Cystic Acne Scar Treatment
Some 80 to 85 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 get acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). For most, the pimples do not leave lasting reminders in the form of scars. But those who suffer from severe cystic acne almost always develop scars once their acne has cleared, the AAD states. Fortunately, dermatologists offer an array of treatments that will make those scars far less noticeable.
According to the Mayo Clinic, three key factors cause acne: too much oil production in the skin, irritated skin follicles and buildup of acne-causing bacteria. In cystic acne, pores that are blocked below the surface of the skin lead to inflammation and bumps called cysts in the skin. When acne finally clears up, these cysts can leave behind scars that look like pits or ice pick marks in the skin.
Dermatologists often use facial fillers to fill the depressions of cystic acne scars. However, these fillers are considered temporary, and patients will need to renew them about every six months.
According to the AAD, surgery is one of the best treatments for cystic acne scars. Surgeons can cut out, plump up or raise the scar, making it far less apparent. Other options for cystic acne scar treatment include laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion and chemical peels. All of these options involve removing the top layer of skin to make scars less noticeable; laser skin resurfacing accomplishes this with lasers, dermabrasion uses a very sharp rotating blade and chemical peels employ strong acids, according to the AAD.
Most of these procedures likely will require some recovery time, according to the AAD, and none will provide instantaneous results. In most cases, the appearance of the cystic acne scars will continue to improve for up to six months after treatment. For treatments such as facial fillers or chemical peels, patients may need multiple treatments to obtain the best results.
There is no one best treatment for cystic acne scars, and dermatologists often recommend a combination of therapies for the best results. According to the AAD, these scars can become more apparent as people age, which makes it more important for a person's self-esteem to have them treated early. People with cystic acne scars should consult with a dermatologist to determine the best course of treatment for their particular scars, the AAD says.
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