Eighty percent of teens and pre-teens and five percent of adults suffer from the common skin problem known as acne. In some severe acne cases, the acne leaves unsightly skin flaws behind after the slow healing process is done. These skin flaws are referred to as acne scars and they can become permanent when they are not treated in a timely manner. Acne scars can effect a person in more ways than in physical appearance. Self-confidence and then personality are hindered and is a large reason why much is invested into the research for creating a solution to treat the acne as well as the acne scarring.
The size, appearance and shape are all taken in for consideration when classifying acne scars. Acne scars carrying three main identifying classifications – Boxcar, Rolling and Icepick. The duration of the acne scars are also looked at and determined as early or permanent scarring. Topical medications have proven quite successful in treating the early scarring, but surgical procedures are necessary for permanent scarring. Currently, both surgical and skin resurfacing practices are used in combination with the use of topical medications for the treatment of acne scars. The correct plan of action in treatment is thought of carefully for the best results.
Surgical procedures that are practiced in order to repair acne scarring are done in at least six different ways. The surgeon will consider such factors as the gender, age, skin type, medical history and classification of the acne scarring before determining which surgery type is best for that patient. As with any surgery, each type that is practiced holds both benefits and problems that are specific to that form of surgical repair procedure. The patient and surgeon will also discuss the varying costs of the different procedures and will decide on which will work best for the patient as some can cost quite a bit.
One procedure that is used would be dermal fillers. These are injected by the surgeon to raise the bottom of the scarred skin to the level of the healthy skin around it. The dermal fillers that are used in the procedure could be collagen or hyaluronic acid derivatives.
Another procedure that may take place would be the punch excision procedure. Most commonly used for the boxcar and icepick scars, this practice uses incisions made in the skin through a special punch biopsy instrument. After the punch is made in the skin, the edges of skin are stitched together and allowed to heal leaving clear skin. Punch excision is also used in combination with skin grafting techniques rather than the stitched method for healing. Deep boxcar scars that have sharp edges, but have normal bottoms may undergo the punch elevation procedure. In this procedure the bottom of the scar is cut away and attached to the normal level in the skin through a glue substance or with sutures.
Rolling scars are most often treated by yet another technique, subcutaneous incision. In this method of treatment the binding tissue of the scar is cut by applying a specially made beveled needle that is placed just under the skin. Bruising may result after the procedure is performed but will disappear in about one week’s time.
Laser resurfacing works by burning the top layer of skin to bring it down to the same level as the bottoms of the scars.
The attempt to prevent acne and consequently their scars is the best option of all however. Some behaviors applied to daily life may be able to help in doing just that. A person should avoid strong and intense sunlight, refrain from picking scabs, regular exercise and diet control as well as using medications such as Tretinoin and Alpha Hydroxyl Acids if they wish to avoid acne and the unsightly scars that may result. The emotional toll and cost of acne scar removal may be kept at a minimum.