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Aesthetics Practice Today

BellaFill For Acne Scars Can Be Life Changing

Published February 17, 2015 1:39 PM by Mina Grasso
Acne, the most common skin condition, can result in acne scars, in up to 95% of those who get acne. This disfiguring skin condition can be devastating and affect self-esteem and self-confidence. Just a few weeks ago, for the first time in history the FDA has approved a tissue filler for treatment of acne scars. BellaFill, formerly Artefill, provides long-lasting scar correction.  

Acne scars may present in a variety of ways. The technical names are boxcar acne scars, ice pick acne scars, rolling acne scars, hypertrophic and keloid scars. Patients can present with a combination of these types of scars. Acne scars are unattractive and difficult to conceal. Now patients do not have to "just live with it".

Treatment of acne scars also varies with the presentation of the scars.  The more challenging acne scars to treat are boxcar scars and ice pick scars. Boxcar scars have more defined edges that appear like a box. Ice pick scars appear as small pits or enlarged pores on the skin.

Hypertrophic and keloid scars are raised areas that are well defined or go beyond the boundary of the scar. Although a patient may present with a variety of these scars, Bellafill is indicated for the treatment of rolling scars. An average of two visits using a syringe at each visit is recommended four to eight weeks apart. Bellafill can be used for all skin types and all ages.

Bellafill is made up of 20% PMMA microspheres and 80% bovine collagen.  Correction is immediate. Bellafil helps to lift the scar to the level of the surrounding skin for a smoother appearance. As the bovine collagen dissipates the body's own collagen surrounds the PMMA matrix of microspheres and plumps the distensible rolling scars.

Results in the patient's self-esteem and confidence can change their lives. I had a patient come in for a follow-up appointment, and I was expecting to hear less than optimal satisfaction, because I could still see scarring. Getting back to realistic expectations that I prepared the patients for, I remembered that he had many ice pick and box scars which I had warned him would not respond like the rolling scars. Much to my surprise, the patient was ecstatic and could not express his appreciation enough.

Patients with depressed acne scars treated with Bellafil are often highly satisfied with long-lasting results especially if most of the scars are rolling and distendable scars without defined sharp borders.

Since the days of bovine collagen, more dermal fillers have been developed. There are a variety of hyaluronic acid fillers. The following are the most common: Belotero, Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm and Voluma.  These HA fillers vary in consistency and duration of action depending on the cross-linking of the molecular structure. The higher degree of cross-linking, the longer it takes the body to break it down. With the patient's own collagen surrounding the PMMA microsphere matrix of Bellafill, the results are longer lasting.

Artefill is a lasting dermal filler approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006 for the correction of the nasolabial folds commonly known as "smile lines." Artefill, now called Bellafil is the first FDA approved dermal filler to provide long-lasting correction of moderate to severe atrophic distensible acne scars. Finally, there is long-lasting hope. Patients do not have to "just live with the scars."
posted by Mina Grasso

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    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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