Many adolescents – and even adults – suffer from acne at some point. Even though it can affect the way that you feel and look, it typically does not last forever. Unfortunately, the unsightly scars left behind from acne can last for a long time and greatly affect the way that you feel about your appearance. Even though the scars fade over time, the traces of them remain.

What causes acne scars?

Acne scars are caused by acne that did not heal properly. The most common type of acne that causes cars is cystic acne. Scars can also result from acne that was popped or picked at. You may experience acne scars if your body produces an inadequate amount of collagen to correct the damaged skin, leading to raised scars. Other scars are depressed, or sunken. They form dents in your skin due to a complete loss of tissue.

How are acne scars treated?

There are a lot of products that promise to reduce the appearance of acne scars through certain vitamins or at-home dermabrasion techniques. These methods may be helpful for minor scarring, but deep scars or a large number of scars require more professional care. Modern medical technology makes it possible to improve appearance and reduce acne scarring quickly and safely. Laser skin resurfacing for acne scarring is a simple and outpatient treatment. The entire process takes a few hours to complete and causes only slight discomfort. The side effects that you can experience include scabbing, bruising, redness, and swelling. All of these side effects are temporary – and when they are gone, you are left with less noticeable scars. More serious side effects, like permanent discoloration, are rare.

Many patients experience an improvement in appearance after just one treatment. The amount of treatments you require depends on the type of acne scarring you are experiencing, and how well your skin reacts to treatment. Acne scars that leave small indents, like depressed scars, react well to treatments like laser therapy. Ice pick scars, which are characterized by very deep depressions into the skin, may require several treatments to heal. A professional medical spa physician or dermatologist can help you determine what to expect from laser skin resurfacing.

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