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Overview on Acne Scar Removal Surgery

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/2/2006 | Beauty

Acne is a common dermatological problem experienced by the people in different stages of their lives and the scars they leave rob almost all beauty of your face. Apart youre your face scarring may also appear in the areas like arms, back and buttocks. This extensive scarring is a result of chronic attack of acne. Inflammation at a cellular level is the main cause of acne scars resulting in  darkened or lightened pigmented areas(post

inflammatory hyperpigmentation, PIH), disruption of collagen fibers and an overproduction of scar tissue.  This inflammation, eventually altering the collagen structure produces ugly scars in forms of poke marks and other scrs. It also affects

the melanin production in the skin resulting in a lightened, hypopigmented area.  The acne scar has a typical scruffy plastic like appearance and a crater-like texture. 'Ice pick' is the deepest variety of acne scars which requires multiple procedures to get completely eliminated.

With the advancement in the cosmetic treatments, there emerged many effective procedures to remove acne related scars. Although so far no cure-all procedure has been discovered to remove acne scars, but there are many methods available to improve the cosmetic appearance of a scarred skin. If you are considering acne scar removal surgery, be sure to know the different techniques used to remove acne scars.  The common acne scar removal methods are described below:

Microdermabrasion or Macrodermabrasion

This procedure is performed without sedation and is performed in the doctors clinic. The downtime for recovery is also very fast in this procedure.

Microdermabrasion is like a particle exfoliation procedure which involves the use of aluminum or magnesium oxide crystals in the 90 to 120 grit range. It employs a

 microdermabrasion machine that uses a closed system to exfoliate the skin. A mild to medium blasting mechanism is utilized through a negative pressure nozzle.  The basic process is to blasting the exfoliating medium on your skin to suck back the crystals through the negative pressure created by the nozzle. Thus the stratum corneum is removed and suction method  increases circulation on the skin. With one sitting, you will not notice any considerable changes, the whole procedure is repeated over consecutive sessions to get the best result.

Chemical Peels 

Different types of peels types of chemical peels are used to remove acne scars.

The home peels contain alpha hydroxy acids or low strength trichloroacetic acid (TCA), to high strength TCA. Sometimes phenol peels are also used. 

The chemical peels are applied on the basis of the depth of the scars. The chemical peel procedure does not require the application of sedation. In doctors clinics, any TCA peel over 12% is not applied.

However, if you had undergone several levels of chemical peel therapies before without any side effects, you can try TCA home  peel over 25%.

If your skin is not prepared to withstand the chemical effects of peel, then never try medium to high strengths peel at home; it may result into hyper- and hypopigmentation and further scarring.

Intense Pulsed Light

This procedure also does not involve the application of anesthesia, though in some cases taking EMLA (ectatic mixture of local anesthetics) is permitted by the doctor. Here the scars are treated with several to many flashes of very intense light. When this light falls on human skin there may be a stinging sensation without anesthesia.

Laser Resurfacing

 Lasers in forms of  Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Smoothbeam, CoolTouch and others, are applied to laying off the top layers of skin, so that the appearance of acne scarred skins are improved. Depending on how deep the laser is applied, there may appear redness or hyper- and hypopigmentation in some cases. Generally, anesthesia is applied as the laser application is a painful procedure.

Punch Graft

In this process the area of the affected skin is removed and the injury is stitched up to close the hole.

Dermabrasion

 It is a harsh procedure involving vigorous sanding of the top layer of the skin. The recovery period is longer in this method. There may be weeping or redness and also the risks of hyper- and hypopigmentation.

Skin lift

If you have  shallow, yet numerous scars then you are a candidate for this procedure which is a combination of  minor face lifting and tightening procedures.

Injectable Fillers

Injectable fillers are used to improve the appearance where scars are dented. This procedure supplements the collagen formation in those areas.  These fillers range from topical medicines, autologous or your own fat, bovine or porcine collagen, cultured human collagen, hyaluronic acid or Artecoll fill and Sculptra fill. It is advised to apply  very little injectable fillers at a time  as the rate of  collagen formation differs with every patient.

Acne scar removal surgery helps to lighten or completely remove or perk up the cosmetic appearance of the skin damaged by various degrees of acne scarring. As different patients respond differently to these procedures, which procedure is best for you should be chosen carefully and with consultation with an experienced surgeon.