We understand that acne can be incredibly frustrating, and it’s a highly common concern that we come across from many of our Vancouver patients who are looking for ways to treat and remove acne scarring. These persistent marks on the skin arise after a breakout of acne, which is the clogging of a hair follicle that can cause damage deep in the skin. When a blemish goes through the natural skin healing process abnormally, a scar results. For instance, healing might end below the normal surface level of the skin’s top layer and create a visible indent in the skin with an overall loss of tissue. Alternatively, healing can also involve the overproduction of tissue or even the overproduction of pigment, resulting in visible raised or discoloured marks on the skin.
The impacts of acne scars can be significant, with many patients describing it as a struggle to regain a sense of confidence in their own skin, even long after getting control over active acne breakouts. The number one way to remove acne scars is to manage the skin to prevent acne breakouts and any deep scarring in the first place. But we’re aware that getting to the root of stubborn acne is often a difficult journey, and scarring sometimes simply can’t be helped. In treating patients with acne scarring at 8 West Clinic, we take this into account and offer a unique combination approach of powerful solutions for acne scar removal.
When treating acne scars, it’s important to first understand the types that exist so you can be better informed on how to best treat your own.
Indented Scars – Some acne scars may manifest as indents in the skin, known as atrophic scars. Depending on their shape and depth, atrophic acne scars can be categorized as rolling scars, boxcar scars, or ice pick scars. Rolling scars are depressions in the skin that do not have hard edges, and can vary in size but are often more broad. Boxcar scars are similar, but are characterized by their hard, sharp edges along the perimeter of the depression. Ice pick scars are the smallest in size, but the compromise of a seemingly narrow scar on the surface is a deeper scar embedded within the skin. The deeper the scar, the harder it will be to treat.
Raised Scars – Acne scars can also be found to be hypertrophic—thick, raised bumps that appear to sit atop the skin. This is the result of uncontrolled overproduction of collagen in the area during the healing process.
Pigmented Scars – Some scars appear to neither be atrophic nor hypertrophic, but present as flat, dark pigmented spots in the skin after the area has healed from a blemish. These actually aren’t acne scars in the true sense of what a scar is, and are known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). It results from the body’s production of too much melanin in the area during the healing process, but no loss of tissue or overgrowth of tissue is involved. While most of these discoloured spots will fade over time, some deeper pigmented spots can be a little more stubborn and can benefit from more active treatment.
At 8 West Clinic, we have a three-pronged approach to acne scar removal for our Vancouver patients. This includes 1) energy-based treatments with modern laser resurfacing technology, 2) customized medical grade skincare plans for at-home treatment, and 3) maintenance treatments to prevent future damage from active acne and acne scarring. Each of these aspects are considered when you begin your acne scar removal journey with a Comprehensive Skin Consultation, which is where you’ll get the chance to have an educational discussion with a skilled medical aesthetician about your acne scar concerns, and then come away with a comprehensive treatment plan that’s personalized to your own skin and to your own scars.
A gold standard treatment for both atrophic and hypertrophic acne scars, ProFractional™ laser resurfacing comes to us in Vancouver from the highly regarded leader in medical aesthetics devices, Sciton. We’re thrilled to be offering this premium erbium:YAG laser in Vancouver, which works by ablating tiny controlled micro channels deep in the skin that will stimulate the body’s wound healing and collagen production processes to correct a scar—whether atrophic, hypertrophic, or simply acne-related pigmentation.
As a highly tunable laser, the benefit that ProFractional brings is that it’s safe for use on all skin types, and each treatment can be finely tailored to the patient’s individual concerns and tolerance for downtime. With the great depth of treatment and efficient healing made possible by ProFractional’s technology, the clinical-level results that are achievable with treatment include plump, refreshed skin that is clear of even the deepest acne scars.
For some types of skin, other types of laser resurfacing treatments may also be more appropriate, such as the surgical-grade Contour TRL or HALO Hybrid Fractional Laser, which are commonly also combined with ProFractional for a highly tailored treatment plan that’s meant to truly maximize results. HALO may be combined with a ProFractional treatment, for instance, to reduce existing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation along with moderate atrophic ice pick acne scars. Less commonly, the minor surgical procedure of subcision may also be appropriate to add into a treatment plan for more severe scars. Whether or not a combination treatment plan is for you will be determined during your Comprehensive Skin Consultation with your medical aesthetician.
Our skin specialists are well-versed and consistently trained in the fast-evolving area of medical grade skincare, working daily with science-backed products from leading dermatological brands in the industry. These include Skinceuticals, ZO Skin Health, and Elta MD, to name a few. In treating acne scars at home, powerful products are required to achieve results, which often include highly potent exfoliating and healing formulations containing active ingredients like AHAs, BHAs, retinol, and L-ascorbic acid. In a Comprehensive Skin Consultation with a skilled medical aesthetician at our Vancouver clinic, you will gain insights on how best to treat your skin safely at home to maximize results, whether or not in combination with in-clinic treatments for reducing acne scars.
True skin restoration with acne scar removal for our Vancouver patients is not an instant process, but a journey of correcting and healing. It’s an investment that must be protected, and so an ongoing commitment to prevention against future damage is important to prioritize. With our wide spectrum of facial rejuvenation treatments, we offer skin maintenance solutions that target active acne and are intended to keep breakouts at bay. This includes a special protocol of BBL BroadBand Light therapy known as Forever Clear, which utilizes intense pulsed light energy to destroy deep-living acne-causing microbes while stimulating the skin cells to restore a clear, youthful glow. Alternatively, medical grade chemical peel treatments using clinic-level potencies of active ingredients might also be recommended for some patients. Your medical aesthetician will provide you with personalized insights on what will be best for your unique skin in a Comprehensive Skin Consultation.
Choosing to have your Vancouver acne scar removal treatments at award-winning 8 West Clinic means trusting a team of passionate specialists to work with you in this long-term process. Our highly skilled treatment providers are committed to helping you in your journey to looking and feeling your best in your own skin. Led by top Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Thomas Buonassisi, 8 West Clinic consists of a team of highly experienced medical aestheticians, advanced nurse injectors, and patient care coordinators who work together to offer a 360º full spectrum of facial rejuvenation solutions. Specializing in quality consultations, the treatment providers at 8 West Clinic are equipped with the expertise to design individualized treatment plans that are right for you and your goals.
For patients looking to tackle their acne scars and restore clear skin, we begin with a little bit of education by way of a Comprehensive Skin Consultation. In these complimentary consultations, you will meet with your medical aesthetician directly for a one-on-one discussion of your skin and your goals, and then together formulate a personalized treatment plan that encompasses treatments and a home skincare plan, unique to your skin as an individual. Get started with your Vancouver acne scar removal treatment plan by requesting your Comprehensive Skin Consultation online today, or by calling us at