Can You Reduce the Size of Acne Scars?

Can You Reduce the Size of Acne Scars?

After battling acne to finally get it under control, many people are left with prominent scars that continue to mar their complexion. If this is the case, then you are looking for ways to reduce the size and appearance of your acne scars. There are several different types of acne scars, and the type of scarring you have may affect the type of treatment most effective for your situation. However, most acne scars can be minimized and faded.

The Different Types of Acne Scars

The severity of your acne and how you treated — or did not treat — any outbreaks affects the type of scarring with which you are left. One of the most common types of acne scarring is known as ice pick scars, which are deep scarring that creates a pitted look in the skin. They are formed due to cysts or inflammation that affects several layers of skin. A similar type of scarring is known as boxcar scars, which are wider than ice pick scars. You may also have scarring known as rolling scars, which creates waves under otherwise normal skin due to fibrous bands of tissue growing between the skin and underlying tissue. Lastly, you may have keloid or hypertrophic scars, which are large, unsightly raised scars.

You might also have other remaining effects from your acne in the form of discoloration of the skin, which are not technically scars but do create problems. This could be either hyperpigmentation, where the scars have excess pigmentation and will look like freckles or blotches on the skin, or hypopigmentation, where there will be no pigment, leaving the mark as white. The skin may also remain red due to damage to the small capillaries in the skin.

How to Reduce the Size of Acne Scars

You can reduce the size of your acne scars, but the best treatment differs based upon the type of acne scarring you have. If you are left with discoloration such as red marks or dark spots after your acne is under control, then you can benefit from using a scar fading cream that helps your skin resume normal pigment production. Smaller and lighter scars can also benefit from scar treatment creams. You want to be sure to use ingredients that are natural and will help the skin’s own natural healing process, including licorice root extract, which lightens any dark spots, and vitamin C, which helps to rebuild collagen and normalize skin growth.

If you have more prominent scars, then you may need to undergo a more invasive skin care treatment, such as laser surgery, subcision, punch excision, grafting, dermabrasion, or dermal fillers. Scar reduction cream can also work on many scars, including hypertrophic scars, especially if it includes silicone as one of the ingredients. Scar treatment creams can only reduce the size and appearance of scars, but they usually do not completely eliminate very prominent scarring. One option that is becoming very popular among those with hypopigmented acne scars, is having the skin tattooed the same color as your flesh so as to camoflauge the scar. You can discuss the different types of treatment, especially the more invasive treatments, with your dermatologist or doctor to find the best solution for your unique situation.

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Should I See a Dermatologist About My Scars?

Should I See a Dermatologist About My Scars?

When you have a prominent and unsightly scar, especially in a location not easily hidden by clothing, you likely want to work on minimizing its appearance. There are many different scar treatment options, and the most effective for you will depend on the type and severity of scarring from which you suffer. There are many scar treatment options that do not require any doctor’s intervention. However, there are times where seeing a dermatologist about your scars is the best way to proceed. Therefore, it is beneficial to know when you should see a dermatologist about your scars.

What Does a Dermatologist Do?

Dermatologists are specialized doctors who work on conditions affecting the skin, including acne, scarring, eczema, and more. Therefore, they are experts in solutions for reducing the appearance of scars, especially prominent ones such as keloid scars. They also offer more invasive procedures to remove scars, including laser surgery, dermabrasion, grafting, and more. However, not all scars require the assistance of a dermatologist to treat.

What Type of Scars Require a Dermatologist?

Large, prominent, and raised scars, especially keloid scars, will most likely not find any help from a scar treatment cream. Instead, you will need to see a dermatologist to discuss other scar treatment options. Any injury to the skin that harmed many layers of the skin tissue, such as a third degree burn, or did not heal correctly typically forms a larger and more prominent scar that will need more advanced treatment options to reduce the appearance of the scars. Certain acne scars, including ice pick scars, rolling scars, and boxcar scars also often require more invasive treatments offered by dermatologists.

When Don’t You Need to See a Dermatologist?

Any time you have scarring or other skin conditions about which you have a question, you can typically benefit from the expertise of a dermatologist. However, for less prominent scars, you do not have to see a dermatologist for help. These include scars formed by injury to the skin that only affects the top layers of skin or from wounds that healed correctly, such as occur after surgery or with some cases of acne. Those scars that have not caused much damage to the collagen or to deeper layers of skin can typically be reduced by over the counter scar treatment creams. You can also use many of these scar reduction creams for pigmentation problems, such as hyperpigmentation, also known as dark spots. For hypopigmentation (aka white scars) tattooing a white scar flesh-colored is also an option. Over the counter creams are beneficial, but they do take time to work. If you do not see any improvement in the appearance of your scar or discoloration after you have been using the cream for a few months, then you should see a dermatologist for help.

A dermatologist can be your partner and best friend when it comes to ensuring you have smooth and flawless skin, especially when you are working to reduce the appearance of any scarring. They not only will be able to offer you help with the invasive procedures, but they can also provide expert advice on the best ingredients for an effective scar treatment cream.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!

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How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars

How to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars

Severe cases of acne not only cause problems during breakouts, but they can also leave lifelong reminders in the form of scarring. One common type of acne scar is known as ice pick scars, which caused depressions in the skin. Because this type of scarring affects deeper layers of skin, you often have to treat it with more aggressive scar treatment measures.

Read: What Are the Different Types of Acne Scars?

What Causes Ice Pick Scars?

Ice pick scars typically form after an infected blackhead or whitehead becomes excessively irritated and inflamed. This infection can lead to pressure on the skin that causes further inflammation and damage to the skin, especially if it remains untreated. This can lead to the formation of nodules or cysts, which is a more serious type of acne that affects the collagen in the skin. Because the collagen and fibrin is damaged, the regular structure of the skin breaks down, causing the scar tissue in the area to sink into the skin.

What are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Ice Pick Scars?

Because of the nature of ice pick scars, you typically have to undergo more aggressive treatments rather than relying upon an over the counter treatment cream. You should talk with your dermatologist about the best options for treatment. Many doctors will use a treatment known as punch excision, which removes the scar from the skin, allowing the collagen to form correctly when the skin heals. It may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Other common treatments for ice pick scars include laser treatments, dermabrasion, and chemical peels.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments are a common form of aggressive treatment for all types of acne scars, including ice pick scars. During a laser treatment, your doctor will remove the top layer of skin, which is the most damaged. Depending on the severity of the scarring, you may have to undergo several treatments. There are three different types of laser treatment: CO2, YAG, and fractional laser. The YAG laser treatment promotes the new growth of skin and often has reduced side effects and healing time. Fractional laser is gentler, so it typically is used for ice pick scars that are not as severe.

Other Ways to Remove the Top Layer of Skin

There are other ways to remove the top layer of skin to promote healing, including dermabrasion and a chemical peel. Dermabrasion uses an abrasive tool that scrapes off the damaged skin on top, allowing the healthier skin underneath to come to the surface. A chemical peel works in a similar manner by removing the top layer of skin but uses acids rather than an abrasive tool. You may have red and inflamed skin for a few days to a week after these treatments, and you may have to do it more than once to get the effect you want.

It is possible to reduce the appearance of your acne scars, including your ice pick scars. With the help of your doctor, you can decide which aggressive treatment will work best for you. If you have less severe scarring, you can try a topical acne scar treatment to see if it works before using a more aggressive form of treatment.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!

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How to Get Rid of Purple Scars

How to Get Rid of Purple Scars

When the skin has experienced trauma due to injury or surgery, the healing process produces scar tissue, which usually creates a visible scar. Although most scars are initially red in color, many scars turn purple. This is very common in scars caused by burns, boils, and acne. The purple color can make the scar stand out even more, which can be embarrassing, especially if it is in a prominent location such as your face. Although the purple coloring can be a natural part of the scar maturation process, there are steps you can take to fade it.

Proper Wound Healing and Prevention

One way to reduce the abnormal purple pigmentation is to ensure that the wound heals properly. When you experience a skin injury, treat it right away. Clean it to reduce the risk of infection. Be sure to keep the wound covered and moist during the healing process. Use of an antibacterial cream can help to reduce infection while keeping the wound moist. Acne, too, can cause purple scarring so avoid causing more inflammation and avoid picking at it. (Read: Skin Care Tips for Acne Prone Skin)

Treat the Scar with the Right Ingredients

One of the best ingredients in a topical scar therapy is vitamin C, which helps the skin create normal collagen, an important component of healthy skin. It also helps fade the excess pigmentation seen in some scars. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports the body’s natural healing and fights free radicals that contribute to scarring by damaging the skin at a cellular level. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of inflammation and infection, which can also contribute to the abnormal purple color and other forms of hyperpigmention.

Another ingredient to look for in your scar cream is silicone, which helps to flatten and fade scars. Licorice root extract is also a powerful ingredient as it promotes healing while also lightening hyperpigmentation.

When to See a Doctor

Complete healing from any trauma to the skin can take time, which can be frustrating. However, if you find that your scar seems to be getting worse, see your doctor to make sure everything is healing properly. A doctor can also discuss other options for treating scars and hyperpigmentation, such as laser surgery or microdermabrasion.

Have a question about your scar or dark spot? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer!

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Is There Scarring After Rhinoplasty?

Is There Scarring After Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a type of plastic surgery performed on the nose to reconstruct or enhance its shape, or improve nasal breathing. It can be used for cosmetic reasons or to repair the nose after trauma or congenital deformity. Some of the reasons for a medically necessary rhinoplasty include surgery for nasal trauma, a congenital defect, and breathing difficulties. Rhinoplasty is a common surgery, and many patients wonder if they will have lasting scars.

What is the Difference Between Open and Closed Rhinoplasty?

There are two types of rhinoplasty – open and closed. The defining feature between the surgeries is the incision approach. Open rhinoplasty involves a potentially visible incision on the columella (the fleshy, exterior-end of the septum of the nose between the lip and tip of the nose). There may be additional incisions inside the nose for the nasal correction. The incisions used a closed rhinoplasty are all inside the nose, so there is no scar created on the columella.

Closed rhinoplasty has a few benefits over the open surgery. There is usually reduced post-operative swelling (edema), less visible scarring, less risk of excessive reduction of the nasal-tip support, less inadvertent damage done to the nose, and less time needed for complete healing. However, open rhinoplasty provides the surgeon with a better view of the cartilage in the nose. The surgeon will usually also be able to better manipulate and alter the shape. Whether a patient receives open or closed rhinoplasty will depend on the reasons the surgery, the anatomy of the nose and surgeon preference.

Will There be Scarring?

Most surgery creates some type of scarring, and rhinoplasty is no different. The good news is that in most cases, an uncomplicated surgery will lead to minimal visible scarring. Since a scar is created on the columella, there is far more potential for visible scarring with open rhinoplasty than with closed rhinoplasty. However, even in open rhinoplasty, the incision is typically very small and tends to heal well, making it a very small scar that most people will not notice.

Preventing and Treating Scars

Before you undergo rhinoplasty, discuss the after-surgery care and issues with your surgeon so you will be prepared. It may take a few weeks for the skin to heal and it might a year for the before the nose is completely healed. Proper post-op care is essential with any surgery so make sure you fully understand all the post-op instructions including how to best take care of your scars. After the incision is healed and your sutures have been removed, start using a topical scar treatment to reduce scarring as much as possible.

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