Read more about acne scars below.
Characteristics of Acne Scars
Acne scars are usually sharp-sided depressions or pits and should not be confused with pigment spots (brown spots) or infection spots (red spots), which are a temporary condition caused by the injury of the infection. For information on pigment spots (brown and red) refer to the page on “Acne Pigment Spots”.
Because moderate acne to severe acne (adult acne, acne vulgaris and cystic acne) produces substantial swelling of the tissues around the infections, it is possible that scarring may be occurring but not readily visible. The photograph below and left of an actual BiON client was taken on day-1 of acne treatment and, due to infections and swelling along the jaw-line, no scarring was visible. The photograph below on the right was taken at week-13 of acne treatment. There are no new infections and swelling is minor. Pox marks (scars) are now visible along the jaw-line. These scars are sloped depressions and will disappear in time.
People with moderate acne to severe acne become systemically (bodily) deficient in chemicals needed to prevent acne and facilitate adequate repair of these infection injuries. Zinc, as discussed in other sections, can block many of the conditions that promote acne. Zinc is also essential in the production of collagen, elastin, new replacement cells and tissue substances that make up the repair process in the infection sites.
Since acne consumes so much of the skin’s available supply of critical chemicals, like zinc, antioxidants, calcium, etc., the repair process of infections is inadequate. Too little collagen, elastin, etc. can be manufactured, resulting in a severe depression (pox mark or scar) at the site of the injury.
Preventing Acne Scars
BiON’s Inhibiting Gel corrects the chemical imbalances in the skin caused by acne. It rebuilds the skin’s ability to prevent new infections, which prevents acne scarring in the future. It enables the repair processes to completely repair current infections, without acne scars.
Infections require 60-120 days to heal. Inhibiting Gel promotes this repair by providing the skin with the required chemical elements to adequately execute the repair process. As in the photographs above, acne scarring that occurred one to two months before BiON treatment, will usually heal without leaving any marks with the use of Inhibiting Gel. We recommend Inhibiting Gel be added to the regimen (following either Antibacterial Cleanser or Bacteriostat Cleanser, then the Salicylic-Glycolic Gel and before the Green Tea/Clay Poultice) when treating patients with severe acne.
Green Tea/Clay Poultice also prevents the development of new infections and significantly promotes the skin’s ability to heal without scarring. The Green Tea/Clay Poultice is rich in minerals required by the skin and its immune processes. The poultice action helps draw infectious waste matter out of the skin, which speeds the repair processes.
The use of benzoyl peroxide products generates free radicals in the skin and interferes with and slows the healing process. The red and brown marks that are a part of the acne healing process may last weeks longer when benzoyl peroxide is a regular part of the daily regimen. Benzoyl peroxide may increase the risks of acne scarring. (See the Acne Tips and Benzoyl Peroxide Skin Damage pages for more information on benzoyl peroxide.)
Removal or Reduction of Acne Scars
Before addressing pre-existing acne scars, first achieve total control of acne and then leave adequate time for any of the final infections to completely heal, which may take up to three months. If there are only a few significant deep boxcar (straight edge) scars these can be surgically removed by a practiced plastic surgeon. The center of the scar is removed and the edges are brought together to make a flat surface. This is a brief procedure performed in the office under a local anesthetic.
Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) is a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that involves the use of a micro-needling device. CIT is safe and effective on all skin types without the risk of discoloration. The micro-needling procedure can be performed by licensed qualified medical professionals including estheticians and physicians. The micro-needling procedure creates thousands of micro wounds in a treatment area. As each wound induces new collagen formation, it forms a new, healthy collagen layer in the treatment area. The new collagen fibers thicken the skin, filling in atrophic scars. The use of BiON’s Collagen Serum, along with CIT, not only magnifies the amount of collagen production, but also increase the rate that the collagen is produced. Please note that not all deep acne scars can be repaired or minimized.
If there is a larger number of acne scars and irregular surfaces, the Ebrium:YAG laser has been shown to produce good results for shallow boxcar and ice pick scars. For rolling and deep boxcar scars, the Erbium:YAG with long-pulse duration is suggested. Check with medical facilities to see if they have this equipment within their facility and have experience in treating acne scars.