Which Treatment for Acne Scarring?
Fortunately, there is no problem finding information about treatment for acne scarring. You have many options available to you. However, it’s important that you understand that there is not a cookie-cutter approach to reducing the appearance of your scars. Everyone has different skin and everyone experiences different types of scarring from acne. Therefore, your acne scar treatment must be addressed separately. Keep in mind that no single treatment is right for everyone and you might have to mix and match more than one treatment for the best results. Basic research about exactly how acne scars are formed and how they react to treatment is rather limited. The condition has not been very well-treated in the past but that is changing with the advent of new technologies.
Dermabrasion is a traditional surgery which involves a sort of sanding away of the superficial level of skin. The surgery itself is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and lasts from 15 minutes to more than an hour. However, there is quite a bit of recovery time after this treatment and skin may take up to 6 weeks to lose its sunburn appearance. Side effects include pigment changes and scarring.
Laser resurfacing has become extremely popular treatment for acne scarring recently. The same process of removing old skin is done with a laser instead of a “sanding” instrument. As with dermabrasion, redness and swelling last up to 2 weeks and pinkness can last for several months.
Chemical peels are an option if you have only mild scarring. These involve applying different types of acid to the skin to burn away the top layer and allow for the newer layer to surface. This procedure only takes about 15 minutes but usually needs to be repeated to get the desired results. Post-peel can come with some redness, swelling and flakiness or dryness. Recovery can take from one day to several weeks.
For deep pit scars, punch surgery is often the only option. In this procedure, you scar(s) are literally removed with a punch instrument (similar to a tiny cookie cutter). The wound is either grafted with other skin (often taken from behind your ear) or just sewn up as it is. The resulting scar is tiny in comparison to the previous scar and can be camoflauged with make-up or further resurfacing techniques. A variation on this treatment is the punch elevation. In this procedure, the scar is cut loose from the bottom, but not discarded. This allows it to float up to the level of surrounding skin which reduces its appearance.
Subcision can be used on all types of scars. Here, the scar is detached from the deeper tissue. So a pool of blood is formed under the scar and then clots. This clot helps form connective tissue under the scar and therefore makes it rise up so that is it even to the surface. One to 3 treatments are typically needed – this treatment is often combined with resurfacing.
The above information about treatment for acne scarring does not substitute medical advice given by a health professional.