Acne scarring is a common problem. Nearly every teenager has acne at some point. Many adults suffer through the embarrassment of acne scars that seem visible to everyone. It’s a real issue where I practice in Inland Empire, CA – a region near Los Angeles, California. The standard treatment for acne scarring is laser skin resurfacing. But this can be painful and requires substantial downtime. Results last for only a year or two, not nearly long enough for most people. And many doctors don’t recommend treatment until fall or winter. I’m happy to report on a new FDA-approved treatment to improve or eliminate acne scars with little discomfort and no downtime. It can last for years. You’ll look better right away. And unlike laser resurfacing, you can have this treatment in any season.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Brian Machida is a highly skilled and experienced facial plastic surgeon who practices in Ontario, CA east of Los Angeles, California. He taught facial plastic surgery for years at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Machida, who is board certified in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology, has performed thousands of facial rejuvenation procedures in his career.
How acne scars affect people emotionally
Up to 95% of people who have acne develop scarring. Studies show that acne scars can have a truly negative impact on people’s self-esteem and happiness. The Dermatologist speaks about research on the emotional impact of acne scarring:
Studies on the psychosocial impact of acne have documented dissatisfaction with appearance, embarrassment, self-consciousness and lack of self-confidence. Furthermore, acne is associated with feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, less satisfaction with the body and lower self-worth.
Some become so self-conscious that when they think about socializing with others, especially the opposite sex, their acne scars immediately come to mind. Embarrassment with their appearance can also reduce your chances for success in job interviews, where quiet confidence is a real advantage. So, this is a problem that goes far beyond vanity. I’m happy to have a solution that can truly help people look and feel better for a long time.
How acne scarring is usually treated with Laser Resurfacing
Prior to Bellafill, the exciting new FDA-approved method described below, most doctors usually treated acne scars with laser skin resurfacing. This essentially involves burning away layer after layer of skin until reaching the bottom of the acne scar. This is very much like getting rid of a hole in your yard by using a bulldozer to scrape away layer after layer of soil until the whole yard is level with the bottom of the hole.
After some two weeks of recovery time, you’ll have smoother, better-looking skin. That will last a year or two. Then your acne scars will reappear. In addition, that fresh laser-treated skin is very sensitive to sunlight. Many doctors don’t recommend getting this level of laser skin resurfacing until late fall or winter when the sun isn’t so strong. But what if you want to look better right away and continue to enjoy outdoor activities?
Why Bellafill is the treatment of choice in any season
As I mentioned above, laser skin resurfacing is like taking care of a hole in your yard by removing layer upon layer of dirt until the surface is even with the bottom of the hole. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just fill the hole? Your doctor will inject Bellafill under the skin of the acne scar, building it up until it’s even with the rest of your skin.
Unlike laser resurfacing, which leaves you very sensitive to sunlight, Bellafill has no effect on sun sensitivity. Where I practice in sunny, dry Inland Empire, that makes a real difference. So, if you want to look your best for spring, summer or fall activities, Bellafill is a treatment that can help you without delay.
Why not use traditional fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane? One reason is that they’re based on hyaluronic acid, a natural body substance. Your body reabsorbs these fillers, so they have to be redone every year. In addition, if your doctor isn’t very careful, he or she could overfill your acne scars. This can give your face a blue tint, called the Tyndall Effect. Your doctor must inject medication to get rid of the filler. Once it’s gone, you’ll need to sit for another treatment.
The FDA has approved only one filler for treatment of acne scars: Bellafill. Bellafill does not produce the Tyndall Effect sometimes seen with Juvéderm, Restylane and other hyaluronic acid fillers. And unlike these fillers, it often lasts for years.
Bellafill contains millions of round microscopic particles (microspheres) of a substance called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) suspended in purified bovine collagen taken from cows. PMMA is often used as a component of bone cement in orthopedic surgery. What about bovine collagen? The medical journal Dermatologic Therapy points out:
“Bovine collagen fillers were the most popular injectable implants for nearly two decades in the United States.”
However, bovine collagen by itself doesn’t last very long – the body absorbs it in just a few months. But that collagen allows Bellafill to provide immediate results. And as your body is absorbing the bovine collagen, Bellafill’s evenly suspended PMMA microspheres provide a structure around which your own collagen will form. That provides lasting results.
Bellafill has been approved by the FDA as a filler for nasolabial folds (smile lines), marionette lines, facial hollows, deep lines and wrinkles. It can last for 5 years. It may last even longer. The FDA approved Bellafill for acne scar treatment after observing its lasting results for a year. Based on how long it fills deep nasolabial folds, it is reasonable to conclude that Bellafill could replace acne scarring with smoother skin for 3-5 years. Time will tell, and individual results may vary.
Is Bellafill a cost-effective way to treat acne scarring? CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA
As a longer-lasting filler, Bellafill is substantially more cost-effective than hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane. They must be reinjected yearly to keep acne scars from reappearing. Bellafill costs about the same as fractional laser skin resurfacing. But unlike laser, it produces little discomfort. Laser treatment will often result in 2 weeks of downtime. Bellafill treatment has no downtime at all.
For treating acne scars right away, Bellafill just makes sense
If have acne scarring and want smoother looking skin in any season, Bellafill is a great way to get it. You will need a skin test to ensure that you’re not allergic to bovine collagen, a key ingredient. Once you’re cleared for treatment, you can look forward to looking better the same day you’re treated.
As with all types of facial fillers, the skill of the injector makes a real difference in the results you can expect. Board certified facial plastic surgeons, cosmetic dermatologists and a number of plastic surgeons have the skill and experience you need. If you’re looking for an experienced provider in Inland Empire, California, come see us at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, CA.