A recent study addresses the common occurrence of acne vulgaris, and reviews various types of fillers for acne including temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent dermal fillers.
Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition affecting primarily the face, back, and neck. It affects approximately 80% of adolescents and subsequent scarring is a prominent concern for these patients. Acne has been classified into two categories: hypertrophic acne and atrophic acne. Atrophic acne is more common and has been further broken down into ice-pick, boxcar, and rolling scars. A recently adapted treatment for acne scars involves the use of temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent dermal fillers. The study published by the British Association of Dermatologists analyzes dermal fillers as treatment for acne scars, based on a compilation of previously conducted research.
A list of selected dermal fillers was compiled for review. The only temporary filler identified in the study was hyaluronic acid. Semi-permanent fillers consisting of poly-L-lactic acid commonly known as Sculptra, and calcium hydroxylapatite with the trade name of Radiesse were included. The review also included research on the following permanent fillers: Bellafill (polymethylmethacrylate), Bio-Alcamid (polyalkylimide), Aquamid (polyacrylamide), and silicone. For each dermal filler, a series of studies were organized into categories describing their aims and findings. The article recognized that only one of the listed fillers, Bellafill (PMMA), is approved by the FDA based on results of a randomized controlled trial. It was also stated that topically administered fillers may involve laser assistance in the future.
The article concluded that although dermal fillers are a common form of treatment for tissue augmentation, they are underutilized with respect to treatment of acne scars. The FDA-approved filler Bellafill yielded strong results in support of its use during a randomized controlled trial. Research points to the indication that dermal fillers are effective in treating rolling and boxcar atrophic acne scars, in contrast to ice-pick scars. The article further suggests that efficient use may be correlated to duration of action of the treatments.
Dermatologists are encouraged to employ dermal fillers as potential treatments for acne scars. Although the article does not present new research, it effectively compiles pre-existing data and provides a convincing conclusion in support of dermal filler treatment for atrophic acne scars. With increasing emphasis on skin care and treatment, dermatologists may be able to recommend dermal fillers as treatment options for acne scars. With the variety of treatment options available, dermal fillers can be prescribed to match an array of skin types and conditions, offering options that cater to the needs of the patient. Perhaps further research on specific dermal fillers can lead to FDA approval, expanding patient’s options and this emerging area of the pharmaceutical industry.