A holistic and systematic approach is required for effective acne scar treatment whether protuberant or depressed.Severe acne is often difficult to vanish or eradicate,effective acne therapy may require the intervention of a dermatologist.Even at that,many eventually discover that they are left with another dilemma: acne scars.

A rational management of acne scars  employs an understanding of the scar type,patient tolerability and commitment,while inculcating a coordinated and well-tailored treatment regimen.

Early Acne Scars

After an acne lesion,the skin undergoes a post-inflammatory,healing and remodelling changes characterised by initial redness and hyperpigmentation within the first 6-12 months.Total healing results if no more lesions occur on the same spot which then remodells itself with adequate collagen deposit and elasticity.Any persistent skin discolouration or defect beyond 1 year is considered a scar.

Treatment of Acne Scars

To effectively guide against acne scars,a proactive approach aimed at combating acne lesions should be adopted.According to Dr Cheong at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation”It is imperative that any inflammatory lesions of acne present be quickly controlled. The patient has to be educated and his cooperation secured to minimize potential scarring from poorly controlled acne in the future”.

A firm understanding of the causative factors of acne and appropriate treatment regimen will be fine a starting point.

Microdermabrasion: An abrasive material or instrument is used to exfoliate the skin enabling shedding of layers of damaged skin.Exfoliation by dermabrasion which produces only very superficial depth of skin removal is also effective  in improving other skin skin conditions like sun damage,fine lines,age spots,enlarged pores,acne and superficial scarring.

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive,painless and skin-rejuvenating out-patient procedure through a combination of fine abrasive tips or crystals and vacuum pressure applied to the skin resulting in the shedding of the top layers of the skin; stratum corneum.

Chemical Peels:

Appearance of minor skin surface imperfections can be softened by light chemical peels which is done by the application of a solution of alpha hydroxy acid(AHA) or beta hydroxy acid(BHA).The solution is applied to the skin by the aid of cotton balls or gauze after which the skin is washed off leaving behind an exfoliated skin by the removal of the surface layer.

Medium Skin Peels:

Superficial layers of the skin can also be softened and removed by the application of thin coating of 10%-40% of tricolor acetic acid or 60%-100% of TCA directly on the scar surface for about 1-10mins usually supervised by a dermatologist or esthician .

Deep Skin Peels:

A strongly acidic solution like phenol or TCA is applied by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to the skin surface as well as the deeper layers which propels the skin towards regeneration fresh cellular resurfacing.It is important to note that deep skin peels are not mere routine consultations  but serious medical procedures requiring full systemic and pre-procedure workup because of the likelihood of cardiopulmonary and renal complications.

Side effects of skin Peels:

  • skin irritation and redness
  • scarring
  • hypopigmentation
  • swelling,acne,inflammation
  • photosensitivity
  • flaking
  • hyperpigmentation
  • itching

The size,shape and duration of the acne scar is a strong determining factor in the choice of acne scar treatment.Preventing acne lesions or reducing the chronicity of post-inflammatory after initial acnieform eruptions is the key to ameliorating the sequelae of acne scars.


About the Author

To expand your horizon on acne scar treatment,stop by Dr Andrew Okpetu`s site to explore other safe acne treatment options.To learn more about other treatment alternatives to acne scars,click here