techniques will improve the scars forever, but there are a few that can almost erase specific types of acne-induced scarring that are worth taking a closer look at.
I reached out to several board-certified plastic surgeons to find out what options are available for adults who have acne scars. One of the options is Bellafill, an injectable treatment which is a combination of 80% collagen and 20% tiny microspheres of acrylate. It is the only dermal filler on the market approved by the FDA to correct moderate to severe acne scarring on the cheeks of patients 21 years and older. Bellafill® specifically sought FDA approval for their product for treatment of acne scarring, where other products are used to this end in an “off-label” capacity.
“Bellafill is actually just Artefill rebranded (which was originally Artecoll). I have experience using it on my patients for over 15 years and it has great lasting results in the right places for the right patient. We are always very careful when choosing the right candidates for this product because of its unique attributes in treating specific acne scars,” explained board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Simeon Wall Jr.
Dr. Brent Moelleken, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Beverly Hills, CA shared insight on the long term affects and pointed out safety issues that patients should be aware of before any injection. “It works best with broad acne scars. The long term effects are not known, and patients should be allergy tested because of the necessity of injecting the bovine collagen contained in the Bellafill.”
Patients receiving Bellafill will most likely need to receive more than one treatment. Depending on how severe the acne scarring is, one or two touch-up injections at intervals of at least 2 weeks may be required to achieve the desired effect. Facial fillers do not last forever, so re-treatment is a fact of life. After the injections, patients usually resume their normal anti-acne regimens unless instructed otherwise by their plastic surgeon.
“Collagen is back, and for acne scars, it is a great filler substance,” noted board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon. ordon “The needle breaks up the depression which is then filled with collagen. It is a great addition for a problem that has been tough for adults to find a solution to.”
For people who have tried and tested everything on the market to have clear skin, don’t give up yet. Having clear healthy skin is possible with the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon and customized skincare regimen. You’ve beaten the breakouts, now it’s time to get rid of the acne scars they so cruelly left behind!