Category: Acne Scars

Acne Scars

When acne is very severe, usually due to ineffective treatment, a patient risks incurring acne scars, which are a permanent reminder of what is already an embarrassing condition These scars are present in two common forms: depressions in the skin and raised bumps such as keloids. Acne scars are caused by serious damage to the skin tissue and are a result of the body”s natural-healing process. The causes of the formation of acne scars and the methods of prevention will be discussed below.

When understanding acne scars, it is important to understand the various forms of acne with their various types of severity. The least severe form of acne is simple whiteheads and blackheads, which nearly everyone experiences from time to time. The second most severe form of acne is two forms of red-inflamed bumps known as papules and pustules (the difference is that the pustules contain white pus at the center). The nodules are the third and most severe form of acne (therefore, the most prone to scarring). These are pus-filled lumps that are usually very painful, are found under the skin, and are, therefore, the most damaging to skin tissue. The main point is that, with the increasing severity of acne, there is an increased likelihood of scarring, especially the more severe forms of scarring.

As mentioned above, the actual scarring is a result of the body”s natural-healing process. The body”s first reaction to significantly damaged skin tissue is to send a legion of white blood cells and inflammatory cells, which work together to both control infection and simultaneously repair the skin. When these cells remain for a sustained period of time at a site, there is an increased possibility of scarring. In some people, the body continues to heal and, over time, these scars will reduce in size and severity; however, in other people some form of treatment may be necessary if the person is significantly distressed by the appearance of acne scars.

The most effective way to reduce the appearance of acne scars is to not get them in the first place. Prevention, although often difficult, is the only way to guarantee that no acne scars will form. Various forms of acne treatment are available, such as washes, scrubs, and masks. To find which is right for you, talk to either a doctor or a dermatologist, who may also explain prescription alternatives.

As said earlier, the two forms of acne scars are either a raised bump or a divot in the skin. These are brought about by either an excess of tissue or by a loss of tissue. The first type, where an excess of tissue is formed, is called a keloid or a hypertrophic scar. In this type of scar, too much collagen is produced, resulting in a fibrous tissue that extends above the surface of the skin. These types of scars do tend to diminish in severity over time. Second, there are the scars that are formed by a lack of sufficient tissue. Common forms of these are ice-pick scars and the more severe deep fibrotic scars, which are characterized by sharp lines and seemingly jagged edges. There are also the less apparent soft scars that have edges that merge with the skin. There are other forms of less frequently occurring scars, but the occurrence is quite rare. Acne scars, although often unattractive, are never harmful and can be removed rather easily with a bit of cosmetic surgery.

Categories : Acne Scars

Acne Scar Treatment

Whats the most effective acne scar treatment? Acne scars are unsightly reminders of a time that most people would rather forget, but still many people continue to live with them. Acne scars are usually a result of deeply penetrating, severe acne and come in a large variety of shapes and sizes, all of which depend on the type of acne that formed them. Large or small, with smooth or jagged edges, many people would simply prefer to have their acne scars treated to reduce the severity of their appearance, or ideally, to eliminate them entirely..

One of the most commercially available options for acne scar treatment are topical treatments, such as vitamin E and cocoa butter cream. These treatments may claim to heal scars, but there is little evidence to prove that they actually do reduce the appearance of acne scars. Even commercially available treatments to reduce scars such as Mederma have little evidence to prove their efficacy.

Perhaps less drastic than surgery, but also less effective, is the option of steroid injections. When steroids are injected into a scar over a long period of time, it is possible for the scar to flatten out and have less-pronounced edges, making it generally less noticeable. This treatment only works in keloid scars, or those raised above the surface of the skin.

The other nonsurgical option for treating acne scars is by injection. By injecting bovine collagen into the skin below an indented scar, it is possible to actually raise the scar and flatten it into the skin. These treatments do offer instant gratification, but they do not provide a permanent fix. These treatments must be repeated every 6 months or so to maintain their effectiveness. For those who are allergic to cow products or those who are vegan, it is possible to substitute your own fat from a different region of the body for the bovine collagen.

Surgical options are drastic steps in dealing with such a minor problem, but they offer the most practical means of reducing the scar”s appearance and making it less noticeable. These surgeries are generally done under a local anesthetic and are very effective in treating scars.

One class of surgical acne scar treatment is called the ”punch” procedures. The first type is called a punch replacement. In this procedure, a skin graft is taken from behind the ear to seal the gap left by a scar. The second type is the punch excision, where the pitted scar is simply cut out and allowed to heal. The third type is the punch elevation, when the actual scar is cut out and then, after a period of time, rises up and fills the void. These procedures, although surgical, offer more permanent forms of acne scar treatment than topical treatments or injections, and often the results are more effective. The problem with these treatments though is that they may take several weeks to heal, which makes them somewhat less popular as methods of acne scar treatments because their price and their effectiveness are both highly appealing.

Acne Scar Removal

Is acne scar removal possible? Acne scars form as a result of severe acne, and although some types do diminish over time, they are often permanent. However, there are several methods of acne scar removal. Many of these methods work from the same general principle: the scar needs to be removed to allow new skin to grow in its place. These methods include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, fractional laser resurfacing, and various forms of injections. All of these methods of acne scar removal will be discussed below.

The first and most popular form of acne scar removal is dermabrasion. Just like its name implies, dermabrasion is the process of physically wearing the skin down with a high-speed brush. The patient is first given a local anesthetic, and the skin is then worn away. This can totally eliminate protruding scars and change the contour of the indented scars, making them less noticeable. However, if the indented scar is wider below the skin, this treatment will make it more noticeable. The new form of this is called microdermabrasion. This is done by using essentially the same principle, only rather than using a brush, fine crystals of aluminum oxide are passed through a vacuum and remove only the outermost layer of skin. These both allow fresh new skin, not scar tissue, to grow through and replace the scar.

Another promising treatment is the use of lasers to remove the skin. This is essentially the same procedure as dermabrasion, only a laser is used to remove the skin. This allows the surgeon to more easily control the penetration, making it a much less invasive procedure. Fractional laser resurfacing is again like laser resurfacing, only it is performed in sections, meaning it is less invasive but requires multiple treatments to achieve full results. The laser treatment has two options: either an erbium (YAG) laser or a carbon dioxide laser can be used. A major pitfall to laser acne scar removal is that it may cause uneven skin tones in those with darker pigmentation. Laser resurfacing is a highly promising option and holds great potential for future methods of acne scar removal.

For less severe acne scars, it is possible to remove them entirely with chemical peels. Chemical peels are a mixture of various acids that literally peel away the outermost layer of scars, leaving behind new skin. These are one of the most economical options for acne scar removal, but they do little for more severe scars. Chemical peels are extremely quick, often taking only 15 minutes, but the recovery time for this form of acne scar removal can take up to several weeks.

One method of acne scar removal for severely indented scars is augmentation. Augmentation is the injection of collagen or one”s own body fat into the scar pit. These treatments generally last for 6 months and provide very drastic results. In the future, as more effective biopolymers are introduced, the duration of this form of acne scar removal could be lengthened substantially.

The last form of acne scar removal is called subcision. Subcision is the separation of the scar from the lower skin tissue, allowing blood to pool beneath the scar, and once this clots, it begins to form connective tissue that will make an indented scar more flush with the skin”s surface. This is generally one of the most affordable treatments and can usually treat acne scars with one to three treatments.

Categories : Acne Scars