How to Heal the Effects of Acne Scarring

Acne scarring is not only a physical disfigurement; heavy scarring does have some emotional implications as well. The scars and discoloration are a constant reminder of those days of your youth when you had to deal with this painful and embarrassing condition. Acne is a condition that affects up to 80% young people in their teens and twenties. Once the lesions heal, they can leave a red or hyperpigmented mark on the skin, which is a post-inflammatory change. After 6-12 months, if no further lesions appear, the skin will begin to heal normally. If the skin still remains uneven, pitted or pigmented after a year, the defect may be considered a permanent scar.

The root cause for the occurrence of acne is the blockage of the hair follicles on the face; those who are prone to acne have a larger number of bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) in their hair follicles than the normal population. The presence of these bacteria and the obstructed hair follicles result in the outbreak of acne. Mild acne is the appearance of whiteheads and blackheads that most of us have faced. More severe forms of acne appear as red inflamed pimples called papules and red inflamed pimples with white centers called pustules. The worst form of acne causes nodules (painful, pus-filled cysts) to appear under the skin surface. Milder acne scarring can be treatserd by chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatments. These treatments can be carried out right at the doctor or dermatologist’s office. Chemical peel and microdermabrasion will improve the appearance of the scarred areas.

Severe acne scarring can be treated by laser therapies and dermabrasion.

*    Laser Resurfacing is a procedure that removes the top layer of the scarred skin and tightens the middle layer. The skin appears smoother after the therapy. The procedure may last anything between a few minutes to an hour and is conducted under local anesthesia. The healing process might take 3-10 days.

*    Dermabrasion Therapy uses a rotating wire brush or spinning diamond instrument to erode the surface layer of the skin. The damaged and scarred upper layer is gradually replaced by a smooth new layer of skin cells as the skin heals. Dermabrasion might take 10 days to 3 weeks to fully heal.

*    Fractional Laser Therapy works at the deeper layers of the skin. As it does not treat the upper layers of skin, healing time is shorter.

Rolling scars may require cosmetic fillers to raise the pitted skin to normal skin level. In severe cases, the doctor may suggest surgery for acne scarring. Minneapolis MN residents can avail the services of experienced cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists for their cosmetic requirements.


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