Acne Scar Treatment - An Explanation of Treatment Options Available

Unfortunately, scars are a common occurrence of severe acne. The effects can be disfiguring, and result in loss of self-esteem.

As a result, some people make the decision to undergo acne scar treatment.

Although these treatments cannot make the scars go away completely, they can lessen the appearance of them.

What kind of acne treatment can you expect to get?

It is dependent on the type of scars that you have.

You may hear your dermatologist speak of various kinds of scars including ice pick, boxcar, and rolling scars.

What are some things you should discuss with your dermatologist?

The extent of correction you desire to achieve

How much time you can dedicate

What you can afford to spend

What is the difference between scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)?

PIH is a change in skin color that can last many months after the initial eruption, gradually fading over time.

If you have light skin, the PIH will appear pink, red, or purple. If you have dark skin, the PIH will appear darker brown or black.

What kinds of scar treatment exist?

Laser treatment -
Two major kinds of scar laser treatment exist:

1. Getting rid of the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) - The skin needs to be protected from infection after this sort of procedure.

2. Treatment to the dermis (located below the epidermis) - The second kind of laser treatment does not involve the epidermis, but instead the deeper layer of the skin, called the dermis.

What other kinds of scar treatments exist?

Dermabrasion -
Dermabrasion has been around for years, and is performed by a dermatologist with a hand-held rotating tool that removes the surface of the skin.

Requires anesthesia of your skin, because it involves deep exfoliation of the skin surface.

It works better for treating deeper scars.

Recovery times are longer with dermabrasion, involving activity modifications and avoidance of sun exposure.

Results are dramatic with only one treatment.

Microdermabrasion -
Is newer and offers many advantages over dermabrasion.

The first of those advantages is that there is really no downtime.

It is considered a lunch-time procedure, meaning you can return back to work the same day, if you do not mind some redness that eventually will go away in a few hours.

This is because this procedure does not remove as much of the surface of the skin. It uses crystals that exfoliate less layers of skin than dermabrasion.

It can also be done in day spas, but be sure to choose wisely.

Microdermabrasion also requires more treatment sessions, and it works better for more superficial scars.

Collagen and Fat Fillers -
This is another scar treatment, although it is more temporary.

By injecting fillers into the site of the scars, it can plump up the scar sites so that they are not as noticeable.

Minor Surgery -
Performed by dermatologists, if the type of scars dictate that treatment.

This involves cutting out the scars, putting the skin back together, and then closing the site with a straight stitch line.

Often, this then requires dermabrasion or microdermabrasion to get maximum results.

So what procedure is best for you?

As mentioned previously, consultation with a dermatologist can help you decide on the best procedure most suited to your needs.

There are other procedures that exist, such as chemical peels, or massage and pressure therapy for raised hypertrophic scars.

What other scar treatments may be beneficial?

Some people also use topical preparations applied to the surface of their skin, and state that they do notice differences in the appearance of their scars.

Products that contain topical Vitamin A may be beneficial, and you may want to speak to your dermatologist about using it in combination with one of the procedures described above.

In summary, discussion with your dermatologist is the best way to determine the most effective acne scar treatment needed.

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