Acne scars can be a heartbreaking result of teenage pimple problem and can cause embarrassment for years. Those marks can be very difficult to treat but there are a number of choices to be examined when looking for treatment options to remove acne scars. Raised keloid type scarring may benefit from injection of a corticosteroid into the scar tissue but for most scars problem the key to treatment is to induce skin regeneration.
This may be improved by a number of dermatological acne treatments ranging from superficial to deep tissue treatment depending upon the severity of the scarring.
Chemical peels involve the application of some type of caustic agent to the surface of the skin. This destroys the top layer which will then slough off, stimulating new cells development from below. A wide range of strengths of products are available for chemical peel treatment from mild hydroxy acids available in the cosmetic department to more concentrated acid or phenol products which must be applied by a physician. Mild cosmetic peels are used mostly for improving epidermis tissue associated with sun damage or aging.
Acne scars will generally not benefit from home chemical peels but may improve with stronger solutions applied by a dermatologist. Complete skin recovery from physician-applied chemical peel solutions may take several weeks.
Microdermabrasion is a procedure to exfoliate your skin top layer using specific machine. It does not require anesthesia and produces minimal inflammation to the treated area. Microdermabrasion is only useful for light scarring condition and must be repeated periodically as it does not truly induce collagen formation but may improve the texture of your skin. It does not require medical oversight but may be performed by a physician or aesthetician. Home microdermabrasion systems are generally considered to be ineffective.
Dermabrasion is an older procedure that has largely been replaced by laser treatment but is still performed occasionally. It involves removal of more of the epidermis by “sanding” off skin layers. Dermabrasion may stimulate new cells and collagen formation from deeper skin tissues. It is quite painful and will require some type of anesthesia and must be performed by a physician. It also produces a red, raw appearance immediately after the procedure which may take several weeks to heal. Most patients will want to take a minimum of one week off of work following this procedure because of the immediate skin appearance. Dermabrasion will generally not be effective for sunken scars.
Fractional laser resurfacing is also sometimes called laser dermabrasion. Newer procedures using non-ablative lasers destroy deeper layers and have minimal effects on the very top layers of the skin. They work by using pulses of light to stimulate new collagen formation and increase cells regeneration, allowing the top layers of the epidermis to slough off on its own. It is also useful for reducing redness of the affected area. There is very little pain associated with these procedures and minimal redness or swelling will usually only last a few days. An older form of laser dermabrasion removes top skin layers with a carbon dioxide laser. Immediately following carbon dioxide laser treatments, your skin will have a similar appearance to dermabrasion and may take several weeks to heal.
A number of surgical procedures, usually performed under local anesthesia can be used to treat severe, deep scars. Punch excision involves the removal of the scar and the surrounding tissue. The skin is then sutured together leaving a flat area of tissue with much less visible scarring. A punch excision procedure may also involve removal of the scar and reattachment of the same tissue with elevation support under the epidermis layer to minimize the depth of the scar. Punch excision with skin grafting can be done using skin from another area of the body rather than simple suturing or replacement of the scar itself.
Subcision is a surgical procedure where the scar is surgically separated from lower tissue but left in place so that it is no longer bound to deeper skin layers.
Whatever the severity or type of scarring you have, there is surely a method to improve the appearance. You will want to consider the severity and type, the cost of treatment and the qualifications of the dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon you employ. The physician will likely have a number of before and after photos of patient’s improvement as proof of their ability to provide a quality service with good results.
Whichever method you choose, acne scarring doesn’t have to last forever.