By Dr. Rohan Anand, Dermatology
Quite strikingly, acne can become a persistent cause of your worries, if left untreated. Acne not only harms you physically but also damages your psychological health. Persistent acne can result in a pockmarked face, making you feel sullen and unsure of yourself. Acne refers to a condition where the skin perpetually develops stinging, red bumps. Red pimples might show on your face, shoulders, back or neck. The bumps usually take a lot of time to heal and they leave behind deep scars. And, in order to treat, such scars one can go for cosmetic dermatology procedures.
Acne Scars: What are they?
When inflamed blemishes, result from crushing of excess oil, bacteria and dead cells in your skin pores, enlarge and swell up breaking the follicle wall, acne scarring is caused. One can get rid of acne scars through the natural healing process of your skin if the lesions are not very deep. Deep lesions will require medical assistance. New collagen formation can heal such scars, but it doesn’t restore the radiance and tautness of your original skin. Acne scars can be divided into two broad types:
Hypertrophic and Keloid scarring: Raised tissue on the surface of the skin following excess collagen production causes such kind of scars.
Atrophic or depressed scarring: These scars are caused due to reduced tissue production. Small, but noticeable holes on your skin are called Ice picks. However, the boxcar is a scar, which is similar to a chicken pox mark.
Causes of Acne scars:
1. Malfunctioning of hormones even after the age of puberty can lead to acne formation in both males and females.
2. Food items rich in carbohydrates can trigger acne. Dairy products could also worsen the condition.
3. Any medicine that contains lithium, androgen or corticosteroids can worsen this skin condition.
4. Bacteria, excess oil, blocked pores, and dead skin cells are the primary reasons behind acne.
Treatments of Acne scars:
Cosmetic dermatology procedures can successfully help you do away with acne scars. Blue-light therapy is a procedure in cosmetic dermatology, which can work wonders for acne scars. A narrow- band, but high – intensity Blue-light is used to counter Porphyrins released by bacteria causing acne. Porphyrins easily absorb Blue-light and the light leads to radical damage of Porphyrins when used in certain wavelengths.
There are certain topical creams available, which can improve mild scarring, most of the acne scars are either depressed or raised type and need a combination of surgical procedures and skin resurfacing. The therapeutic options that are currently available to treat acne scars include subcision, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, derma rollers, chemical peels, TCA cross, ablative lasers, fractional lasers and dermal fillers.
The fractional resurfacing laser is one of the most effective treatments for acne scars. It is a minimally-ablative technique that creates microscopic zones of dermal injury in a grid-like pattern. This helps in collagen remodelling, skin tightening, scar improvement, reduction in fine lines, improvement in texture, tone and colour of the skin. A series of 4 to 6 sittings are usually needed for optimal results. Each session lasts for one hour and is performed at monthly intervals.
Certain types of scars such as the ice pick and rolling scars, pixel laser are combined with subcision, dermal rollers and TCA cross. In addition, punch excision and softening of margins with laser can be done for box scars. All the mentioned procedures are well-tolerated with the local application of anaesthetic creams before procedure. With these procedures, improvement of scars is seen over several weeks.
Lately, injectable dermal fillers are being used for correction of acne scars, giving it a smoother appearance. This is semi-permanent and needs to be redone as and when required. Timely treatment of acne is necessary to keep, both unwanted pigmentation and scars at bay. So, get rid of your scars and make the dream of blemish-free and smooth skin come true.