Acne scars have the potential of both disfiguring as well as embarrassing a person for those who have them. In addition, there does not exist makeup in the entire globe that can be used to correct acne scars because they are deep pitted and cannot completely disappear. Undergoing in-office procedures is the only way that is guaranteed to make the scars disappear. Until recently, laser treatments were the only procedures that were trusted with erasing acne scars. There is a new rejuvenating procedure for the skin that naturally treats acne scars, it is known as Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP. This treatment has been used in other medical fields successfully and is now being applied to dermatology.
Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum, this is a natural oil that is produced by the skin to prevent it from drying out. Sometimes, an imbalance in hormones results in an over secretion. However, because the hair roots are connected to the oil glands, sebum can be trapped inside the follicles thus collecting bacteria, dead cells, dirt as well as other debris. These scars can be in the form of rolling scars, ice pick and boxcars. If acne is very severe, it can result in keloids i.e. raised tissue scar that comprises of excessive collagen, which occurs when skin heals after a breakout. This is how acne scars are caused.
There are 4 main types of acne scars, they include the following:
It is also referred to as hypertrophic scars. These raised scars are made of tissue. Keloids have a bulbous appearance with typical colors of black, brown or red. They are difficult to successfully treat.
This type of acne scar is a combination of raised and depressed tissues thus appear like a wave. Their appearance is attributed to the fact that below the site scar is severed.
This acne scar forms a depression or indention in the skin. These round acne scars are characterized by steep and sharp edges. Box car happen to be the most common type. They are caused by inflammatory breakouts that ruin the tissue and collagen.
These acne scars have a deep and narrow appearance. They normally develop after inflammatory acne that damages the tissue thus losing fibrin and collagen. The result is that scar tissue will sink down to the skin to form a deep but small hole.
PRP Treatment for Acne Scars
Platelet-Rich Plasma (also known as PRP) is a new and excellent approach to the treatment of acne scars, pitted scars as well as stretch marks that are present on the skin. This therapy is also widely used to treat or heal injuries and commonly occurring conditions that affect soft tissues. It can also treat ice pick scars, hyper-pigmented scars and scars that were resistant to treatments earlier used. The serum is efficient, reliable and safe because it is extracted from blood in the body thus natural.
Before PRP treatment
Before undergoing PRP treatment for acne scars, the patient should:
- Consume light meals and drink lots of fluids.
- Not wear any form of makeup.
After PRP treatment
The following should be adhering to the following after PRP treatment for acne scars:
- Avoid direct exposure to the sun for at least 3 days.
- Avoid swimming, hot tub, jacuzzi or sauna for 3 days
- Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures
- Avoid strenuous activity for at least a day.
- Avoid laser treatment procedures for at least 2 weeks.
How PRP Treatment Works
PRP is formulated through a number of steps as follows:
- A small quantity of blood is drawn by a doctor from the arm.
- The blood is then put in a test tube and inside a centrifugal device.
- The blood is span at very high speeds by the centrifugal device
- The blood usually responds through separation into various layers. At the bottom, red blood cells will appear while above it, will be the PRP serum that will collect in a thin layer.
- The serum is refined further by a second spin. At this stage, there is a high concentration of growth factors, platelets as well as other healing components. However, there are no white blood cells or red blood cells.
- The usable part of the PRP serum is just a third of the layer and is referred to as buffy coat. The serum is now colored like a straw and its consistency is that of a gel.
- Doctors use aspiration techniques in the extraction of the serum to prepare PRP injection that is used to treat acne scars.
- Additives that might be used are to prevent clotting of the serum as well as to enhance therapeutic benefits associated with it.
- Compounds such as epinephrine function to decrease discomfort experienced during injection of the serum into the skin.
The procedure takes about 30 – 60 minutes. The use of a fine needle ensures zero levels of discomfort and does not leave behind puncture marks.
How Effective is PRP Treatment
PRP is effective for acne scars since it contains a high concentration of cytokines, mesenchymal stem cells, growth factors, platelets as well as other components created by the body. The compounds have the potential of healing ailments and injuries in all body parts.
PRP works by attracting soft tissue and hard tissue forming cells at the site of treatment. When it is placed a few millimeters in the scarred region of the skin, the serum regenerates underlying layers of collagen as well as elastin so as to form new cells. It also assists in creating blood vessels and capillaries that improve texture and vitality of the skin. When the skin begins to plump up, acne scars disappear completely.
Dermatologists recommend a total of 3 sittings that are 4-weeks apart. However, this is a factor of severity of the acne scars as well as the body’s ability to regenerate.
Acne is an annoying condition and the scars and marks it leaves behind can make the skin appear severely flawed. Fortunately, nobody has to lose their confidence anymore because of PRP treatment for acne scars. Compared to other treatments, PRP is superior because it is associated with few side effects, is safe and natural. Other factors are that it is non-invasive and does not require anesthesia. In fact, patient can resume their daily activities almost immediately because of lack of downtime.