ZocdocAnswersHow to reduce appearance of pockmarks?

Question

How to reduce appearance of pockmarks?

I'm a middle aged guy and I've been hearing more and more about chemical treatments to reduce acne scarring, which I have a very bad case of, pockmarked. Is it true that acid peels can at least reduce scarring temporarily? I would do anything, even for temporary relief.

Answer

There are numerous methods for improving the appearance of acne scars, and some of them are quite effective. I recommend scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss your options, as numerous factors have to be considered, including cost as well as the types of scar you have (for example, generalized pockmarking responds to many types of treatment, but 'ice pick' types scars do not and generally require surgical removal). Spa based treatments, such as mild chemical peels and dermal microabrasion work by removing outer layers of skin, given the remaining underlying skin a more youthful and tighter appearance. They are unlikely however to produce permanent results. In order to achieve permanent results, a more invasive treatment is likely needed. These treatments include dermal abrasion (which works by scraping off a larger amount of overlying skin), deep chemical peels (which do the same as dermal abrasion, but with chemicals), and laser resurfacing (the most effective, but also most expensive treatment). All these methods basically work by damaging the skin, which causes remodeling of collagen and the growth of new, healthy skin. In addition to cost, they vary in terms of pain, and down time (the amount of time you have to remain at home, with the face bandaged).

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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