Different types of scarring form as a result of acne outbreaks. Scars can either be indentations in the skin or raised fleshy growths, known as keloids. The acne scars which are indented, or pitted, are given various names, depending on the shape they form. Ice pick and boxcar scars are small holes that are quite deep and steep. Rolling scars are shallower, but they are wider and cause a wavy-like appearance to the skin. A dermatology clinic will be able to treat acne pits for you, using a variety of techniques.
Ask your dermatologist if a chemical peel is suitable for you and your acne pits. They will apply the peel, made from an acid solution, to the pits and leave it for several minutes. The surface layers, epidermal, are removed via acid erosion. Some of the underlying layers, dermal, may also be burnt away, depending on how strong the peel is. The pits will become shallower and new, smoother, skin will grow to replace the epidermis.
Schedule an appointment to discuss the use of laser resurfacing for acne pits. This technique uses heated lasers to burn away the epidermis. This will reduce the depth of the acne pits and also encourage the body's natural healing process to replace the lost skin with new smoother and clearer skin.
Make a consultation concerning the use of dermabrasion treatment. The epidermis is eroded away by a wire brush which rotates rapidly as it moves over the skin. Again, the depths of the pits are reduced with the removal of this layer and the body's collagen fibers are encouraged to make new skin in its place.
Speak with your doctor about soft tissue fillers. This treatment involves an injection of either collagen or fat taken from your own body into the acne-pitted area. The collagen or fat will then inflate the skin and fill out the pit, bringing it into alignment with the rest of your skin's surface.
Use a punch technique to remove your deepest and most unsightly acne pits. This is a surgery that involves cutting out the skin inside the pit and stitching it back at a raised level, in alignment with the rest of the skin. If the scarring has made the skin too dark and blemished, a skin graft may be taken from behind the ear and applied over the pit instead.
Chemical peels are available in light, medium and deep strengths. Each peel burns deeper into the skin as required. As with laser resurfacing and dermabrasion, multiple sessions are required. Soft tissue fillers are a temporary solution that lasts several months only. Punch technique treatment is often followed by a dermabrasion session to smooth over surfaces.
The soft tissue fillers may cause some mild swelling and bruising. Acne.org warns of side effects from chemical peels, laser resurfacing and dermabrasion. Expect increased photo sensitivity, dry skin, scabbing, soreness, lightening or darkening of the skin and peeling. Similar can be expected of punch techniques, which can take six to eight weeks to heal.