Dealing with an acne outbreak is painful and difficult enough, but when you have an acne scar to contend with following the outbreak, the pain is compounded. It's no wonder that acne can cause depression and anxiety among sufferers. Just when an outbreak of acne seems to resolve itself, an individual may be left with scarring, causing continued pain and embarrassment. Luckily, there are measures that acne sufferers can take to significantly reduce the risk of developing an acne scar and minimize the long lasting impression of acne.
For those who suffer from acne, a resulting acne scar is actually quite common. However, the severity of the scar varies among sufferers; while some individuals who suffer from milder acne may have an acne scar that is hardly visible, others with more severe cases may exhibit far more noticeable scarring.
There are several different types of acne scars including ice pick scars, box car scars, rolling scars, and hypertrophic scars. Ice pick scars are among the most common, presenting as holes or deep indentations on the surface of the skin. Box car scars surface on the temple and cheeks and often resemble a chicken pox mark. Rolling scars resemble soft grooves along the surface of the skin. Hypertrophic scars are among the most visible type of acne scar presenting with thick scarring that changes the landscape of the skin. Often, hypertrophic scars are inflamed and give the face a reddish color. The appropriate course of treatment will depend on the individuality of the skin and the scarring that the patient is experiencing.
Before treatment can begin a doctor or dermatologist will recommend waiting for the acne outbreak to minimize or recede entirely. Chemical peels, laser resurfacing, punch excision, grafting, or collagen therapy are all options used to treat an acne scar. Normally it can take the body between four to twelve months to even out the tone of the skin and heal the appearance of an acne scar. But if the acne scar is stubborn and resists vanishing naturally, a dermatologist may recommend the next step in treatment.
During a chemical peel, a doctor or dermatologist will apply certain types of chemical products depending on the patient's skin type; the chemical applied to the skin will allow the first layer of the skin - that which hosts the acne scar - to peel away. The patient is left with an unmarked layer of skin.
In a severe case of acne scarring, doctors may use beams of laser light to remove several layers of skin. Because the acne scar is this case may transcend the first layer of skin, the laser process is required to delve deeper than the chemical peel. If the acne scar is still unresolved, a dermatologist may choose to remove the skin containing the scar with a skin graft instrument. Collagen treatments can also be used to smooth out the appearance of an acne scar; a dermatologist will inject collagen directly into the skin to raise any depressions created through scarring.
It is always very important to take into account the patient's particular skin type and severity of the acne scar before deciding the most beneficial treatment plan with a doctor or dermatologist. Decreasing the habits that could perpetuate an acne outbreak along with an appropriate acne medication and healthy daily skin care regimen can lead to beautiful skin and eliminate the risks of an acne scar.
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