Acne Scars & Collagen
Each year, up to 85 percent of teenagers suffer from acne, making the condition the most common skin disease in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Most will recover without lasting signs of their pimples, but some people develop acne scars from their bouts with acne. Dermatologists offer a variety of approaches to repair moderate and severe acne scarring. One of these treatments uses collagen to fill depressions in the skin left by acne lesions.
It's not clear why people with seemingly similar cases of acne develop acne scars at different rates, but the American Academy of Dermatology says that family history and heredity play a big role. That means you're more likely to scar from your acne if one of your parents has acne scars, and you could be highly likely to get scars if both parents developed them. Severity of your acne also plays a role, the American Academy of Dermatology says. More severe acne tends to lead to more scarring, which is why dermatologists recommend early treatment to get the condition under control.
Acne causes three types of scars--raised scars, skin discoloration and depressed scars, which also are called ice pick-type scars or pock mark scars. Collagen, one of several fillers dermatologists use, treats only depressed acne scars. The treatment can quickly plump up deep marks or craters in the face.
Collagen treatments provide nearly instant results. However, there's a catch--collagen injections don't last forever. Most temporary fillers last only three to six months, after which you'll need to have the procedure redone. Despite this drawback, many patients choose collagen injections to treat their acne scars because they work so quickly and relatively painlessly.
Many people like collagen fillers because they cause few side effects. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that most patients return to their normal activities immediately. However, the treatments can cause skin reddening and swelling, and potentially even minor bruising. Many dermatologists recommend holding ice on the area for up to 20 minutes before you leave the office to calm any bruising and swelling, and the American Academy of Dermatology says you should avoid exercising until the next day and touching the treatment area for up to three days.
Although many acne scar patients choose collagen fillers as their sole scar repair procedure, the American Academy of Dermatology reports that many dermatologists use fillers in combination with other treatments to make scars much less noticeable. For example, your dermatologist might recommend surgery to remove your most obvious scars and then follow that with collagen injections. Because acne scars can be difficult to eradicate, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends meeting with a dermatologist to develop an individualized treatment plan.
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