Most of us have experienced acne – the bane of every teenager’s existence. If you suffered from particularly severe acne, you may have permanent acne scars that last into adulthood and sometimes make you wish you didn’t have to show your face in public. The good news is that acne scars can be removed – or at least significantly diminished.
Removal of acne scars may involve more than one type of treatment, depending on the type and severity of your scars. If you have medium to deep scarring, you should be prepared to undergo some form of mechanical skin resurfacing that will require local anesthetic.
If you are committed to eliminating your acne scars (and thereby improving your appearance and self-confidence) here are some of the most effective professional scar-removal procedures you might consider:
Treatments That Remove Acne Scars
Dermabrasion is one of the favored methods of acne scar removal for patients who have no active acne or infections and a low risk of hyperpigmentation. Dermabrasion is a mechanical resurfacing of the skin that can be superficial, medium or deep. It employs the use of abrasive tools or materials to “sand off” or remove the outer layers (epidermis) of your skin. For deeper scars, physicians will perform deep dermabrasion to remove portions of the inner layer (dermis) of your skin as well.
Your dermatology physician may choose to use motorized dermabrasion with a mechanical brush or cylinder or manual derma-sanding with silicone carbide sandpaper. New skin will grow over time to replace what has been removed. The skin will be tender for some time after a dermabrasion procedure, requiring weeks of healing, as collagen reforms under the skin.
Laser resurfacing may be an option for scar removal if you have darker skin that is prone to hyperpigmentation. This form of Laser treatments use high-energy beams of light to destroy the outer skin layers (epidermis) and the uppermost dermis. Like dermabrasion, laser resurfacing can cause discomfort and require considerable time to heal.
Chemical peels involve chemicals (glycolic acid, salicylic acid, phenol, and others) that are applied to destroy the surface of the skin and promote new skin growth. Certain chemicals are stronger than others, and patients who receive the stronger chemical peels can achieve more benefits but also run a higher risk of infection and skin discoloration.
Dermal fillers can add volume to the skin under acne pits or scar, flattening the skin out for a smoother appearance. Dermal fillers are injected by a dermatology physician and may be used in combination with any of the skin resurfacing procedures. Patients should know that fillers wear off after a few weeks or months and have to be redone periodically.
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