How to treat post acne scars?
Scar treatment is recommended after acne treatment and is individualized, depending on several factors: types of scars, their severity, area treated, age of marks on the skin, skin phototype, recovery time required. Several types of treatment are usually needed for the same patient, in several sessions.
The doctor's role is to choose the right treatment and the patient's role is to be patient, because it is a long process, but the results are worth the wait. The most commonly used treatment methods are those that involve either "reshaping/resurfacing" the surface of the skin or lifting the scar or filling it.
Laser treatments use pulses of light of different wavelengths that can affect the skin differently, depending on the type of laser. The damage produced by these light beams leads to skin regeneration by stimulating collagen production and cell renewal. The most commonly used lasers in scar treatment are fractional lasers, which do not visibly affect the skin surface. They produce micro-injury in the form of perpendicular 'columns' on the skin layers. The recovery period is 3-5 days. Several sessions are usually recommended, depending on the results of the treatment, at 4-6 week intervals.
How do we recognise post acne scars
1. Atrophic ice pick scars - are deep, narrow, V-shaped atrophic scars usually located on the cheeks.
2. Atrophic boxcar scars - these are relatively geometric atrophic scars with well-defined, U-shaped, circular or linear, superficial or deep edges.
3. Atrophic rolling/valuritis scars - wave-shaped, broad, superficial or deep
4. Hypertrophic scars- are nodular, prominent, usually form on the back, chest, neck, cheeks, submandibular.
5. Post-inflammatory pigmentation - not scarring per se, but is treated in conjunction with scarring, reddish-brown patches that usually form after nodulocystic acne lesions, part of the healing process, can persist for months.
Treatment results appear immediately after laser procedures, there are no significant side effects and the effect is maintained over time.