Dealing With Acne Scars

If some one only has mild or even moderate acne they will have very little or no permanent scarring once the acne is resolved. If you were unfortunate enough to have a sever case of acne you will almost certainly have some scarring. In the past if you had acne scarring there was very little that could be done but now there are ways to minimize scarring and even existing scars can be removed.

Pimples almost always leave behind a darkened spot of skin, this is not truly a scar and should clear up on it’s own with in a year. Any mark that lasts for more than a year is a true scar.

Preventing Scars

Active treatment will help avoid scarring but it is vitally important that you do not do anything to increase the damage and cause scarring that can be avoided. You should not “pick” or squeeze pimples in an attempt to get rid of them. It spreads the bacteria, which will lead to even greater acne problems, plus it can damage the skin and cause permanent scars.

If you only have a mild case of acne you should be able to effectively treat it yourself with one of the many OTC acne treatments. Severe cases of acne though will need the attention of a dermatologist. The dermatologist can prescribe oral medication as well as topical solutions to help clear up and control the acne. If necessary the dermatologist can use sterile surgical tools to remove black heads and white heads and even lance pus filled nodules.

Bacteria trapped in the skin are what actually cause the pimples, this causes the skin to become discolored and inflamed. Even after the acne has cleared the skin may remain discolored for a period of time, this is a normal part of the healing process and should eventually fade.

Certain medications can be used to speed up the healing process, some of the more common ones are: Renova, Retin-A, and Alpha Hydroxy acids. You should always be sure to wear sunscreen when you will be exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet rays will damage the skin and prolong the healing time.

Never pick the scabs that form over the old acne sores, these scabs are a vital part of the healing process and when you remove them you run the risk of developing a fresh infection in that area. Plus removing the scabs only delays the healing process and increases the risk of scarring.

Treating Scars

It is possible to treat some acne scars now; if the scars are only mild then you might be able to effectively treat them with a chemical peel. When the chemical peel is applied to the skin it removes the top microscopic layer of skin, which then forces the skin to rejuvenate.

More severe scarring can be treated with lasers. Lasers will remove the damaged layer of skin and raise the depression caused by the scar by tightening the layer beneath. Most dermatologists will use a mild anesthetic for this procedure because there is some pain involved. It usually takes about a week to recover from the laser treatment.

You can also remove scars by actually scraping away the damaged layer of skin, this process is called dermabrasion. After the damaged layer is scraped away a new layer of skin develops to replace it. Both of these procedures can cause the skin in the area treated to turn red but this should clear up with in a couple months.

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