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Feb 19, 2008

Avoiding the Acne Scar

While most leave acne behind with their teenage years, some carry the scars of their acne through their adult life. Since these scars can have an affect on the bearer's self confidence and self image, it is important to learn to deal with these scars.

Perhaps the first step in dealing with acne scars is avoiding them in the first place. Once acne scars exist, it is extremely hard to get rid of them. Here are some tips to help avoid the acne scar, information on different types of scars and removal methods for the acne scar.

The first line of defense against the acne scar is to properly treat breakouts of acne when they first appear. Without acne, it is impossible to have an acne scar. With the number of acne medications now available there is no reason for acne sufferers not to receive proper treatment.

Another note for acne sufferers who don't wish to live with scars - resist the urge to pop your pimples. This action can cause more damage to the skin and can actually make scars worse.

When dealing with the acne scar, there are two main types of scars. These are the ice-pick type scar and the keloid scar. The ice-pick scar is a depressed area that looks like damage that may have been done by an ice-pick. Keloid scars are raised areas caused by the build up of collagen in the skin resulting in a raised mass. Staining of the skin by acne is often confused with acne scars. Unlike scars, however, staining fades over time and may even disappear completely.

Removal of an acne scar can be a complex and costly procedure. Some of the more well known methods include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, punch techniques and augmentation.

Dermabrasion, which is a surgical scraping of the skin, works well on shallow acne scars. However, this procedure will set you back about $1,500 per treatment. In laser surgery, layers of damaged skin are removed using a laser. This procedure can cost $3,000 or more per treatment. Chemical peels are a less expensive option, coming in at $750 each treatment. These peels, however, are only effective on the most minor acne scar.

Two options for ice-pick scars include punch techniques and augmentation. In the punch techniques, the acne scar is surgically "punched" out using an appropriately sized biopsy tool. The remaining skin is stitched together resulting in a smaller scar that is more receptive to dermabrasion or other resurfacing techniques.

In augmentation, a substance, either collagen or the person's own fat, is injected under the scar to bring it to level with the rest of the skin. Again, this procedure is costly and the results are only temporary, repeated procedures are required.

Although acne scars can be removed, the procedures are costly and the results may not be the same as undamaged skin. The best way to avoid the acne scar is to get proper treatment for your acne as soon as possible. Also don't pick at, squeeze or attempt to pop your acne as this can make scarring worse.

About the Author
For more information on acne, try visiting http://www.acnequickfix.com, a website that specializes in providing acne related tips, advice and resources to include information on acne scars.

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