How to Treat Pitted Acne Scars
Severe acne can cause deep scars that are often referred to as pitted scars. These scars are indentations in the outer surfaces of your skin, and can give your skin a pebbly or uneven appearance. Unfortunately, pitted acne scars can't be treated through self-care measures at home. Your dermatologist can perform invasive and sometimes painful cosmetic procedures that can smooth out your skin and eliminate pitted acne scars.
Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to discuss your treatment options to minimize the appearance of pitted acne scars. Your doctor will examine you to determine that you're not in the midst of an active breakout before you begin treatment. Visual examination of your scars will help your doctor recommend an appropriate treatment for your condition.
Treat pitted scars that are shallow or do not reach down as far into the skin, with chemical peels. A chemical peel is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn't require as much healing time as other scar revision treatments.
The American Academy of Dermatology--AAD--explains that chemicals, including trichloroacetic acid, are applied to your face to essentially burn off the top layer of skin where the scars appear. The fresh layer of skin underneath will appear smooth after healing. Recuperation time depends on the depth of the peel and can last up to two weeks. The depth of the peel varies according to the depth of your scars.
Undergo laser treatments for deep acne scars. Also called scar revision, high concentrations of light are beamed at the pitted scars to resurface the skin and develop a smoother complexion. Studies reported in the February 2001 issue of "Dermatologic Surgery" show that 100 percent of patients studied showed positive results after several sessions of pulsed laser therapy, though the degree of healing varied.
Laser therapy can cause some discoloration, mainly redness, of the skin for up to three months after treatment. Laser treatments do not tend to cause infection or residual scarring when compared to more invasive methods.
Get your pitted scars filled with collagen or other fillers for a temporary fix. The AAD explains that fillers are materials--collagen, fat and acids--that are injected into the area of the scar to raise it up to your epidermal level. When the scars are filled, your complexion appears smoother.
The type of material injected into your scars will determine how long the results will last; many people who have undergone filler treatments for scar revision or wrinkles need to repeat the treatment within months or years.
Graft your healthy skin over your pitted scars in a procedure called a punch graft. Your surgeon will remove each pitted scar with a tool that resembles a hole punch and replaces the damaged skin with healthy skin that is taken from behind your ears. You'll still have scars from the grafts on your face, but they will be minor when compared to the deeper, crater-like acne scars.
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