You exist in a world of endless customization. You can customize your hair color, manicure type, vehicle, health care plan and most certainly, your acne scar removal regime. But before you take one step in customizing anything- you plan. When it comes to getting rid of acne spots, you can plan to delete traces of your previous acne affliction in five time and money saving steps.
Step 1: Define your acne scarring situation
Measuring improvements require that you first assess your scarring situation. To find your ideal acne scar correcting product, you need to clearly define the type(s) of cicatrices you wish to reduce.
Types of acne scarring include:
Hyperpigmented spots- round, flat, darkened spots that remain after an acne lesion heals. In some instances, darkened acne spots can fade on their on in 2-12 months.
Pock marks, ice-pick scars- these scars are indentations in the skin that result from loss of skin and fat tissue that occurred during the formation and healing of inflamed acne pustules or cysts.
Rolling acne scarring- enlarged pores and the roughened skin texture that results from extended periods of moderate to severe acne.
sentence 7 Hypertrophic scars- circular, raised scar tissue that results from excess collagen growth during the acne lesion healing process. This is generally the least common form of acne scarring.
Step 2: Decide what changes you would like to see in your skin
If you have acne scarring, you most likely want your skin to look as if you never had acne. That’s understandable. To make this scar disappearing act happen, you first need to precisely determine what changes you want to see with your scarring. For example, you may want to fade dark spots, and smooth away indented pock marks and ice-pick scars.
Step 3: Determine your budget and time commitment to improving your skin
You have numerous cosmetic and medicinal options for correcting acne scars. However, before dipping into your wallet, you want to ensure that One: You devised a budget to fully fund your scar removal method and Two: You have the time it will require to successfully benefit from your chosen scar removal methods.
To illustrate, lets say that you wanted to soften a hypertrophic acne scar. Your scar removal budget is $500US and time commitment is two months. With these numbers, you may witness improvements in your raised scar by receiving two-20 minute- flashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser (PDL) treatments within two months.
Conversely, if your scar removal budget was $50 and you had about 2-5 months to see improvements in this hypertrophic scar, you could use a $19 silicon or polyurethane patch. You usually need to wear these patches daily for 12 hours and each patch costs roughly a dollar. This brings the costs for your silicon patch based hypertrophic scar removal to about $60-$150US for two to five months of daily treatment.
Step 4: Match the acne scar removal treatment to your specific scar type
Not all scar removal treatments perform the same job. For instance, the silicon patch may fabulously flatten hypertrophic tissue, but could aggravate rolling acne scars. Similarly, while a deep chemical peel can reduce the depth of pock mocks, the same peel may have no effect on raised scarring. Here’s a basic guideline for matching acne scars with the ideal acne scar removal treatment.
Hyperpigmented spots- chemical peels, skin lighteners, intense pulsed light treatments
Pock marks, ice-pick scars- dermabrasion treatments, deep chemical peels, advanced laser treatments administered by a trained professional.
Rolling acne scarring- chemical peels, skin tightening laser treatments
Hypertrophic scars- laser treatments, silicon patches, scar creams
Step 5: Consistent product usage
Once you’ve done steps one through four, all you need to do now is use the acne scar removal products and/or treatments consistently and as directed until your see optimal changes in your skin.
While having a “plan” for changing your skin may seem awkward, chances are this simple guideline will help remove doubts about freeing yourself of acne scars while saving yourself precious time and money. Moreover, a report in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology reported that having a regime while performing popular acne scar removal treatments like alpha hydroxy peels enhanced patient compliance and peel results. Why not treat yourself to an acne scar reducing plan.
Manuskiatti, W; Rungsima W & R Fitzpatrick. Effect of Pulse Width of a 595-nm Flashlamp-Pumped Pulsed Dye Laser on the Treatment Response of Keloidal and Hypertrophic Sternotomy Scars. Dermatologic Surgery; February 2007, vol 33, no 2, pp 152-161.
Meyer-Ingold, W & V Achterberg. Scar Reduction by Adhesive Patches: Efficacy and Potential Mode of Action. Wound Repair and Regeneration; April 2004, vol 12, no 2, pp A19.
Tung, R; W Bergfeld, A Vidimos & B Remzi. Alpha-Hydroxy Acid-Based Cosmetic Procedures: Guidelines For Patient Management. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology; March 2000, vol 1, no 2, pp. 81-88.