Acne Scarring can have serious effects on a person’s self-image and emotional state. Fortunately there have been significant advances in the treatment of acne-related scarring in recent years. It is important to note that nothing will completely heal the majority of scars.
Laser Therapy – Using lasers to treat scars is a new technology, but is one of the most promising options for severe scarring. The lasers remove the scarred skin, and encourage growth of new skin in its place. After treatment, the skin will be pink and swollen for a week or so. During this time, bandages need to be kept over the skin to prevent infection. It takes months for the skin to return to normal, but most people will see less noticeable scars and smoother skin. Laser scar treatment can be quite expensive, however.
Surgical Therapy (Dermabrasion) – This form of scar treatment uses a motorized burr, which usually contains diamond particles. Diamonds are very strong abrasives when in a powder-form. A scab will form once the procedure is completed. Once the wound is healed, a smooth pink layer of new skin will appear. Multiple treatments are often necessary, and each one can cost $1500.
Creams and Gels – There are many topical treatments that claim to reduce the appearance of scars. Some contain Vitamin E and other nutrients. Mederma is a popular brand name. Many people report that it can improve scars in as little as 8 weeks for new scars, or 6 months for older scars. Results with topical ointments like this will vary from person to person.
Collagen Injection – This is a temporary fix, where the patient’s own body fat or collagen is injected into the scar site. This works well for some people with deep-pitted scars. The material injected serves to raise the skin, and reduce the pitted appearance, and wrinkling from the scar. However, this procedure needs to be repeated every 6 months and can be expensive.