Acne scars and blemishes on the skin are often unsightly little remnants of your awkward teenage years. When you feel that you are all grown up, you could be hit with a case of the notorious “adult acne” that also leaves its marks for years. Here are some tips and ideas on how to hide acne scars.
Using makeup, such as concealer, foundation and powder, to hide acne scars is perhaps the quickest and easiest way. Commercial makeup found in drug stores is extremely cost effective and can be sufficient enough to cover scars.
There is also specialty makeup, such as that used to cover up tattoos, stage makeup, or paramedic makeup intended for severely burned skin. While they may cover better than commercial makeup, they can also be thick and heavy and uncomfortable to wear the whole day.
Some general tips when using makeup to cover acne scars include:
- Look for dense or high levels of pigments in the product for maximum coverage.
- If you also concurrently have acne, look for a formula with acne-fighting properties.
- Always remove your makeup properly and wash your face to prevent future episodes of acne.
- The thickest product almost always goes on last (usually the concealer).
At The Doctor's Office
Your dermatologist may be able to provide the fastest and most effective acne scar treatments in the office. However, these procedures can be quite pricey, and usually require a span of several visits to see results. They include:
- Laser treatments: there are several types of effective laser treatments that can help reduce acne scars and blemishes. In laser resurfacing, the doctor will destroy the outer layer of the skin and encourage growth of new skin by gently heating the inner layers of the skin. Nonablative lasers, which do not destroy existing skin, only heats the dermis and encourage new skin formation. Laser therapy usually takes several treatments and can let scars become less noticeable.
- Dermabrasion: Through the use of a thick, rotating brush, the top layer of skin is sloughed off to reveal undamaged skin underneath. In this case, surface scars will be completely removed and deeper scars will look lighter.
- Surgery: surgery may be an option to remove very deep acne scars. This is done by punching out individual scars, then repairing the wound with stitches or skin grafts. However, surgery may not be the best option for individuals who are sensitive to scar formation or those prone to keloid scars.
- Tissue fillers: Another effective and less invasive way to improve scar appearance is the use of tissue fillers. Injections of collagen, fat, or synthetic amino acids into cavernous scars can fill out the indentation under the skin. There are many FDA approved injectable fillers on the market today for safe administration. However, these results need periodical maintenance as they only last for a temporary amount of time before it is absorbed by the body.
Be sure to seek these treatments to specifically dermatologists, not doctors in other specialties. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions and discuss all options, as there may be less invasive options to start with.
Sometimes, licensed estheticians may also offer these services to fade acne scars and hide blemishes. However, be sure to check his or her credentials and do extensive research before committing, as they are not licensed physicians.
Tips To Fade Marks
Here are some helpful tips to help you speed up the fading of the marks. Maybe one day there will be none left to cover up!
- Be diligent about at-home scar treatment. Scar treatment gels, creams, tapes, and lotions are widely available today, either through prescription or in drug stores. However, such concoctions only work if they are continuously and diligently applied every day according to direction. While they cannot permanently remove any acne scars or marks, they can dramatically improve its appearance.
- Treat the underlying problem. See a doctor to fix the underlying problem to prevent future episodes of blemishes or marks that will need to be covered up. For example, if recurring bad rashes or a serious case of acne is the culprit, seek treatment for those conditions as soon as possible.
- Moisturize. Similar to the idea of scar ointments, keeping the area hydrated can improve the appearance of scars and make your skin look more radiant. It may also reduce hyper pigmentation due to dryness of the skin.
- Use sun protection. Those notorious UV rays from the sun have been shown to darken existing scars, marks, and blemishes on the skin over time. Hence, be diligent about using sunscreen lotion every day, and reapply as often as possible. Also, wear protective clothing and gear, such as long sleeve shirts, hats, and sunglasses, to prevent further darkening of those unsightly marks.