Acne isn’t something that just happens during puberty; adults can get it too. All told, it affects some 80% of those between 11 and 30. And adults can inherit the embarrassing scars teenage acne leaves behind, making you self-conscious no matter what your age.
At Med Physique Center for Aesthetics, our expert team of aestheticians offers a number of facial treatments to clear your skin and remove the visible reminders of your teenage years. One option we get asked about a lot is dermaplaning, so we’ve put together this guide to get you in the know.
The why and what of acne
While theories abound that say acne results from eating oily foods, not washing often enough, or wearing the wrong type of makeup, the truth is that these are all merely contributors toward an outbreak, not the primary source.
The problem lies in your skin, which has small openings (pores) that permit oil and sweat to rise to the surface, and follicles that produce hairs. The pores and follicles easily become clogged with natural oils mixed with dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells. That causes them to become inflamed, creating a lesion known as a pimple.
The most common forms of acne pimples are pus-filled whiteheads and blackheads, which are small and most often heal without scarring. With continued inflammation, though, or with a severe case of acne, you can experience different forms that do cause scarring. These include:
- Pustules: pus-filled swellings with a red base and white/yellow top
- Papules: painful pink or red bumps
- Nodules: deep, solid, painful lesions
- Cysts: deep, painful pustules that are the most likely to scar
Never pick at your lesions, as that only increases inflammation, pain, and the potential for scarring.
The formation of acne scars
Papules, pustules, or cysts that become infected can rupture the pore or hair follicle. This allows some of the infected material to leak into your lower skin layers, destroying healthy tissue. Your body responds by creating collagen, a protein that provides skin with strength and resiliency. However, if it produces too much collagen, the cells group together, forming a scar. The scar can be raised or indented, and it may be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
There are three primary forms of acne scars; you can have just one type or a mix of two or three:
- Atrophic: collagen doesn’t fill the entire damaged area, causing a shallow indentation in the skin
- Hypertrophic: excess collagen clumps together, forming a raised ridge the same size as the original blemish
- Keloid: excess collagen causes a raised ridge extending beyond the edges of the original blemish
Each type can be treated to varying degrees.
What is dermaplaning?
Dermaplaning is a procedure that exfoliates (removes layers of) your skin, ridding it of dirt, vellus (“peach fuzz”) hair, and anything embedded in the uppermost layer, such as acne scars.
Some people think dermaplaning is the same as dermabrasion, but it’s not. Dermabrasion uses a high-speed, rotating brush to do the exfoliating. Dermaplaning uses a scalpel or a similar tool called a dermatome. The aesthetician moves the dermatome back and forth over your skin to scrape away the top, dead layer and its imperfections.
Dermaplaning is a great option to achieve deep exfoliation and acne scar removal without any harsh abrasives or peeling agents.
The treatment lasts about 30 minutes, there’s no downtime, and you can repeat it every 3-4 weeks, as needed. While the procedure is effective at removing acne scars in the uppermost layer, if your scars reside deeper in the tissue, you’ll need to look into our other facial treatments to help. We can advise you on the best course of action when you come in for your consultation.
If you’re bothered by the appearance of acne scars, it’s time to do something about it. Contact Med Physique Center for Aesthetics to set up a skin evaluation and learn about all the facial options we offer. Call us at 512-361-2650, or book online.