Most acne scars can be treated and improved although it can take considerable time for treatments to be effective. It’s important however that you are realistic about results because with very bad cases of acne scarring skin cannot be completely restored to how it was before.
Things to Consider Before Treatment
Before you start any treatment for acne scarring you should be completely sure that your acne has been cured. The treatments are to remove acne scars – not the actually acne itself. This is important because the removal process involves damaging the skin to some degree so it can then begin to repair itself. It is important that the treatment doesn’t aggravate any active condition.
Wait one year after your last acne attack before starting treatment and during this time record any improvements to your skin condition. If the skin seems to be repairing itself then you may not have to go through any of the treatment options because doing so may cause your skin more harm than good.
How Acne Scars Can Be Removed
The treatment for acne scarring is basically removing layers of the affected skin so it will begin to repair itself. The new skin that’s starts to rejuvenate will be smoother and have less scarring. It is important that you take a slow, step-by-step approach during the scar removal process because at the end of each step you need to be able to evaluate any improvements to your skin condition and you must then decide whether you need to move on to the next stage.
Each stage of acne scar removal becomes more aggressive, painful and expensive and all treatments should be carried out under the supervision of a doctor or dermatologist.
Different Types of Acne Scar Removal
Bleaching is particularly effective as a first step especially if you suffer from hyperpigmentation. To eliminate dark spots firstly start a 3-week Retin-A program and use a topical bleaching cream which will help to further fade dark spots. Bleaching cream is available on prescription or over the counter at 2% strength. Start with this and apply once a day in the morning and apply the Retin-A in the evening and continue for three weeks. If you see an improvement after three weeks then continue for a further two weeks.
Although this is quite a mild treatment it can be considerably effective but you may find that the 2% bleaching cream is too weak and may have to move onto a stronger one. If this is the case then go to your doctor and ask for a 4% bleaching cream on prescription.
Always avoid the sun during this type of treatment.
Chemical peels may help you remove acne scarring too and should be the next step if bleaching treatments are unsuccessful. There are three levels of chemical peels. You can learn more about chemical peels in this article - Bring Back Your Smooth And Glowing Skin – Chemical Peels.
Lactic Acid 50% Gel Peel is enhanced with kojic acid and bearberry extract. Kojic acid is a natural inhibitor of melanin derived from a mushroom first discovered by the Japanese. It is an effective way to lighten acne scars. Click on image for details.
Removing Acne Scars with Dermabrasion and Laser Treatments
Dermabrasion is a surgical scraping procedure which removes the top layer of the skin softening surface irregularities to give a smoother appearance. Quite recently a new YAG laser technique has been introduced which is an improved technique which allows a finer layer of skin to be removed. It takes longer than scraping methods but it gives the dermatologist or plastic surgeon much more control over the procedure and causes less damage to the surrounding tissue. The laser generates infrared light which vaporizes water in the skin cells and burns off between twenty to one hundred microns of skin, the latter being a similar thickness to a single sheet of paper.
Professional diamond microdermabrasion machine. Click on image for details.
It has been proven that this laser treatment is effective but it will have to be carried out a number of times at two monthly intervals for maximum benefit. However it should be noted that deeper scars may still remain.
Flat acne scars can be improved by collagen injections. With this procedure collagen is injected under the skin to push the scars up to the same level as the rest of the skin. This is a very simple and quick procedure but is one that needs to be repeated once or twice a year because the body gradually absorbs collagen.
Punch Excision Treatment
This method of surgery under local anesthetic is usually performed on icepick scarring or deep scarring and is a much more extreme removal procedure. A punch biopsy tool which is usually not much bigger than the scar itself is used to excise the scar and the scar walls and the skin edges are sutured together. The new scar that is produced from the surgery will eventually fade and should be much less noticeable than the old scar. Afterwards further treatment by laser can smooth away any new scarring.
Surgery and Radiation Therapy
Keloids caused by acne are from the most difficult blemishes to remove because they have a tendency to reform. They are usually removed because as well as being unsightly they can also become irritated.
So the good news is that if you suffer from acne scarring it can be improved by one or more of the treatments and procedures that are available. It is important to consider your options and to take a step-by-step approach to your treatments so you get the best possible long-term results. As with any treatments it is always recommended that you seek advice from a professional and once you have had your treatments you can look forward to better skin and a more confident you.
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