Acne and Acne Scars

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, with approximately 50 million Americans currently suffering from the disorder. Without treatment, acne can last for years, often leading to permanent changes in the skin, significant scarring and even emotional distress such as anxiety and depression. Since acne can be difficult to control, it’s imperative to seek the advice of a dermatologist when symptoms first appear. Prescription therapy combined with an appropriate skin regimen can effectively treat current breakouts while aiding in the prevention of future breakouts.

What is acne

Acne is a skin condition that develops when oil glands at the base of the pores become overactive, causing the pore to fill with oil and become plugged. Bacteria can then grow in the trapped oil and irritate the pore, causing redness, pain and localized swelling.

There are two main types of acne:

  1. Non-inflammatory lesions consist of comedones or blackheads. These can be open to the surface of the skin or trapped just below the surface where they can be felt or seen upon close inspection of the skin.
  2. Inflammatory lesions include papules, pustules or whiteheads, cysts and nodules.

Causes of acne

Acne is essentially caused by four major factors: hormones, diet, hygiene and genetics, with hormonal changes having the most significant impact. Most commonly appearing in the teen years, acne can persist into young adulthood and often recur in the late 30s and 40s.

How to treat acne

The board certified dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology can help reduce or eliminate acne through a variety of treatment options tailored to address your specific needs. The mainstay of any treatment regimen is twice daily cleansing followed by topical prescription medications. Depending on the severity of acne, oral prescriptions including antibiotics are often added to control frequent flares or persistent inflammatory lesions.

Chemical peels, professional extractions and photodynamic therapy are additional specialty treatment options available at Advanced Dermatology. Multiple therapeutic options are utilized to treat residual acne scarring and textural changes with impressive results.


Preventing and Treating Acne

Treating Body Acne

The Latest Acne Treatments

Acne scars and hyperpigmentation

The scarring and/or discoloration that can result from acne can be just as devastating as acne itself and many patients are not aware that there are numerous treatment options available to them.

Treatment plans are dependant upon the type of scarring that is present. Even if acne is still active, speak with a board-certified dermatologist to customize the right treatment plan for your unique skin concerns.

Types of acne scars


Localized, dark brown or pink colored marks that appear on the skin as a result of acne or other traumas to the skin. After inflammation subsides, the skin produces excess melanin. Most hyperpigmentation marks will resolve on their own or a dermatologist can prescribe a treatment plan that helps lighten and brighten dark spots with help from topical prescriptions or lasers.


Atrophic scars that result from a loss of tissue. Boxcar scars are classified as wide, round or oval depressions in the skin with steep vertical sides.  


This type of scarring results in a wave-like appearance of the skin.


Classified as deep, narrow scars that may resemble a “hole” in the skin.


A raised, hard mass of skin tissue that can often grow larger than the lesion itself. Hypertrophic scars are a result of an overproduction of collagen.

How to treat acne scars and hyperpigmentation

CHEMICAL PEELS: improve skin texture and pigmentation issues by providing chemical exfoliation and increased cell turnover. Types of chemical peels can include many types of physician grade acid peels, as well as sophisticated bleaching peels.

MICRONEEDLING (SKINPEN): stimulates your skin’s natural collagen production through controlled, precise injury to the skin resulting in uniform repair.

FRAXEL LASER: delivers microscopic laser columns to treat a fraction of the skin at a time without affecting the surrounding tissue. These laser columns stimulate the production of deeper levels of collagen, replacing damaged tissue to reveal healthy, youthful skin.

VBEAM LASER: a pulsed dye laser that delivers an intense but gentle burst of thermal energy (heat) into selectively targeted areas of the skin. This energy is then absorbed by specific blood vessels or pigmented areas in the dermis depending on the condition being treated. Once the thermal energy is absorbed the target is selectively destroyed.  

TOPICAL TREATMENTS: there are a number of effective topicals used to treat post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, or dark marks from acne. These include: prescription retinoids, topical hydroxy acids, as well as several types of prescription lightening agents.

DERMAL FILLERS: excellent for filling in volume loss caused by deeper acne scarring, as they provide immediate results by raising the depressed area of skin. The results can last between six months to two years and work best when combined with other acne scar treatments to achieve long-term results.

SURGICAL REVISION: for more severe acne scarring. The results depend on patient genetics, severity and location of the scars as well as patient healing. These techniques are highly patient-specific and can be used both in large areas as well as individual scars.

LOCALIZED INJECTIONS: treatment for hypertrophic or raised acne scars. Corticosteroid injections reduce excessive scarring by reducing collagen synthesis, altering glucosaminoglycan synthesis, and reducing inflammation during wound healing. Results are highly effective when used in combination with Fraxel resurfacing and Vbeam laser treatments.

Learn more about acne scars here.

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