Acne Scar Correction
While almost everyone gets acne at some point in their lives, only a small percentage will suffer from permanent scars from the lesions. For those who do get them, acne scars can be disfiguring. Fortunately, dermatologists have many effective treatments available to correct acne scars.
Acne scars can look like blotchy red spots and raised patches on the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Craters in the skin--also known as pock marks, ice pick scars or box car scars--often form in places where the infection reached particularly deep.
Acne scar correction therapy generally seeks to smooth out and level the skin and reduce the red, blotchy discoloration. To do this, dermatologists have a number of techniques to fill in the craters, correct the blotchy skin tone, and remove the raised patches.
Acne scar surgery may be necessary to correct severe scarring, according to the AAD. In this type of surgery, the dermatologist cuts out the scars and grafts in normal skin. Laser resurfacing, in which a powerful laser removes the top layer of skin, and dermabrasion, which uses abrasion to remove the top layer of skin, also can help with depressed acne scars.
Corticosteroid injections can help shrink raised scars, and often are used together with cryotherapy, in which the scar tissue is frozen, dies and then gradually drops off, according to the AAD. Gentle laser treatments and bleaching creams help tone down red, blotchy acne scars, dermatologists say.
The surgical procedures used to correct severe scarring generally require some recovery time, and carry a small risk of infection and other side effects, according to the AAD. In many cases, physicians combine two or more different therapies for the best results. The AAD recommends that potential acne scar correction patients consult with their dermatologist to determine the best course of treatment.
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