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Acne Scarring

Acne & Acne Scarring

Acne. Zits. Pimples. Blemishes. No matter what you call them, acne can be distressing and annoying.  

Dr. Michelle Parsons is committed to helping you eliminate acne, whether you've been dealing with it since your teenage years or developed adult onset acne. Treatment options include cleansing and anti-bacterial products, as well as oral and topical antibiotic medications as required.

Causes of Acne

Acne develops when skin pores become clogged from excess oil from the oil glands. This blockage, known as a plug or comedone, can appear as a whitehead or blackhead. If the plug ruptures, it can lead to inflammation, resulting with the pimples becoming enlarged and forming painful cysts. 


Acne commonly appears on the face and shoulders, but may also occur on the other parts of the body like the trunk, arms, legs, and buttocks. Acne is most common in teenagers, but can occur at any age, even as an infant. 

Acne and Diet

Recent studies confirm that diet contributes significantly to acne, especially foods with a high glycemic load, milk and dairy products, chocolate, and salty, oily, and fatty foods. Therefore, alongside prescribing medications, counseling on dietary modifications is essential optimal treatment outcomes.

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The Three Worst Foods: 

The Three Best Foods

Click on an image to learn more

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Acne is also a characteristic feature in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, who are also frequently hyperinsulinemic, insulin resistant, and hyperandrogenic. These patients typically maintain elevated serum concentrations of androgens and IGF-1 and lower concentrations of SHBG. Androgen levels can be lowered and disease symptoms alleviated by improving insulin sensitivity through weight loss or by use of pharmaceuticals such as metformin that improve insulin metabolism. Numerous studies have reported that tolbutamide, an antihyperglycemic drug similar to metformin, is therapeutically effective in treating acne.​

Medications Used to Treat Acne

  • Retinoids - Prescription retinoid creams and gels are essential to help curb acne, even when they’re taken without oral antibiotics. For example, topical Tretinoin, the acid form of vitamin, decreases the cohesiveness of follicular epithelial cells with decreased microcomedo formation. Additionally, itn stimulates mitotic activity and increased turnover of follicular epithelial cells causing extrusion of the comedones.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide - Available in new formulations that penetrate pores effectively, benzoyl peroxide reduces acne by eliminating bacteria and preventing blockages on the skin's surface.

  • Salicylic Acid - Gently dissolves dead skin cells and unclogs pores to reveal healthier skin.

  • Tetracycline - is the most widely prescribed antibiotic for acne. The usual starting dose is 500 mg twice a day continued until a significant decrease in acne lesions is seen. The dose can then be decreased to 250 mg twice a day or discontinued. The main drawback for this antibiotic is that it must be taken on an empty stomach to be the most effective. For a teenage boy who eats frequently, this can be very difficult. Tetracycline should not be given to pregnant women or children under 9 years of age.

  • Clindamycin Topical - Topical antibiotics that are applied to the skin can kill some of the bacteria on the skin and reduce redness and inflammation. Examples of antibiotics include clindamycin and erythromycin.

  • Isotretinoin (Accutane) - A potent medication for severe acne, Accutane is used when other treatments fail. It requires careful management due to potential side effects such as dryness, nosebleeds, and changes in blood lipid levels.

  • Clarisonic - This sonic cleansing device enhances skin cleansing by removing dirt and oil effectively, aiding in medication absorption.


  • Light Treatments - Blue light therapy targets acne-causing bacteria without damaging skin, while red light therapy reduces inflammation and sebum production.

​These treatments, combined with dietary modifications, can significantly improve acne outcomes by addressing both its causes and symptoms.

Acne Scarring 
Additionally, Dr. Parsons specializes in treating acne scars, and Renove Medical Spa provides advanced techniques for effective scar treatment.

Traditional Dermabrasion

Traditionally, deep dermabrasion has been the go-to treatment for severe acne scarring. Unlike micro-dermabrasion or dermaplaning, which are superficial treatments, deep dermabrasion involves the removal of deep layers of skin using a rapidly rotating device. This procedure targets the deep dermal layer where damaged collagen causes the appearance of acne scars. However, deep dermabrasion is known for being painful, requiring a long recovery period, and carrying a risk of infection and further scarring.

Microneedling for Acne Scarring

Fortunately, there's a less invasive alternative: medical-depth microneedling. This technique also reaches the deep dermal layer where abnormal collagen from acne scarring is located. By stimulating the healing process through microneedling, new collagen forms that blends more smoothly with surrounding skin. Unlike deep dermabrasion, medical-depth microneedling is well-tolerated with minimal downtime. It involves penetrating the skin to depths necessary for effective treatment, up to 4mm if required, while procedures by aestheticians typically do not exceed 0.5mm.

Traditional Dermabrasion
Medical-depth Microneedling penetrates deeper to treat acne scarring
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At Renove Medical Spa, we utilize medical-depth microneedling not only for acne scars but also for addressing fine lines, wrinkles, crepey skin on various body areas, stretch marks, and surgical scars.

PRP And Acne Scarring Treatment​

Treatment with microneedling in conjunction with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has emerged for treatment of acne scars. Microneedling has been used for treatment of facial scars, including ice pick, boxcar, and rolling scars; however, the addition of platelet-rich plasma has shown profound improvement in appearance. Treatment for acne scarring consists of a series of treatments, ranging from two to three monthly sessions. Studies showed a significant improvement in the treatment response for acne scars at 6-month follow-up when platelet-rich plasma was used in combination with micorneedling treatments. Confirmed by other split-face randomized controlled trials, acne scarring showed a higher level of improvement of scar depth and pigmentation, confirming its synergetic effects with PRP.

The Magic of Platelet Rich Plasma

PRP has emerged as one of the most desired non-surgical treatments for facial rejuvenation. A recent study published in the journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery evaluated the results and benefits of the use of platelet-rich plasma and showed there is a therapeutic advantage to the use of platelet-rich plasma as a treatment for skin rejuvenation and in combination with laser skin treatments.

The use of platelet-rich plasma in the medical arena has grown exponentially in the past few years, due to its regenerative and restorative properties. Originally used in the dental field going back 20 years for oromaxillofacial conditions, PRP has since grown within other clinical specialties such as the orthopedic field, to help heal torn ligaments and chronic joint arthritis, and in the plastic surgery field. Dermatologic and plastic surgical uses include facial rejuvenation and acne scarring treatments. Studies have shown improvements in wrinkles, skin texture, and facial volume. Other clinical trials have shown good results with regard to tissue healing.

Platelets play a vital role in the initiation of blood clotting and wound healing and increasing the speed of wound repair. In response to tissue and vascular damage, such as what occurs during a microneedling treatment, platelets are activated, with subsequent release of biologically active proteins. These proteins, released from within the platelet, initiate a cascade of events leading to tissue healing and regeneration. Over 30 biologically active proteins are released, including transforming growth factor-β, platelet-derived growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, and epithelial cell growth factor. These growth factors promote new blood vessel and tissue formation and promote wound repair with new collagen and elastin production.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment

Topical PRP with Microneedling

One popular technique for skin rejuvenation involves the application of topical platelet-rich plasma in conjunction with microneedling. This stems from the concept of mesotherapy, which uses multiple small punctures into the skin to facilitate absorption of topical medications. Microneedling creates superficial skin injury at varying depths, which has been shown to increase collagen production, skin tightening, and rejuvenation and it is used to facilitate platelet-rich plasma delivery. There are multiple microneedling devices currently used; however, the SkinPen (Bellus Medical, Addison, Texas) is the only microneedling device cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is the device we use at Renove Med Spa The microneedling treatment is applied numerous times over the face, in various directions, at various depths, until the endpoint of redness with or without pinpoint bleeding is reached. When platelet-rich plasma is combined with microneedling, the effects were found to be magnified. Studies have shown increased collagen with improved elastin fibers with combination microneedling and platelet-rich plasma compared to microneedling alone, which we at Renove Medical Spa have noticed as well, improved results witht he combination of PRP and microneedling. Microneedling with PRP can be performed once, or every 4 to 6 weeks and repeated several times, depending on the results desired. The average treatment recommendation is three sessions to maximize therapeutic results and varies based on the treatment goal. For more information on microneedling visit our page.

PRP with Laser and Radiofrequency Treatments

For the deepest acne scarring we can combine radiofrequency microneedling therapy with platelet-rich plasma to enhance results, with studies showing a therapeutic role in the treatment of acne scarring and facial aging. Platelet-rich plasma can be injected intradermally after radiofrequency microneedling therapy to provide a synergistic result, although it is also used topically. Not only does it provide local growth factors for healing, it has been demonstrated to decrease redness after radiofrequency treatment and accelerate healing. Positive results for facial aging treated with platelet-rich plasma and laser therapy are demonstrated as early as one treatment with three sessions showed maximum results. Studies show statistically significant improvement in skin elasticity for patients receiving combination therapy. Also demonstrated was a more obvious improvement in skin color, texture, and pore size.

Safety of PRP

As platelet-rich plasma is an autologous product, as it is self donated, and is considered safe and free from communicable diseases. Sterility should be practiced and platelet-rich plasma harvesting should only be done by a licensed and regulated medical professional and overseen by a physician. If you do not see a physician for your PRP treatment, you should question why not. Minor complications include transient swelling, bruising, redness and crusting, all of which are injection-related. Subjective feeling of skin tightness is transient.



The use of microneedling, radiofrequency and platelet-rich plasma has grown to treat acne scarring because of better understanding of its regenerative and restorative effects. A diverse collection of literature exists in support of its use, displaying favorable results for acne scarring and surigical scar improvement. We offer all of the above treatments at Renove Medical Spa. If you think you may benefit from one of the above treatment modalities, please call or email us to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation. March 2021 we will have a get ready for summer (it's coming!) skin special with our Radiofrequency Microneedling with PRP treatments, book a treatment with PRP and receive a free ZO Growth Factors serum a $148 value.


Platelet-Rich Plasma: Evolving Role in Plastic Surgery

Edward S. Chamata, M.D.; Erica L. Bartlett, M.D.; David Weir, N.P.-C.; Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. DISCLOSURES Plast Reconstr Surg. 2021;147(1):219-230.

Acne Scarring Treated with Microneedling

Radiofrequency Microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma, 3 treatments...


Here at Renove Med Spa, Dr. Michelle Parsons utilizes PRP in the form of direct dermal injection and in combination with deep microneedling to treat facial, neck, and chest skin to dramatically improve texture and elasticity.

ZO Skin Care products have been amazing. My skin hasn't looked younger and fresher in years. I have always had problems with acne and this has been the first product line where I have seen results. I couldn't be happier!

I love how my skin looks after microneedling. I suffered from acne scars and microneedling helped with it and got rid of all my acne scars. 

Dr. Parsons is so knowledgeable about different skin care needs and the latest procedures and products to achieve beautiful and natural outcomes. I always look forward to making my next appt!!

Amanda O.

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