Acne Scars are a major concern when it comes to keeping smooth, healthy skin.  Although it is a natural occurrence that is not necessarily life-threatening, acne scars, particularly severe ones have a detrimental effect on one’s appearance and self-esteem.

Acne usually begins to appear when a person hits puberty due to the hormonal stimulation of the sebaceous glands. The pores of these glands can be found across the body, including on the back, chest, shoulders, and neck. Generally speaking, acne scarring is the result of an inflammatory response caused by the accumulation of oil and sebum in the pores. It comes in various forms of lesions, such as whiteheads, pimples, blackheads, cysts, and nodules.

Different types of atrophic acne scars

Before determining the type of treatment, it is vital to identify the types of scarring and its severity. The degradation of collagen during the post-inflammatory process causes a massive depression in the skin, which is also known as atrophic scars or acne vulgaris. The three types of atrophic scarring are as follows:

Icepick Scars: They are narrow, V-shaped epithelial tracts that extends far into the subcutaneous tissue or the deep dermis. The depth causes resistance to conventional skin resurfacing methods.

Boxcar Scars: They appear as round-to-oval depressions with diameters between 1.5 to 4.0mm and have sharp vertical edges. Shallow boxcars can be more susceptible to conventional resurfacing treatments than deeper boxcar that are deeper than 0.5mm.

Rolling scars: The least common type of scars, this type of atrophic scarring can have diameters as wide as 5mm. They typically have an irregular appearance that suggests rolling.

Juvederm as an alternative solution for stubborn acne

Beyond the common skincare routine, patients who have severe acne scarring can pursue other options, such as retinoids, dermabrasion, laser treatments, and microneedling. If these treatments do not produce satisfying outcomes, hyaluronic acid-based cosmetic fillers by Juvederm can be an effective form of treatment for acne scars, such as icepick scars.

Juvederm provides sterile HA sourced from Streptococcus bacteria. Natural HA is a glycosaminoglycan polysaccharide present in the extracellular matrix and provides the body with hydration, volume, and collagen support. Juvederm’s Hylacross Technology uses linking agents to form a sturdier, more durable, and cohesive HA gel of uniform molecular weight. Another technology, Vycross, cross-links both lower and higher molecular weights together to ensure longer staying power and improved volumizing function. These two technologies may be beneficial for addressing the different types of acne scars.

The smooth Juvederm gel can help to revive and rejuvenate the skin from acne scarring. With adequate dosing, the HA will add more volume and attract neighboring moisture molecules to hydrate the skin for healthier extracellular matrix regulation. As HA settles into the targeted tissues, it helps to promote collagen regrowth that can help make the skin complexion become more even.

The process

The treatment procedure is rather straightforward, as it requires the practitioner to inject the Juvederm product into the depressed scar area. The improvement becomes more visible over the following weeks and can last for nine to 12 months. Certain products, like Juvederm Vollure XC, are claimed to last for up to 18 months with scheduled maintenance injection(s).

The injection should be placed into the mid-to-deep dermis or the subcutaneous layer of the skin. The XC line of Juvederm offers integrated lidocaine to eliminate any burning sensation caused by the injection.

It is also important for the injector to discuss and inform the patient on the expectations and limitations of the treatment. The practitioner can gently massage the area treated to ensure the gel is evenly distributed. Potential side effects include swelling, bruising, tenderness, pain, and redness at the injection site, but these potential side effects usually resolve themselves within a week.

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Although the cosmetic fillers are impermanent, the satisfaction of eliminating resistant scars is highly achievable. The skin can return to a youthful and smooth texture that is appealing to all. Patients can also return for another course of treatment if they wish to extend the scar-clearing benefits.