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Acne Scar Repair: How to Get Rid of Acne Scars Guide

Updated on August 3, 2009

Acne Scar Repair

The harsh reality is that the most effective acne scar repair method is prevention. If you manage to stop the acne, you will prevent the scars before they even have a chance to appear. It is also important to stop squeezing the pimples, touching your face, maintaining proper diet and hygiene - all these factors will prevent the inflammation and scarring before it happens.

However, what to do if the damage was already done and you wish you could get rid of the scarring that is already there?

Effective removal of acne scars is difficult and challenging to the surgeon's skills. Most scars cannot be removed completely even with today's advanced technology. Only the shallowest scars can actually be eliminated without any trace or at least significantly diminished in size, depth, and appearance.

There are several methods used today to reduce the appearance of existing acne scars, and if the scars are not deep, it may even be possible to eliminate them completely. Treatments that are most often used for removal of shallow scars involve skin resurfacing and fillers.

Acne Scar Repair Treatments Options and Cost

Skin resurfacing means removing top layers of skin, to stimulate healing process and growth of new cells. This new layer will have smoother and improved appearance. Skin resurfacing must be deep enough so that the skin's upper layer (epidermis) must be removed and replaced with new cells, and the collagen in the middle layer (the dermis) must be remodelled.

--Chemical peels-- require use of chemicals which cause the top layer of skin to peel off, leaving a new layer of skin beneath. The session lasts about 20 minutes, but your skin will look red, flaky, and dry for a couple of days. This procedure is only helpful for smaller shallower scars, but even then multiple sessions are often needed. The cost is around $500-$750 per session.

-- Dermabrasion--involves rubbing off of the top layer of skin with a rotating brush. Dermabrasion only removes the very top layer of skin, so it is not useful for deep scarring. The treatment lasts about half an hour or more, and some local anesthesia is usually provided. As a result, the skin will have a raw look that will take about two weeks to heal. The price is about $1000-$1600 per treatment, and multiple treatments are usually needed for maximum results.

--Laser resurfacing-- involves using laser (for example, a YAG or CO2) to remove skin layers and improve scarred areas. Different types of lasers can be used to penetrate different layers of skin to treat scars of varying depth. Laser treatment is expensive, costing about $2500 or more per treatment.

Deep laser resurfacing and dermabrasion are really two most effective methods of skin resurfacing for acne scars. They should be performed by experienced dermatology surgeon, as they are serious medical procedures that require lengthy recovery and involve some risk.

Other procedures sometimes promoted as a means of treating acne scars do not reach the deeper skin layers (the dermis) to promote collagen remodeling, and therefore are not effective as acne scar removal treatments. To visibly improve appearance of skin with acne scarring, you need to have really deep collagen remodeling.

Choose and Experienced Acne Scar Professional

If you are considering treatment, find an experienced dermatology surgeon and discuss your treatment options. He or she should have extensive experience with the type of the procedure you are thinking about. Ask  any questions about the length of downtime after treatment, risks and side-effects of the procedure, costs, and how much improvement you can expect after the treatment.

You may ask the following questions: “How many patients have you treated for acne scarring?”, “Can you show me any before and after photos of your patients?”, “May I contact some of your former patients who have had the same procedure?”.

However, regardless of the physician and treatment type that you choose, do not have unrealistic expectations. Although acne scar removal treatment will most likely improve the appearance of your skin, complete restoration to the way it looked before may not be feasible.

Natural Treatments for Acne

As I said before, the best remedy for acne scars is prevention. Getting rid of acne permanently is not an easy task.  You must treat the entire body and address the true causes of the problem. This includes proper acne free diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, and other factors; which will have a positive effect on your total health and other areas of your life!


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