Surgery For Acne? Your Guide To The Surgical Procedures Used To Treat Acne And Scarring

Acne affects about 17 million people in the United States. In many cases, acne can be treated successfully with topical treatments along with proper cleansing and exfoliation. However, medication may be necessary for some. For an even smaller segment of acne sufferers, surgical intervention may be necessary. Performed by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon, acne surgeries may help clear up existing acne as well as remove scars from old breakouts. If you've ever wondered how surgery can help your acne, following is a guide to just a few of the many types of acne surgeries. 


Marsupialization involves extracting blackheads, whiteheads, and deep cysts with specialized tools. During the procedure, pores are also flushed and cleansed thoroughly to prevent future breakouts. This type of surgery is performed at the dermatologist's office and is very low-tech. You will not be put to sleep for the surgery. However, your dermatologist may use a topical numbing agent to make the procedure more comfortable for you. It usually takes several procedures to successfully get acne under control. You will likely need follow up treatments as well. 


Dermabrasion and other procedures like it, such as chemical peels, remove the top layers of skin, revealing healthy skin underneath. These treatments can help clear up and treat acne, but they're more often used to treat the dark spots and scars associated with acne. These procedures are performed in a dermatologist's office and may require some healing time, depending on how deep or superficial your treatment is. After each procedure, your skin will appear red and irritated for several days. You will start to enjoy the results in about 8 to 12 weeks. You may even continue to see benefits for up to 6 months. 


Subcision is the process of loosening fibriotic strands, that form during scarring, from the tissue underneath. This gives scars a much smoother appearance. For severely depressed scars, like ice pick scars, a surgical procedure called punch excision is used. In this procedure, the scars are excised and elevated. This type of surgery can be performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. This is the most invasive of all acne treatments and reserved only for severe scarring. 

There are several surgeries and treatments that you can undergo to clear up acne and fade away your scars. All procedures are not perfect for everyone. Your dermatologist will help you develop a personalized treatment skin that's perfect for you.