Prolonged acne can lead to depressed marks -- or dents -- in the skin of your face and body. More specific names for these dents are ice-pick scars, which make deep pits in the skin, or atrophic scars which are flat, thin or depressed. A variety of treatments are available for these severe types of acne scarring.
Dermabrasion treats acne dents and scars as well as sun damage, wrinkles and fine lines. The treatment process involves a power-driven hand device equipped with an end piece made out of an abrasive material, such as serrated metal or a wire brush, that is carefully used on the skin to wear away its upper layers and promote new skin growth.
Lasers send controlled heat energy to the skin to promote fresh skin growth. Different laser-resurfacing techniques are used for acne dents depending on the severity of your scarring. Non-ablative lasers leave the surface of skin intact and are the the safest types. They heat up the inner layer of skin without destroying it to promote collagen growth. Recovery time from a non-ablative laser procedure is minimal or nonexistent; people can typically wear makeup and return to normal activities immediately afterward. For deeper scars and dents, ablative (tissue removing) lasers are much more likely to return noticeable results, because they remove layers of skin so that new skin can be created. Ablative lasers are more painful, however, and recovery time after a procedure can involve swelling and redness lasting between one and four weeks.
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Matt Ronquillo is a content developer and an English teacher who has lived and worked in Barcelona, Jakarta and Prague. He holds a BA in communications with a concentration in technical writing from Kaplan University.