Augmentation therapy is a procedure used to treat acne scarring where fillers are injected either to fill out a depressed scar or to flatten a raised scar. There are several types of fillers and the dermatologist who carries out the procedure may even use collagen or fat deposits taken from another area of the body, which takes 6-18 months to be reabsorbed. It is not a permanent cure and may have to be repeated regularly. It is an almost natural process but with a little help from science that makes the healing process faster and more effective. The aim is to improve the cosmetic appearance of the skin and therefore the feel-good factor for the patient.
Prior to the procedure a full examination is carried out to establish the suitability of the treatment. Any predisposing conditions which may lead to delayed healing such as immunosuppressant conditions (the partial or complete suppression of the immune) and Herpes Simplex are taken into consideration. Anti-viral treatment is usually started 2 days prior to Augmentation Therapy and completed about 10 days after treatment if required.
As with any procedure, counselling is important to evaluate the expectations of the patient and the psychological benefits and an explanation of the procedure and expected results. Information about the recovery time and any complications are discussed, especially around pigment changes. Side effects are rare but could include discomfort, pain, infection, bruising, reddish marks and allergic reactions.
The procedure takes from 30-60 minutes to perform and varies from individual to individual. It is carried out under a local anaesthetic on soft acne pitted scars, ice pick or box car type.
Silicone gel sheeting is often used to flatten out a keloid (a tough heaped-up scar that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin) and hypertrophic (characterised by deposits of excessive amounts of collagen which gives rise to a raised scar, but not to the degree observed with keloids) or raised scars. Recovery time from treatments varies but results are very effective.
There are lots of topical creams, gels and lotions, which have been specifically formulated and can be applied after treatment to help aid recovery.
Before undertaking a treatment such as Augmentation Therapy you are advised to seek advice from your doctor or other healthcare professional. Try to get as much information as you can about any potential side effects. Having the right knowledge about the procedure you are about to go through will make it easier for you to deal with any side effects.
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Information written by the talkhealth team
Last revised: 9 November 2017
Next review: 9 November 2020