In almost all cases, if cystic acne is left untreated, then scarring will occur. Accordingly, seeking immediate treatment from a dermatologist is always recommended to patients with severe cystic acne. However, it isn’t always possible for patients to seek immediate treatment, often due to financial constraints, and then they must eventually look into their options for treating acne scars, which is what will be discussed in this article.
The Two Types of Acne Scars
There are two primary types of acne scars: depressed acne scars (such as “pock mark” scars) and raised acne scars. Depressed acne scars are typically a bit easier to treat, while raised acne scars can be more challenging.
Treating Depressed Scars
There are many procedures available for depressed acne scars. Often, surgical removal is the preferred approach to treating depressed scars, though there are many other options available.
A wide variety of surgical techniques can be utilized during the removal of depressed scars, which is one reason why they are perhaps the most popular treatment option. In many cases, s0-called “punch techniques” are the most effective surgical procedure.
These punch procedures always begin by removing the desired scar(s). Then, after that the scar is either sewn up (punch excision), not sewn up and left to “float” to the surface (punch elevation), or the skin that was removed is replaced by skin from another part of the body (punch grafting).
Generally, these procedures cost somewhere between 250-300 dollars per scar, so the price can definitely add-up for patients who have many scars. But in some cases, multiple scars can be treated simultaneously, especially if there a group of scars in close proximity to one another. So, checking with your dermatologist about a “bulk depressed scar treatment discount” could be beneficial.
Of course, there are quite a few other options for treating acne scars of the depressed variety. Chemical peels are one alternative acne scar treatment that may be administered.
The TCA cross chemical peel, in particular, is believed to be particularly effective for treating depressed scars. However, the TCA Cross peel, along with all other chemical peels, is likely to only be effective on minor (not deep) depressed scars.
Finally, lasers are sometimes used as a treatment for depressed scars. However, in most cases, lasers aren’t used as first-line depressed scar treatments, but rather they are used to help smooth the skin a surgical procedure is preformed.
Treating Raised Scars
Raised acne scars are definitely more of a challenge to treat. Moreover, these scars tend to be much more expensive to treat, which can undoubtedly be an obstacle for many patients. But before raised scars can be treated, they first need to be flattened and brought back to skin-level. Steroid injections can perform this “scar-flattening” quite effectively. Additionally, the price for these injections (50-100 dollars per scar, usually) is quite reasonable.
Occasionally, these steroid injections can cause the scar to sink down below the skin’s surface, which is why some dermatologists prefer to use a cancer drug called Fluorouracil, which can provide the same scar-flattening function as steroid injections, but is less likely to cause depressions. Fluorouracil injections are a bit more expensive than steroid injections, at around 100-150 dollars per scar.
Lasers are generally considered to be the best option to treat raised acne scars after they’ve been flattened. Often, fractional or non-ablative (non-burning) lasers are the first-line treatment choice, though ablative (burning) lasers may be considered in more severe cases of scarring.
There are many side effects that go along with laser resurfacing via ablative lasers, and these treatments typically require patients to have a few weeks of downtime afterwords. Non-ablative and fractional lasers have minimal side effects, but may not be as effective in all cases.
The cost of these procedures can be significant, as was mentioned earlier. Fractional and non-ablative lasers are less expensive (sometimes 1,000 dollars or less), but often require multiple rounds of treatment (up to 5). Ablative lasers, comparatively, usually only require one round of treatment, but the cost for that treatment-round could be anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 dollars.
Treating Acne Scars – Conclusion
So, treating acne scars can undoubtedly be both costly and challenging, which is why finding a good dermatologist is essential for all patients seeking treatment. Finally, patients should be aware that they must first have their acne under control before any scar treatment regiment can begin, so check out the cystic acne treatment homepage for more information regarding that topic.
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