Acne is a problem for very many of us, especially during our teens but usually clears up once we enter our twenties. The scars that can result from severe acne however can last for a lifetime and be extremely disfiguring. There are a number of treatments available for acne scarring, some of which are very expensive so how do you choose the best acne scar treatment for you? We’ve put together some information on the different methods currently available so that you can make an informed decision.
Microdermabrasion is suitable for minor acne scars that are raised above the level of the skin. This essentially exfoliates the skin and removes dead or damaged skin that is on the surface. This method is not suitable for deep-seated scars or sunken scars. In this technique a device is used to send out very small crystals onto the the skin in a stream under pressure. The crystals are typically aluminium oxide but others, for example zinc oxide, sodium chloride or magnesium oxide, may be used instead. This takes away the very top layer of the skin and also cleans out pores. This procedure also eliminates dead skin cells. It is a low risk procedure and does not require any healing time.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation is a moderate technique that doesn’t take away the skin’s top layer as other laser techniques do but makes use of light rays which reach below the surface of the skin. This increases collagen growth which therefore helps to fill up the acne scars in the subsequent months. There is no down period as there isn’t any injury to the skin and it only takes 15 or 20 minutes to complete. There may well be some slight reddening of the skin which is short-lived and is simply covered by the use of makeup. Laser skin rejuvenation techniques are typically done over approximately a month to six weeks with around four or five treatments.
Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing is available in two different forms called ablative and non-ablative. Healing from non-ablative laser treatment is a lot quicker and is typically used only on less severe scarring. The laser is used to make small areas of damage to the skin close to the scars which causes the production of extra collagen in these areas which helps to heal the scar. This method is probably one of the best acne scar treatments, however it is one of the most high-priced.
Acne Scar Thermage Treatment is an alternative treatment which employs radio waves and is usually used for lines and wrinkles on the skin. This procedure increases the growth of collagen and therefore does not deal with scars in the same way as fractional laser skin resurfacing. It is painless and is not invasive and takes around an hour.
Dermal Filling is usually temporary and consists of injections of collagen which fill in the scars. After a few months the filling material used is absorbed by the body. The collagen is made from either natural or animal sources, hence if you’re using collagen derived from animals you will need to be tested for allergic reactions before use. Other dermal fillers, for example Restylane, use man-made materials which don’t have the risk of an allergic reaction and usually last much longer than the other collagen treatments. If you are happy with a low-priced, although short-lived method, this may perhaps be the best acne scar treatment for you.
Chemical Peels aren’t so popular as they were formerly as acne scar treatments such as laser skin resurfacing are being used more often instead. However they are fairly valuable for mild to moderate acne scarring as they actually remove the top layer of the skin which then allows new healthy, unscarred skin to grow. The most common kind of chemical peel incorporates glycolic acid which is an organic acid found in plants and fruit. The procedure only takes around fifteen minutes and is nearly pain free though there may be a little stinging. After effects can include redness and flaking of the skin which might last from a a day or two to as much as a week depending on the kind and severity of the chemical peel method. A course of at least two treatments is desirable to observe any clear improvement in acne scarring.
The best acne scar treatment for you will depend on your budget and the severity of the scarring. Many of the more effective treatments are expensive and may need repeated visits before you see any improvement. You should consult a dermatologist, armed with all the necessary information, to help you decide which method is the best for you.