Many people suffer from acne breakouts, starting in the early teen years and continuing into adulthood. Sometimes, if breakouts are sufficiently large and remain untreated, they can leave acne scars behind.

Fortunately, acne breakouts, and even long-lasting acne scars, can be removed with laser treatment. Big Island Family Medicine offers acne treatment with our state-of-the-art laser systems for patients of all ages and all skin types.

Where does Acne Come From?

Acne occurs when one of your pores becomes clogged with excess skin oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. This blockage is visible as a whitehead or blackhead pimple. Sometimes, though, the follicle wall breaks and the material spills into the surrounding tissue, creating redness and lesions. Eventually, the material is cleaned up by your lymphatic system and the skin heals, but the repairs are not always flawless. Most acne breakouts do not lead to scarring, but when they do occur, acne scars are long-lasting.

The two types of acne scars are:

  • Hypertrophic or keloid scarring: A scar that rises above the surrounding skin. These are a result of the body producing too much collagen as the skin repairs.
  • Atrophic or depressed scarring: A scar that dips below the surrounding skin, including “icepick” scars that appear as holes in the skin, and “boxcar” scars that are larger and appear as round or oval shapes. These scars occur when the skin does not produce enough collagen during the healing process.

Laser Treatment for Acne

Laser treatment is effective at clearing both types of acne scars. It stimulates the skin to develop more collagen to fill in depressed scars, and burns away keloid scars. However, it is important to clear your acne before getting laser treatment for scarring, since the inflammation that accompanies acne reduces the treatment’s effectiveness.

Acne breakouts often get better on their own, but if one is persistent or severe, visit Big Island Family Medicine. We can help you clear your acne breakouts and heal acne scars.