How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

While there are several acne scar removal options available in the market, choosing the best method to get rid of acne scar might be a tough decision. In this article, we’ll briefly discuss some of the scar removal techniques that you might want to consider to get rid of acne scar.

Over the counter scar removal: There are several over the counter or prescription scar removal medications available in the market or pharmacy. These products may help reduce acne scar but the success rate is very low. Always consult a dermatologist before applications so he/she can suggest you the best options for your acne scar.

Laser skin resurfacing: Laser skin resurfacing with ablative lasers like CO2 or Er:YAG may improve the appearance of acne scar. While these lasers remove the entire epidermis and portions of the dermis, chances of scarring may be a common problem. Nonablative lasers like intense pulsed light, pulsed dye laser, Q-switched Nd:YAG and other light therapy stimulate the production of collagen and thereby, gradually improving the appearance of pitted acne scars.

Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion using high-speed diamond buffing drills can help remove small and superficial scars and sometimes deep scars. However, this method is highly dependent on doctor technique and can result in scarring in untrained hands.

Percutaneous Collagen Induction Therapy: Percutaneous collagen induction therapy or medical needling is a technique where drum-shaped roller with fine microneedles are used to puncture the skin and release the growth factors which encourage the formation of collagen and elastin and further helps in reduction of acne scars. The chances of scarring are less compared to other lasers but several treatment session may be required to get the maximum benefit.

Surgical techniques: Different surgical techniques like punch excision, punch elevation and elliptical excision can also be used to remove isolated ice-pick or deep boxcar scars.

As acne may result in both scarring and pigmentation changes, it is essential to prevent and minimize the scarring. Adequate and early treatment will decrease its severity and chances of scarring and pigmentation. Mild pigmentation due to acne can be easily treated with topical application and skin lightening products available in the market.

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Percutaneous Collagen Induction for Acne Scars

Today, many people wants a fairly rapid solution to treat acne scars. These has brought many different topical scar removal medications and treatment techniques like laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, carbondioxide lasers, deep peelings and many others which are quite effective, but the side effects and chances of scarring is still possible, especially for dark skinned peoples. So to avoid these side effects while effectively reducing acne scars, percutaneous collagen induction therapy was developed.

Percutaneous collagen induction therapy or medical needling is a technique where drum-shaped roller with fine microneedles are used to puncture the skin and release the growth factors which encourage the formation of collagen and elastin and further helps in reduction of acne scars. Various research showed that this technique is safe and effective for reducing acne scars. However just a single treatment might not give the desire results as seen with other lasers treatments, but the risk of  hypo/hyper-pigmentation and scarring is very less. The procedure can be repeated and is useful especially in those area where laser resurfacing or chemical peels have limited use.

What are the advantage of Percutaneous Collagen Induction:

  1. It is cheaper then laser resurfacing
  2. Specially designed tools are available in the market so its easy to use and learn the technique.
  3. It can heal more quickly then laser resurfacing.
  4. Risk of hyper/hypopigmentation or scarring are very less.
  5. It is not limited to certain parts of body, any parts of body can be easily treated.
  6. It won’t damage the skin.
What to expect with Percutaneous Collagen Induction therapy:
  1. The results may not be as quick as with lasers resurfacing, it might take longer time then lasers therapy.
  2. Chances of scarring are less but aggressive use may sometime give rise to scarring and pigmentation.
  3. You may have slight bruising and swelling that may last for 3-4 days.
  4. The skin doesn’t become sun sensitive as with other therapy but sun protection for one week is advised.
  5. To get a better result multiple treating session at interval of 4-8 weeks are advised.
Recent studies suggest that combination of  Percutaneous Collagen Induction Therapy ( PCT) and Photo Dynamic Therapy ( PDT ) has shown better results then PCT or PDT alone. So as Percutaneous Collagen Induction Therapy may looks easy,cheap and readily available on the market, do not ever try to save extra money by doing it with unexperienced medical staffs always seek experts.

Laser Treatment For Acne Scars

Lasers Treatment are now very popular treatment of different skin conditions including acne. They use different wavelength and intensity and remove the scar tissue and reduce the inflammation and redness of skin around healed acne lesions. Various Laser treatments are available and the choice of laser treatment depends on type of Acne scar.

There are 2 main categories of laser treatment used in acne scar therapy which are Ablative lasers and Nonablative lasers. However, these laser treatment may only treat the superficial skin layers and is not much effective for deeper scars like ice pick scars.

Ablative Lasers:
Ablative laser are mainly used to treat on the surface skin cells( Epidermis). These Lasers emit high energy densities at extremely short pulses to heat and vaporize target tissue with limited damage to surrounding tissue or skin. They offer better control of resurfacing compared with dermabrasion. Ablative Lasers use either carbon dioxide or Er:YAG. The Er:YAG laser is a more gentle ablative therapy than the carbon-dioxide laser. This may be of benefit for hypertrophic scars, rarely keloids, and shallower boxcar scars. For other icepick scars, Rolling scars and sallow boxcar scar dual-pulsed modes or dual-mode Er:YAG may be beneficial. The healing process may take upto 6-8 weeks and if needed scar is treated with additional laser sessions.

Although these lasers have been considered as “gold” standards for skin resurfacing there are more potential side effects, which may include delayed healing, erythema, milia, acne, edema, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, infection, or even scarring . The risk of post laser scarring is even higher with CO2 laser resurfacing compared with Er:YAG resurfacing because the thermal tissue damage is more with CO2 lasers then Er:YAG lasers.

Non-Ablative Lasers:
Non-ablative lasers are solely used to treat below the skin usually on mid layer of skin ( Dermal Collagen) . These lasers may include 1320-nm or 1064-nm neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet lasers (Nd:YAG) and diode (1450 nm) lasers, and the 585-nm pulsed dye laser (PDL). Side effects are generally mild and the effectiveness of reducing acne scarring may also be lower then ablative lasers. It has been suggested that best results may be achieved when these lasers are combined with another modality such as surgery or chemical peels. Because these modalities are less aggressive as a whole, they are more useful for atrophic, rolling, or possibly hypertrophic scars rather than icepick, boxcar, or keloid scars.

Although the recently developed technique of fractional laser skin resurfacing has been reported to be effective in acne scarring, the risk of hyperpigmentation/hypopigmentation, scabbing, milia etc.. may be the factors nonablative scar resurfacing are still popular for acne scar reduction.

Fractional laser treatment:

Fractional laser treatment for acne scars are now being widely popular as these type of lasers treat both outer and inner layer of the skin. But, the procedure may be painful, so topical anesthetics are used along with forced air cooling to increase patient comfort. A variety of ablative fractional resurfacing lasers are now available and the initial impression is that these lasers may be more effective than nonablative fractional lasers for acne scars. However, side effects may also be more of a concern with the ablative fractional lasers treatment. There are similar side-effect concerns as other ablatives but there tend to be less problems overall because of the selective sparing of skin rather than total ablation, there is still the possibility for transient erythema or edema, dryness, scabbing, milia or acne, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, prolonged healing, or infection.

Unlike other, you can apply makeups or sunscreen immediately after a treatment session. As postoperative edema and erythema may be common, so to avoid it application of ice during the first 24 hours may be beneficial, erythema will resolves in 5-6 days.