Treating Acne Scars: An Overview

Perhaps one of the most difficult effects of acne is the physical scarring it can leave behind. Even the mildest form of acne can scar, but the more severe types can leave very visible scars that won’t go away on their own.

There are things you can do to try to avoid these scars, like properly cleansing your skin, or refraining from popping zits, as this can cause scarring, but this doesn’t mean scars won’t develop. This is especially true in more severe types of acne where the lesions are on the skin for longer periods of time than in milder forms.

In cystic acne, the nodules or cysts can stay on the skin for weeks, or even months, and can leave behind very noticeable scars.

There are different types of acne scars, and different treatments for each. They are classified in the following manner.

Different types of Acne Scars

Ice Pick Scars
Ice pick scars are characterized by the appearance of deep pits on the skin and are most common in a sign of classic acne scarring.

Boxcar scars
Boxcar scars are angular scars, usually occurring on the temple and cheeks, and can be superficial or deep. They are also very similar to the scars left by Chickenpox.

Rolling scars
Rolling scars give the skin a wave-like appearance.

Hypotrophic scars
Hypertrophic scars are thickened scars, and may be associated with some of the more severe types of acne.

Hiring a physician to help treat acne scars
To get rid of acne scars, seek treatment through a physician. A combination of treatments are available that show good results for many people.

Treatment for acne scarring depends on the type of scars you have, as well as your skin type.

Most of the success of treating acne scars has been for those on the face. It has been found that those on the back and chest do not respond as well to treatment.

One of the best ways to prevent acne scarring is to prevent acne.

Taking steps to fight and prevent this condition will minimize the chance for scarring. Also treating the acne you do have as quickly as possible after it appears can help prevent acne scars.

It is also advisable to seek the help of a physician when you aren’t sure how to best treat your acne or its scars. Some scar treatment requires medical attention, and a doctor can help you find the treatment that will work best for you.

Understanding your skin type, type of acne, and type of scarring associated with it is also important.

If you treat your particular type of acne from the onset, thereby, also working to prevent additional breakouts and problems, you can prevent the formation of deep, lasting scars. In some cases the scar can be removed by laser treatment, but this is only in more serious cases where the scars are deep.

Understanding your problem will help you work toward a solution.

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Treating Acne Scars – Can Acne Scars Be Removed?

Can Acne Scars Be Removed?

Scars are indications that the body has repaired itself in one way or another, either due to injury or infection. Once these events occur, white blood cells from the body accumulate at the site to fight further infection and repair the damage that has taken place.

Once that process is complete, scars often form. This process can be compared to a seam being sewn into a piece of torn fabric. The skin (or seam) will never be quite as smooth as it was before the damage.

There are different types of acne scars and different degrees of each type. Some people may develop worse scars than others, depending on their individual tendencies.

Types of acne scars
There are two different types of scars caused by acne. The first type, depressed scarring, is caused by tissue loss and the second type, keloids, is caused by tissue formation.

1) Depressed Scarring
This type of scar is caused by the dermis being attacked by toxins escaping the skin. Once a cyst ruptures, it expels pus, oil, bacteria, and other poisons into the surrounding areas.

White blood cells rush to the site of infection to repair the skin and, in the process, valuable collagen is lost, causing skin recesses or depressions. The skin above the injury will then develop scars most commonly called ice pick scars. Other scar types are soft, mascular, and fibrotic.

2) Keloids
This type of scarring results from fibroblasts being triggered by the body during the repair process. Once collagen starts decreasing, the fibroblasts produce excessive collagen, resulting in tissues called keloids. They usually form on the male body and are sometimes called hypertrophic scars.

Treating the scars of acne
Consult your dermatologist about the best treatment for your individual scars. Be prepared to discuss your feelings about the scarring, the cost of treatment, and what you want the end result of the treatment to be. The physician will need to consult with you regarding the severity and location of the scars, as well as what type of treatments are available.

Commonly requested scar treatments include laser, collagen, and dermabrasion. Skin surgery and/or grafting are also considerations if the scars run deep. Keloids are sometimes left alone if the physician feels that treatment will cause other keloids to form.

In this event, keloids can sometimes be effectively remedied by using steroid injections.

Repairing Acne Scars

Acne, a common skin disorder that people spend millions of dollars trying to heal, generally affects 80% of our youth and 5% of our adult population. Young people, who are the ones most affected, spend hours agonizing over the ravaging effects acne causes to their skin.

At their young age, they are beset with social problems and popularity issues. The scars left by their battles with acne are damaging to their egos and self-esteem. Billions of dollars have been spent researching acne, acne scarring, and scar solutions.

There are three classifications of acne scars, Icepick, Boxcar, and Rolling. The duration of the scars also cause them to be broken down into two other groups, early or permanent.

Topical medications work well on early scars but surgical intervention is often needed for permanent scarring. Combinations of treatments are sometimes used for both types, depending on their severity. Along with the available topical medications, skin resurfacing procedures and surgical procedures are used, as well, for the most severe scars.

Surgical procedures are expensive treatment options and there are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of acne scar solution. Before utilizing surgery, physicians will evaluate the patient’s age, gender, history of medical problems, skin type, and scar type, among other things.

Sometimes, collagen or other injections can be used to raise the scar to skin level. These injections are called dermal fillers.

The “punch excision” procedure is frequently used by dermatologists when treating icepick or boxcar scars. This procedure involves slitting the skin with a special tool, and stitching the edges of the skin together. This forms a new scar that heals with clearer looking skin. There is also a variation of this procedure, called “punch excision with skin graft replacement.”

It is much the same as the original procedure except for the skin being sewn together. It is, instead, skin-grafted to repair the scarring.

Subcutaneous Incision is yet another procedure but is used primarily on rolling scars. In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the skin and cuts the scar tissue. The skin bruises greatly during this procedure but clears up in about 1 week.

Laser resurfacing burns the topmost layer of skin, lowering it to the original skin level.

When you look at all these procedures used to treat scars, it is obvious that prevention is better than the cure.

To prevent scars from forming, try avoiding the sun, drinking plenty of water with fresh squeezed lemon, exercising regularly, and maintaining good dietary habits. You might just save yourself a lot of unnecessary expense and humiliation.

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