DR. OSCAR HEVIA.
ASK DR. HEVIAWhat is the difference between an acne scar and an acne mark? Are there any treatments for reducing the appearance of acne scars?
“Marks can mean different things to many people. Scars, by definition, are permanent. In the case of acne scars, we’re talking about skin defects known as ‘pock marks’ or dents. These defects respond better to fillers.”What can we do to diminish the appearance of acne marks?
“Acne marks are usually the discoloration of the skin after a blemish has subsided. They typically fade on their own within 2-3 months. Sometimes, chemical peels can help to speed up the removal of marks; and cortisone injections to a pimple, especially early on, can reduce or eliminate the mark that follows.”
What treatment do you recommend for brown spots?
“I love to talk about brown spots, also referred to as ‘dark marks.’ That is a subject many people don’t understand. There seems to be a lot of myths and misinformation about how to treat brown spots. The treatment will depend on how dark the spots actually are. For example, if someone has a very light skin tone, and has brown spots – it doesn’t look good. A laser treatment would not work in this case. Often times, patients who undergo laser treatments for this condition will discover that the spots temporarily disappear, only to return after a couple of weeks. Therefore, for the lighter colored brown spots, you would either do chemical peels or use a bleaching regimen product to lighten the spots.
However, when you get to the medium, darker brown spots, they respond nicely to the laser treatment. Patients can receive the laser treatment to get rid of the bulk of the darker areas and then, after one week, they can either use a chemical peel or lightening agents to further lighten the entire face.”
What exactly is a “stretch mark”, and is there anything we can do about them?
“Stretch marks are scars from the inside out. There is, to this day, no product that is going to get inside the dermis of the skin (where the damage occurred to cause the stretch mark) and remodel your collagen to such an extent that your stretch mark will disappear. Remember that stretch marks do improve. Many that are still in the purplish red zone tend to fade out. What’s not going to work for stretch marks is: once you’ve reached the final stage of white stretch marks, that’s when you’ve reached your endpoint as far as the collagen. ■