If you are not one of the lucky few, it’s likely that acne has been a part of your life at some point, and it probably left you an annoying reminder – acne scars. After you’ve dealt with the acne nightmare during your teenage years, it can be disheartening to continue dealing with spots and scars on your face. These acne scars serve as a constant reminder about all the times you had those embarrassing breakouts. In some cases, acne scars fade away gradually as your skin replenishes itself. However, in the severe cases, scars and blemishes can prove to be quite stubborn. Fortunately, there are options for acne scar treatment other than having to apply a thick layer of makeup every time you go out.
What causes the scars?
Acne is caused when a hair follicle or pore on our face swells up and expands. This usually happens when dead skin cells, oil or bacteria clog up the pore, causing it to swell up and expand. As the swelling increases, the skin breaks, leaving a tear on the surface. This tear in the skin is what eventually leaves acne scars. It’s very similar to when you bruise or scratch your knee. After the wound is healed, a scar is formed in its place that fades over time. Except in the case of acne scars, the scar is very small. If you’ve gone through a period of severe acne, these small scars can really make an impact on your appearance.
If you have acne scars haunting you, you can use the following methods of treatment for acne scar removal:
- Over the counter products – Over the counter acne scar treatment is best for you if you have mild scars. These acne scar creams contain glycolic acid, vitamin C and retinol, all of which induce your body to produce collagen that revitalizes your skin. If the scarring situation persists, you should contact you dermatologist for prescription topical acne scar creams. Some examples of prescription creams are Tretinoin and corticosteroids.
- Dermabrasion – In this method of acne scar treatment, a rotating brush is used to remove the top layer of the skin. As the skin heals itself, a new, healthier layer is formed. Dermabrasion can remove the surface acne scars and somewhat fade the ones that are deeper.
- Laser resurfacing – This is a process where a laser is used to get rid of the top layer of the skin, much like dermabrasion, but with a laser. When the wounds heal, new skin is formed and the acne scars become less visible. The treatment can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour and the skin will take 3-10 days to heal.
- Surgery – Surgery is an option only if the acne scars are extremely severe. In this case, a small procedure, called punch excision is done, which cuts out acne scars one by one. Stitches or a skin graft will be required on top of the cuts that result from the surgery.
- Chemical peel - A chemical peel works by removing the top layer of your skin so that new skin can regenerate without the hyperpigmentation of acne scars. These peels are generally accompanied by a slight tingling or burning.
Acne scars are best treated as soon as the breakout is over. Acne can be quite traumatizing if not dealt with properly and so can the scars that a breakout leaves behind. Try not to aggravate the scars by exposing yourself to the sun and remember to moisturize and cleanse your skin regularly. This will keep your pores clean and will help you prevent more acne breakouts in the future.