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August 05, 2020
Acne is a widespread skin condition that almost every person has to deal with at one point in life. Various studies indicate that around 80% of the population has at one point or the other, had to deal with acne problems. And, as if active acne wasn’t a menace enough, it leaves behind acne scars that can feel absolutely diabolical.
Acne can affect anyone from young to old, with high prevalence in teenagers. Luckily, since this has been a common nuisance, people have come up with dozens of acne scars treatments to help deal with the aftermath of the problem.
So, are these treatments effective? Do they have any side effects? And, are there acne scars that heal without medical intervention?
To answer all these questions, let’s first understand what this skin condition exactly is, and how it forms.
Acne is typically a chronic skin disorder that occurs when dead skin cells and oil fill up your skin’s hair follicles. The condition usually causes pimples and spots on various parts of your body, such as the face, neck, shoulders, upper arms, forehead, and chest.
Acne will appear either in the form of black and whiteheads, cysts, pimples, or nodules. All of these are types of acne.
Acne scars, on the other hand, are the unpleasant marks left behind after the healing process of acne. And, although common in teenagers, acne can also affect persons of any age. Teenagers during puberty are highly susceptible to acne as that’s when their sebaceous glands become active.
As the most prevalent skin condition in the US, acne affects nearly 50 million people yearly in the country. In fact, over 85% of people living in the US suffer from acne when they are between 12 and 24 years.
The good thing with the condition is that, although it leaves unpleasant scars, acne isn’t life-threatening.
The symptoms of this condition vary significantly based on your acne’s severity. Some of the main symptoms include:
Any of these signs represent the presence of acne.
Frankly speaking, some acne scars will heal and disappear on their own, while others are more permanent. This depends entirely on the extent of the scarring, and the length of time you’ve had it. Fortunately, there are several treatments that are quite effective in treating acne scars, which someone can try out.
Some of these acne scar treatments will be more effective than the others, and thus the need to research and understand your situation first. This will help you to determine the best treatment that will solve your acne scars problem.
A doctor’s advice is also highly recommended before you start your treatment, especially when you’re self-medicating.
One major factor that will affect the effectiveness of some treatments is skin type. Some skin types are more responsive to treatment than others. But that shouldn’t worry you. There are numerous remedies that can fit your type of skin.
Different types of acne scars will take different amounts of time to heal. For instance, hyperpigmentation scars are usually easy to heal and can disappear on their own in several weeks or months. They are the easiest acne scars to treat, as some don’t even need medication.
In fact, these scars aren’t considered real scars by some doctors. They usually are called the PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), and they take between 2 weeks and two months to disappear.
Another common type of acne scars is atrophic scars. These ones appear as indents on your skin, which might cause uneven skin texture in most cases. The good thing here is that the scars also heal on their own, although they might take a considerable amount of time. In some instances, they can also become permanent, requiring medical intervention.
The last type of acne scar is known as a “hypertrophic scar.” This scar is similar to the hypertrophic scars obtained from a burn or a deep cut. Small hypertrophic scars will disappear on their own after about a month, while larger ones could take even beyond six months to heal.
So, if you have hyperpigmentation, mild atrophic, and mild hypertrophic scars, then you are lucky. At least you don’t have to worry about having the scars on your skin for long.
Some acne scars are quite hard to eliminate and can become a nightmare, especially for people who are desperate to see them gone. Some of these acne scars include:
Scars that extend deeper into your skin are much harder to disappear. Since they form indents on the skin, they don’t fill up even as new skin cells grow. Instead, the new cells follow the structure of the indents.
While the growth of new cells will alleviate hyperpigmentation visibility, it might not do anything for deeper scars.
So, what do you do to acne scars that don’t disappear voluntarily? Well, there are various acne scars treatments that will solve your problem.
The effectiveness of these treatments will depend on both your skin type and the extent of your scarring. Your dermatologist will recommend the best treatment they deem best for you.
This involves the use of a special acid to peel off the uppermost skin layer, thus helping to reduce deeper scars. The type of acne scarring will determine the suitable kind of peel, and your dermatologist can help to recommend the best.
While some mild chemical peels can be used at home, other stronger ones must be used as per the doctor’s instructions. This means that the more extensive your scar is, the stronger the chemical peel necessary for the best results. The fact is, one peel might work for one person and not for another.
These are some of the safest yet effective scar removal options we have around. With silicone treatments, you can comfortably manage your scars at home without worrying about any negative effects on your skin.
When it comes to injections, it means that some medication will be injected into your skin. For this purpose, there are various medications that doctors and surgeons can use to reduce raised scars and make them flatter and softer.
These injections can include corticosteroids or chemotherapy drugs like interferon and fluorouracil (5-FU). This kind of treatment is suitable for raised acne scars, and it involves several injections over a certain period. It can be done over a period of several weeks, while the dermatologist observes and monitors their progress.
In case of deeply indented acne scars, the doctor might recommend the use of some soft tissue to fill the scar. This will, in return, assist in alleviating the visibility of the scar. The dermatologist may opt to use a collagen-based product or some fat from another section of your body.
There are also some other commercial fillers available such as poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), hyaluronic acid (HA), and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). The treatment lasts for about 6 to 18 months and is most suitable for atrophic scars.
This kind of acne scars treatment involves the insertion of tiny needles on the skin around the scar to help stimulate more collagen production. The collagen helps to level up the skin, thus reducing the scars’ appearance.
Some studies show that this process can improve the appearance of the skin by about 31% to 62%. However, you should know that micro-needling can pose some side effects.
Some people will experience pain, inflammation, and redness after the treatment. These side effects are, however, short-lived.
Like chemical peels or scrubs, laser treatment is another acne scars removal option that involves removing the uppermost skin layer. By doing so, the younger underneath skin cells are revealed, helping to reduce the scarring appearance.
Acne scars laser treatment is, however, not ideal for everyone. They work best for certain acne scars and are also affected by the skin type. For this reason, your dermatologist will advise you depending on your type of skin and scarring.
For those who wish to manage their acne scars from home, Salicylic acid can be a great way of doing so. The compound is, in most cases, found as an ingredient in many acne skin care remedies. It works by clearing dirt, dead skin cells, as well as other debris from the skin’s pores. This helps to prevent the formation of acne scars.
The acid also helps to ease swelling and redness on the skin, thus reducing the scars’ visibility. And it’s suitable for almost all types of scars.
Acne scars can be quite disturbing, especially when they form on your face or other visible places. The emotional distress they might cause some people can be more severe than even physical pain.
However, all the above remedies can help you regain your high spirits. Most of these products are effective enough to smoothen up your skin and get rid of all the scarring
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