Deal with early acne scars
Post-inflammatory changes occur as a result of body’s natural healing process. At this stage intake of certain medicines and some precautionary measures can help the healing process.
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight because it can alter the healing process.
- Tretinoin helps in healing process and has a significant impact on post-inflammatory changes.
- Picking at scabs must be avoided because scabs are formed to protect the healing process that is going on beneath them.
Types of acne scars
According to acne scarring classification system proposed by Jacob et al acne scars are of following types:
Icepick scars: they are narrow, sharp scars and give skin a punctured appearance. They extend deep into the skin. Usually they cannot be treated with dermabrasion or laser resurfacing.
Boxcar scars: they are round and oval in shape and are characterized with sharp vertical edges. Shallow boxcar scars extend 0.1-0.5 mm while deep ones extend more than 0.5 mm in skin.
Rolling scars: they are formed due to the formation of tissue bands between the layers of skin that pull skin down at some points. These scars are treated through breaking up tissue bands.
Acne scar treatments
There are various treatments for acne scars, each with its own set of risks and benefits. Your surgeon is the right person to choose the best treatment according to your skin condition and type of scarring.
Dermal fillers: dermal fillers are injections of fat, bovine, collagen, hyaluronic acid derivatives and polytheyl-methacrylate microspheres with collagen that are used to raise the surface to scarred area. As a result scar disappears and skin becomes smoother. These are not permanent cures for scars and repeated treatments are necessary to maintain the results.
Punch excision: it is a surgical treatment and cuts out the skin that contains scar. A punch biopsy tool is used for this purpose that is a circular, sharp tool and excises scar under local anesthesia. Skin edges are then sutured back and the scar fades away or at least become less noticeable and more amenable to skin resurfacing procedures. This method is used for icepick and boxcar scars.
Laser resurfacing: laser treatment is very popular for removing or reducing scars. CO2 and erbium lasers are used for resurfacing of skin. Laser carefully burns skin layers and new layers appear scar free and smoother. Post-operative cure and measures that you take during the recovery period determine the success of the procedure.
Chemical peels: they are also used for treating scars along with brown spots, sun spots and wrinkles. A chemical is applied to the upper layer of skin that burns the layer. As the healing process new layer is formed that does not contain scar. Chemical peels are of three types; light, medium and deep peels. They are used according to the depth of the scars for deep peels being used for scars that extend multiple layers into the skin.
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion: it uses a rotating wire brush to remove upper layer of skin containing scars. New layers are formed afterwards that do not contain scars. microdermabrasion is less invasive and often preferred over dermabrasion.