Risks and Recovery
While these surgical procedures are effective, they also carry certain risks and involve a recovery period. As with any other surgery, there's a risk of infection and additional scarring -- but these are rare. Dermabrasion patients may also experience a change in skin pigmentation or tiny whiteheads. Your dermatologist can tell you what to expect as far as recovery time, but you'll typically need at least a week to get back on your feet after outpatient surgery [source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons].
Procedures to Get Rid of Acne Scars
If you've had it up to your eyebrows with acne scars, talk to your doctor about the variety of procedures that are offered by dermatologists, cosmetic treatment clinics and plastic surgeons.
One of the most effective treatments for acne scars is surgery. Dermatologists have many surgical methods at their disposal, including removing, filling and raising scars [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Dermabrasion is an outpatient surgical procedure in which a surgeon essentially sands away the top layer of damaged skin with a wire brush [source: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery]. As new skin grows where the damaged skin was removed, the face takes on a smoother, more contoured look.
Chemical Peels or chemabrasision are similar to dermabrasion -- they also remove the top layer of skin to stimulate new skin growth [source: Mayo Clinic]. However, instead of a brush, chemicals are used to peel away the scar tissue.
Laser treatments are also effective in removing scar tissue. Using a light laser, a dermatologic surgeon removes the top layer of skin to stimulate new skin growth. There are various types of lasers and light ranges available, depending on the amount of scarring and your skin type [source: American Society for Dermatological Surgery].
For more information about skin lightening for acne scars, read Skin Lightening for Acne Scars: Fast Facts.
If you have scars that are below the surface of the skin, fillers like collagen or your own fat can be injected into the scars. As the depressions lessen, so do the appearance of the scars. This procedure has immediate results but will need to be repeated -- the filler isn't permanent. Fillers typically last from three to six months [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
To learn more about acne scars and how to reduce their appearance, see the links on the following page.