The usual causes of acne scarring may often be attributed to late, inadequate or failed methods of treatment, where the skin infection was allowed to progress before any treatment was used. The most common root cause of acne scarring is inflammatory nodular acne or nodulocystic acne, where lesions go deeper into the skin, affecting the surrounding tissue. The damage, when healed, results in a scar.
Another cause for acne is the manipulation of the pimples. People who press, prick or squeeze their pimples damage the skin, causing tearing and bleeding. This manipulation can also lead to further skin infection, aggravating the acne and producing unnecessary scars. There are also certain areas of the face that can suffer more from acne breakouts. The temples, for example, may not recover as well as cheeks do because there is less circulation in those areas.
Removing Acne Scars
Acne scars, once they are fully healed, can naturally reduce in size and become less noticeable as time passes. This usually works for scars that are mild to moderate but in more severe cases of acne scarring, even time may not be enough to produce the desired results. To remove acne scars, certain treatments and procedures might have to be utilized.
Treatments for removing acne scars
It’s still best to prevent scars from happening because it’s usually very difficult to repair them once they have appeared, especially if they are the result of a severe case of acne. However, if acne scars have already appeared, there are methods that may be used depending on the type of acne scar and on the severity of the condition.
Dermabrasion is a common cosmetic procedure used to even out the skin and remove bumps and red spots. This method of acne scar removal is essentially like ‘sanding’ the surface of the skin to remove the dermis or the topmost layer. It can effectively smooth out the skin and reduce the appearance and size of the acne scars.
Probably the only drawback to dermabrasion is that it can be quite expensive, with procedures ranging from ,500 to more than ,000.
Some topical medications, such hydroxy acid, may be used to remove acne scars. In some medicated facial treatments, a chemical called AHA or alpha hydroxy acid combined with Vitamin C, some amino acids and other nutrients, may also be used. These chemicals are applied on the skin to produce a mild peeling effect. AHA preparations help increase tissue healing and regeneration and also encourage the production of collagen. However, they do make patients more sensitive to sunlight.
Another common treatment for the removal of acne scars is the application of Vitamin A-derived retinoids, sometimes in the form of retinol or as retinoic acid. Retinol is alcohol-based and can help restore the skin’s moisture. Retinoic acid, on the other hand, tends to dry the skin. However, retinoic acid is more effective in producing smoother, firmer skin. It is also more capable of evening out skin tone.
For mild to moderate cases of acne scars, medications can usually remove acne scars although they often cause skin redness and dryness. Significant improvement usually takes some time because skin should be allowed to heal before the medication is applied again. This method of acne scar removal can cost anywhere from 0 to a little over ,500.
For this method, laser is often used to remove acne scars. Using pulsed beams of high energy carbon dioxide laser, acne scars can be superficially removed and reduced. The result is a much improved area of skin.
Skin resurfacing is actually one of the safest and most effective methods of removing acne scars. This is also used to treat patients who have adverse reactions to acne medications. Skin resurfacing usually works better with newer scars than with old scars. It is as expensive as dermabrasion and sometimes, it can even cost more. It also requires a longer recovery time.
To remove acne scars that have developed raised, excess skin, a surgical procedure may be utilized. This procedure involves excising the skin, removing the areas that show bumps. This is often the preferred method of doctors who have patients with very deep acne scars.