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Acne Scar

In addition to the hyper pigmentation that many women of color with acne develop, acne scars may arise and disfigure the skin. These scars, or depressions, result from the damage and inflammation done to the skin by moderate to severe acne. As your body heals damaged skin, it creates a scar. Unsightly acne scars are not likely to fade or resolve even when the acne is effectively treated, but prompt treatment will help prevent new scars from forming.

In some people of color who have acne, keloid scars develop. Keloids, which are often hard, irregular-shaped scars, may be even more disfiguring than the acne itself. Surgical removal is seldom if ever used to treat keloids. A person whose skin has a tendency to form keloids from acne damage may also form keloids in response to skin surgery. To diminish their size, a dermatologist will need to perform a series of injections with a steroid solution into the keloid. Any surgical treatment may cause more keloids.

To prevent or minimize scarring, you should always have your acne outbreaks treated promptly and treat your skin gently. If you have noticeable scars, talk to your dermatologist about how you might lessen their appearance. Your physician might recommend using cosmetic surgical techniques such as chemical peels (effective treatment for mild acne), dermabrasion (most effective treatment for acne scars such as Superficial scars and deeper scars may be reduced in depth), and laser treatments (effective treatment for burning scars) to exfoliate skin and minimize scars. Collagen or fat injections might also help to improve the appearance of shallow types of scars. Fat is taken from another site on your own body and prepared for injection into your skin. The fat is injected beneath the surface of the skin to elevate depressed scars. Another option is skin grafting, in which a physician removes skin from one area of the body (such as from behind the ear) to fill in depressions left by acne scars.

These treatments can be very effective in reducing scars and restoring an even, smoother texture to your skin. But because your skin of color is reactive and may respond to exfoliation techniques or grafting by producing dark marks, you'll need to weigh the pros and cons and make sure the dermatologist has performed many successful procedures on patients. If you have ever developed a keloid, however, you should not consider any form of cosmetic surgery.

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