Tips for Acne Scar Skin Care
Like it or not, there are only a few fortunate people on the planet who have gone without acne their whole lives. For the rest of us mere mortals, acne has been a problem at one time or another; and for some of us, that same problematic acne left us with scars. Thanks to technology and research, however, there are now many different acne scar skin care techniques that can help us cover up and totally lose the scars.
Make no mistake: most acne scar skin care remedies and techniques are expensive, and they need to be undertaken for a long period of time before any results can emerge. Before you can understand how acne scar skin care works, however, you need to know about acne first and what can cause scarring.
Acne vulgaris is caused by the clogging of skin pores by dirt, debris, or dried skin cells. This clogging causes pimples to form, creating the well-known cystic acne that is common in teenagers or persons with hormonal imbalances. The underlying cause of acne vulgaris has yet to be determined, however: some doctors and scientists propose that fluctuating hormonal levels contribute to acne, while others surmise that acne vulgaris is genetic in nature and can be inherited from one’s parents.
Whatever the cause of acne, dermatologists will always caution you to refrain from touching your face, removing the pimples yourself, and, more crudely, “popping your zits”. This is because any manual force not exerted by medically-approved means can cause acne scars to form.
Types of acne scars
In general, there are two types of acne scars, the pigmented scars and the pitted ones. Pigmented scars can be red or brown in color, and appear after the pimple has disappeared. Although they can be unseemly to look at, they can disappear after treatment, or they can vanish on their own after a few weeks or months.
On the other hand, pitted scars occur when damage is done to the skin tissue beneath the acne. Such scars look like indentations on the skin, and are often referred to as pockmarks. Both kinds of acne scars have their own methods for removal or concealment.
Acne scar skin care for pigmented scars involves using lotions or creams that have whitening compounds. Such compounds can remove the pigment from the scar and even out one’s pigmentation. For instance, exfoliating agents such as glycolic acid or alpha-hydroxy acids can remove dead skin cells from the area so that new skin can immediately be regenerated.
Acne scar skin care is a little more complicated for pitted scars, as these scars are difficult to erase. Some dermatologists can inject protein stimulators that can induce skin cells to form the important proteins elastin and collagen. Once the cells surrounding the scars start producing these proteins, the skin can be plumper, and the depth of the scars can be made shallower, further reducing their pockmarked appearance.
Laser treatments can also be used to combat acne scarring. Ablative laser treatment, for instance, burns scar tissue off from the surface of the skin, which stimulates the underlying skin to tighten. Such a technique injures the skin and exposes underlying tissue, so that people undergoing ablative laser treatment have to likewise be protected from infection. Moreover, because laser therapy can be painful, doctors apply anesthetics to the skin before undertaking any laser procedure.
On the other hand, non-ablative laser treatment can induce changes in the underlying skin tissue without doing injury to the epidermis, or the surface of the skin. Such laser therapy is relatively fast: this time, it heats up the oil glands in the skin, preventing acne from forming; it also tightens the underlying skin, so that scarring will be less visible. Another type of laser therapy makes use of the yellow pulse dye laser, a machine that operates using yellow light. Yellow light treats keloids, and can flatten or reduce inflammation of raised scars.
There are other options for acne scar skin care. A dermatologist may offer to inject the scar, or plump it up, with filler substances such as bovine collagen. Fat can also be transplanted from other parts of the patient’s body and into the acne scar. Some dermatologists may also recommend creams or lotions that can plump the skin temporarily and remove any sign of wrinkles, acne scar depressions, or age lines. There are also excision and incision techniques that can be carried out on irregularly-shaped acne scars.
There are still many methods of acne scar skin care. If you have acne scars, always consult with a dermatologist first and talk about what options are available for your case. With the right acne scar skin care, you can have smoother, fairer skin in no time at all.