Kick Things Off With The Right Cleanser
Morning and night, thoroughly cleanse your face with a mild cleanser to remove impurities from the skins surface. We recommend Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser, which contains pearlstone, a natural exfoliant derived from volcanic ash. This gentle yet effective ingredient helps remove buildup from the skins surface for a brighter, smoother-looking complexion.
Raised Acne Scars: Treatment Can Ease Pain Diminish Scars
Other treatments that a dermatologist may use to treat raised acne scars follow.
InjectionsYour dermatologist may recommend injecting medicine directly into the scars. This can soften and flatten raised, thick scars.
Getting the best results often requires repeat visits. These injections are usually given once every few weeks. How often you will need to return for treatment depends on the scar and many other considerations. You may need to return once every two to six weeks for a while.
Many patients receive injections of corticosteroids. A chemotherapy medicine known as fluorouracil can also be effective in treating raised acne scars. Some scars respond best when injections of both 5-FU and corticosteroids are used.
Interferon, which is also used to treat cancer, can be effective. Our bodies naturally produce interferon.
If the scar does not respond after you receive the 4th injection, acne scar surgery may be recommended.
Best for: Painful, raised scars
Acne scar surgeryDermatologists perform acne scar surgery to reduce raised acne scars. This surgery can be performed in a dermatologists office.
To obtain the best results, acne scar surgery is often followed by another treatment.
Acne scar surgery, followed by radiationStudies show that radiation can prevent raised scars from returning after acne scar surgery. Due to the potential for radiation treatments to cause problems years or decades later, some doctors do not recommend radiation treatment.
Hypertrophic Scars And Keloids
Poonsak Pornnatwuttikul/Alamy Natallia Mikulich/Shutterstock
Some types of acne leave scars that appear as enlarged, raised growths of tissue. These acne scars are caused by too much scar tissue. Hypertrophic scars and keloids look similar, but the latter are more raised than the former.
More on Managing Acne
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How To Make A Honey And Cinnamon Mask
Honey and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They may help reduce acne, but more studies are needed.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil thats extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Australia.
Its well known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce skin inflammation (
Tea tree oil has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying it to the skin may reduce acne.
Questions To Ask Yourself
To get the most from your consultation, many people find it helpful to answer the following questions before meeting with a dermatologist.
Why do I want to treat my acne scars?Treatment is not for everyone. Some people feel that the scars are not so bad. Others feel that the scars affect their everyday life.
Dermatologists often recommend treatment when someone answers yes to one or more of the following questions:
Do I often wish that I could get rid of my acne scars?
Do I feel that my scars limit my opportunities to date, get a job, advance my career, or perform well in school?
Am I less social now than before I had acne scars?
How do I want to look after treatment?Some treatments can make scars look less noticeable. Others can eliminate wavy skin texture. Be sure to tell your dermatologist what’s important to you.
What can I afford to spend on treatment?Medical insurance does not cover the cost.
How much downtime can I afford?Some treatments require downtime.
How much time will I devote to getting treatment and caring for my skin?Your answer will help determine which treatments will be best for you.
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Skin Types And Sensitivities
Parks reminds us that any skin type can have acne scars but typically its oily or combination skin that sees the most breakouts.
This means that you can likely use stronger active ingredients without irritating your skin, like retinol or chemical exfoliants, he says.
If you know you have more sensitive skin, if youve had a skin procedure recently, or your skin feels irritated or inflamed by any treatment, Parks says stop what youre using and reconsider your skin care routine.
Ingredients like retinol, hydroquinone, and chemical exfoliants can be irritating for sensitive skin, so it may be worth starting them in small concentrations once or twice a week, or talking with your derm about other treatment options.
Heres the need-to-know for when and how to best use acne scar treatments.
Take A Fish Oil Supplement
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that offer a multitude of health benefits.
You must get these fats from your diet, but research shows that most people who eat a standard Western diet dont get enough of them .
Fish oils contain two main types of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid .
High levels of EPA and DHA have been shown to decrease inflammatory factors, which may reduce the risk of acne .
In one study, 45 individuals with acne were given omega-3 fatty acid supplements containing both EPA and DHA daily. After 10 weeks, their acne decreased significantly .
Theres no specific recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids. The 20152020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that healthy adults consume around 250 mg of combined EPA and DHA each day .
You can also get omega-3 fatty acids by eating salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds.
Fish oils contain two main types of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Taking a fish oil supplement may help decrease acne.
While these results indicate that exfoliation may improve skin health and appearance, more research is needed on acne.
There are a wide variety of exfoliation products available, but you can also make a scrub at home using sugar or salt.
If you choose to try mechanical exfoliation, be sure to gently rub your skin to avoid damaging it.
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Failing To Remove Makeup Before Going To Bed
If you have acne, you already know that cosmetics isnt your greatest friend. Its most likely a long-lost friend. Leaving makeup, debris, and oil on your face overnight might block your pores and prevent your skin from rejuvenating normally while you sleep. As a result, we must wash our faces every night.
What Are The Best Treatments For Acne Scars
Luckily, there’s a bevy of gels, creams, and treatments that can bring blemish-induced discoloration down. Dr. Sarkar says that collagen-building ingredients will generally help acne scars, so she looks to retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids when treating her patients.
“Retinoids, a vitamin A derivative, help to increase collagen, even out skin tone, and prevent future acne,” she explains. “Vitamin C is a brightening agent and an antioxidant, and it has been shown to build collagen as well. Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids help to resurface the skin to even out skin tone.”
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What Are The Signs Of An Acne Scar
The types of scarring seen in acne include keloids or hypertrophic scars, which appear as red, firm, raised papules , Shah says. Atrophic scars appear as depressed or sunken in areas, and may be larger, broad scars , or small pits scars.
Identifying an acne scar from other types of scars isnt too difficult, because an acne scar occurs in the spot where a pimple was.
Things Your Skin Is Trying To Tell You And How To Respond
Fillers A substance such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, or fat can be used to “fill out” certain types of acne scars. Since fillers are eventually absorbed into your skin, youll have to repeat filler injections, usually every few months, depending on the substance used.
Punch excisions This type of skin surgery removes acne scars by individually excising, or cutting out, the scar. The hole left by the incision can be repaired with stitches or a skin graft. A skin graft uses a small piece of normal skin to fill in an area of scarred skin. Bruising can occur for one to two weeks after the procedure.
Microneedling Also called collagen induction therapy, this procedure involves pricking the skin repeatedly with tiny needles to stimulate the growth of new collagen. This can reduce the appearance of scars. Microneedling can improve the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and fine lines. Skin redness may last a few days, according to the AAD.
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Best Acne Scar Treatments Of : How To Treat Acne Scars
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Treatments for acne scars are typically intensive, the best results coming from lasers, injections and fillers best handled by medical professionals, experts told us. There are, however, some solid home treatments you can consider if you want to improve the appearance of acne scars. To understand how some of these at-home treatments work and what their limitations are we consulted dermatologists and found some highly rated options to consider based on their guidance.
Before you choose an at-home treatment, it’s important to understand what acne scars are, what they aren’t and when to differentiate them from hyperpigmentation, dark spots caused by inflammatory skin issues like acne and eczema, according to board-certified dermatologist Corey Hartman, MD. While hyperpigmentation can fade away on its own within 12 months, acne scars are permanent textural changes like bumps and roughness, according to Hartman. Since people with darker skin tones naturally have more melanin in their skin, they are more likely to experience hyperpigmentation due to those aforementioned inflammatory skin issues, explained Arisa Ortiz, MD, the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at UC San Diego.
How We Chose The Best Acne Scar Treatments
For our badass roster of acne scar products, we got advice from Dr. Alan J. Parks, a board-certified dermatologist in Columbus, Ohio, and Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a board-certified dermatologist in NYC.
We chatted about acne scars in general, how to identify the type of scar youre working with, and OFC we asked for their over-the-counter product recommendations too .
We looked at skin types, scar types, active ingredients, product reviews, and brand reputations. We get into the nuts and bolts of it all later, so stay tuned for those details. Overall, we prioritized products with these ingredients :
- Pros: works well for many skin types
- Cons: may not be good for sensitive skin, has to be applied twice daily
Recommended by Parks, this pick has been clinically proven to shrink the appearance of scar size, depth, texture, and discoloration in 8 weeks. The company says this resurfacing cream can work on both new and old scars. Its also supposed to work for anyyy skin type.
It contains two of our fave scar-reducing ingredients salicylic acid and vitamin C, but it also has vitamin E, which helps protect your skin from UV damage a MUST if youre trying to prevent scars from sticking around forever.
This pick is also vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and made without formaldehyde, phthalates, mineral oil, oxybenzone, and sulfates.
- Pros: effective, serves multiple purposes
- Cons: kind of pricey
- Pros: affordable, contains AHAs and BHAs
- Cons: contains alcohol and fragrance
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What Are Acne Scars
Acnescars are the stubborn reminders of your former acne breakouts. There isnt a single treatment for acne scars since everyones skin is different. There are, however, a few natural remedies for reducing the severity of your scars.
Acne is the most common skin condition. It can break out on your face, back, neck, chest, and shoulders. Acne occurs when there is a build-up of oils and skin cells on your skin. Once bacteria get involved, your skin becomes inflamed, which can leave behind acne scars.
Use Retinoids To Boost Collagen Production
Retinoids treat acne by regulating or normalizing the process of cell turnover, which prevents blocked pores and the formation of acne bumps.”The long-term use of retinoids is thought to help with collagen production,” explains Camp. He recommends Differin gel, which used to be a prescription adapalene product but is now available to purchase in stores.
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Understanding How Acne Scars Form
Scarring is, unfortunately, a common outcome of acne. Acne scars occur as a result of the bodys inflammatory response against acne-causing bacteria. They also occur when acne lesions are picked at or squeezed.
If left unchecked, the inflammatory response can damage dermal fat, collagen and elastin, all of which gives skin volume and structure.
During the healing process the skin produces new collagen that is necessary to repair this tissue damage. Whether or not you develop acne scars will be determined by the type of acne you have, the severity and how its treated.
A Final Word On Improving Acne Scars
Some acne scars fade over time. For those that dont, over-the-counter products and certain procedures might help.
But while dermatological procedures can help improve your skins appearance, your health insurance might not cover these cosmetic procedures, and treatment might not completely restore your skin. So be realistic in your expectations.
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How Do You Prevent Acne Scars
In addition to not picking at your skin, a solid, dependable skincare regimen will go a long way to keeping your skin happy and bright. This is the easiest way to avoid acne scars: by avoiding acne!
And while you cant go back in time and tell your teenage self with her hands full of heavy, cakey foundation to put it down and try an exfoliant, you can take some steps to ensure that you learn from your mistakes.
Skincare regimens can get complicated quickly, so if youre looking for something simple and low-maintenance to keep your acne in check, there are a few key points wed recommend hitting.
Fade Acne Scars With Over
Over-the-counter or nonprescription products may also help minimize the appearance of acne scars.
Even though dark spots may fade over time on their own, an over-the-counter medicated dark spot remover with hydroquinone may help these scars fade quicker, notes Yoram Harth, MD, a dermatologist and the medical director of MDacne in San Francisco.
In addition, acne treatments with alpha hydroxy acids can stimulate the growth of new skin, minimizing the appearance of old scars while simultaneously preventing the formation of new acne, says the Mayo Clinic. When shopping for an acne treatment, look for products that contain alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid.
If over-the-counter products dont fade acne scars, concealer and foundation can help camouflage discoloration.
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Tighten Your Skin With Professional Radio Frequency
Skin tightening with radio frequency energy can help make depressed scars less obvious. It creates kinetic energy that triggers the body’s healing process. As a result, skin produces more collagen and softens the appearance of scars.
- What are pitted acne scars?
Pitted acne scars result from the damage and inflammation of deep breakouts, which causes the indented appearance of a pitted acne scarhence the namecreating a small pit-like structure on the face.
- Do pitted acne scars go away?
Left unaddressed, pitted acne scars can take quite a while to fade and, in some cases, may never disappear completely.
- Do indented scars fill in over time?
In most cases, the indentation does not fill in on its own but discoloration can improve over time.
What Ingredients And Products Are Best For Fading Acne Scars
Look for products with the ingredient hydroquinone, a skin-lightening agent in many OTC dark spot and acne scar treatment products. Products with kojic acid and azelaic acid are also effective ingredients to use in the early stages of acne as a preventative measure, Fenton said. He recommended PCA Skin Pigment Gel because it contains several of these ingredients, as well as alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate the skin.
The active ingredients work much better at preventing the pigment from forming, rather than clearing the pigment after it has been deposited, Fenton said.
While true acne scars are best treated with lasers, microdermabrasion or deep peels, there are topical products you can use for minor discoloration. That starts with reducing sun exposure and using non-comedogenic sunscreen to prevent further discoloration of scars and dark spots, Friedler said. She recommended using an oil-free mineral sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher.
There arent really ingredients you should avoid because you have Black skin. Naturally, you should use ingredients that are complementary to your skin type and address your skin condition, Ayodele said.
Vitamin A is also a gold standard ingredient as it can exfoliate, fade and optimize skin quality to improve the appearance of scarring, she said.
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