Acne is a serious problem for a lot of people. As a teenager, it can cause embarrassment and shame. And even once you’re an adult and the acne goes away, it can still leave scars behind that seriously impact your self-confidence. There are a few different types of acne scars and they aren’t always easy to fix. But it can be done. With the right treatment, you can fade your acne scars quickly and for good and stop worrying about how they affect the appearance of your face. Taylor Clinic‘s Clinical Nurse, Rosalind Layton shares both at-home solutions and medical treatments you can do to treat acne scars.
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The Basics on Acne Scars
If you have moderate to severe acne at any point in your life, it can lead to acne scarring. These are permanent indentations and bumpy areas on the skin and aren’t to be confused with the red and brown marks that occur just after acne has healed. These colourful markings will fade over time as the skin heals, but acne scarring is permanent without treatment. Acne scars occur because large cysts form under the skin when you have severe acne. These cysts are filled with pus and destroy skin tissue, which isn’t replaced as the cyst empties and heals. As a result, once the skin has healed it often leaves behind an indentation.
At-Home Solutions for Acne Scars
Before you try to treat your acne scars, you need to get rid of any acne permanently. Otherwise, you’ll treat the scars and your skin will break out, causing more. Make sure you see a skin specialist before you start treatments. They will be able to design a treatment plan that suits your skin and the specific type of scars that you have. This is incredibly important in avoiding further problems.
Start by treating your acne scars with creams that you can use at home. These can markedly improve the appearance of your acne scarring, and may make further treatments unnecessary. Some of the most useful creams for acne scarring are:
Lactic acid peels can improve the texture, colour and overall appearance of the skin. So try having this treatment once every two weeks for three months and see how your skin looks at the end of it.
Alpha hydroxyl acids
This substance is often used to treat acne as it unclogs the pores and removes dead skin. It will also exfoliates the skin, removing dead and roughened skin, which helps diminish the appearance of acne scars.
Salicylic acid is one of the most effective ways to treat acne and acne scarring. It unclogs the pores, reduces swelling and discolouration and exfoliates the skin to reveal fresh, smoother skin underneath.
Medical Treatments for Acne Scarring
If these different creams don’t work, then it’s time to bring in the big guns. Your doctor or skin care specialist can offer you a number of acne scar solutions that are stronger and more effective than most topical creams. These include:
These are much stronger than the peels you get at home and actually remove the top layer of skin to reduce deep acne scarring. Make sure you talk to an appropriately trained and experienced provider before having one of these done.
Dermabrasion is most effective with boxcar or rolling scars, but it can help with deeper scars as well. This is an exfoliating technique where a skin specialist uses a machine to gently remove the outer layers of skin, exposing the new skin underneath.
Lasers can do almost anything these days and that applies to acne scar removal too. A trained professional can use the laser to remove the top layer of your skin in a similar way to the two previous options. It will take you less time to heal from this type of procedure and it’s effective on a range of different acne scars.
Fillers are a relatively new option. They’re injected under the skin and help to ‘plump up’ the scar. Fillers can be made from a variety of substances but they aren’t always permanent, so you may have to have them redone.
If your scars are quite bad and nothing’s working, your doctor may be able to help. They can remove the scar, leaving behind a much smaller one that will fade. They can also loosen the fibers under the scar and lift the skin, making the scar less obvious.
So if your acne scars are bothering you, don’t just put up with it. Talk to a healthcare professional today about the treatment options that are right for you.
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