Your skin is made up of three layers. When you have an injury on the surface layer (epidermis) it will usually heal without leaving a scar. Severe acne can have major affects on the middle layer (dermis) of your skin where the hair follicles, sweat and oil glands are. Acne is an infection in the hair follicle or pore, and if it is severe enough it can rupture and the infection can seep into the dermis layer.
If this happens the body will try to heal the rupture by producing more collagen to repair the damaged tissue.
Not All Acne Scars Are the Same
Scarring refers to surface and texture changes of the skin as a result of a disruption of the collagen in the skin. Acne sufferers also tend to categorize the discoloration and redness that remains long after eruptions have healed as acne scarring as well.
Ice pick scars are pitted scars that are finer than the other types of scars but they are also the deepest and hardest to get rid of. Pitted scars (atropic scarring) have smooth sides and are similar to ice pick scars but they are not as deep. Hypertropic scars are scars that sit above the surface of the skin.
The best way to keep scarring to a minimum is to adopt a healthy skin care regimen. Additionally, home remedies for acne are great for keeping eruptions under control and lowering the possibility of spreading infection.
Common Options for Scar Removal:
This is one of the less invasive procedures for treating acne scars. It typically utilizes fruit acids to exfoliate the top layer of skin to reveal the fresher skin underneath. Other types of chemical peels use salicylic acid to open up the pores and revitalize the surface of the skin. This procedure is fairly quick and be done in the office by either a dermatologist or esthetician. While you can expect some slight redness and irritation, the recovery time is short – only a day or two.
This is another of the less invasive procedures. It involves injecting fillers into scarred areas to level out the surface of the skin. This is usually done with either collagen or fat removed from other areas of your body. The procedure is quick and can be performed in your practitioner’s office with very little recovery time.
Dermabrasion is a mechanical procedure that uses an abrasive tool to remove the top layer of skin. This procedure is very painful and is carried out with the use of a general anaesthetic. The skin is very raw after the procedure and it can take several months for the treated area to heal completely, depending on the severity of the acne on the treated area and how much skin is removed.
Microdermabrasion, like the mane suggests, is similar dermabrasion except less skin is removed and only the most affected areas are treated. This procedure is less painful that dermabrasion and can be done in-office. The healing time is significantly less than that of dermabrasion and is gentler on the skin.
Laser resurfacing of the skin is becoming more popular and common with the development of more sophisticated lasers developed for this purpose. It is usually performed by a dermatologist or a master esthetician. The skin is numbed with the use of a local anesthetic and then a laser is used to remove the top layer of skin. The usual healing time for this type of procedure is 1-2 weeks and the results can be quite remarkable.
How Long Will It Last?
While these treatments can significantly reduce the appearance of acne scars, it should be noted that with all removal treatments the effects may not be permanent, and may need to be repeated on a regular basis to retain the benefit. This can be quite costly and may not be covered by your medical insurance. Prevention of further outbreaks, and reducing bacteria spread can help you get the maximum benefit from these treatments.