Acne scar removal products are available. Different treatments are more effective than others depending on the type of scar tissue. We look at the options.
When choosing an acne scar removal treatment you need to firstly, work out what sort of acne scar you have, because some treatments are more effective on different types of scars than they are on others. Therefore, this list of top 5 acne scar removal techniques may not necessarily be the most effected for you
Punch Techniques: (most suited for deep ice pick scars)
There are three different punch techniques:
- Punch Excision – This method uses a punch biopsy tool which looks a bit like a small, round, sharp cookie cutter. Under local anaesthetic the scar is excised with the punch tool and then the wound is closed and allowed to heal.
- Punch Elevation – The same tool is used as above to cut the base of the scar leaving the walls intact. The base is then elevated to the level of the surrounding skin.
Punch Replacement – The same tool is used as above but instead of suturing the edges of the skin together, the area is filled with a skin graft, usually taken from behind the ear. This method is thought to be the most successful, for treating deep scars. Punch surgery may take several weeks to heal.
- Chemical Peels (most suited for very mild scars)
This procedure involves the application of high potency acid on the skin (usually AHA’s) in order to remove the top layer of the skin to reveal the smoother layer underneath. A chemical peel usually takes about 15 minutes and they usually require several treatments. Side effects may include redness or swelling and possible flakiness or dryness as the top layer of skin is removed. Recovery may vary from one day to several weeks.
- Augmentation: (most suited for deep scars, atrophic scars)
This process involves material being injected under the scar to bring to the same level as the surrounding skin. Filler substances such as collagen, restylane, cosmoderm and cymetra may be used or even the patients own fat. The results are only temporary and they may last between three to six months. Usually very little recovery time is required and most patients go back to their normal schedule immediately.
- Dermabrasion (most suited for shallow scars)
This procedure has been around since the 1950s and is not to be confused with microdermabrasion. Dermabrasion uses a power-driven hand held tool to remove damaged skin and allow new skin to grow in its place. The skin is usually anesthetized and frozen during this process. The skin may look scraped and for several days and then a scab will form, swelling may occur as well. Some patients may take several weeks off work to allow the scabbing to fall off and the reddening to tone down.
- Laser Resurfacing (most suited for shallow imperfections)
Compared to other acne scar removal treatments laser resurfacing is relatively new method for treating it scars. It works by burning off the top layers of the skin to a certain depth. The affected area then heals with the scarred skin being replaced by new, smooth skin. The actual procedure may take only a few minutes and you usually require several treatments. After the treatment the skin may become red and swollen and this may last for several weeks.