Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Exposed: Acne Scars Elimination

by Mike Walden

Acne sufferers face more than one concern. There is of course the constant nuisance of the acne itself. There is also the anxiety caused by the acne scars and lesions which will render the skin an aesthetic disaster. The reason for this is that most people believe that acne is a temporary situation whereas you are stuck with acne scars for the rest of your life.

Undoubtedly there are numerous acne scar treatments in the market today which work quite well. But the downside is there are some types of acne whose scars cannot be eliminated because they run too deep. Therefore you must ensure that no scars form in the first place because you wouldn’t want to take on the emotional and financial burden of dealing with permanent scars.

What we will be discussing here are the many forms of acne scars which exist, the ways to treat them and last but not least, how to prevent them by tackling the internal causes of the condition.

An introduction to the types, causes and diagnosis of acne scars

Over the years, research has shown that generally acne causes scars only if they are of the severe kind like nodules and cysts which form deep within our skin. Other causes for scars could be an infection, extra skin tissue formation and most importantly if you damage the skin while trying to burst or pull out the acne forcibly.

It has also been found that some people’s skin is more susceptible to scarring from any type of acne. After all, the healing process of the acne wound is dependant on several factors and stages of healing like the skin’s reaction to inflammation, uneven deposit of collagen and the formation of new tissues and capillaries among others.

Whatever may be the causes, to avert the possibility of permanent scarring, start treating your acne scars as soon as you can.

Acne scars are normally of two types–those caused by a loss of skin tissue or those caused by the formation of excess skin tissue.

Acne Scars as a result of excess skin tissue:

The acne scars which form because of increased skin tissue are usually Keloids scars. Keloids scars, which tend to strike people with dark complexions, emerge when excessive collagen is produced by cells during the healing process. These scars tend to be irregularly shaped and firm and are usually smooth.

Scars which form because of the loss of skin tissues:

Acne spots: the skin surrounding these scars generally turn brown or red. In most cases they gradually fade away by themselves or after the application of some topical scar treatment. A similar fading away can be noticed in the case of post inflammatory hyper pigmentation but the use of MSM has often hastened the process.

Ice-pick lesions are acne scars commonly seen on the cheeks and are similar to cuts made by ice picks on ice. Whether these scars occur on the surface of the skin or deep under the dermis, they are more difficult to treat than the discolored scars.

Depressed fibrotic scarring: these scars mostly form as a result of deep nodules and are white and rigid. They are characterized by steep sides and sharp margins.

Atrophic scar macules: scars of this variety are generally soft, small and white and are distensible. Other types of scars include rolling acne scars which come about because the surface of the skin gets stuck to the subcutaneous layer. Also, there are boxcar scars which are characterized by vertical edges and round indentations.

Acne Scars and their treatments

Mostly, acne scars fade away slowly, as do Post inflammatory pigmentations but there are some which resist removal. The only way to smoothen them away is through topical treatment or surgical cosmetic intervention.

Different types of acne scars need to be treated differently and there are some scars which require a combination of several elimination methods to smoothen out. There are a large number of treatments for acne scars and these include: pulsed laser technology, dermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, punch techniques, collagen injections and creams.

Collagen injection is used in a treatment where collagen or fat is injected under the skin. It is most suitable for soft acne scars, be they deep or shallow. However, one must remember that the cure is short term and has to be repeated every 6 months. Also, collagen injections sometimes give rise to adverse side effects and users could suffer allergic reactions.

Microdermabrasion is used as a treatment for mild scarring by scraping the outer skin layer. When minute particles are passed through a vacuum tool the skin is activated to produce new cells.

Laser resurfacing is a method by which the skin layer is flattened and resurfaced with the help of laser. This is done so that scars become more even with the surface of the skin and are therefore less noticeable. It has been found that newly formed acne scars respond better to laser treatment than do the old ones. However, this process can cause disagreeable side effects such as infection and an unusual reddening of the skin. At times, it can even aggravate the scars.

Punch grafting is a technique which involves the slicing of the acne scar right down to the layer of fat and then stitching it up by using a small skin graft.

Different types of scars have to be treated differently. Let us tell you about the recommended treatments in respect of the various types of acne scars. Alpha lipoic acid acne cream and MSM are excellent for use on post hyper pigmentation marks. Laser resurfacing or dermabrasion are the recommended treatments for ice pick scars. However, these scars do not respond positively to Collagen injections which should only be used on flat or thin scars. The Keloids acne scars can be smoothened with steroid injections, crytotherapy, silicone gel dressing and with pulsed laser treatment combined with carbon dioxide laser vaporization (where there is not too much thickness or too much redness on the keloid scars).

Acne Scar prevention

In the final analysis of course, the cheapest and best way of getting out of the nuisance factor of dealing with acne scars is to rid yourself of the acne condition. And the only sure and permanent way of curing your acne is by putting in place methods which would redress the internal cause of your acne. Conventional medications, topical or over the counter acne treatments or steroids really don’t help. When you are able to correct the deep rooted internal factors that really are the cause of your acne formation, you will automatically be free of any acne scarring and also free of the never ending expenses that you incur in taking treatment for its removal.

Acne and the resultant acne scars are not skin problems but manifestations of an internal imbalance appearing on the skin.

You yourself can do away with the acne scars and do this even before they form by going to the root of the problem deep inside you. This way you will stop the very process of acne formation and be able to live your life free of acne and consequently, of acne scars as well. It will give an impetus to your existence as you will not be burdened by the emotional load of having to carry disfiguring scars on your face.

About the Author:

Mike Walden is a certified nutritionist and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, Acne No More . For Further Information: Acne Treatments

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