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How do I Treat Acne Scars?

By M. DePietro
Updated May 17, 2024
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When acne occurs, the tissue becomes inflamed and can become damaged. As the skin heals a scar may form. Most acne scars are caused by either a loss of skin tissue or excess formation of tissue. There are several types of treatments to reduce or remove acne scars. The type of treatment which works best may depend on the type and size of the scar.

Certain procedures for removing scars are done by exfoliating the top layer of the skin. For instance, microdermabrasion removes the top layer by massaging aluminum oxide crystals on the skin. As the top layer of the skin is exfoliated, it becomes smoother and skin texture often improves. This type of procedure usually works best on mild scarring.

Another type of exfoliation procedure used to treat scars is dermabrasion. Instead of aluminum crystals, a high speed brush is used on the skin. Although it may help deep acne scars appear better, it usually is most effective on superficial acne scars.

Scars which are a little deeper may be treated with a laser. A beam of light energy is directed at the scar which helps exfoliate a layer of the skin. The laser also causes the skin to become heated, which helps stimulate new skin growth. More than one session may be required and the skin can appear red for several days while it heals.

For individuals with deep acne scars, collagen injections may help. The collagen is injected into the skin, in order to fill in the scar. The collagen injected is not permanent and needs to be repeated about every six months.

Fat transfers may be another option to consider for deep scarring. Fat is taken from one part of your body and after it is prepared, it’s injected into the scar. This helps elevate the depression in the skin and raises the scar to the same level as the rest of the face. The results lasts about a year and a half.

Individuals with deep, ice-pick type acne scars, which can’t be effectively treated by other techniques, may be treated with a punch excision. There are several ways this technique can be done depending on the scar. After the skin is numbed, the scar is surgically removed and a small skin graft is performed to fill in the area.

The price of scar removal varies greatly. Some procedures require more than one session and others only last for a limited amount of time. It’s important to discuss options with a dermatologist to help determine what procedure for acne scar tissue will work best for you.

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