Acne Scar Treatment Overview
Acne scars can be removed using a variety of methods. The most common method is laser treatment, though chemical peel, microdermabrasion, and punch techniques may also be used. Before undergoing these procedures, the skin must be free of active acne. Lasers destroy acne scars by directing focused beams of light on the affected area, removing the damaged layers of skin and allowing new, healthy skin to be generated.
- PreparationTo prepare for acne scar treatment, you should make sure the skin is clear of active acne. Dr. Vallecillos may provide certain agents to be used on the face in preparation for the laser treatment, which may include creams and lotions such as Retin-A and glycolic acid.
- AnesthesiaAnesthesia may be administered, depending on the type of treatment and the size of the area being treated. Local anesthesia is usually fine for most laser treatments, though general anesthesia may be used on anxious patients. For CO2 laser treatments that extend to the entire face, general anesthesia may be used to minimize the patient’s discomfort.
- The surgeon may choose one of several procedures, depending on the patient’s needs and circumstances.
With the punch technique, the scars being treated may either be surgically removed and sutured, the center of the scar may be cut loose and lifted to the level of the surrounding skin, or the scar may be removed and a skin tissue graft from elsewhere on the body will be attached in its place.
With laser therapy, a laser is applied to the skin and works by removing the scarred layers of skin, generating the production of collagen to create new, healthy skin.
With a chemical peel, a solution of any of a number of acids is applied to the skin for a short period of time. The acid removes the top layers of the skin, allowing new tissue to eventually grow and replace the scarred skin.
Acne Scar Treatment FAQ
Who is a candidate for acne scar treatment?
You should consider acne scar treatment if you suffer from longstanding, extensive scarring as a result of acne. Before undergoing treatment, your skin should be free of active acne.
What is the recovery time for acne scar treatment?
Recovery time will vary depending on the patient and the type of treatment received. Laser treatments generally have a recovery span of a few days to a few weeks, though some patients may not see complete results until several months after the procedure.
Are there risks or side effects with acne scar treatment?
Risks and side effects will vary depending on the specific treatment you receive. With all procedures, you should expect some redness, sensitivity, possible hyperpigmentation, and possible peeling. Be sure to wear a high SPF on all treated areas and avoid direct sun exposure before and after treatment.
How long do the results last?
The effects of laser removal of acne scars can be long-lasting, particularly when the patient practices good skin care and uses sun protection. If new acne occurs, additional treatments would be able to remove any new scarring that may develop.