Although a wide variety of prescription acne medications exist for teens and young adults today, many dermatology patients approaching middle age are still dealing with acne scarring that formed long before these medications existed. Luckily, dermatology offices now offer products and procedures that can help diminish that scarring better than ever before.
If you're tired of the acne scarring you've had for more than half your life and ready to enjoy the next few decades without pits and valleys, consider these at-home, inpatient, and outpatient procedures available today.
At-Home Procedure: Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion has been increasing in popularity over the last decade. It started as an in-office procedure, but now there are a variety of products that help smooth the skin by sweeping the top layers of skin with a fine grain.
Although microdermabrasion does require a large up-front investment, the results of regular use make the price worth it for most users. Ten to fifteen minutes a week can result in an even skin tone, smaller pockmarks, and diminished scarring. Because so many different microdermabrasion machines exist with different grain styles and types, talk to your dermatologist about which would work best about your skin type and specific goals.
Non-surgical Inpatient Procedure: Chemical Peel
A chemical peel involves a dermatologist putting a chemical solution onto the facial skin and allowing it to penetrate into the different layers. In the days following the chemical peel, the skin sheds the tissue damaged by the solution and regenerates new cells that are healthier and more even.
While there are different levels of chemical peels, medium and deep peels penetrate deeper into the skin than necessary for acne scarring. Instead, you'll be able to undergo an inpatient superficial peel. While a superficial peel might not remove all of your acne scarring, the procedure can be repeated as often as monthly to maintain and enhance your initial results.
Talk with your dermatologist about which moisturizers and masks will help maintain the results of the chemical peel, as well as help increase collagen levels at home once your skin has healed in the weeks following the peel.
Surgical Inpatient Procedure: Acne Scar Removal Surgery
While the ultimate goal of acne scar removal surgery is to reduce the size and visibility of the current scar tissue, the procedure differs depending on if you have raised or depressed scars.
- Raised Acne Scar Removal: The dermatologist removes the scar tissue from the area affected by acne, one blemish at a time. To keep the scar tissue from coming back or becoming more raised, the dermatologist will then give monthly steroid injections into the surgery site.
- Depressed Acne Scar Removal: Depressed acne scars require the skin to be evened out so that the depression is no longer as noticeable. The dermatologist will create an alternate scar in the depressed skin, which makes the original scar less visible on the top layer of skin.
Both surgery types can be done in the office, and they both require minimal downtime. Acne scars need to be severe for surgery to be effective, but your dermatologist can tell you if any of your scars are good candidates for the procedure.
You might have lived with acne scarring throughout your adolescence and adult life, but you don't have to continue doing so. There have been numerous advancements in cosmetic dermatology in the last two decades to help those embarrassed by scars from their teen years. If you want to even out your skin tone and create even layers on your cheeks and forehead, consider at-home microdermabrasion, inpatient peels, and inpatient surgeries to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
Continue to learn more.