Acne Scars: Treatment and Prevention

Acne scars are one of the most pervasive dermatological problems. They are common for people of all ages. Typically, they are a result of inflammation that occurs when bacteria, dead cells and access oil combined together and started pressing on the walls of the skin pore and breaks the follicle wall. Up to 80 percent of people in their teenage years are getting affected by acne. While many of these people recover from the said skin condition without permanent effects, some are left with scars.

There are a few topical skin care medications that can help improve mild scarring. Most acne scars can also be treated by means of skin resurfacing and surgical procedure combinations.

Treatment Options

Not all scars can be avoided even with careful treatment. But the good news is there are now a number of treatment options that you can choose to minimize the appearance of acne scars. Your doctor will check how severe your scars are and may recommend you any of the following treatment options:

• Dermabrasion. This is a kind of skin smoothing surgery where the skin’s top layers are removed. A special device is used in this treatment option to gently sand the surface of the skin to normal and healthy skin. Normally, an antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly is applied on the skin to lessen scaring and scab formation.

• Chemical Peels. In this procedural treatment, a chemical or exfoliating agent is applied on the skin. Among the most common agents used include lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid, glycolic acid, carbocilic acid and salicylic acid. Chemical peels usually range from light to deep strength, depending on the chemical agent used and how much time it should stay on the skin. How much peeling should be made also depends on the skin condition and expected results. Chemical peels are often suggested to those who have mild acne scars.

• Laser Treatments. There are two (2) categories of laser that are used to treat acne scars. These are ablative or resurfacing laser and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers take off the skin’s outer layer, burning scar tissues and tightening the dermal collagen. Through this way, the visibility of the scar is reduced. In laser resurfacing, erbium YAG laser and ultrapulsed carbon dioxide laser are commonly used. Since the skin is damaged and unprotected tissues are exposed, effort should be exerted in wound care and avoiding infection. The skin may redden for a couple of months or even a year afterwards.

Non-ablative lasers sets off changes in the dermis without damaging the epidermis. The newest FDA approved laser for this kind of treatment is called “smoothbeam.”

• Filler Substances. For shallow and saucer-shaped acne scars, filler substances are commonly used. There has been an increase in the amount of filler substances used in plumping up acne scars. Cosmoderm, Fasciian, Restylane, Artecoll, Cymetra and bovine collagen are available.

Acne Scar Prevention Tips

As soon as acne develops, treat it! The most effective means in avoiding acne scars is by preventing the development of acne into a severe form. Do not wait for acne to go away on its own, but start treating it right away. Consult a dermatologist to know if your acne is unresponsive to topical medications or over-the-counter treatments. As possible, avoid doing things that could irritate your skin like using harsh skin care products and aggressive scrubbing.

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