When acne runs out of control, pitted scars result when a new outbreak starts before the previous one fully healed. To make matters worse, natural tissue loss in the face is a common part of aging, so these scars may get deeper with time, as the fatty subdermal layers lose additional volume.
A technique that’s gaining ground in acne scar treatment is fat grafting, a process that uses your own excess body fat to augment lost tissue in the adipose layer of your skin, propping up pitted acne scars and smoothing your facial appearance. For those with severe acne scarring, this process could represent a safe and effective solution.
How Fat Grafting Works
Essentially, a fat graft transplants fat cells from one part of your body to another, in this case, the tissue beneath acne scars on the face. Not only does harvesting fat cells from your own body provide a substance that’s well-suited for this technique, but the transplanted tissue is also 100% biocompatible.
Keeping fat cells viable through the graft is key, and a technique called tumescent liposuction provides excellent results. A solution of the anesthetic lidocaine and the drug epinephrine, which shrinks blood vessels, is injected into the target fat. This increases the volume of the target cells, making them firm (tumescent), minimizing blood loss to the cells, and providing long-term anesthesia in both the harvest and transplant areas.
Harvested fat cells are first processed to prepare for injection. This removes any impurities or other tissue received from the donor area. These harvested cells, still alive, get layered under your acne scars to supplement adipose and collagen tissue in the deeper dermal layers. The process is quite similar to the use of dermal fillers. However, the effects of grafted fat last longer and blend more naturally.
Combined with Botox® Cosmetic and other rejuvenating processes such as dermabrasion, the effect on acne scarring can produce dramatic improvements, though results do vary between patients.
Fat Grafting Recovery
Because some fat tissue is inevitably lost during the cell transfer, overfilling is usually done. Rather than a problem, this typically produces an immediate improvement to your appearance. While this lost tissue eventually leaves your body, the grafting procedure also stimulates new collagen production in and around the injection areas. This new collagen incorporates the graft naturally and makes the effects of the tissue transplant more permanent.
As well as acne scars, fat grafting may be suitable for other issues, such as deep lines and wrinkles on your face. If you’ve lost facial volume in your cheeks, for example, fat grafting can also restore cheekbone definition and a more youthful profile.
While fat grafting won’t stop the aging and tissue loss process, it can slow the process while replacing lost volume. Better still, the grafted fat comes from areas where you already have a surplus of cells, typically the abdomen.
Contact one of the Vitality Ageless Center locations in the Atlanta area, by phone or online, and arrange a consultation to find out if you’re a good candidate for fat grafting to improve the appearance of your acne-scarred skin.