Acne Scars and Pitting
Acne most often plagues teenagers and young adults. The American Academy of Dermatology says some 85 percent of teens suffer from some pimples. Acne scars can be difficult to treat, but dermatologists offer an array of treatments for pitted acne scars.
Pitted scars, also known as boxcar scars, pockmarks and ice-pick scars, represent the most common type of acne scar. Dermatologists aren't certain why some people develop scars, but family history and genetics appear to play a large role, as does acne severity--if you have severe cystic acne, you're much more likely to develop pitted scars.
Over-the-counter treatments can make shallow, saucer-shaped acne scars appear less prominent. But if you have deep pitting from your acne, you'll need the help of a dermatologist. Acne scar surgery is an effective option for treating deep scars. In this surgical procedure, the dermatologist either cuts out the deep scars or uses a surgical instrument to separate the upper layers of skin from the scar. Once that's complete, the dermatologist may recommend using a filler to finish smoothing out the skin.
Other options for treating pitted acne scars involve procedures that strip off the top layer of skin, making the deepest pits appear shallower and potentially removing any shallow pits. Dermatologists use laser beams, dermabrasion tools and strong acid chemical peels to remove this layer of skin; the treatments have the advantage of diminishing wrinkles and making the new skin appear younger, as well.
Surgery and other physical procedures used to treat deep acne scars and pitting require significant recovery time, and you likely won't see immediate improvement in your scars, the Academy of Dermatology warns. Side effects from the procedures vary, but most cause visible wounds, which you'll need to treat at home. The treatments can also cause swelling and bruising. In some cases, you won't see the final results for months as your skin heals.
Acne scars often are difficult to treat, and the Mayo Clinic says no one treatment works for everyone. It's impossible to completely erase pitted acne scars, although treatments work well to minimize them. Dermatologists often combine different treatments for the best results. If you're considering treatment for your acne scars and pitting, your best bet would be to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist.
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