Acne Scars Treatments
People often think that the emergence of acne scars on their skin is the end of their life. Their acne scars have made it more difficult for them to date anyone and even to deal with their study and career. This pessimistic attitude should actually be abandoned because acne scars can be treated, no matter how severe they are.
People with acne scars can initiate their treatment using over-the-counter tropical drugs. Cortisone cream is widely available as a topical drug that can be purchased without prescription.
When applied to the skin, it can help reduce inflammation. This cream is necessary if the scars have become reddish and swollen. After successfully treating the inflammation, they can remove the discoloration effect of the scars using skin whitening products.
Hydroquinone is still widely used in those products; however, because this substance is risky and may cause the skin to be very sensitive and prone to damage caused by ultraviolet, choosing a skin whitening product that doesn’t contain hydroquinone is recommended. If using this substance is inevitable, it is advisable to make sure that its concentration is only 2% or lower.
If topical treatment doesn’t work, people with acne scars can resort to clinical treatment that is carried out by a medical professional. Here are several types of treatment that they can undergo to remove their acne scars.
Tissue filling involves the injection of collagen underneath the affected skin to fill it out. Tissue filling doesn’t always show perfect result. It is particularly great to treat boxcar acne scars because those cars usually cover only a small area of the skin. Acne scars that occur on large area of the skin, such as rolling scars, are often not the best candidate for tissue filling.
Dermabrasion involves the sanding and exfoliating of the surface of the skin using a rapidly rotating brush to remove dead skin cells and to cause the skin to regenerate, thereby allowing the damaged skin to be replaced with healthy skin.
Dermabrasion is especially effective for treating shallow acne scars, including boxcar and rolling scars. For treating ice pick scars, which are deep, this treatment is unlikely to give positive result, though it can make the ice pick scars less apparent.
Surgery involves complete removal of the affected skin using punch-out excision procedure. The open hole will then be closed and repaired using either stitching or skin graft. Surgery is effective to treat all types of acne scars and it is especially very effective to get rid of ice pick scars.
Chemical peel involves the application of certain chemicals to the surface of the skin to exfoliate it. Alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), croton oil, and phenol are the most commonly used chemicals for this purpose.
AHA and glycolic acid are particularly applied in a less invasive treatment. For more invasive treatment, the remaining three chemicals are commonly used. However, while phenol and croton oil have started to lose popularity, TCA remains the most preferred chemical for exfoliating purpose.
Chemical peel is effective for treating mild to moderate acne scars and is not quite effective for treating ice picks. Hypertrophic scars are also not the best candidate for this treatment because the raised tissue is quite resistant the exfoliating agent.
In acne scar removal laser treatment, the affected skin is shot with laser beam to destroy its outer layer and to allow the skin to heal itself and to replace the damaged layer with healthy one, hence the name laser resurfacing treatment. Laser treatment can be either ablative (wounding) or non-ablative (non-wounding). Laser resurfacing treatment is great for treating all types of scars, including ice pick scars.
Intense pulse light treatment
IPL treatment involves the irradiation of short bursts of high-intensity light onto the affected area of the skin. The light is more easily absorbed by pigmented skin than it is by less pigmented skin.
As a consequence, it will only burn the tissue of highly pigmented skin, i.e. the affected area of the skin because melanin accumulates in large amount in injured area of the skin, and will not cause harm to the healthy neighboring skin area. IPL treatment is particularly good for treating rolling acne scars.
Among all of those clinical treatments for acne scars, surgery is considered the most effective as it can remove all kinds of acne scars regardless of their type and severity level. People who don’t like to undergo an invasive treatment, however, may find laser resurfacing treatment a more favorable alternative. We will talk more deeply about acne scar removal laser treatment below.