To find the right acne scar skin care product or treatment, it's helpful to know exactly what types of scarring you have.
As if having acne isn't bad enough, many of us also have to deal with dark spots and scars long after we stop breaking out. Acne scarring can result in uneven texture, discoloration, or a combination of both due to damage caused in the lower layers of skin.
Some scar treatments should be performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, while peels and other treatments can be performed at an acne skin care center. You can also find acne scar skin care products and treatments available for personal use at home.
Fortunately, there are many options for treating acne scarring. Here is some helpful information that will guide you toward finding the best treatment for deep acne scars, raised scars, and dark spots.
Before you start using acne scar skin care products and treatments, it's best to make sure you’ve got active break outs under control.
Any time you have inflamed break outs, your skin may be left with a scar.
Treating acne early is the best way to prevent scarring. It's most important to treat active inflammation today to prevent new scars from forming tomorrow.
Aggressive scar treatments can aggravate active acne and cause flare ups. So, do yourself a favor, and make sure your skin is clear before you start treating acne scarring.
There's absolutely no point in rushing to treat scars if you're still having active acne break outs. Doing so may make your acne worse. Take it one step at a time and you'll get the best results.
Your acne skin care products will help to lighten dark spots and heal damaged skin caused by previous pimples at the same time you're treating your break outs.
Once your skin is clear, you can move on to more aggressive scar treatments, if needed.
When an acne lesion causes severe or prolonged inflammation deep within the skin (for example -- large pustules, nodules, and cysts), newly formed cells and surrounding tissue can be damaged. This may result in the loss of healthy skin cells and tissue, which causes a scar.
Because acne wounds happen deep within the dermal layers of skin, the scars can be severe and aren't likely to resolve on their own without treatment. Many people consider scars that cause irregular texture in the form of raised patches, pits, holes, and depressions to be deep acne scars.
For the best results, you'll need to seek medical treatment for deep acne scars with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon that specializes in scar revision.
Boxcar Scars cause wide depressions with steep sides that make a "box-like" pit in the skin. Boxcar scars may be shallow or deep depending on how much tissue damage was caused by acne inflammation.
Boxcar scars are commonly treated with punch excision or elevation, dermal fillers, and laser resurfacing.
Ice Pick Scars cause very deep vertical marks that look like "holes" have been pierced in the skin by a sharp object such as an ice pick. Some ice pick scars may look like large open pores.
Ice pick scars are commonly treated with punch excision, punch grafting, and micro-needling.
Rolling Scars are caused by fibrous bands of scar tissue deep in the skin that pull down on the surface tissue causing a rolling, "wave-like" appearance.
Rolling scars are commonly treated with subcision and injectable fillers.
Hypertrophic Scars happen when an over production of collagen causes a raised mass of tissue where the skin has been injured. While hypertrophic scars are elevated, they stay within the boundary of the original lesion(s). They are most common on the chest or back, but can also happen on the face.
Hypertrophic acne scars are commonly treated with steroid creams, tapes, or injections to help shrink, soften, and flatten the tissue.
Keloid Scars occur when an overgrowth of collagen forms firm, rubbery lesions that grow outside the boundary of the wound. They can grow to be several times larger than the original scar. People with medium to dark skin tones seem to be more prone to keloid formation than those with light skin.
Keloid scars are commonly treated with steroid injections, silicone gel sheets, cryosurgery, and pulsed dye laser.
Acne scars that cause irregular color in the form of red marks and dark spots are known as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin caused by increased melanin. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation can happen after any event that causes trauma and inflammation to the skin, such as inflamed acne lesions, abrasions, or burns.
If you have skin of color (for example, you're of Hispanic, Asian, or African descent), your skin may be more prone to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
The marks of PIH can range in color from pink to red, purple, brown, or black, depending on your skin tone. They are not considered true "scars" because they aren't permanent. These marks will usually fade over time, but the process may take months or years without treatment.
Luckily, these red marks and dark spots are the easiest forms of acne "scarring" to treat. There are many successful techniques available, including corrective peels, microdermabrasion, and acne scar skin care products.
Acne scar skin care treatments vary widely depending on the type(s) of scars you have, and your best approach to treating acne scarring may include a variety of techniques.
The list below will explain the most successful methods for treating acne scarring.
Cryosurgery is used to freeze raised scar tissue causing it to blister & flatten as it heals.
Deep Chemical Peels such as Phenol and TCA are administered by a medical professional as a treatment for deep acne scars.
Dermabrasion is a method of removing layers of skin with a rough wire brush or a burr containing diamond particles.
Dermal Fillers & Injectables may be used to augment and fill in depressions (a variety of solutions are commonly used, including fat, collagen, soft tissue fillers, and hyaluronic fillers such as Restylane & Juvederm)
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)Laser Skin Resurfacing can be used to normalize uneven texture and color.
Micro-needling / Dermal Rollers are a fairly new method of treating deep acne scarring. This method is helpful for pitted and depressed acne scars.
Punch Excision or Punch Grafts are methods used for severe, deep scarring such as ice pick scars. A surgeon removes a small oval section of skin that contains the scar & sutures it together or replaces it with a graft of skin taken from elsewhere on the body (usually behind the ear). This procedure will leave a smoother, less visible scar than the original acne scar.
Silicone Gels, Cream, and Bandages may be used to soften & reduce raised scars.
Steroid Injections are used to reduce inflammation and cause elevated scars to shrink.
Subcision can be used to treat rolling scars. A surgeon uses a needle to break up the scar tissue underneath the skin. They may also use injectable fillers to plump the scarred area & normalize skin texture.
Take the time to interview several dermatologists and plastic surgeons to find a medical professional that specializes in treatment for deep acne scars. You'll want a doctor that clearly explains the positive and negative aspects of each option.
Treating acne scarring is a process -- it will require more than one visit. Be sure you find a qualified doctor who takes your concerns seriously and makes you feel comfortable.
In addition, I recommend that you find the right acne scar skin care products to use at home on a daily basis. This combination approach will give you the best results when treating acne scarring.
Corrective Peels are an excellent choice to treat hyperpigmentation and superficial scars. Corrective peels for acne scarring will lighten red marks and dark spots as well as reduce minor changes in texture. They'll also help keep your pores clear and reduce future break outs.
LED Light Treatments may be used to encourage faster healing and skin rejuvenation.
Microdermabrasion helps control hyperpigmentation and mild surface irregularities by gently sanding the top layers of skin and speeding skin renewal.
Acne scar skin care treatments for hyperpigmentation or dark spots should include a combined approach of peels and scar lightening products.
You'll need to use scar removal creams or serums at home on a daily basis to assist the skin renewal process.
Techniques vary depending on your skin tone, level of sensitivity, and depth of scarring. Find an acne skin care center that specializes in corrective peels or microdermabrasion for acne scarring. They'll be able to consult with you and recommend the best course of action to heal your acne scars.
You can reduce hyperpigmentation and diminish light scarring with acne scar skin care products used at home on a daily basis.
If you have red marks, dark spots, and acne damage, skin treatment products with lightening and skin remodeling agents will help lift hyperpigmentation, even out your skin tone, and improve the texture of your skin as well.
The best acne scar skin care products will encourage cellular turnover, skin repair and normalization of damaged tissue.
Remember, deep acne scars that have caused changes in texture require medical attention and/or professional corrective treatment. But, superficial scars, including red marks and dark spots can be treated at the acne clinic or at home.
Look for acne scar skin care formulas that contain the following ingredients to lighten hyperpigmentation and stimulate collagen repair:
Improvements can usually be seen within the first few weeks of use if scars are new, but you should expect your acne scar skin care products to work progressively over time.
The full results of your efforts may not be seen for several months or longer.
Be patient, and try to remember your skin is an amazing regenerative organ -- give it time to heal.
Dealing with acne & scarring doesn't make you feel very pretty or very confident. In fact, it downright sucks! There's no use in trying to sugar-coat the facts.
Even the most self-assured person can feel like hiding out every now & then because of their skin.
Some of the hottest looking people I know have acne & scarring.
Remember, it doesn't define who you are.
Your scars will diminish over time with proper treatment
I've held hands with and been a cheerleader/coach for so many acne sufferers throughout the years, and I've seen how having acne (or having had acne) affects people on the deepest level.
Quite often, the emotional scars linger years after the last pimple or acne mark has disappeared.
Here are some personal development & healthy lifestyle tools my clients and friends have found helpful. I hope you will too!
"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." ~Yiddish Proverb
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