Acne Scars – What They Are, How To Treat Them
Very often, after acne has run its course it leaves behind reminders of its presence — namely, acne scars.
There are many types of acne scars: depressed scars, elevated scars, flat sclerotic (hard) scars, pigmented scars, stretched scars, atrophic scars, to name a few.
Different types of acne scars require different treatments. Acne scars usually are one of three types: pigmented, elevated, or depressed. Pigmented scars can be treated with prescription bleach creams or compounded bleach creams, usually available from a dermatologist. Elevated scars can be injected with a mild cortisone to flatten them.
If the scars are depressed and they disappear when you stretch the skin, laser acne scar treatment often helps a great deal. If the scars appear as “ice-pick scars” — meaning they don’t change appearance even when you stretch the skin — then laser acne treatment is less likely to work. Most often, people have both types of acne scars, and the laser will help the distensible ones. Filler materials, such as collagen and Restylane, can also be used to fill in depressed scars, especially if they disappear when stretched.
Of course, laser treatment for acne scars is expensive, and is seldom covered by health insurance. It can also take a long time for the skin to heal after laser surgery, sometimes up to a month or more. Plus if you have an active case of acne, or very dark skin, laser treatment is not for you.
Two other methods of acne scar treatment are dermabrasion and chemical peels. While they can be effective treatments for acne scars, each has the potential for mild-to-moderate side effects which can be bothersome.
Dermabrasion, or surgical skin planing, is done by freezing the skin and then using a special instrument to “sand” the skin. This “sanding” improves the appearance of acne scars as a new layer of skin replaces the treated skin. However, the procedure can be somewhat painful, requiring the use of pain medication for several days afterwards, plus there is a risk of infection and an uneven appearance of skin color. Patients are also advised to avoid unnecessary exposure to both direct and indirect sunlight for three to six months after the procedure.
A chemical peel to treat acne scars involves applying a chemical mixture to the skin, which causes the skin to blister and eventually peel off. The new skin which results after the peeling is usually smoother than the original skin. A reaction similar to sunburn often occurs following the procedure. Peeling usually involves redness, followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days. Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling, and water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days. The new skin is also sensitive, and must be protected from sunlight with a strong sunscreen.
A Breakthrough In Treating Acne Scars
Treating acne scars can often be painful and expensive, and often requires several visits to a dermatologist or esthetician. But now ZENMED® has created a safe and effective two-step acne scar treatment that you can do at home!
The ZENMED® Skin Eraser Kit was formulated by a doctor to bring quick results without needing a prescription or expensive office visits.