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Fast removal of acne scars
While we have discussed scarring as a consequence of acne, many patients think they have scars that are truly other types of lesions. Very often, after a pimple is healed, you will develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a darkening of the skin. Just as your skin goes through a rainbow of colors when it is bruised-from black and blue to a yellowish hue as it heals-acne lesions may turn into flat spots, which are called "macules." They may change color with time and ultimately fade. The metamorphosis may take months-even years-but your dermatologist can prescribe a bleaching agent to eliminate dark spots.
True scars involve injury to the skin that cannot resolve spontaneously. Scars, by nature, are permanent and will not disappear without some type of intervention. So fast removal of acne scars can be difficult.
There are different types of scars. Keloids are raised tissue formations, generally found in individuals with darker skin (but not limited to them). They occur when an acne lesion fails to heal properly and the body produces extra collagen, which turns into a lump. Keloids are generally extremely hard to the touch. Dermatologists have a variety of solutions. Surgically removing the keloids is generally not an option, because they will grow back and often become larger. Dermatologists can inject the keloid with cortisone to eliminate inflammation and reduce its size.
Other types of scars-the type you see on actor Edward James Olmos' face-are deep pits known as "ice-pick scars." They are usually found on the cheeks and, as the name implies, are craters in the skin. These types of scars need to be injected with fillers so that the depression disappears.
Scars can often be prevented by treating your acne before it becomes too severe. You will also prevent scars by keeping your hands away from your face. Once you start to pick at an acne lesion of any kind, you are inflicting trauma. Your face may or may not be able to recover appropriately from the injury, which is what creates the scar. Some people use their fingernails, while others resort to needles. Regardless of what you use to pick at your skin, you run the risk of not only worsening your acne by triggering a new breakout, but also leaving a permanent mark.
Minor scars (hyperpigmentation) can be treated with skin lighteners like hydroquinone and retinoids like Retin-A, which improve the surface of the skin. Microdermabrasion can also eliminate certain types of scarring. For serious scars, dermatologists can try laser resurfacing, collagen injections and even skin grafts. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Acne can have devastating psychological consequences for sufferers of all ages-from social isolation to feelings of hopelessness and even suicidal thoughts, in extreme cases. So fast removal of acne scars can't necessarily remove the psychological scars. But dermatologists know that once acne is treated and under control, a patient's personality literally changes. Many doctors actually chose this specialty because of their own adolescent experiences with acne. They enjoy the rewards of clearing up a problem that is completely treatable.
A Cure Takes Time
Above all, be patient with your doctor and esthetician-and yourself.
"Because acne is external, clients expect to see results soon after they have initiated a treatment regimen," says esthetician Connie Traugh. "Many clients find it difficult to adhere to the length of time needed to see beneficial results."
Don't give up-ever! Even if your acne is severe, you can experience improvement if you find a knowledgeable doctor who can serve as your copilot. It may take time, and it may take money, but today's technological advancements and medical breakthroughs will help you achieve the results you desire.