One very troubling skin condition that plagues people around the world is scar tissue. It can create a sense of embarrassment and discomfort that prevents people from living their lives freely and fully. If you count yourself among them, there are things that you can do in order to minimize the appearance of your scars. By taking the time to learn more about it, you are already taking the first step to treating your scars.
There are many reasons that people develop scars, including accidents and surgical procedures. Some find scars on the face, neck and back due to severe acne. No matter what the cause, treatment is possible.
What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
One of the best ways to treat scars is alpha hydroxy acids – without getting too scientific on you, these are a class of organic carboxylic chemical compounds that occur naturally in some foods such as glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grape wine). Alpha hydroxyl acids are often referred to as either a-Hydroxy acids or AHAs for short.
Alpha hydroxy treatment for scars became possible because of AHA’s natural properties, which are to attract or bring moisture to the skin. As this happens, the skin is exfoliated and its upper layers are lifted and removed. Dead skin cells are removed in a natural way and at the same time, the skin becomes smoother and firmer. It’s because of these reasons why AHA based treatment have become one of the most popular method of removing scars and other skin problems, including xerosis, an inherited condition marked by excessively dry skin.
In technical terms, AHAs are said to have high bioavailability – that is they are readily absorbed by the skin – influenced strongly by a small molecular size. Glycolic acid has a particularly high bioavailability, making it highly popular as an ingredient for cosmetic products.
One of the reasons that the product is so effective at treating scars is because it works on the deeper skin tissues as well as the top layers. It is able to work at the cellular level to improve the health of skin tissue.
Possible side effects
The use of products containing these acids may have an irritating effect on the skin. How much will depend upon the concentration used and overall level of skin sensitivity. The skin may be red for a couple of days or even longer with stronger products. Some also experience flaking and increased sensitivity for a period of time after treatment. You should time your use accordingly.
Whilst use of AHA base products is generally safe when following instructions, use of products with a-hydroxy acids can cause some side effects – for example you should be cautious against significant exposure to the sun, since AHAs can heighten the sensitivity of the skin to light, and you may find your skin is more susceptible to sunburn as a result. It is highly advisable for people using products with alpha hydroxy acid to use sunblock and a wide hat whenever going outside in sun-exposed areas.
Women of childbearing years need to discuss use of products containing alpha hydroxy acids with their physician prior to use because of the possible risks to an unborn child. This is a wise precaution, especially for those who will be using over the counter applications.
Where can I get AHA skin treatment?
There are two choices when it comes to using alpha hydroxy acids for scar removal. The first is the purchase of over the counter products and the second is to visit a dermatologist or other qualified medical professional.
Choosing over the counter products is fine but the person should focus on using moisturizers with the acids. For best results, the solution should stay on the skin; it is not advisable to wash or rinse off the medication quite some time after it is applied to the skin. Too much application is also not advisable when using over the counter medications as they may cause irritation to the skin.
Trained dermatologists can prescribe products that are better and safer than over the counter products. The disadvantage of this, however, is that the products are more likely to be more expensive. If a person chooses to visit a dermatologist instead of rely on over the counter medications, he should visit his doctor at least every two weeks. Usually results will be visible after three sessions of treatment. The number of treatments required would depend on how serious the skin problem is and how fast the person’s skin heals. Also, volume of treatments depends on the strength of the acids used.
In addition, you need to not overload your skin with products containing these acids. If all of your skin care ingredients do, you run the risk of excessive irritation. It is best that you allow it to work over time to reduce your scar tissue.
If you are visiting a doctor for treatment, you will need to schedule visits every two weeks or so. Within three treatments, you should see a noticeable difference. How many treatments you will require depends upon the severity and age of your scar in addition to how well your body heals and the strength of acids you use.
If the label does not say how much of the acids are in the product, you can look at the list of ingredients to get an idea. It should be among the first three listed to be effective. The pH balance should rest between three and four. You can purchase testing strips at most pharmacies.
If you have scars that keep you from fully enjoying your life, you can do something about it. Whether you choose to visit a dermatologist or take advantage of quality products you can purchase directly, you are sure to be pleased with the results you achieve using alpha hydroxy acid treatments for scar removal.
If you prefer, scar removal treatment creams provide an effective alternative to the types of treatments described here.