Many people who currently have acne or have experienced acne in the past suffer from acne scars. These are noticeable marks or indentations on the skin where pimples once existed. For some people, acne scars may consist of only a few marks. However, others who have suffered from severe acne may be left with scarring on significant portions of their face. Even once the acne is gone, the scars can be just as difficult to cover up and embarrassing to deal with.
Fortunately, there are several acne scar treatments available today. Read on to learn more about different acne scar treatment options to find out if one of these is right for you.
Because they are easy to acquire and less invasive than some other options, a good place to start with acne scar treatments is topical medications. A visit to the drug store will reveal that there are several over-the-counter (OTC) creams that claim to help treat acne scars. Some topical treatments are also available through a prescription from your main physician or dermatologist. Many of these OTC and prescription options contain a bleaching agent called hydroquinone as well as Retin-A and alpha hydroxyl acid. While the bleaching agent lightens the areas of skin that have been darkened with acne scars, the Retin-A and alpha hydroxyl acid stimulate the formation of new collagen. While these creams are generally unable to eliminate the scars altogether, many people find that they at least help to reduce the appearance of the acne scars that they have.
With many of these products, it's best to use a very small amount to start off with to see how your skin reacts. Some topical treatments lead to side effects such as redness or itchiness. If you would rather try a natural remedy first, apply vitamin E to your scars. Many people find this to be relatively effective when it comes to lightening discoloration from acne scars.
For some types of acne scarring, skin treatments can be extremely beneficial. The two most popular procedures in this category are:
Both chemical peels and microdermabrasion are widely available at many dermatology offices and spas. These types of treatment are typically more successful for those with discoloration in their skin from their scars rather than for those who have depressions or other uneven skin surface problems with their scarring. Ask a dermatologist or a licensed skin care specialist if you suffer from both types of scarring as this may still be a good option for you.
Severe acne scarring may warrant the use of more serious measures, such as surgical treatment. There are a few key options for surgical removal of acne scars, including:
Because they affect deeper layers of the skin, these procedures are quite effective at removing depressions or raised areas of the skin where acne scars have formed. However, they also may be more painful, take longer to complete and require a longer recovery period. Infection is also a greater risk because of the deeper layers of skin that may be exposed or affected during these treatments. It's very important to consult with your doctor before deciding to have one of these surgical procedures done because of the risks and intensive recovery time involved.