If you’ve ever suffered from moderate to severe acne, it’s likely that you still have the scars to prove it. Characteristics such as age, heredity, ethnicity and sex can affect how your skin will react to acne, and how bad the scarring will be. A scar will never go away completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to treat them and dramatically reduce their size and appearance… Here are my top ten ways to treat those nasty !
1. Prevent them
One of the biggest reasons we get scars from acne is because we just can’t resist the urge to squeeze or pick them! Not only will popping pimples lead to nasty, ugly scars, it can also spread acne, which could in turn lead to more scarring!
2. Get treatment
If you have moderate to severe acne, get medical treatment as early as possible. Early, effective treatment by a can stave off the break-outs and the scarring that follows.
3. Seek surgery
If you have deep, depressed acne scars, your dermatologist may recommend surgery with a local anesthesia. Surgeries can include punch excision, punch elevation, punch graft, or a subcutaneous incision. Sounds scary, but it’s not — I’ve had the last one myself, with excellent results!
4. Get lasered
Depending on how severe and noticeable the scarring is, some dermatologists recommend laser skin resurfacing, either with ablative lasers, or non-ablative lasers.
5. Have a peel
A chemical peel may be used to treat moderate acne scarring, but I’ve had one of these and it’s a little on the painful side. It feels like a bad sunburn. A dermatologist applies a strong chemical to your skin, which peels off the surface layer of skin, and perhaps even a little more. It’s wonderful for treating acne scars, though, so you may want to consider this option.
6. Get filled
A filler maybe used by a dermatologist to “plump” depressed scars, and this is a very effective, although not permanent, solution. Injections such as collagen, PMMA, or even your own fat may be used.
7. Try microdermabrasion
If you have mild scarring from acne, you can treat with microdermabrasion, which simply removes the very top layer of skin, with all of its flaws and imperfections, including slight scars. It’s painless and you won’t even have to miss work or school!
If you have severe raised scars, your dermatologist may recommend cryotherapy, or freezing. The scar tissue is literally frozen, and may leave the skin a little lighter, so it’s not the best solution for anyone with a dark complexion.
9. Silicone gel
Once used in a variety of breast implants , silicone can now also be used to effectively shrink and lighten raised acne scars (keloids), and also stop the itch and irritation associated with them. This typically takes about 6 months, but the results are permanent in about a third of patients.
10. Try a cream
There are tons of scar-treating products on the market right now. I haven’t tried them all, but I did find success with one by Kinerase called Scar Healing Therapy. You can find it at Sephora.com.
With so many options, I’m sure there’s a solution or treatment plan for your own type of acne scarring. I’ve been very pleased with my own treatment plan, which hasn’t made my mild scarring totally invisible, but which has made it almost disappear with very little discomfort to me. What about you? Have you had acne scars? How did you treat them? What were the side effects, and how did it work?