Acne is often considered to be a problem for teenagers and one which is eventually grown out of but, for many people, acne can continue to be a problem well into their adult lives. This is because the scars that are left behind by acne can be disfiguring and never disappear. Fortunately there are effective cosmetic surgery techniques which can be utilized to combat the negative legacy of acne.
There are a variety of products available at the pharmacy that may help improve mild scarring but serious acne scars often require treatments such as laser skin resurfacing, injectable fillers, and/or surgical procedures. These treatments may provide long-lasting, or even permanent, smoothing out and lightening of scar tissue caused by acne.
• Skin Resurfacing
With the introduction and development of skin resurfacing technology, treatment of acne scars has become easier and more effective. Skin resurfacing allows penetration of the skin layers and is only attempted in small amounts with limited areas of the skin’s surface being treated at one time. For the patient this means less downtime and an easier recovery. As the treatment is done in stages, it may take four to six visits to achieve the desired result.
Another treatment for acne scarring is injectable therapy. This method involves injecting material such as Restylane, under the scar to plump up the surface to the level of the skin around the scar. Though this treatment needs to be repeated to maintain the desired effect, the procedure is simple with little discomfort and the results are immediate.
• Punch Excision
Punch techniques are minimally-invasive surgical procedures designed to improve the appearance of acne scarring. There are three types of punch excision and they all use a punch biopsy tool to correct deep acne scars. The procedure works by removing the base of the scar, after which the skin is closed with sutures and allowed to heal. Punch elevation uses the punch tool to remove the base of the scar which is then sutured to the surrounding skin. Punch replacement involves the removal of the scarred skin which is then replaced with a skin graft (most commonly from behind the ear).
For significant acne scars, a surgical procedure that will detach the scar from deeper connective tissue may be required. This procedure is called subcision and usually requires one to three treatments. Bruising and swelling may last up to two weeks. This acne scar treatment is also usually combined with laser resurfacing for optimal results.