Discover the benefits of hyaluronic acid for acne.
In most acne scars there is a loss of skin volume ( atrophy ), which gives the area where they form a depressed or “engraved” appearance.
This atrophy is the product of a lack of hyaluronic acid and collagen in the dermis, the intermediate part of the skin, responsible for giving the turgidity, volume, and elasticity of healthy skin.
There are different methods to treat atrophic scars, which we could classify into two different groups according to their speed of action:
· Immediate effect. They are called fillers, biocompatible substances that can be injected into the skin to give volume to areas that have lost it.
Among them, those of hyaluronic acid, polylactic acid, or calcium hydroxyapatite stand out among others. Its turgid effect is immediate, filling cavities, furrows, and atrophic areas of the skin with very natural results. The duration of these materials is limited, so periodically (every 6 – 18 months ) it is common to practice a new session.
· Delayed effect. It implies that they promote the synthesis of collagen and ground substance of the dermis. It is worth mentioning the fractional lasers (ablative or non-ablative) and the intermediate and deep peels.
The main advantage of these methods is that their effect is permanent once the optimal point of improvement has been reached, which is not immediate but after practicing several sessions of the procedure.
Hyaluronic acid is indicated in the treatment of atrophic, depressed, and ice-pick acne scars. There are different densities of hyaluronic acid, designed to treat different forms of atrophy or loss of volume.
For the treatment of moderate or ice pick acne scars, it is useful to use low and intermediate densities; and to recover a large volume in especially atrophic areas, it is possible to use higher densities to cover the maximum repertoire of defects.
The main advantages of using hyaluronic acid lie in its immediate action, its durability, its biocompatibility, and its minimal allergenic potential. This molecule can fill in atrophic scars, providing optimal volume immediately and in the short term, promoting collagen synthesis in the long run.
In this way, the irregularity on the surface of the skin is substantially reduced after the application of hyaluronic acid, improving the overall appearance of the skin in the treated area.
Another positive aspect of using hyaluronic acid is that it usually only requires a single application session. Likewise, fillers are one of the best tolerated aesthetic procedures since they have a minimal rate of adverse effects and the pain caused is minimal if a precise technique is followed. Slight erythema (redness) that lasts 2-4 hours after the procedure is common and can be reduced with the application of cold compresses.
According to studies published by Halachmi et al, the satisfaction rate and results in patients with atrophic acne scars and ice pick treated with hyaluronic acid are excellent.
The only limiting aspect of hyaluronic acid fillers is their duration. This molecule is naturally degraded in the skin, its effect persisting for 6-18 months depending on the density of hyaluronic acid used and the indication for which it has been applied.
Specifically, for acne scars, the duration of hyaluronic acid is the maximum possible, since it is retained within the fibrosis that partitions the scars. It should be remembered that, in the long term, this molecule favors the synthesis of collagen, so that the perceptible effect is progressively more durable as different sessions are carried out.
Its main effect is to fill in depressed scars and regularize the appearance of the skin surface.
The effect of hyaluronic acid is immediate and noticeable at the end of its application. Over a week or so, the hyaluronic acid settles in the applied area and the surface where it has been applied progressively becomes even more regular.
The procedure is performed in the Dermatology consultation through microinjections applied under the scars to be treated. An anesthetic cream is usually used before the session and it is very tolerable, with minimal discomfort.
In general, if they are not very deep or extensive, one is enough.
The corrective effect of hyaluronic acid is immediate. At the end of the session, most atrophic and depressed scars have recovered all or part of their lost volume. Immediately after the session, it is usual to see some redness in the treated areas and slight swelling, which usually lasts between 2-4 hours.
It is possible, although infrequent, that during the procedure a minimal punctual hematoma may appear in an injection area, which will disappear spontaneously over a week or so.
Filling with hyaluronic acid after application of anesthetic cream is one of the most well-tolerated and appreciated aesthetic procedures, with an excellent satisfaction rate for the patient.
Yes. They can be used concomitantly with ablative/non-ablative peels or lasers, or even botulinum toxin if desired. It is recommended, yes, to carry them out in different sessions.
No. Although with each session there is a certain accumulation of the effect due to the collagen synthesis promoted by hyaluronic acid, it is advisable to perform a filler every 6-18 months depending on the indication and the area to be treated.