If you’ve had acne, you probably have the scars to prove it. Yes, it’s a problem. But there are solutions.
What Causes an Acne Scar?
As an acne cyst forms, the sebaceous gland fills with foreign matter, including bacteria, cells and sebum that are unable to pass through to the skin’s surface. When the cyst ruptures, the buildup of foreign matter is deposited deep within the dermis, where it is attacked by infection-fighting white blood cells. The most common outcome of such a forceful inflammatory response is that the skin collapses over the dermis and leaves a pockmark depression or ice-pack scar.
How Can I Get Rid of Acne Scars?
Prevention is the most effective approach. The earlier the treatment, the fewer the scars. But once the damage is done, there are ways to reduce the visibility of acne scars.
Resurfacing (Ablative) Laser Treatment burns away scar tissue and stimulates the dermal collagen to tighten, thereby reducing scar visibility.
Nonablative Laser Treatments, like Smoothbeam or N-Lite, work to tighten collagen or stimulate collagen formation.
Subcision employs a tiny scalpel or needle to help break fibrous bands of scar tissue and induce new collagen formation.
Dermabrasion is the oldest technique in which a dermatologist shears away damaged tissue.
Microdermabrasion – sandblasts – tiny particles against the skin, gradually removing scarred or discolored epithelial tissue.
Chemical peels use a high-potency acid to penetrate the skin.
At-Home Fillers and Topicals
Restylane, Hylaform, Cosmoderm, Cymetra, Fascian, Artecoll and Bovine Collagen fillers help to instantly – plump up – acne scars for up to several months.
DERMAdoctor Faux Fillment is a more economical version of a filler that softens the appearance of mild, saucer-shaped acne scars for up to 24 hours at a time.
Topicals that contain L-ascorbic acid or amino peptides may be beneficial in stimulating collagen formation.
Don’t pick! Dermatologist Audrey Kunin, founder of DERMAdoctor, urges people to not pick at their skin. This includes squeezing acne bumps, popping chickenpox, scratching open mosquito bites or digging at ingrown hairs. Resist the urge – you’ll prevent the scars.