Acne is definitely one of the most dreaded skin flaws any person would wish not to cross paths within their lives. Those blessed with great genes and well-balanced hormones are lucky enough not to encounter this, but that’s a whole new different story for those on the opposite side of the scale. A person can develop acne during the puberty stage or at a later time as adults.
Acne scars are haunting reminders that pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads once ruled over a certain part of a person’s face, neck, or back.
Thanks to advances in aesthetic medications and technology, the appearance of acne scars on the skin can be reduced, if not removed completely.
This article answers questions pertaining to acne scars and presents treatment methods that can help improve the condition of your skin. Read until the very end to know how you can get rid of those annoying acne scars!
What are acne scars?
Acne scars are indentations or raised formations on the skin that are a result of damage to the skin caused by acne. Generally, cystic pimples are the cause of acne scars.
What are the types of acne scars?
The following are the types of scars caused by acne.
|TYPE OF SCAR||APPEARANCE|
|BOXCAR SCARS||Wide and rectangular-shaped indentations on the skin that have deep and sharp edges.|
|ELEVATED SCARS||Raised scars that can either be hypertrophic scars or keloid acne scars.|
|ICE PICK SCARS||Scars that go deep into the skin and have a tight opening.|
|ROLLING SARS||Wide indentations with round and inclined edges.|
What is the difference between an acne scar and an acne mark?
Not all flaws on the skin following a bout with acne are scars. Some may simply be acne marks or spots that eventually fade after three to six months. An acne mark can be identified by its colour, which is usually red or dark brown.
To get rid of acne marks or spots, topical retinoid creams can be applied on the skin. Pico laser treatments can be used to achieve a much quicker way of fading the marks.
What are the acne scar treatments available?
There are several acne scar treatments available. Below are some of the most effective treatments.
Chemical peels. This type of treatment use alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) to treat acne scars. When applied to the skin, the active ingredients work by exfoliating the target area and removing the dead skin cells off the skin. One of the most effective chemical peels used by dermatologists is the TCA Cross. A maximum of three sessions are required to see optimum results.
Dermal fillers. This type of treatment uses elements derived from hyaluronic acid to treat acne scars. Hyaluronic acid is a component of the skin that gives it volume and keeps it hydrated. Dermal fillers are gels that are injected into a depressed scar in order to push up the skin. Some brands widely used by doctors are Juvederm, Rejuran, and Restylane.
Laser treatments. This type of treatment uses energy-charged light beams that penetrate through the layers of skin. The light beams promote collagen production, which helps in improving the appearance of scars. The following laser procedures are commonly used to treat acne scars:
- Fractional C02 Laser – Examples of this laser treatment are Edge C02, Lumenis Ultrapulse, and Fraxel Repair. For best results, three to six sessions of fractional C02 laser are recommended.
- Fractional Erbium Laser – Examples of this laser treatment are Cutera Pearl, Fraxel Dual, and Pixel Pro. For best results, two to five sessions of fractional erbium laser are recommended.
- Fractional Picosecond Laser – Examples of this laser treatment are Discovery, PicoPlus, and PicoSure. For best results, two to five sessions of fractional picosecond laser are recommended.
Microdermabrasion. This type of treatment is a non-surgical procedure that uses diamond bits that differ in coarseness to gently exfoliate the epidermis from dead skin cells. With repetitive administration, the appearance of acne scars will be less noticeable.
Punch excision/grafting. This type of treatment uses a tiny puncher that cuts around the skin and removes the scar. The skin that is removed is replaced by a tiny piece of skin, usually grafted from the back of the ear. Once in place the wound is stitched closed and allowed to heal.
Radiofrequency (RF) micro needling. This type of treatment is comparable to laser treatments, but the only difference is that it uses radiofrequency and microscopic needles to target acne scars. Examples of radiofrequency micro needling are Infini and Venus Viva.
Subcision. This type of treatment is considered to be a surgical procedure. A needle is injected into depressed scars and loosens the band of tissue that holds the skin down. As the skin is loosened, the indented scar raises and evens out at the top layer of the skin.
What is the best treatment to address my acne scars?
To know which of the treatments is the best procedure to address your acne scar a consultation with a medical professional is highly recommended. More often than not, a patient may have not only one kind but also a combination of acne scars present on their skin. A doctor may recommend a combination of procedures to treat the acne scars existing on a patient’s skin.
How many treatment sessions are needed to fade an acne scar?
The number of treatment sessions needed depends on the type, severity, and scope of area affected by the acne scarring. Multiple intensive treatments may be needed for cases that are very complicated.
What are the factors that may affect the cost of acne scar removal?
There are several factors that can affect the cost of acne scar removal. Some of these factors are:
- Type of treatment used
- Type, severity, and area where the acne scar is present
- Doctor’s professional fees
- Downtime that a patient is willing to take after a procedure
Are there ways to prevent acne scarring?
Prevention is always a much better choice rather than getting treatments. Acne removal treatments tend to be costly. Likewise, despite the treatments, the skin cannot be restored to its original state.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent acne scarring. For patients with acne, it is important that the skin condition is treated with the utmost care. Seek treatment earlier in order to avoid developing acne scars. Most importantly, suppress the urge to pop your pimples!
How much improvement is expected after a complete acne scar treatment?
Most patients see an improvement of up to 80% after a complete acne scar treatment. Improvement on the skin may also depend on the type of skin a patient has and the response it has to a specific treatment.
Is there a need for aftercare for acne scar removal treatments?
Certainly. The recovery period for a treated area is crucial as the skin is raw and sensitive right after a treatment. Aftercare is very important during this time. Aftercare may vary depending on the treatment used on the acne scar.
How long is the downtime needed for an acne scar treatment?
The length of downtime needed is different depending on the treatment administered on the acne scar. Generally, the maximum downtime required is five to seven days for an intense treatment.