Acne Scars: Treatment Options
Acne Scars: Treatment Options
Acne scars are stubborn, and no single treatment is best for everyone. One or a combination of the following approaches might improve the appearance of your skin, depending on your scar type, your skin type and the severity of the scarring.
- Home skin care. Using sunscreen can help limit the contrast between unscarred skin and a scar. Some medicated creams, such as those containing azelaic acid or hydroxyl acids, might help too.
- Soft tissue fillers. Injecting hyaluronic acid, collagen, fat or other substances under the skin can plump the skin over indented scars. The goal is to make the scars less noticeable. Results are temporary, so repeat treatments are needed to retain the effect. This method has little risk of changes in skin color.
- Steroid injection. Injecting steroids into some types of raised scars can improve the appearance of your skin.
- Laser resurfacing. Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing approach is increasingly popular and is often used on scars that were once treated with dermabrasion. This technique has an increased risk of side effects for people with darker skin or a history of keloids.
- Other energy-based procedures. Pulsed light sources and radiofrequency devices help make scars less noticeable without damaging the outer layer of skin. Results are subtle, and you might need repeat treatments.
- Dermabrasion. This procedure is usually reserved for more severe scarring. Your doctor removes the top layer of skin with a rapidly rotating brush or other device. Surface scars may be completely removed, and deeper acne scars may appear less noticeable. Potential severe side effects include scarring and changes in skin color.
- Chemical peel. Your doctor applies a chemical solution to the scar tissue to remove the top layer of skin and minimize the appearance of deeper scars. You can repeat mild and medium peels to maintain results. You can have only one deep peel. Potential side effects include changes in skin color, especially with deep peels used on dark skin.
- Skin needling. A needle-studded device is run over the skin to stimulate collagen formation in the underlying tissue. It's a safe, simple and possibly effective technique for acne scarring. It has minimal risk of discoloring the skin. Results are subtle, and you may need repeat treatments.
- Surgery. Using a minor procedure called punch excision, your doctor cuts out individual acne scars and repairs the wound with stitches or a skin graft. With a technique called subcision, your doctor inserts needles under the skin to loosen fibers below a scar.
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Do you give 100% guarantee?
No doctor can give 100% guarantee that the treatment or surgery would be beneficial for the patient. For that matter, no guarantee is given by any doctor or surgeon that the patient would be "cured".
Anyone considering a cosmetic procedure should ensure they are informed enough to understand the limitations and risks of any procedure. Remember, no procedure is 100% risk free and no surgeon can give a 100% guarantee of the results.
The only assurance which a doctor can give or can be understood to have given by implication is that he is possessed of the requisite skill in that branch of profession which he is practicing and while undertaking the performance of the task entrusted to him he would be exercising his skill with reasonable competence.
Unless the circumstances are exceptional, it is advisable to avoid surgery if you have recently experienced major life events such as moving house, changing job, losing a loved one, the break-up of a relationship or the arrival of children. Undergoing cosmetic surgery results in emotional changes as well as physical ones, so it’s wise to choose a time when there aren’t other stressful events going on in your life.
How many sessions do I require?
The healthier your skin/hair are when starting out, the easier it will take the treatment. The sessions must be spaced to allow adequate healing in between. Skin/Hair that are healthy enough to regenerate fairly quickly will be able to endure more sessions of a treatment in a shorter period of time.
While these aren’t the only factors involved, they are the most common. Don’t be surprised, however, if your doctor mentions another situation that could impact the length and/or number of sessions you may require. Every person is different, and your circumstances will be unique only to YOU.