How much recovery can I expect for my acne scars? (photos)
I am a 30 y.o male and I have multiples acne scars, concentrated around my cheek area. I believe it started when my mom started squeezing them when I was younger but didn't do it properly.
I also have outbreaks sometimes in the middle of my chest and the back of my shoulders area. I believe there's also an "inflated" scar caused by acne on the chest too. Sometimes there are multiple lumps coming up below the skin around the chest area and disappearing the next day. 1) What can be done to cure my acne scarring? 2) What percentage of recovery can I expect on average? 3) How much would it roughly cost?
1. Scar response to treatment depends on the type of scarring present and the corresponding treatment modalities selected to tackle then issue. You seem to have a combination of different types of atrophic scarring (box scars, icepick scars, etc), and these unique scars respond differently to different treatments.
2. Treatments available include ablative lasers for resurfacing, non-ablative resurfacing and even picosecond lasers, spot TCA chemical peeling, subscision, and even subdermal filler placememt. While the best way to manage these issues is with a combination of the above, budgets can force you and your physician to come to a practical decision on your treatment plan.
3. Most of such scars can conservatively have 50 to 70% improvement after a period of 5 to 8 treatment sessions over 5 months to a year. While it is unrealistic to expect baby smooth skin once more, patients can have up to 90% resurfacing of scars if managed well. That being said, response can vary between individuals and close followup will be necessary.
4. The treatments work by causing deliberate controlled damage to existing skin, forcing collagen growth and remodelling, subsequently translating to resurfacing of the scars. Do note that this process takes time (months) and scar improvement will be noted over that duration. There is much misconception that the lasers burn away and level the scars in a single session, leaving many patients discouraged and unhappy. Long term followup has shown improvements carrying on for up to a year after the last laser session.
5. Cost can vary largely from clinic to clinic and of course depending on the type of lasers used. It would be best to speak to your doctor and enquire on the most suitable treatment plan for yourself suitable to your budget.
I hope that answers some of your questions.
Acne scar treatment is indeed an investment; it may cost seemingly substantial amounts at the outset but the results stay and can positively affect your self-confidence drastically into the long run.