Acne effects up to eighty percent of people in their teens and twenties and about five percent of adults later in life. Many people recover from their acne conditions without permanent effects. However, some people are left with disfiguring acne scars. There are a few topical skin care products and medications that can help improve some forms of scarring, but most acne scars require a combination of surgical procedures and skin resurfacing.
Early Acne Scars
After an acne lesion of any kind heals, it leaves behind a red or hyperpigmented mark on the skin. This is not a scar but a post-inflammatory change. The redness is a result of the skin going through a healing and remodeling process which can take anywhere from six to twelve months depending on a persons body. As long as no more acne lesions occur in that area, the skin will heal normally on its own. If the color change or skin defect remains after a year than it is considered an acne scar.
Preventing Early Scars
The best way to prevent acne scars is to prevent acne lesions from occurring. To do this you need to understand the factors that cause acne and using the appropriate treatments. If you cannot prevent acne then you will need to treat your early scars.
Treating Early Acne Scares
Since post-inflammatory changes to the skin are a part of the natural healing process, you don’t want to stop the process entirely. Rather you should use practices and medications that can help the skin through the healing process. These include the following:
- Avoid unprotected exposure to the sun since this can cause more skin damage and delay the healing time. Therefore, whenever you are going to be in direct contact with the sun is sure to wear a good sunscreen.
- Using tretinoin products will help speed up the skin’s remodeling process and help heal the skins post-inflammatory changes.
- Formulations of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids and Beta-Hydroxy Acid will help the skin’s remodeling process.
- Avoid picking at the scabs. The scabs help the healing process that is occurring beneath the skin. Therefore, pulling a scab off interferes with the healing and remodeling process prolonging the amount of time post-inflammatory changes are visible.
Scar Treatment Procedures
If you have severe acne, scars you will need to have procedures to take care of the scarring. All of these procedures have an equal amount of risks and benefits involved. Doctors will typically combine several of these produces to produce the smoothest appearance to your skin. The following are some of the most effective acne treatment procedures:
Dermal fillers can be injected into acne scars to raise the surface of the skin so that the skin will have a smoother appearance.Typical dermal fillers include fat, bovine collagen, human collagen, hyaluronic acid derivatives, and politely-methacrylate micospheres with collagen. The drawback to this form of treatment is that dermal fillers are not permanent and further injections are necessary.
This is a surgical method to correct acne scars and is typically used on the deeper acne scars. The method uses a punch biopsy tool that is round and a sharp cookie-cutter type tool that comes in various diameters. The size of the tool is matched to the size of the scar. Using local anesthesia the scar is excised with the punch tool and the skin edges are sutured together. The new scar fades with time and may not be noticeable. However, if the scar is still noticeable then it can be corrected using resurfacing methods.
These are just a few of the surgical procedures used to correct acne scars. However, talking with your doctor will help them to find the best procedure and treatment option to treat your acne scars.