The good news is that the irritating pimple on your cheek has gone away. The bad news is that it has left a pesky scar that just won’t disappear. What to do? Dr Kiran Lohia lists out the various options that you can choose depending on the severity of your acne scars.
The fact is that acne scars or acne will affect almost 85% of men and women in their lifetime. And, the scars will take a lot longer to go away than the pimples themselves. But do not fear, dermatological technologies have advanced leaps and bounds, giving dermatologists many tools to get rid of those scars.
Below are the details on the most effective options – from gentlest to strongest – to help eradicate your acne marks.
Retinoids are derived from vitamin A, and include tretinoin, retinol, adapalene and retinyl palmitate. These are applied on the skin nightly and work to treat and prevent acne, scars and marks. Typically, these retinoids begin showing results after 3 months, requiring lots of patience. And, the fact is that retinoids will not help with deeper scars. But, they are very effective and are good medications to continue long-term to prevent new acne from occurring.
Chemical peels involve using strengthened ingredients that cause a chemical exfoliation of the top layers of the skin. The only real side effects are a little redness and a little skin scaling. Now, while this procedure is very gentle, superficial peels are less effective than other treatments because superficial chemical peels typically only hit the topmost layers, while the scars tend to be deeper than that. To counteract that, go to an experienced dermatologist who knows how to do medium-depth peels to ensure those scars get treated. Overall, peels are the least expensive option of treatment, but many sessions and a lot of time will be required to get those desired results.
Microdermabrasion is a mechanical exfoliation done by a dermatologist using either a diamond tip or aluminum oxide crystals along with suction. It acts by removing the top layer of dead skin cells, but with varying levels of suction, you can get a deeper level of exfoliation. This procedure can really help get rid of shallow scars, but you will need at least 10-12 sessions to really get the full results.
Fractional ablative lasers are the most effective option available. They essentially act by delivering a laser beam that is divided into tiny columns and goes deep into the skin. In each of these columns, old skin cells are removed, while new skin cells and collagen synthesis is increased. So, the skin is stimulated to naturally heal itself, revealing less marked, tighter and fresher skin. These treatments are typically given once a month, for one to four sessions, depending on the severity and depth of the scars.
Overall, a good dermatologist will be able to guide you on the best-suited option for you, and will also be able to combine the treatments so that you get the results faster. Make sure you get your treatment done by a professional so that you too can have clear and scar-free skin.
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