Acne Scar Removal

Written by Sarah Provost
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Acne scar removal can make a huge difference in a person's self-image. Suffering through acne is bad enough, but if you're left with highly visible pits and craters on your face, there are several treatments that give excellent results. Which treatment is right for you depends on the severity and type of scarring, your age and general health, and your tolerance for particular treatments. There are three general types of treatments for acne scar removal: skin resurfacing, fills and grafts.

Skin Resurfacing for Acne Scar Removal

All of these treatments lessen the appearance of shallow scars by removing the top layer or layers of the epidermis and allowing healthy skin to grow back. Microdermabrasion uses mineral crystals to scour the top layer of skin. It can soften mild scars after several treatments. Chemical peels of varying strengths and laser therapy burn the top layers off. Microdermabrasion has no after effects, but deeper peels will need good aftercare to prevent infection.

Some scars don't respond well to resurfacing. "Ice-pick" scarring can actually appear worse, since the lower part of the scar is often wider than the top. For these and other deep scars, injectable fillers might be the preferred treatment. Collagen or fat taken from another part of the body is injected into the scar to raise it up to the surface of the surrounding skin. These injectable substances can be reabsorbed over time, so you might need repeated treatments.

Finally, for the most severe ice-pick scarring, your dermatologist can perform punch grafts. The scar itself is removed surgically, and then the area is filled with a graft of skin from somewhere else on the body, typically from behind the earlobe or under the arm. Consult your doctor to see which of these techniques for acne scar removal might be right for you.

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