Sufferers from acne need options for acne scar treatment. When the acne is gone, how do you treat the scars? Scars hold the memories of this challenge. However, they can be put away with treatment and it is available in several forms.
Treatment is available using lasers, chemical peels, injections and surgery to name several options. This article will provide information on what these procedures entail for acne scar treatment.
Laser Acne Scar Treatment
There are three different laser treatments available from which to choose. Laser CO2 is basically resurfacing the skin so that new skin is formed in its place. Variation in treatment is due to the fact that this is a relatively new method. Anesthesia is used while the laser is moved over the skin. It takes a few minutes for small areas and longer for the larger areas. The process for larger areas can take up to an hour.
The healing process begins with about three days of the skin being covered over a dressing, After that, it takes 10-21 days for complete healing and the skin will be slightly pink for up to three months. This treatment is costly. The price ranges from $3,000 to $6,000 per treatment. However, any additional treatment can only be done after six months.
Laser Er:YAG is the same type of acne scar treatment with milder side affects. The price range is the same. The side effects for both treatments include oozing, swelling and redness. Skin darkening will occur but will resolve itself within several months.
The fractional laser acne scar treatment is much milder and less expensive. The process uses a laser to create light on a fraction of the skin in spots. Four to five treatments are needed for this process but the cost is around $1,000 for the entire procedure. The healing process takes about two weeks. There will be swelling and pinkness for about five days. Flakiness and bronzing may last up to 14 days.
The results for this procedure are not at the level of the Laser CO2 and Laser Er:YAG treatments. However, the treatment and side effects are milder.
Acne Scar Treatment with Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are available in three levels: light, medium and deep for acne scar treatment. The light chemical peel process involves using a solution to remove the surface layer of the skin. This solution uses either alpha or beta hydroxy acid. The acid is neutralized on the face and then removed. The solution does exfoliate the skin and that is what causes the removal of the surface layer. However, the light chemical peel does not yield great results for removing acne scars, especially severe scars.
The price ranges from $50 to $150 per session and multiple sessions are needed. The side effects include redness, itching, peeling, flaking and increased sensitivity.
The medium chemical peel acne scar treatment is obviously more expensive. The price ranges from $150 to $500 per treatment and multiple sessions are required for this treatment as well. Tricolor acetic acid is used in this process and is sometimes applied directly to the scars. It removes the top layers of skin. Redness, irritation, flaking and peeling are some of the side effects.
Acne scar treatment in the form of deep chemical peels is quite expensive, ranging from $2,500 to $6,000. These treatments are very serious and can have a major impact on the patient’s health. A very high level of acidic solution is applied to the skin and goes beyond the top layers. This process causes new growth. However, the process requires heart monitoring and hydration intravenously. The phenol can be dangerous to the kidneys. The good news is that only one treatment is required.
Recovery takes about three weeks. A crust forms after a few days but will flake off in about two weeks. This is when a patient can leave the house. Side effects are quite severe. Permanent changes in the skin occur such as losing tanning ability. Acne may reoccur as well as infection, additional scarring and swelling.
One significant note about using chemical peels for acne scar treatment is that the patient must use a sunscreen. Because of the direct application of solution to the skin and the possibility of altering pigmentation, exposure to the sun should not be done without protecting the skin.
Acne Scar Treatments with Injections
Acne scar treatment in the form of steroid injections is $50 to $75 per injection. This treatment requires a number of injections that are spaced months apart. The steroids are injected into the scar and stop the inflammation so that the scar is reduced. However, there are serious side effects. Tissue death, atrophy, dilated blood vessels, bruising and lightening/darkening of the skin are some of the side effects. There is no recovery period and the results are typically seen after six weeks.
Cytotoxic injections use fluorouracil or bleomycin to inject in the raised scar. Flourouracil is a cancer drug and bleomycin is an antibiotic. Sometimes steroids are added to this injection to improve the results. The price ranges from $100 to $150 per scar and 3-5 injections may be needed. The only side effects to this process are pain and darkening of the skin. There is no recovery period.
Acne Scar Treatment with Surgical Procedures – Subcision and Punch Techniques
Subcision is a surgical procedure for acne scar treatment that cuts away the scar from the tissue and allows the blood to clot underneath. The blood clot causes leveling of the scar to skin surface because it allows connective tissue to form under the scar. Suction may be a follow-up procedure to cause clotting again and achieve better results. The price range of this process is very low to very high, ranging from $50 to $750. This process depends on the plastic surgeon. One to three attempts are usually required.
Bruising, discoloration, scar recurrence and new scarring are the side effects. You may experience bruising and swelling for up to two weeks.
Acne scar treatment using punch techniques involve surgically removing the scar and suturing. This is the excision process. The variation is elevation and grafting. The elevation process cuts the center of scar from the bottom. Grafting removes the scar and replaces it with skin taken from somewhere else on the body. The cost is about $250-$300 per scar.
Side effects include bruising, scabbing and possible keloid formation. Each specific process of the punch techniques has its own possible side effects as well as those already mentioned.
As you can see, there are quite a few options for acne scar treatment. Each particular process has its own pros and cons. Each process should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor regarding the process as well as the side effects and the expected results. Gather all the necessary information on acne scar treatment before deciding on which process best suits your situation.