Do you have a child with severe acne??? An ounce of treatment now is worth a ton of scar revisions later.
I have two children in high school and I often am asked for advice regarding acne. I am not a dermatologist nor do I play one on T.V. so do not expect any advice as to the latest therapies for acne. I do have advice, however, on whether or not one should seek therapy. So here goes.
If the zits are small and superficial, there will likely be no lasting damage and whether or not to seek anything other than over-the-counter treatment is really a matter of how much the zits bother your child. BUT if the zits are deep (so called cystic acne), your child needs to get treatment YESTERDAY.
The problem with cystic acne is that it causes inflammation deep under the skin and can result in very bad scarring that can be devastating and permanent. And it’s not just the scarring that is an issue. The inflammation can also cause atrophy of the fatty layer under the skin and cause sinking in of the face.
The example on the right shows both superficial scarring and also some deeper scarring and atrophy. This is a mild case. If this were a man, he probably would not have sought treatment but this is a young, beautiful, fine featured woman and this post acne scarring affects her self esteem and also results in her spending a lot of time every morning trying to cover this up.
She an I got to know each other very, very well over about two years of procedures that included fat grafting, skin resurfacing, excisional scar revision and filler injection. It was a long process but worth it for both of us. She can now get on with her day without the prolonged fussing with cover-up and I just loved the bright smile on her face at her last visit.
Not all plastic surgeons are well suited to treat these patients because it involves a lot of patience (which I for some reason have in abundance) and a lot of hand holding.
But the real message here is that if you know someone with deep, cystic acne who is not under the care of a dermatologist, do what you can to get them proper care. What seems like just a minor, cosmetic issue can be a major, difficult to treat problem later.
Thanks for reading! Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder