Acne Scar Removal
Specific dermatological procedures to minimize acne scars will be determined by your physician based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Severity of the scar
- Type of scar
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Your opinion or preference
Although acne often is a chronic condition, even if it occurs only during adolescence, acne can leave life-long scars. Acne scars typically look like "ice pick" pit scars or craterlike scars. Although proper treatment for acne may help minimize scarring, several dermatological procedures may help to further minimize any acne scars, including the following:
Dermabrasion may be used to minimize small scars, minor skin surface irregularities, surgical scars, and acne scars. As the name implies, dermabrasion involves removing the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that abrades the skin. As the skin heals from the procedure, the surface appears smoother and fresher.
- Chemical peels
Chemical peels are often used to minimize sun-damaged skin, irregular pigment, and superficial scars. The top layer of skin is removed with a chemical application to the skin. By removing the top layer, the skin regenerates, often improving its appearance.
- Collagen injections
A type of collagen that is derived from purified bovine (cow) collagen is injected beneath the skin to replace the body's natural collagen that has been lost. Injectable collagen is generally used to treat wrinkles, scars, and facial lines.
- Laser resurfacing
Laser resurfacing uses high-energy light to burn away damaged skin. Laser resurfacing may be used to minimize wrinkles and fine scars.
- Punch grafts
Punch grafts are small skin grafts used to replace scarred skin. A hole is punched in the skin to remove the scar, which is then replaced with unscarred skin (often from the back of the earlobe). Punch grafts can help treat deep acne scars.
- Autologous fat transfer
An autologous fat transfer uses fat taken from another site on your own body and it is injected into your skin. The fat is placed beneath the surface of the skin to elevate depressed scars. This method is used to correct deep contour defects caused by scarring from nodulocystic acne. Because the fat may be reabsorbed into the skin over a period of months, there may be a need for the procedure to be repeated.