One Shot Acne Scar Cure, Anyone Know Of Us Dr's That Do This?
Spot less: Pioneering new treatment hopes to remove craters and scarring acne causes by grafting skin from the ear (Posed by model)
Acne scars are being filled with tiny skin grafts taken from behind the patient's own ear in a pioneering new treatment.
Acne is a hugely debilitating condition that affects around 90 per cent of young people at some point in their teens and early 20s.
The condition is generally caused by an imbalance of hormones, which result in an overproduction of sebum or oil. Treatments range from oral antibiotics, the contraceptive Pill to regulate hormones, to mild skin peels and cleansing creams and lotions.
Acne will almost always disappear with treatment, time or a combination of both, but many sufferers are then left with scarring.
'Over the past five years, laser treatment, which stimulates the production of collagen, has been used very successfully as a treatment for acne scarring,' says Dr Puneet Gupta, a GP with special interest in dermatology.
'However for people with very deep craters, even strong laser treatment is not enough. They are usually in a very visible part of the face, are hard to camouflage even with make-up, and, as a result, patients often feel very self-conscious.
'Dermatologists may also consider removing the scar tissue and closing up the wound with a few stitches. Unfortunately this method leaves a scar of its own.'
But Dr Gupta, who practises at The Private clinic of Harley Street, has started using ear skin grafts to fill the scars. Natalie Simonson, 33, was one of the first to undergo the grafts.
'My acne started when I was 18 and continued throughout my 20s,' says Natalie. 'I had painful boils on my cheeks, chin, forehead and back. My GP referred me to a dermatologist who tried just about every treatment on the market. Sometimes they worked for a bit - more often they didn't.
'Acne ruled my life. People shouted out at me in the street, and I was frightened to go into relationships. I was also unemployed because I was too embarrassed to go to interviews.'
The not-so-ugly truth about lumps and bumps
To add to her misery, when in her late 20s, her acne calmed down, she was left with severe scarring. She investigated laser treatments and visited Dr Gupta.
He says: 'Natalie had four very deep holes, on her forehead, chin and left cheek, which were not responding to laser treatment. The largest was about 4mm deep, so we decided that skin grafts were the only alternative.
'I injected a local anaesthetic into the crater and behind her ear, which is where the skin graft was coming from.
'We have to use tissue from somewhere on the face because body skin is tougher than face skin and if you put it side-by-side you can really tell the difference.
'I removed the scar tissue from the crater, then peeled a tiny bit of skin from behind Natalie's ear and popped it into the crater, which was sealed with a couple of steri-strips.
'The bleeding stops within minutes and over the next few days and weeks the new skin becomes part of the crater and fills it in up to the surface. It is a simple idea, but very effective.'
Natalie says: 'Not only has most of the acne scarring gone, but so has any remaining acne. I can now walk down the street with my head held high. I feel transformed.'
SO MY QUESTION IS:
Although my deep scarring is not that spread out I have a few areas that i believe I could benefit from such a procedure. Ive had subcision, co2 laser, dermarolling, and a little artefill. Would like
to get not have to do any more MAJOR procedures if possible. DOES ANYONE KNOW OF US DRS THAT DO THIS PROCEDURE OR SOMETHING VERY
Thanks in advance and I welcome ALL commentary! )
Like BlahBlah82 said, this is an old school procedure. It carries risks like any other acne scar procedure.The first attempt at correction doesn't always resolve a scar to a patient's satisfaction. From what I have seen in photos, the grafts look like elevated warts on your face during the healing phase. At times, the bumps must be sanded/filed down. I am not sure I could deal with the long healing phase.
CherrySoda on this forum had punch grafts done. While some scars healed nicely, others needed to be done again. If you search the forum, I'm sure you can find her thread that discusses this.
Interesting that a 4mm deep crater could be corrected by just one punch graft session. I've read doctors will combine this procedure with fat grafting when a crater is deep.
Despite my efforts, I haven't found a doctor who actively practices this procedure on acne scars. With today's technology, many doctors will opt for laser treatment over taking a scalpel to your scars. The chances of complications are lower with laser, and laser can still provide improvement. That's probably why the doctor in your article tried this procedure on select scars and the ones that were unresponsive to laser treatment.
A scary side-effect of the procedure:
At times, the bump from a skin graft fails to resolve and blend with the rest of your skin. If you have a history of keloids or hypertrophic scarring, this may not be the right procedure for you.
This doctor in China recommends punch grafting and surfacing to treat deep ice pick type scars. The google translation is unintentionally hilarious, so it's really difficult to understand what he's saying, but I'm guessing he thinks it's a good approach.
Here's a picture of his technique. You can see that the graft is intentionally left elevated above the normal adjacent skin. Once it heals you would dermabrade or laser this down so it is flush with the rest of the skin. Sounds like a solid approach though like I said, I have yet to find any doctors who perform this. That said, I haven't asked any plastic surgeons about punch grafting, just derms.
Gulp. Yeah, I've seen that picture before. I don't think I could deal with the healing phase and warts on my face. I'm curious to know if those bumps ever fully blend with normal skin. No matter how much you sand & laser it down, I would think the surface texture and outline would still remain different.
I asked around about this procedure and never found a doctor. I then saw the image you posted above and decided it's not the right approach for me.
I talked with a plastic surgeon once about this procedure, and he said I'd end up looking like a patch doll with how my scarring is spread along my cheeks. Once I saw the above photo, I realized why he said that.
I know right? Seriously, all these different scar procedures sound great in theory and doctors talk them up. Then you see the aftermath... The reality is always so far from what you read online. The risks are too often downplayed. Can anyone really walk around with that for a minimum of 6-8 weeks, which is the recommended time to do a resurfacing procedure after? This is what happened after TCA Cross for me. It was made out to be such a noninvasive procedure that I agreed to have ALL the icepicks on my face (which are numerous) done at one session. The aftermath was pretty shocking and horrific. While I didn't have any longterm damage, or improvement for that matter, it was scary enough for me to not pursue that particular approach again.
That's why I now would only do a few scars at a time, so that the damage is contained and you don't walk around looking ridiculous for weeks or months. Yes it means it will take much longer to reach an endpoint, but it's more practical and easier on your psyche.
Seriously though, sometimes this board can get a little off course, but it's still an invaluable resource for real world reviews of these procedures.