It is really very difficult to deal with the embarrassing dark scars that acne leave behind them. While sometimes these marks can easily go away by the application of just a cream or ointment, sometimes these become the root cause of the deadliest nightmares.
Acne scars are not always the same. They differ in color as well as shape. Although they are not always distinguishable by the ugly black mark, they look very bad even in other shapes and colors. And no matter how bad they look, acne scars can make you feel very negative and ashamed. So, if you want to get rid of all acne scar problems, you may want to settle down for one of these treatments. Just make sure that you search for a certified dermatologist or medical practitioner who has lots of hands on training before fixing an appointment with him or her.
Acne Scar Treatment Tips
Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure in which the acne scars are systematically removed by subjecting those to a process of controlled abrasion. It is believed to be the best treatment for acne scars. In this process, a very high speed rotating wire brush or a diamond wheel with sharp edges called fraise is used to strip off the top layer of the skin and thereby the scar. The high speed brush helps to remove the acne scar by wearing off the scarred tissues from the top layer of the skin. The fraise or the brush also helps to level or abrade the skin while changing the contour of the acne scar to make the spot appear flawless like before. This is the reason why this treatment can wonderfully remove surface scars, but its effectiveness may vary for deep-rooted scars. For instance, dermabrasion may not work well for certain types of scars like ice-peak scars, whose width may vary with depth. For such scars, the dermatologist may prescribe other treatments like punch grafting in addition to dermabrasion. The recovery time after dermabrasion normally varies from person to person and generally depends on the size of the scar that has been treated. The bigger and deeper the scar, more will be the time for recovery. Although dermabrasion doesn’t have any notable side effects, it can visibly alter the pigmentation of the skin in case of darker skin tones.
Laser treatment is also used for treating acne scars. Although it is quite a new procedure, laser treatment has delivered fine results. With technological developments, three different types of laser treatments are normally done depending upon the desired end result of the treatment. The three types of laser treatments are ablative laser treatment, non-ablative laser treatment and the newest of them all is the fractional laser treatment.
Ablative Laser Resurfacing
This procedure uses a controlled laser beam to evaporate out the outer or epidermal layer of the skin. This is an invasive procedure in which both the epidermis and the dermis are evaporated out to remove the scar. Being invasive in nature, ablative laser resurfacing may also lead to bleeding but the results of this treatment are very satisfactory and prominent. Typically two types of lasers are used for this purpose. CO2 (carbon dioxide) and erbium lasers are typically used for performing ablative treatments on acne scars. Among the two, the CO2 laser is the one which is more powerful and was traditionally used for ablative laser resurfacing. This laser also works wonder on critical acne scars like ice-peak acne scars due to its high invasive powers. But at the same time, CO2 laser can have serious side effects on the skin. This is the reason why the usage of CO2 lasers has been minimized and they are now normally used in combination with erbium lasers. Although ablative laser treatment may have better and faster results, it may also have some downfalls like depigmentation, infections and postoperative erythema. Other than that, the healing or recovery time period may also be quite long; sometimes as long as several months.
Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing
Unlike ablative laser resurfacing, non-ablative laser resurfacing doesn’t cause any damages to the dermal layer of the skin. This procedure seeks to remove the acne scar by slightly damaging the underlying tissues without damaging the epidermis. The damage in the underlying tissues heals with time, thereby facilitating proliferation of fibroblast and collagen formation in the dermis. This in turn helps to tighten the skin and its pores and changes the overall appearance of the scar. Non-ablative laser resurfacing is a less powerful treatment than ablative alternatives. However, its chances of risks are pretty less and the recovery time also differs significantly. Pulse Dye Laser is one of the mostly widely used lasers for non-ablative laser treatment.
Excision And Subcision
Both excision and subcision are surgical treatments, which are used to fade away acne scars. These treatments are normally used in combination with other acne scar healing treatments. Excision is an invasive surgical treatment, which intends to remove the acne scar by breaking off the damaged fibrotic strands and excising them down to the subcutaneous layer to lift up the depression. The incision thus created is then covered up with a tiny skin graft. The skin graft is harvested from a different body part of the patient and is then pressed down into the incision to secure it either by gluing or suturing. Although this process is invasive and run the risks of skin color mismatch at the site of operation, it is pretty safer than other procedures as the punch graft prevents the closure from collapsing.
Subcision on the other hand is an altogether different procedure. This treatment is perfect for healing rolling acne scars. In this surgical treatment, an 18 gauge needle called the nokor needle which has a spearhead-like tip is inserted into the scar through the natural puncture that occurrs as a result of the acne. The needle is held horizontally or parallel to the skin layers. It is then pushed down to the dermal layer and moved upto the scar, where it is moved to and fro to break off the fibrous bands and to initiate reactive fibrosis at the same time. Once the process is complete, the needle is removed and pressed at the exit point to release the excess blood. The healing process takes 1-2 weeks in which the depression of the scar is naturally pushed upward, thereby removing the scar.
This is one of the most popular treatments for removing acne scars as it practically requires no recovery time and has minimal side effects. This amazing procedure uses a vacuum tube which makes use of very small particles of aluminum oxide crystals to scrape off the top layer or the epidermis of the skin. The scraping process helps to scrape off and level the scar gradually after performing the procedure multiple times at regular intervals. This process is virtually pain free as it does not leads to any additional injuries and the treated area recovers almost instantly. However, one of the major downsides of this treatment is that the patient needs to undergo this treatment several times with or without other surgical procedures in order to notice visible results.