Acne Scars

One of the most serious problems with severe cystic acne is the scars left behind after the acne goes into remission (either as a result of acne running its course with age or through courses of Accutane).

Fortunately, there are a multitude of treatment options for removing, fading or healing acne scars. However, like the treatment of acne itself, treatment of Acne scars often requires the use of multiple treatments.

The treatment options for acne scarring include resurfacing methods (i.e., dermabrasion, chemical peels), fillers, and other dermal remodeling techniques (lasers). Treatment with dermabrasion and chemical peels generally work by removing the upper layers of the skin, hence lessening the appears of pitted scars and other scars on the skin. With this procedure, a new layer of skin replaces the layers that were removed, generally resulting in a smoother appearance." Dermabrasion is usually performed only once and most patients heal within 1-2 weeks. Another less severe form of treatment is microdermabrasion which removes only the cells on the surface of the skin. Although often less effective than dermabrasion, the side effects, including the recovery periods, are much less.

Treatment with lasers generally work by warming the dermis to stimulate collagen remodeling. This can provide modest improvement of acne scarring. There are several types of lasers that are used. The Erbium: YAG laser, emits light through short bursts of energy that is absorbed by the water in the skin. This laser allows for very precise sculpting of irregular scars. Patients usually recover from the procedure in 3 to 5 days and experience a short duration of post surgery redness.

Another type of laser is the CO2 laser. The CO2 laser works well for elevating depressed scars that give the skin a crater-like appearance. The CO2 laser produces more heat than the Erbium:YAG laser and hence allows the energy emitted to penetrate deeper into the skin and tighten the skin's collagen fibers. By tightening the collagen fibers, the CO2 laser causes depressed scars to elevate and normalize in appearance.

Fillers work by injecting the scars with fillers such as silicone or collegen. This can temporarily improve the appearance of scarring and pitting. However, depending on the person, this will require periodic retreatment.







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