Acne Scar Removal Surgery

Listed below is the step by step procedure of acne scar removal treatment:

  1. What is Acne Scar Removal Surgery?
  2. Why is Acne Scar Removal Surgery Required?
  3. Pre-operative preparation
  4. Day Before Surgery
  5. Procedure Day
  6. Methods/Techniques of Acne Scar Removal Surgery
  7. Post Procedure
  8. Risks and Complications

What is Acne Scar Removal Surgery?

Acne scar removal surgery is employed to treat severe adamant acne scars that do not respond positively to any medications and non-surgical treatments. Acne is a common skin complaint occurring due to blocking of hair follicle because of excessive production of an oily substance known as sebum. Acne resolves eventually with medicines, and sometimes it leaves behind stubborn scars. Scars are basically fiber tissue which gets laid when skin heals while the acne reduces. Surgery will help to reduce the scars and to expose underlying healthy skin.

Why is Acne Scar Removal Surgery Required?

  • Failure of other treatment methods: Dermatologists recommend acne scar surgery when other treatment methods like medications, non-surgical treatments and home remedies fail to produce desired results.
  • Cosmetic purpose: Most patients having acne scars are worried about their appearance. They opt for scar removal surgery for cosmetic purpose. People who work in hospitality industry, in media, those who are television or film stars often opt for acne scar removal. It is a professional necessity for them.
  • Symptomatic relief: Apart from being a cosmetic hindrance, acne scars can also be difficult in that they are quiet painful. Though not all patients complain about this, it can be a hassle for many. Surgery will help in alleviating the symptoms.

Pre-operative preparation

Dermatologist gives you suggestions on how to prepare your skin for the surgical procedure. Dermatologist may suggest you some ointments or lotions which have to be applied on skin for few days prior to the surgery. It's important that before the surgery you don't try out any creams or lotions or home remedies which leave your skin dry and red. Dry and swollen skin will increase healing time post surgery and can also cause complications during the surgery. Just wash your face with cold water twice a day. If you are stepping out in the sun, wear a scarf or long brimmed hat to protect your face. You can also wear sun-screen prescribed by your dermatologist. Since, every individual has different skin, there could be some changes in pre-operative measures to be taken prior to the surgery.

Day Before Surgery

On the day before the surgery, do not try out any creams or lotions which are not prescribed by the dermatologist. Wash your face with cold water few times a day. You should relax and not worry too much about the surgery. Avoid venturing out prior to surgery. Exposure to harsh sun and pollution may increase the chance of skin damage.

Procedure Day

On the day of procedure, its important that the patient arrives at least half an hour before the scheduled time to perform all the legal formalities that have to be done prior tot he surgery. Your doctor will check blood pressure, body temperature and heart beat before the surgery. It is important that these parameters are within normal limits prior to surgery. Doctor will prepare your akin for surgery by cleaning the skin. Local anesthesia may be required to numb the part of body which is being operated upon.

Methods/Techniques of Acne Scar Removal Surgery

There are several surgical methods by which acne scars can be reduced. Let us explore the various techniques which can be implanted to reduce acne scar:

  • Surgery: A minor surgery called as punch excision is carried out to reduce acne scars. The procedure involves use of local anesthesia to numb the area of face. In this surgical process, dermatologist surgeon cuts out individual acne scars and fixes the wound with skin grafts or stitches. For skin graft, some portions of skin is taken from the area where healthy skin is located. Top two layers of skin may be taken. This is called split level thickness graft. But, in case of punch incision surgery, stitches are made to repair the wounds.

    Another type of surgery called as subcision surgery is employed to treat acne scar. In this surgical procedure, needles are inserted into the skin to loosen skin muscles or skin fibers underneath the scar. This helps in improving overall skin appearance.

  • Laser resurfacing: Laser resurfacing procedure can be conducted in dermatologist's clinic. The dermatologist will first numb the facial skin by injecting local anesthesia. Laser removes the damaged top layer of the skin which contains acne scar marks while simultaneously tightening or firming the middle layer of skin. This leaves the skin looking radiant and young in appearance. Laser resurfacing procedure takes approximately an hour to get complete. It takes a week for complete healing of the skin post laser resurfacing.

  • Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion treatment makes use of spinning diamond instrument or rotating wire brush to remove the upper surface of the skin. As the skin heals, the abraded skin will be replaced by the newly emerging smooth layer of skin. Dermabrasion process takes about 3 weeks for the skin to get completely healed.
  • Fractional laser therapy: The treatment focuses more on the deeper level of the skin than laser resurfacing and dermabrasion. Since, the treatment does not wound the top layer of the skin, it takes relatively shorter time for skin to heal. The above mentioned surgical techniques help reduce acne scars. Treatments can be given in combination to effectively remove acne scars and make your skin look good.

Post Procedure

Post any skin treatment, patient is advised to apply ointments and creams as advised by the doctor. Skipping application of the prescribed creams suggested by the dermatologist will delay healing process and may even cause dryness in the skin. Do not apply any creams on your own without consulting doctor.

Another important aspect to take care post acne removal surgery is hydration of skin from within. This can be achieved by drinking lot of water and fluids. Fresh fruit juices and vegetable juices will not only hydrate lining of skin but will also provide your body essential vitamins and minerals. Drinking coconut water is an excellent option for instantly upgrading moisture quotient of the skin.

Exercising everyday will improve blood circulation and give your skin giving it a nice warm glow. You can try combinations of yoga, cardio exercise like running, jogging, swimming etc.

Nicotine and alcohol consumption is a hurdle in healing of your skin. Try to avoid them as much as possible.

Establishing proper skin care regime that suits your skin is also important. Washing your face with cold or lukewarm water for at least twice day is recommended to get rid of dust and pollution particles that have settled on your skin. Exfoliating once a week is necessary to get rid of dead skin cells. Too much of it can leave your skin dry and make it more prone to acne. Cleaning, toning and moisturizing routine should be followed before you hit the bed at night. Instead of using chemicals, opt for kitchen ingredients to enhance texture and appearance of skin.

Risks and Complications

There are no major risks and complications associated with acne scar removal surgery. Patient will feel some discomfort and uneasiness for some period of time post surgery. But, after few days, patient will feel alright once the effect of anesthesia completely fades away. There could be redness on the face for some days. Doctor will give you some medications or ointments to reduce redness. Your face might also look swollen for some time post surgery. However, most of the signs of surgery disappear after a week or so. There are hardly any major complications of acne scar removal surgery that you need to be highly worried about. If you notice any abnormalities in skin structure, consult your dermatologist as early as possible and follow all the instructions given by your dermatologist.

Acne scar removal surgery provides a long term solution for those have recurrent acne with associated scar formation. Post surgery, the patient will observe noticeable changes in the facial skin. Most of the acne scars will disappear and you will get glowing and young looking complexion.


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