Acne Scars

This article was Medically reviewed by A. Michael, MD

Many people suffer from scars caused by acne. Scarring generally takes place as a direct result of damage to the skin in the healing timeframe of active acne lesions.
Acne scars are classified into two basic kinds, depending on whether or not there has been a net loss or gain of collagen as atrophic and hypertrophic scars respectively. 80 to 90 % of individuals that have acne scars usually show scars that are related to a loss of collagen (these are known as atrophic scars), while a smaller percentage of individuals show hypertrophic scars.
There are quite a few highly aggressive surgical treatment options available which are able to show improvement in acne scars. Some treatment options are able to resolve the scarred skin surface and expose the unblemished layers of the skin. These treatment options include the following:
In certain cases, dermatologists also use glycolic acid and other chemical peels for the purpose of loosening blackheads and decreasing the overall number of pimples. Microdermabrasion does not have a lot of impact on the acne itself, but it is a treatment option that is effective when used in combination with laser treatments.
Prior to opting for such treatment options, it is of vital importance to have a discussion with your dermatologist regarding the details of the treatment procedures, needed precautions to be taken, as well as the possible outcomes and results.
If acne scarring significantly disturbs you, a number of safe as well as highly effective treatment options are presently available. Treatment of acne scars can reduce the degree of scarring that result in deep depressions on the surface of the skin. Use of a proper treatment option is also helpful in safely reducing raised acne scars. Most of the available treatment options such as laser treatments, minor skin surgeries, chemical
peels, or the use of fillers, are generally done by a qualified dermatologist or a dermatologic surgeon in a clinic or medical facility.
As a person ages, acne scars usually become more prominent due to the fact that the skin experiences loss of collagen. It is important to select a treatment that is suitable for one’s acne scar type. For example, a person that has very deep scars can see improvements after using a filler treatment that works by adding volume to the affected skin.
Prior to opting for any kind of treatment for acne scars, one must first clear the acne. New acne breakouts generally cause new acne scarring. In addition, active acne lesions generally mean that the skin is inflamed and this inflammation decreases the efficiency of any used acne scar treatment.

Topical Acne Scar Treatments

Topical treatment options for acne scars are useful in diminishing the appearance of acne scars but do not help in removing them, as stated by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). A number of over-the-counter nonprescription as well as prescription medications are available and they assist in flattening raised scars and also in reducing the degree of skin discoloration.
One has to carry out a consultation with a qualified dermatologist who can give proper advice on selecting the best treatment suited for a particular person’s condition. If the acne scars are very severe and raised, it would become essential to use a prescription topical cream.
Tretinoin has been known to be helpful in reducing the size of raised scars and also in stopping itching and pain. Another topical option is corticosteroids, which can be prescribed by the dermatologist for the treatment of acne scarring. Using a combination of corticosteroids and tretinoin has been known to increase the level of the reduction of acne scars.
The AAD has stated that a number of nonprescription acne creams which have glycolic acid, vitamin C as well as retinol as the active ingredient are helpful in making depressed acne scars less visible. Most of these topical formulations promote the body to produce collagen that acts by plumping the skin. If there are issues of skin discoloration, some of the over-the-counter skin-lightening creams can be used to get an even as well as smooth skin tone. When selecting an over-the-counter topical treatment for acne scarring, one should look for those which have any of the following ingredients:

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