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Treating breakouts is challenging for people with severe or persistent acne. Once you’ve finally cleared your skin, you may still have acne scars. Unfortunately, acne scars can persist for years after your skin clears, which just doesn’t seem fair.
Is there a way to erase your skin’s acne history? In this article, we’ll look at treatments that can help reduce the appearance of acne scars.
A word of warning: be wary of products that promise to make your acne scars vanish overnight. Healing acne scars is a marathon, not a sprint.
Types of Acne Scars
Acne lesions may be severe enough to damage the deep layers of skin, leaving behind scars. Much of what people call acne scars are actually hyperpigmentation and erythema (brown and red spots). These are easier for most people to treat than true acne scars.
There are several types of acne scars, and the treatment you choose will depend upon the types that you have.
Atrophic scars are most common on the face. This type of scar is depressed and sits below the surface of the skin and forms when there is insufficient collagen production as a blemish heals.
Ice Pick Scars
Ice pick scars are a form of atrophic scar. They are narrow, V-shaped scars. They are the most difficult type of scar to treat because of their significant depth.
Hypertrophic scars are most common on the back and chest. This type of scar is raised above the surface of the skin and forms when there is an overproduction of collagen as a blemish heals.
Schedule a visit with the physician at Brentwood Dermatology before beginning a scar treatment regimen. A physician can determine whether the marks on your face are acne scars or another skin condition.
At-Home Acne Scar Treatments
There are several treatments that you can do at home to improve the appearance of your acne scars.
Dermarolling is a treatment that uses a small, handheld roller covered in needles to create micro punctures in the skin. The needles cause superficial damage to the skin, which encourages your body to produce collagen and elastin as it heals. As you produce more collagen and elastin in your skin, your scars will appear smoother.
BONUS: Dermarolling also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and you can even use it to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The healing time after a dermarolling session depends upon the needle length. It’s best to start with shallow needles, as you may find that they sufficiently improve your scars.
Dermarolling works for all types of acne scars.
Many topical ingredients give you an extra bang-for-your-buck because they treat acne scars and prevent future breakouts at the same time. It may be tempting to try several products all at once, but doing so will not heal your scars faster. In fact, you may irritate your skin too much and cause a breakout. Be strategic and try one product at a time and see if it gives you results over an eight to twelve-week period.
Some great topical ingredients are:
- Retinoids – These powerful ingredients speed up cell regeneration and reduce discoloration. They also increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen daily. Retinoids work best for atrophic scars.
- Salicylic Acid – This powerhouse ingredient clears pores, reduces swelling, and exfoliates the skin to remove pore-clogging dead skin cells. It also increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so wear sunscreen daily. Salicylic acid works well for all types of acne scars.
- Vitamin C – Antioxidants like Vitamin C are great for your overall skin health. They prevent further skin damage from free radicals while also reducing the hyperpigmentation spots that acne leaves behind. Vitamin C works well for all types of acne scars.
- Glycolic Acid – This topical is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid that promotes cell turnover. It reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation marks and prevents dead skin cells from clogging pores. Glycolic acid works well for all types of acne scars.
If at-home treatments aren’t getting you the results that you want, schedule an appointment with Brentwood Dermatology for one of our potent, in-office procedures.
Fraxel Repair Laser
The Fraxel Repair is the latest generation Fraxel laser. It uses CO2 to ablate (destroy) and remove sun-damaged skin and areas with abnormal collagen, such as acne scars. The laser treats just a portion of the skin surface to promote rapid healing with minimal downtime.
Laser treatments also improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Most patients can expect about seven days of healing before the redness from this treatment fades.
Fraxel Repair works for all types of acne scars.
Dermal fillers add volume to targeted areas of the face. Brentwood Dermatology exclusively uses a silicone filler because it is safe, effective, well-researched, and lasting.
A physician will inject silicone under the skin to plump up and smooth depressed, atrophic scars.
Dermal fillers work best for atrophic scarring. The treatment is suitable for people with a limited number of atrophic scars but is not suitable for persons with widespread atrophic scarring.
Preventing Future Acne Scars
A good skin care regimen will prevent future breakouts that can create new scars. You should also wear sunscreen daily because sun exposure can darken any remaining hyperpigmentation, making it appear more noticeable.
Schedule your appointment with Brentwood Dermatology today if you have questions about treating your acne scars and are interested in learning more about our in-office treatments.
Learn More About Brentwood Dermatology.
The trusted physicians at Brentwood Dermatology can assist you with all of your general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology needs. If you would like to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 377-3448.