Thursday, 26 December 2013

Treatment for Various Types of Acne Scars

Some Factual Information on Scars

In a prior blog titled “Types of Acne Scars”, information on the types of Acne and what type of Acne scars can form and why, may be referred to. In continuation with that blog, in this blog information on how acne scars can be treated, will be presented. 

Before we get down to the actual treatments, let us first get familiar with certain facts about scars and what the implication of such scars are.

Ø  Skin tissue when seriously injured has the ability to produce more collagen to repair the damaged skin. The new skin forms the scar
Ø  An inevitable outcome when the layer or layers of skin are injured and there are changes to the physical construction of the normal skin
Ø  Either physical injury or a disease process can cause the occurrence of scars
Ø  If the injury has not been properly treated then the symptoms cause thick, unpleasant scars to form
Ø  Keloid type of scars, that are very thick, itchy and enlarged, are prone to occur in certain populations with a genetic predisposition
Ø  Scarring also happens on parts of the skin where there is plenty of skin tension or movement. These type of scars are also unsightly
Ø  Where there have been surgical incisions, surgeons utilize techniques in order to contain the scarring to a bare minimum

All is Not Lost


With the quantum leaps of progress in Medical Science and Technology, truly all is not lost and neither have you to resign yourself to living with the scars occurring due to an affliction of acne. There are several treatments and options available and they are:
Ø  Soft Tissue fillers
Ø  Chemical peels
Ø  Dermabrasion
Ø  Microdermabrasion
Ø  Laser, Light source and Radiofrequency Treatments
Ø  Skin surgery

Soft Tissue Fillers


This procedure helps make the scars less noticeable. The fillers comprise of either fat or collagen which are injected into the damaged skin to fill it out and to stretch it. A temporary respite that requires frequent visits, periodically.

Chemical Peels


This procedure employs the use of high strengths of acid which peels away the top layer of the damaged skin and curtails the deeper lying scars. Sometimes some peels can even penetrate deeper into the skin.

Dermabrasion


Dermabrasion is commonly used to remove severe acne scars. As the word suggests the damaged skin is scraped to remove the top layer of the scarred skin using a rapidly rotating wire brush to resurface the skin. A side effect of Dermabrasion particularly in dark skinned people is a possible change in pigmentation.

Microdermabrasion


A gentler technique than Dermabrasion, wherein crystals are sprayed on to the damaged or scarred surface of the skin, through a handheld device whereby these crystals help gently abrade or polish the skin and resurfaces it. In this procedure only the surface skin cells are removed when a vacuum tube removes the crystal and skin cells. However, it is not very effective on removing scars. 

Laser, Light Source and Radiofrequency Treatments


Acne scars appear to be very subtle when laser, light source and radiofrequency treatments are used. In this procedure, the pulsed sources emanating from these devices razes the epidermis and heats up the underlying skin layer to help formation of new skin.

Skin Surgery


Is of two types – Subcision and Punch Excision
In the first procedure, the skin area where the acne scars are present will be cut out and as it heals better looking skin will form on par with the rest of your skin. In Punch Excision, the scars are sewn together using stitches or sutures.  

Friday, 13 December 2013

Types of Acne - Acne Scars

Types of Acne

An affliction of acne could be mild, moderate or severe. There are 7 types of acne:

1. Whiteheads - Small, whitish bumps caused by clogging of the pores on the skin. They appear to be white as the afflicted areas have not been exposed to the sun.
2. Blackheads – are similar to whiteheads but are black in color as the area where the blackheads are have been exposed to the sun and therefore have been oxidized. These dark bumps can turn yellow because of the presence of excessive melanin in the skin.
3. Papules - Small, firm, cone-shaped lumps, pink in color, and do not contain any pus. They should never be poked or popped as this will lead to creation of scars.
4. Pustules – are a moderate form of acne and are small, round lesions, with either red, yellow or even whitish color at their centers.
5. Nodules and Cysts - Nodules are deep-rooted, painful, severely inflamed and hard. Cysts are also deep-rooted, but soft pus-filled acne. Both are caused because the blackheads or whiteheads have not been attended to. Nodules and Cysts can occur separately and will last for weeks. Cysts are the more severe form of acne.
6. Back Acne – Occurs when sweat and heat are snagged against the body and underneath layers of clothing, consequently irritating the skin.
7. Acne Conglobata (AC) – is a very rare and severe type of acne. This type of acne can occur widely across your body. Areas that can get infected are your back, chest, shoulders, upper arms, thighs, face and even your posterior. This type of acne has abscesses which leave scars. This condition is a combination of pustules, and nodules with the added possibility of bacterial infection. No known causes for occurrence of this type of acne has been found, however this condition can erupt if your existing acne is left untreated.

How does Scarring Develop?

Acne in its most severe forms can cause scarring. Scars are formed once the lesions has healed; a fibrous tissue forms a layer over the wound, replacing / repairing the skin.

Types of Acne Scars

Ø  Atrophic Acne Scars – these blemishes are small, soft sunken scars. They can be purple or reddish in color and are commonly found to occur in the Caucasian population. The purple or reddish color is due to the presence of blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin.
Ø  Depressed (Atrophic) Fibrotic Acne Scars - found underneath the outer layer of the skin and is characterized by being deep, fibrotic, sharper, well defined steeper edges in comparison to an Atrophic scar. It is also larger than an atrophic scar.
Ø  Pigmented Acne Scars – appears to be red in color on light complexioned skin and black or brown on dark complexioned individuals. These scars occur when the inflammation caused by the acne begins it healing process.
Ø  Boxcar Acne Scars – forms when the inflamed lesion damages the tissue creating a sunken area under the skin. Appears to be small depressed craters either oval or round in shape with steeply angled sides. They look akin to chicken pox.
Ø  Ice Pick Acne Scars – lie deep under the skin sometimes extending into the lower layers of the dermis or secondary skin. They are small, narrow, pinpoint in shape.
Ø  Superficial and Deep Soft Acne Scars – generally circular in shape with rolling edges. They are not fibrotic.
Ø  Keloid (Hypertrophic) Acne Scars – this type of scarring occurs mostly in populations that are Asian or African. These acne scars project above the skin and are caused because the body produces excess collagen and fibrous tissue. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Non-Surgical Face Lift

Advantages of Non-Surgical Facelifts 

  • Provide an alternative to cosmetic surgery.
  • Prevents that stretched skin feeling that cosmetic surgery delivers.
  • It is a fabulously effective treatment that foils the ravages of aging.
  • This procedure is less invasive and consumes very little time.
Options and an in-depth look at the options

There are three ways to counter aging and they are
  1. Prevention
  2. Correction
  3. Maintenance
Liquid Facelift

  • Liquid Facelift also known as the Water Facelift is a preventive measure against aging.
  • It is a concoction of a variety of injectable liquids that deliver different anti-aging results.
  • Injectable liquids are generally what the practitioner prescribes; their own bespoke combinations.
  • The cocktail of Botox and Dermal Fillers is used in varying densities, in the different regions of the face, to smooth out wrinkles and creases, rejuvenating the skin and making it look full.
  • However, this is a temporary solution and will need repeated treatments when the treatment wears off.
  • Liquid Facelift helps to reinvigorate the present, natural state and helps prevent new wrinkles from forming.
Pellevé

  • Is an anti-aging treatment that tightens the skin with the use of a radiofrequency procedure.
  • It is less invasive and older women may have to undergo 5 sessions to get a good result.
  • The procedure helps stimulate the cells in the skin to produce more collagen, boosting the skin of younger women by working its magic.
  • The radiofrequency energy pumped into the skin, generates heat that builds up between the skin layer and the fat layer which in turn causes the collagen bundles lying deep in the epidermis to contract thereby stimulating the production of new collagen.
  • The best part of this procedure is that it does not damage the skin in anyway neither does it cause pain. The warm heat generates a feeling of relaxation.
  • It can be done during lunch breaks or any other spare time as it does not require any downtime before one has to return to carrying on with a regular day.
Ultherapy

  • Is a unique and new kind of therapy, a non-surgical procedure that employs the use of ultrasound to tighten, tone and lift baggy skin present in the face and neck.
  • Approved by FDA, it is the first ultrasound device that can be used on the face.
  • It delivers sound waves to the skin and addresses the fibro muscular layer.
  • Results can be seen in 2-3 months and can last up until 6 months.
  • The procedure can be done within 30 - 60 minutes
  • This treatment is very effective on low brow lines and on sagging eyelids.
 ePrime 

  • Is a rejuvenating facial treatment that stimulates collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid that results in a youthful, naturally plumped- up radiance.
  • ePrime is a non-invasive skin-tightening treatment that delivers radiofrequency energy from a handheld device that is set with micro needles, which penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
 Sculptra

  • Should be used for deep set wrinkles where this treatment provides a semi-permanent natural result that could last for a couple of years.
  • Sculptra is made from Poly-L-lactic acid which is a component of the muscle structure and has good results on patients in the age group between 50 - 60 years.
  • It is a collagen replenishment that works subtly to gradually reduce wrinkles and creases.
Laser Treatment

  • A treatment that can be started with, even before the aging is prominent.
It helps resurface the skin, uses light energy that is pulsed onto to strategically targeted skin imperfections to produce collagen.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Derma Fillers versus Botox

The Three Stages of Aging

  • Stage 1 - Light sprinkling of wrinkle formation and an imperceptible loss of volume to facial skin.
  • Stage 2 - Occurs generally between the ages of 40 to 55 with the loss of facial fat which in turn reduces the fullness of the skin which consequently leads to sagging of the skin.
  • Stage 3 - The skin becomes coarse and leathery at the age of 55years and beyond and the wrinkles are very conspicuous.
Depending on the stage of aging, the practitioner will recommend what treatment should be used, which could be either Dermal Fillers or Botox. What then is the difference between Dermal Fillers and Botox and how do they act, what do they cost and what are the pros and cons?

Examining the Difference

Fillers

  • As the name implies Dermal Fillers fill in the space created by the sagging of skin, where wrinkles have created valleys and furrows on the skin. The fillers are injected into the creases formed and the fillers then act to blow up those dents, adding volume and evening out the wrinkled skin.
  • Several brands of Fillers are available, the main difference between each brand lies in the thickness of the filler. The thicker the filler, the higher will be the plumping effect on erasing lines and wrinkles.
  • However, where the skin is thin, like around the eyes or where “crows feet” appear, a thinner filler must be used. The downside of using a thinner filler, is the that lasting effect is very short and hence frequent visits to your doctor / esthetician will be required, consequently the cost of the treatment becomes very expensive.
Botox

  • Botox on the other hand is also a non-surgical procedure like dermal fillers but when very low doses of the natural purified protein is injected into specific muscles , it helps relax the muscles and prevents sagging of the facial skin or elsewhere, wherever Botox has been administrated. Contrary to alarmist stories, Botox when administrated by a reputed clinic will not cause cessation of the ability to show facial emotion as it is administrated to make inconspicuous changes that will arrest the wrinkles from forming and will create a natural appearance.
  • Botox unlike fillers is not as versatile and can be used only in fewer areas on the facial skin.
  • Botox is normally used in areas between the eyebrows, on the forehead, to oust the frown lines, and to erase the vertical lines that form around the mouth region.
  • Botox can also be used to lift loose skin on the eyelids and has to some extent been good for treating acne.
  • Botox is a short-lived treatment, lasting for about 3-4 months and therefore repeated treatments will be required.

Cost of Treatment

  1. Cost of Fillers start from $245 and can vary, depending on the brand of fillers used, the regions which are under treatment and the expertise of the practitioner.
  2. Cost of one Botox session is around $190 per session.
Pros and Cons

  • While the upside of either the Dermal Fillers or Botox treatment is to rejuvenate your skin, the downside and effects need also to be considered.
  • Both Botox and dermal fillers are non-surgical cosmetic procedures but they are basically drugs and can have some serious ramifications.
Making the choice 

  1. Before undertaking the procedure, ensure you consult only with a board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon or a cosmetic surgeon.
  2. Discuss with your chosen practitioner, the type of treatment you would require and whether dermal fillers or Botox will be used or both.