While it may sound elementary, the first place to start with acne scar treatment is prevention.
Most people cannot predict when they will have an acne outbreak or how severe that outbreak will be. If you suffer from acne outbreaks, having a good preventive treatment regiment is a proactive way to keep acne minimized, reducing the risk of scarring in the first place. It is as washing your hands to help prevent spreading germs.
Among all of the factors that can contribute to acne outbreaks, heredity is part of the mix. Additionally, heredity plays a factor in the amount of scarring you will receive from acne, or in other words, your ability to heal.
Almost all acne sufferers will develop some form of scarring, from mild to severe. The earlier in life that acne treatment is initiated, the more likely scarring will be minimized.
Acne scarring is the end result of the body's healing process. The decrease of elastic fibers in the skin combined with thickened collagen groups that grow excessively contribute to scar tissue.
There are two types of scar:
Hypertropic Scars are the thick and discolored scars that show above the normal surface of the skin.
Keloid scars are discolored scars at the skin level or below and grow outward from the initial injury similar to a stretch mark.
There are several treatment options available to help reduce or eliminate the visible signs of scarring from acne.
Topical Solutions - Several topical solutions are available. These ointments are applied to the damaged area and are designed to hydrate the skin and remove dead skin cells, which allows for skin cell rejuvenation and replenishment, reducing or eliminating the appearance of scars.
Silicone Sheets - Modern research has shown that silicone is an effective treatment in scar removal. While the science of how it works is not completely understood, several companies manufacture silicone sheets and silicone based treatments that are designed to minimize or eliminate the appearance of acne scars.
Microdermabrasion - In microdermabrasion, a dermatologist uses a hand held buffing wheel and a special abrasive cream to remove the surface layer of the skin. When the new skin grows in, it is healthier and has more elasticity than the old skin, reducing or eliminating the visible signs of scarring.
Chemical Peels - A chemical peel uses a chemical solution of Phenol, Trichloroacetic Acid, and Alphahydroxy acids to remove the outer layers of damaged skin. Similar to microdermabraision and laser resurfacing, new skin cells replace the removed damaged cells, reducing or eliminating the visible signs of scarring.
Laser Resurfacing - Performed by a qualified cosmetic surgeon, a concentrated laser beam is targeted on the treatment area. As the laser energy penetrates the skin, it vaporizes the water and the surface layer of skin, leaving the deeper layers untouched. Laser resurfacing also helps to restore the elasticity of the skin by shortening the collagen fibers that are contained in the skin layers, reducing or eliminating the visible signs of scarring.
Always be sure to consult a dermatologist before undergoing and treatment for scarring. However, all of these treatments have been proven to be effective, so once you find the right one, it is just a matter of time before the scarring is reduced or eliminated!