Acne Scar Treatment
Acne scars can be a very troubling problem. Even though the acne breakouts may be controlled or have long since stopped, the scarring remains for a lifetime. Treatment for acne can be as troublesome as the disease itself. Usually, successful treatment requires a team approach with a dermatologist and a cosmetic surgeon. First, attention must be turned to stopping any outbreaks then repair of the scarring. If outbreaks continue, scarring is likely to continue and any treatments aimed at treating scarring would be futile.
There are many acne treatment options depending on the severity of outbreaks. These are beyond the scope of this article except to say that treatment for the underlying disease process is a must. Once the outbreaks are well controlled, attention can be turned toward erasing the lasting marks on the face. Of note, acne is not only a disease of adolescence. Adult onset acne is not completely uncommon and is seen in women who are pregnant – often with more severe scarring.
Acne scar treatment depend on the severity of the scarring and the skin type of the person wishing repair. In people with darker skin, Fitzpatrick Types V, VI; options are limited because of concern for pigment irregularities after treatment. For lighter skinned individuals, treatments range from simple facial exfoliation to deep chemical or laser peels to surgical intervention.
For light scarring after acne, attention is placed on skin resurfacing. By taking off the outer layers of skin and stimulating collagen synthesis with new skin formation, acne scars can be reduced. This is best simulated by placing a finger on either side of an area of scarring and lightly pulling. If the scars fade, this can be a good option for resurfacing.
For deeper scars, a deep chemical peel, ablative laser resurfacing (CO2 or erbium), or dermabrasion/dermasanding may be necessary. For deeper scars, deeper solutions are necessary. Again, several options exist. Deeper scars can be surgically excised with the larger acne scar replaced with a surgically placed small line. This can later be refined with other rejuvenation techniques. Punch grafting affords a simple method for treating multiple scars. A circular punch is used to create an incision around an acne scar. The scar is then allowed to heal and the resulting skin irregularity is smoothed. Subcision involved releasing the tethering attachments underneath the scar and then filling the space with either a temporary or permanent filler to prevent the scar from reforming when it heals. With the advent of new temporary artificial fillers such as hyaluronic acid, this is a good option for larger depressed scars.
Consult With A Physician For Acne Scar Treatment Options
Whatever the treatment option, it is important to consult a physician with a large arsenal of treatment options – if a physician only sells a cheeseburger, then you get sold a cheeseburger; even if you need a bacon burger. It is also important to remember that just as acne scars did not form overnight, treatment can sometimes take months to get the desired result. Once you find an experienced physician and decide on a treatment option, remember that it’s a long road but one that is usually worth the wait.