Acne scars are one of the most common dermatological problems. They are common to people of all ages. Generally, they are the result of an inflammation that occurs when bacteria, dead cells and access to oil combine and begin to exert pressure on the pore walls of the skin and break the wall of the follicle. Up to 80% of teenagers are afflicted with acne. While many of these people recover from this skin condition without permanent effects, some end up with scars.
There are some topical medications for skin care that can help improve mild scars. Most acne scars can also be treated by skin resurfacing and combinations of surgical procedures.
All scars can not be avoided even with careful treatment. But the good news is that there are now a number of treatment options that you can choose to minimize the appearance of acne scars. Your doctor will check the difference between your scars and will recommend one of the following treatment options:
• Dermabrasion. It is a kind of skin smoothing surgery where the top layers of the skin are removed. A special device is used in this treatment option to gently sand the surface of the skin to obtain normal and healthy skin. Normally, antibiotic ointment or Vaseline is applied to the skin to reduce scarring and scab formation.
• Chemical peels. In this procedural treatment, a chemical or exfoliating agent is applied to the skin. Among the most commonly used agents include lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid, glycolic acid, carbocylic acid and salicylic acid. Chemical peels generally range from light strength to deep resistance, depending on the chemical agent used and the time it must remain on the skin. The amount of peeling required also depends on the condition of the skin and the expected results. Chemical peels are often suggested for those with mild scars of acne.
• Laser treatments. There are two (2) categories of laser used to treat acne scars. These are ablative or resurfacing lasers and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers remove the outer layer of skin, burn scar tissue and tighten skin collagen. In this way, the visibility of the scar is reduced. In laser resurfacing, the YAG erbium laser and the ultra-pulsed carbon dioxide laser are commonly used. Because the skin is damaged and unprotected tissue is exposed, efforts must be made to treat wounds and prevent infections. The skin may blush for a few months or even a year after.
Non-ablative lasers trigger changes in the dermis without damaging the epidermis. The new laser approved by the FDA for this type of treatment is called "smoothbeam".
• Fillers. For shallow and saucer-shaped acne scars, fillers are commonly used. There has been an increase in the amount of fillers used to trace acne scars. Cosmoderm, Fascian, Restylane, Artecoll, Cymetra and Bovine Collagen are available.
Acne Scars Prevention Tips
As soon as acne develops, treat it! The most effective way to avoid acne scars is to prevent the onset of acne in a severe form. Do not wait for the acne to go away on its own, but start treating it immediately. Consult a dermatologist to find out if your acne is not responding to topical or over-the-counter medications. Whenever possible, avoid doing things that could irritate your skin, for example by using hard skin care products and aggressive washing.