A whopping 45 to 54 percent of the adult population experience persistent breakouts. Prevalent, among which are acne scars, are the most commonly found in adults. So if you are experiencing acne or its scars – you are surely not alone. The good news is that there are numerous medications, face wash options, topicals, and acne scar treatment available today than back in your high school days.
It is indeed true that acne breakouts can be frustrating. As they can leave scars on the face and other areas of your body. Some individuals find that acne scars are an unwanted reminder of a bothersome and painful condition.
However, acne scars do not have to be permanent, as some popular medical treatments and home remedies can help get rid of them.
Here, learn about various ways to help reduce the appearance of acne scars and promote healthy skin.
Why is Acne Scar Treatment Necessary?
A scar is a mark often left on your skin after an injury or wound that has healed. In fact, scars are a natural part of the human body’s healing process. Most scars will fade away, although they never completely disappear.
There is a combination of factors that cause acne. Hence you would want to get rid of acne scars at the earliest. Today most of the acne scar treatments available in the market can help get rid of them.
Scarring is a normal part of the healing process after any tissue is damaged. After your skin is wounded, the tissues in the area break, causing a protein called collagen to be released. Collagen is a protein that helps to heal and strengthen your wound.
A scar results from the biological process of wound repair in your tissues and skin. Most wounds, except for minor ones, will result in some degree of scarring. Besides, scars can also result from accidents, diseases, skin conditions like acne or surgeries.
Around your wound, new collagen will continue to form for several months. The blood supply will increase and cause the scar to become lumpy and raised.
Are you aware that scarring has an emotional effect? Meaning scars can affect you both psychologically and physically. A scar, if it is visible on your face, could be very distressing. It can be even worse if you feel you are being stared at.
These facial scars can make you avoid meeting people because of your appearance. As a result, you could easily become socially isolated. This could lead to depression as well. See your doctor if you feel your scars are making you feel depressed or if they are in any way affecting your daily schedule.
Medical Treatments – Acne Scar Treatment
Several medical treatments are available today to help reduce acne scars. Your dermatologist might recommend different procedures depending on your skin type and the extent of the scarring.
Acne scars are stubborn, and no single acne scar treatment is best for everyone. Even your doctor might use a combination of the following approaches to improve the appearance of your skin. The acne scar treatment will depend on your scar type, the severity of the scarring, and your skin type.
Medical treatments for acne scars include:
1 Chemical peels
A dermatologist can recommend a type of chemical peel that is suitable for your skin type, scarring, and acne severity. According to stats, six of 10 participants used a specific type of chemical peel called trichloroacetic acid (TCA). They also found that there was at least a 70-percent improvement in their acne scarring.
Other chemical peels were seen to be less effective. For instance, 25 percent of participants who use salicylic acid or glycolic acid did not see any reduction in the scarring. You might need to try different types of peels to determine which one works best for you.
Injections of corticosteroids might help with the treatment of raised acne scar tissue which means if a person has either keloid or hypertrophic scars. Your doctor might inject steroids into the raised scars to improve the appearance of your skin.
The treatment plan will typically consist of a series of injections customized as per your skin type. Your dermatologist can do these injections in their office once every few weeks and also monitor the results.
3 Dermal filler
In some cases, your dermatologists may recommend using soft tissue fillers as they can effectively reduce the appearance of scars.
Your dermatologists might also choose a filler that consists of a collagen-based product, which might require allergy testing. Your doctor can also use other commercial fillers, such as PMMA, hyaluronic acid, and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA).
If you have atrophic scars, dermal fillers will give the best results. But the treatment might be temporary. The therapy typically might last between 6 and 18 months.
Microneedling is the process of inserting ultra-thin needles into the skin surrounding the scar. The process helps to stimulate your body to make more collagen. This collagen primarily aids in reducing the appearance of acne scars by smoothing out the skin.
According to a review, microneedling treatment improved 31 – 62 percent in the appearance of acne scars. However, the treatment can cause side effects. Many individuals experience pain, redness, and inflammation after the session. But most of these subside over time.
5 Laser treatment
Laser treatment is different as it resurfaces the skin without the use of scrubs or chemicals. The process removes the uppermost layer of your skin to reveal the younger-looking skin cells underneath. This will naturally help reduce the appearance of scarring.
This approach is becoming increasingly popular and is used on scars that were once treated with dermabrasion. This laser technique has an increased risk of side effects, especially for people with darker skin or people with a history of keloids.
Laser treatment might not suit everyone. However, its success mainly depends on the acne scarring and the person’s skin type. The laser treatment might cause a reaction in some, especially those with sensitive skin.
This procedure is usually reserved for more severe scarring. Your doctor often removes the top layer of the skin with a rapidly rotating brush or other devices. The technique can remove surface scars completely, and deeper acne scars may appear less noticeable. Common severe side effects include scarring and changes in skin color.
7 Botox treatment
Botox treatment can be another acne scar treatment. Sometimes folds are created in the skin around the acne scars. When your therapist injects Botox (Botox injection), it will relax the surrounding skin, improving the appearance of an acne scar. The results are temporary, so you might need repeat treatments to retain the effect.
When to See a Dermatologist for Acne Scar Treatment
For most individuals with proper acne treatment and sun protection, your acne scars and discoloration will fade away. However, if you have scarring or discoloration that lasts more than a year and you are interested in acne scar treatment, speak with your dermatologist or doctor.
Your dermatologist will help develop a treatment plan best suited to your scars and skin. You can also try home treatments that can help reduce the appearance of your acne scars. But home remedies might not be as effective as the medical treatments offered by your dermatologist.
Managing Acne Scars
Managing your acne scars might seem like a daunting task. There are various options available for treatment. By understanding the types of acne and acne scar treatment, you can feel empowered to take control of your health and appearance.
Once you and your doctor can identify the kind of acne, you may not have to go through treatment for the different types of acne scars. You can discuss with your doctor and confirm the right skin treatment.
Remember that even with the most conscientious and careful treatment, you might develop acne scars. If you have acne popping out, your first attempt should be to control the breakouts as much as possible. At times it can be very difficult to effectively treat acne scars if they are still actively breaking out.
Your dermatologist or doctor can also help you find an acne treatment that will help bring the breakouts under control. Once your skin gets reasonably clear, the next step is treating acne scars. Your dermatologist can help with that too.
Acne scars can be an unwanted reminder of acne and might reduce self-esteem in some people, but they do not have to be permanent.
Your dermatologist will create a treatment plan solely tailored to your needs. In creating this plan, they will consider many things, including the type of scar types and where the scars appear on your body.
Many people have success using one or more home remedies. To obtain the best results, your dermatologist might recommend more than one treatment. In cases of stubborn scarring, receiving medical treatments in your dermatologist’s office can also help remove acne scars.