Choosing a Skin Clinic for Scar Treatments

Acne comes with 2 problems. One is the acne itself and second is the scars it leaves behind. Depending on the type and severity of the acne, the scars left behind will be different. Again depending on the type of scars and your skin type, some of them may fade with time, some with home treatments and some may not.

The treatments available today for scarring of any kind is mind boggling. We are all on the lookout for perfect skin. They range from simple treatments like facials for acne scars to complex things like laser treatments. If you decide to opt for treatments for acne scars, I thought I would put together a guide that would help you make the right choice.  Since it is your face, the most visible part of your body, and you are going to be investing money, here are some points that would help you out. I have visited 3 clinics for acne and scar removal. While I had no luck with the treatments for acne, I did get some good results when it came to my acne scars.

Here are some of the  treatments that are normally used for acne scarring. All these treatments have down time, that means, a period of time when your skin will be sore or looked bruised or swollen. It normally goes down within 24 hours, so do plan for some time where you might not want to go out. Even if you do wear sunscreen it is better you let your face heal at home at least for the first 24 hours.

Chemical Peels : This is technique in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin so that the outer layer peels off and new smoother skin is regenerated. It is a form of exfoliation except that it is done under the supervision of a dermatologist. There are 3 types of chemical peels – superficial, medium and deep. For acne scars, usually superficial and medium peels are recommended. Your skin will be sensitive after a peel so make sure you do not have any outdoor plans for at least 24 hours. You will also be asked to use a good sunscreen while going out into the sun. Chemical peels should not be performed when you have cuts or open wounds.

Microdermabrasion : This is an extreme form of exfoliation where the doctor uses a high speed wheel or brush to remove the outer layer of the skin so as to improve the appearance of the skin. This procedure is generally only effective for flat discolored scars and does not work for deep scars like indented scars. Your skin will look pink for about 24 hours after the procedure.

Subcision : This is a procedure that is used for indented scars. Since the healing scar tissue has attached itself to the lower skin layers, a needle is used to detach it. This is normally done under local anesthesia. A anesthetic cream will be applied on your face and left for 30 – 45 minutes. This cream is then gently wiped off and the dermatologist will perform the procedure. It may be slightly painful.

Dermal Fillers : These are used for ice pick, boxcar, indented and rolling scars. Fillers are injected under the skin to lift the scar and give a smooth appearance to the skin. An anesthetic cream will be applied to alleviate any discomfort. After the procedure your skin will look bruised for a day or 2. You may feel a slight discomfort and will be given an ice pack to apply.

Derma Rollers : This is a cylindrical tube like structure with hundreds of tiny needles. These are rolled over your skin to injure it in a controlled manner. An anesthetic cream will be applied to your face to numb it and reduce discomfort. The idea is to trick the skin into repairing itself and stimulating collagen production, which then helps heal acne scars by regenerating new smooth skin. There will be minimal bleeding. Today you can buy Derma Rollers over the internet to be used at home. However, personally I would not recommend this and strongly suggest you get it done by a qualified doctor. Derma Rollers should also not be used on skin that has active acne.

Lasers : These work by using short pulses of light to destroy the upper layers of skin. The skin’s natural healing process then generates new and smooth looking skin. Generally 4-6 sittings of laser are needed depending on the severity of your scars.

At your first consultation the dermatologist will recommend a combination of the above treatments. These however may change during the course of your treatment depending on how your skin reacts.

Here are some do’s and don’t about choosing a skin clinic.

Do shop around for a skin clinic

If you have decided to get treatment for your scars, you are going to be investing a lot of money into it. So take the time to choose a good clinic. Visit various clinics. Pay the initial consultation fee and talk to the consulting dermatologist. Never ever decide on any treatment without talking to them. It is normal that you have a consultation with a dermatologist first and then they will discuss a treatment plan with you. He/She should be patient enough to answer your questions. If you have active acne she or he should insist that your acne should heal first.

If the doctor claims that you will have 100% improvement please be on alert. Most treatments have a 60-80 % improvement. Don’t be discouraged by these number. It is a lot of improvement.

Do not make a commitment until you have visited 2-3 skin clinics. Once you have talked to the dermatologist, visit their website and check out their reviews. If you can reach out to some of the people who have had procedures at the clinic, even better.

Do talk to other clients at the skin clinic

When you visit the clinic, do talk to the other clients waiting there. Ask them what their experience has been and if they are happy with their results. Do take a look at their skin but do it discreetly and don’t stare. Ask them how long it took before they saw results and what treatments they have had.

Don’t buy packages

Most skin clinics offer package deals where if you pay upfront for 6-8 treatments, say 6-8 sessions of laser, you pay less. The problem with this is if you are not happy with the results you are already committed to them. Pay a little extra but pay as you go.

Don’t hesitate to stop at any time

If for some reason the treatments do not seem to be working or you are not happy with the results or just plain uncomfortable do not hesitate to stop at any time. You should see some result in 6-8 weeks at the least. For example there was a dermatologist I went to whose patients used to groan in pain as she did painful laser treatments without anesthetic. This is a big no no. If the dermatologist wants to save time and money by not taking the time to apply an anesthetic cream she is not doing a very good job.

If you have visited any clinic and have any points to add do tell me in the comments below. I would really appreciate it and I read every comment.

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5 Ways to Prevent Acne Scars

prevent acne scars

It’s disturbing enough to have acne. It hurts when forming deep within your skin. Then it forms a red bump on your face. It annoys you and you have no idea how long it will take to heal. As if that was not enough of a problem, it leaves a scar behind after it has gone. Depending on the severity of the acne either you will be left with a red or brown mark, in  which case you should consider yourself lucky. Or you will be left with a pitted scar, which will be much harder to get rid of. So how do you prevent acne scars from forming in the first place?

The first thing we need to make sure is that the acne heals fast. The faster they heal the less of a scar they will leave. Here are 5 tips which when followed will prevent acne scars from forming after the acne heals.

  1. No Touching

No touching the acne to see how big they are or what state they are in. You are not gaining anything by doing this. On the contrary, you are irritating it, in which case it will stay on your face for much longer than needed. Do you really want this? Really need to see? Walk to a mirror and check it out. Do yourself a favour and keep your hands off your face.

2. No Popping

Popping acne only spreads the infection deep within your skin. This means you are spreading the infected bacteria around so that they can cause more acne. In addition, you will be left with a pitted scar. Not a red or brown mark, which is relatively easier to remove.

3. Exposure to the Sun

Whether or not you have acne you need to wear sun protection when you are exposed to the sun. The early morning or late evening sunshine is not too bad, but if you are being exposed to the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM you need to have proper sun protection. If you have acne on your face please wear a good sunscreen with an SPF of 30 of higher when going out into the sun.

4. Use Honey as a Spot Treatment

Honey is an antibacterial which not only helps heal the acne faster but prevents scarring as well. Use raw, organic honey as a spot treatment on any red angry acne to calm them down and make them go away quietly without a trace.

5. Drink Water

Finally, drink a lot of water to help keep your skin hydrated and provide an ideal healing environment. Dry, dehydrated skin not only looks dull but makes it harder for the acne to heal well.

Even if you follow just the first 2 tips your acne scars will be much lighter and after the acne heals and they will go away on their own after a while.

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