Millions of people suffer the ravages of acne scars long after adolescence has passed and the acne condition has faded.
But the scars can become much less noticeable through certain treatments, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
Acne results in two types of scars: “icepick,” or pitting scars, and “depressed,” craterlike scars.
Here are common techniques and procedures:
- Dermabrasion - The dermatologic surgeon removes the skin with a rotary instrument.
- Excision and punch replacement graft - A depressed acne scar is surgically removed, and a patch of skin is used from elsewhere on the patient’s body.
- Soft tissue fillers - Bovine collagen, collagen-related fillers, polymer implants or a patient’s own fat is injected below the skin to boost depressed scars.
- Laser therapy - Short pulses of a laser beam smooth and normalise the appearance of acne scars.
- Chemical peeling - A chemical solution is applied to the skin and enables new, regenerated skin to appear.
- Microdermabrasion - Tiny particles passing through a vacuum tube gently scrape away the top layer of scarred skin and stimulate new cell growth.
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD