by Sandy Jarvis
(Los Angeles, California, USA)
Acne can be a traumatic experience. Once the acne has finally been cleared up it can leave behind scarring. The scarring can range from mild to severe, and it follows four different patterns.
Acne scarring can either be classified as icepick, boxcar, rolling or hypertrophic. The severity and pattern of your acne scars will determine the type or types of treatments you should pursue.
Treatments to get rid of acne scars include topical, laser, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.
Topical treatments are generally thought to be ineffective. If there is any change in the appearance of the acne scar it is thought to be minimal.
Topical acne treatments include: Retin-A, Mederma, silicone dressings, and ScarGuard. Side effects are mild, usually no more than skin dryness, or discomfort, sometimes stinging or burning.
Microdermabrasion is another treatment that experts agree will have no significant results in removing scars. Microdermabrasion is carried out in an esthetician’s office, or sometimes in a spa.
Usually it involves a series of 5-15 treatments. Although microdermabrasion is not one of the most effective treatments to get rid of acne scars it does help improve the skin’s general complexion and texture.
Side effects of the treatment can include pink skin for 1-2 days, sensitivity to the sun, stinging and raised skin patches.
Fractional laser scar treatments are the least invasive of all laser treatments and also the least expensive. These treatments will run about $1000 per treatment and 4-5 treatments are needed.
Side effects include crusting of the skin after the procedure, swelling, and some hyper pigmentation. This laser treatment can be used on a smaller area of skin as well.
Chemical peels come in three different strengths, light, medium, and deep. The light and medium chemical peels are performed by a professional and the results for acne scarring will be minimal.
The deep chemical peel will produce more dramatic results, but it is a serious medical procedure. Most of the time it will be performed by a plastic surgeon under general anesthesia or heavy sedation. The recovery period is about two weeks long, and can be painful.
Treatments to get rid of acne scars can be both costly and painful. Speaking with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon may be the best course of action for severe scarring.
For milder scars, a topical treatment followed by some microdermabrasion may be all that is required. All acne scarring is different and should be handled with a personalized approach.