Understanding Acne Scarring
You wake up and realize one day that your acne has gone untreated or the condition has gotten worse. The result you see is a certain amount of scarring that can affect your self-esteem and confidence level. Advances in medicine and technology give you alternatives in dealing with acne scar removal.
The cause of acne scarring may be a normal result of having acne to begin with or an improper treatment of the condition. Two major issues to deal with are the size of the scarring and the depth of the scars. The deeper scars, sometimes called ice pick scars, are the ones that can leave a permanent mark if left untreated.
Acne scarring can be aggravated by picking at the pimple or affected area, or by too much exposure to the sun. The sun and applying vitamin E are both reasons that the healing process can slow down and increase the possibility of additional scarring. Applying vitamin E to the affected area was once thought to heal acne, but recent research has brought significant doubt to that claim and using this method can do more harm than good.
Available Treatments for Acne Scarring
Treatments for acne scar removal are available for all sizes and shapes of scars. There are two major approaches to achieving quality results – topical ointments and laser procedures. Each choice comes with a price tag, so be sure to find out if your medical insurance will cover the treatments and to give careful consideration before making a decision.
Topical ointments are applied to the affected areas with your finger or an applicator. There are a number of over-the-counter creams and gels available at pharmacies and online, Mederma being one of the most widely known. There are herbal and all-natural alternatives available. The obvious advantage to this approach is cost. As with any easily obtained product, there are a different number of opinions as to which one really works.
Your decision to use this method of treatment may be based on the severity of the scarring. Consult with your doctor for any recommendations they may have before using a non-prescription product. More than just making a recommendation, the doctor can inform you of any potential side effects or allergic conditions a specific product may have in treating acne scarring.
Laser treatments approaches acne scar removal by burning off thin layers of the skin and allows the tissue to repair itself naturally. A more recent approach with lasers is to use a lower powered light and stimulate collagen production without removing layers of skin as with traditional laser therapy. Each of these methods requires a professional opinion and medical procedure, and are more expensive than using a topical approach. Laser treatments are not always being covered by your medical insurance.
According to mayoclinic.com, recent advances in acne scar removal include the use of dermabrasion and tissue fillers.
- Dermabrasion – Though it sounds a bit harsh, a wire brush is used to remove the top layer of skin. This appears to be intended for patients with deeper scarring problems.
- Tissue Fillers – A temporary fix requiring repeated treatments, this procedure involves injecting collagen underneath the affected area of the skin and stretching it, making the scar less noticeable.
Seeing your complexion scarred by what is often the result of a changing physiology is stressful. Advances in acne scar removal give you options that can restore the affected parts of the scarring to their original state. You may not want to make these decisions alone, so talk to a friend and consult a doctor before coming to a final decision.