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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACNE, SCARRING AND HOW TO EFFECTIVELY TREAT IT

HomeBlogALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACNE, SCARRING AND HOW TO EFFECTIVELY TREAT IT

Introduction

If you have acne, worry not, you’re not alone. Acne or Acne Vulgaris is the most common skin condition in the world. About 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will have it, making the adolescent to the young adult age group much more prone to it. Of those, one out of five will have acne scarring. Teenagers get acne thanks to their changing hormones during and after puberty. For adults, elements such as stress, the environment, genetics, menstrual cycles, oil-based products, certain medical conditions, and birth control pills can all lead to acne- though hormonal changes ultimately is the main cause.

Acne grows when bacteria, oil and dead skin fill up and inflame the pores- the tiny openings in the skin- through which oil (sebum) and sweat rises to the surface. It can present itself in many different forms like whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Whiteheads and blackheads are relatively common and tend to heal smoothly. The latter, however, are the types that can lead to scarring and can lead to much distress in an individual’s life and will require effective acne scar treatment.

How Does Acne Cause Scarring?

Acne scars are the result of inflammation of acne lesions. Some acne lesions are small and the scars created are shallow and quick to heal, like in the case of whiteheads and blackheads. Sometimes the contents of the lesion spill into the surrounding tissue hence causing deeper scars. The skin’s response is to repair the scar by forming new collagen tissue.

Acne scar formations occur in 2 ways. Either a scar develops when there is loss of tissue, resulting in an indentation in the surface of the skin called an Atrophic or a depressed scar; or a scar develops that is raised on the surface of the skin, called a hypertrophic or a keloid scar. It is usually a sign that the skin is doing its job and healing itself. The skin creates collagen or repair tissue to help heal the damaged acne, however, if there is an overproduction of collagen, a raised scar is formed.However, just because you have acne, it doesn’t mean that it will end up in a scar. If you do end up with scars, the good news is that not all acne scars are permanent. Today, effective acne scar treatment is available throughout the globe. Some treatment modalities like laser acne treatment significantly reduce the scars, while others help the skin in its healing process.

What’s The Best Treatment For Acne Scars?

Acne scars are stubborn, and no single treatment is suitable for everyone. Treatment process can be slow and tedious. A variety of lasers, fillers, micro-needling and pulsed light are some of the available options for effective acne scar treatment. The skin needs to be acne free before starting the treatment for acne scars, meaning first the acne lesions must heal before treatment can begin.

One or a combination of the following treatment modalities might improve the appearance of the acne and scar, depending on the scar type, the skin type and the severity of the scarring.

  • Home Skin Care: Using sunscreen and cosmetic products can help cover the scars. Some medicated creams containing Azelic, Hydroxyl or Salicylic acids can also help too.
  • Soft Tissue Fillers: Injecting collagen, fat or other substances under the skin can slightly plump the skin over and lift it, which makes the scars less noticeable.
  • Steroid Injections: Injecting steroids into raised scars can improve the appearance of the skin, as they soften the fibrous tissue, causing the scar to flatten.
  • Laser Resurfacing: A laser delivers heat to the scar and the collagen underneath, which then encourages the growth of new skin to replace it. There are two different types of laser resurfacing: ablative and non-ablative. The doctor will decide which type is suitable according to the scar and skin type.
  • Dermabrasion or Microdermabrasion: A procedure that is used for severe acne scarring. During this procedure, the top layers of skin are gently exfoliated with a rapidly rotating nozzle. As a result, scar appearance may be reduced and deeper acne scars may appear less noticeable.
  • Chemical Peel: This treatment involves special chemicals to remove the top layers of the skin. Whenever the top layer is removed, the new skin that grows over it is smoother and has lesser scars.
  • Microneedling: This procedure uses micro needles to stimulate collagen growth in the underlying tissue. It’s a safe, simple and a very effective technique for acne scarring.
  • Surgery: A minor procedure called excision, the dermatologist cuts out individual acne scars and closes the wound with stitches.
  • Subcision: This treatment incorporates a canula needle to break down fibrous bands that pull down scar tissue into the lower layers of the skin. Thereafter, the skin is released so that it can return to the surface and grow out smoothly.
  • Cryosurgery: This treatment uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the raised scar tissue. Eventually the scar tissue dies and then falls off.
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