Acne is one of the most common skin problems, especially in teenage skin and young adults. It can be a problem that occurs for only a few weeks and with others it can last for years doing permanent damage in the form of scarring. Acne is a complex subject which makes it extremely difficult to treat, due to the fact that it presents itself in different grades. When considering any type of acne treatment, it is important to identify the type of scarring and this usually falls into 3 categories:
Ice pick: These are usually 1-2 mm in diameter and are the scars most commonly associated with acne.
Rolling scars: Caused by abnormal fibrous bands and can be as wide as 4 to 5mm.
Boxcar scars: They can be various sizes, and often give the skin very deep pitted scarring.
There are a number of treatment options that are very effective for acne scarring, and your doctor or dermatologist will usually recommend the best options, based on the type of scarring you have, your history and medication you are currently on. Treatment can range from the more aggressive types of surgery, that involve skin grafting and lifting, through to chemical peels and lasers, many people choose to use surgery as a last resort, exploring less drastic forms of scar removal first.
Laser treatment can be very effective, a course of 10 -12 treatments is generally recommended. Laser actually removes the top layer of the skin and often also a layer of the dermis, some lasers do cause wounds, but these usually heal within a week, to reveal the new skin underneath. This can be an effective treatment for most scaring, however the very deep box scars doesn’t appear to have the same results. Peels come in varying strengths and can be very effective; especially the stronger chemical peels when dealing with box scars. These do have to be administered by a dermatologist or skin clinic and treated with caution, as the stronger peels can have adverse side effects, a course is recommended
Microdermabrasion is good for light scarring and skin resurfacing techniques; it removes the top layer of the skin and stimulates cell turnover and collagen stimulation. Fillers have minimal side effects, collagen, hyaluronic acid, or even your own fat can be used to plump up the scars and although only temporary, the fact that you are able to return to everyday activity immediately, without side effects appeals to many.