While there’s a wide range of skin conditions that can be frustrating to deal with, the annoyances that come with acne can be uniquely demoralising. Even after treating acne effectively, you might still be dealing with the lingering after-effects – acne scars in particular. If you’re looking at these scars in the mirror and wondering what can be done to get rid of them, then it might help to know that there are options to consider.
here are 3 main types of acne scars and the options available to combat them will depend on the type of scarring you have. The first type is known as ‘ice pick scars’ – these are small but deep holes in the surface of your skin that make it look like the skin has been punctured. The next are known as ‘rolling scars’; which are caused by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin, giving the surface of the skin an uneven appearance. Finally, you can have ‘boxcar scars’ – round or oval depressions/’craters’ in the skin.
Surgery or invasive procedures
Subcision is a surgical treatment that can be used to treat rolling scars. Basically, during surgery, the upper layer of the skin is detached from the underlying scar tissue; allowing blood to pool under the affected area. What happens is, the blood clot helps to form connective tissue; pushing up the rolling scar so that it’s level with the rest of the surface of the skin. Once subscision has been completed, additional treatment, such as those below, can be used to further improve the appearance of the scar.
Another type of surgical treatment is known as punch techniques. There are three types and these are used to treat ice pick scars and boxcar scars. Punch excision is used to treat mild ice pick scars. The scar is surgically removed and the remaining wound is sealed. When the wound heals, it leaves a smoother, even surface. A punch elevation is used to treat boxcar scars. Here, the base of the scar is surgically removed, leaving the sides of the scar still in place. The base is then re-attached to the sides of the scar, but is elevated, so it is level with the surface of the skin. Finally, punch grafting is used to treat very deep ice pick scars. As with a punch excision, the scar is removed, but the wound is filled with a sample of skin that has been taken from elsewhere on the body – a skin graft.
Filling beneath it
It’s obviously important that you discuss with your doctor first, but another option available to disguise acne scarring is going to a good aesthetic clinic for dermal fillers. Not Botox, but lesser hyaluronic acid based fillers such as Juvederm. These clinics can supply the skin with hyaluronic acid that makes it more plumper, helping to directly plump up the skin beneath the scar to minimise any visible crator.
Resurfacing the area
There are also other treatments that are used to help heal the damage caused by scarring as well. Traditionally, dermabrasion was used, where they removing the top layers of skin with manual exfoliation, which can entirely remove the appearance of some scars. Nowadays, laser resurfacing treatments are a little more common, though are not as widely recommended for people with darker shades of skin. It’s worth getting a consultation to see which is recommended for you, as more severe cases may see more benefits from dermabrasion, but you would want to go with the quicker option of lasers if you have that choice.
Exfoliating the skin
There are lesser levels of skin exfoliation that can be done too. For example, there are acid peels that you can use at home to help improve the texture and appearance of your acne scars, helping to diminish them over time. There are more powerful chemical peels that can be used in a treatment clinic as well, which will offer faster (but more expensive) results.
Reducing the contrast in your skin
Even without making efforts to “remove” the acne scars themselves, which can be difficult and require repeated treatments or even surgery, there’s a lot that you can do to make the scars less noticeable. Part of what might be most noticeable about them, for instance, is the contrast in tone around them. There are plenty of products that can help you cover up and diminish the appearance of acne scars, as well as things like perfecting primers to blur the skin prior to using foundation and concealer to help cover up the scar.
Acne scars might feel like they’re going to be with you forever, but there are plenty of ways to address them and diminish their appearance. Hopefully, the tips above help you do just that.
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