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The scarring from acne can be a big confidence killer when you try to put your best face forward. Yet, with many treatment options, there’s no need for you to endure the compromise. Dr. Stella Matsuda, Dr. Shannon Sheu, and Dr. Shelbi Jim On of Matsuda Dermatology in Honolulu, Hawaii, and serving telehealth to the outer islands of Big Island, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, and Niihau, can match treatment to your needs, resulting in smoother, more even skin. Call the office or book an appointment online to learn more about the options available to you.
Most acne scars result from repeated acne inflammations affecting the same patches of skin. Certain types of acne have a higher risk of forming scars. When acne outbreaks overlap, the skin also has little chance to heal fully, resulting in a breakdown of skin support tissue, as the accompanying inflammation interferes with the normal healing process.
The matrix that supports healthy skin gets disrupted and damaged during acne infections, and while this matrix is normally responsible for repairing skin damage, overlapping outbreaks replace the matrix with scar tissue. While the scar tissue is made up of collagen, it’s dense and tightly packed, and therefore not as resilient as healthy skin.
Additionally, scarring that accompanies acne is a result of the body’s immune response, rather than the infection itself. As white blood cells flock to the skin affected by the bacteria of acne, these cells become a large component of the pus of pimples and whiteheads, and some types of white blood cells also create an enzyme that attacks healthy tissue as well as the bacterial infection.
Not everyone who has acne develops scars, but some people have a genetic tendency to do so. Each person has a unique response to the inflammation that occurs with acne. This explains why some people have a greater tendency to scar than others.
Controlling acne outbreaks is key to avoiding scarring. The less active an outbreak is, the more chance the natural healing process has for fully repairing the skin’s support matrix. Booking an acne treatment with Matsuda Dermatology during an acne outbreak is your best bet for minimal scarring.
While there are many treatments that match to certain types and shapes of acne scars, Dr. Matsuda, Dr. Sheu, and Dr. Jim On often turn to the PicoSure® laser system to break up scar tissue and re-establish the collagen matrix. The PicoSure laser uses a contemporary short-pulse laser to warm the tissue under the surface of the skin, without affecting the outer layer. This warming starts a natural rebuilding cycle that flushes scar tissue collagen, and replaces it with new collagen more closely resembling the healthy skin matrix.