Acne Scar Treatment: How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

Acne can be unsightly, and even worse, it can lead to permanent scarring. Acne scars are a result of damaged skin tissue, but their appearance on the face can be managed. Acne is a fact of life, but acne scars don’t have to be!

How Acne Scars Form

Acne and blemishes occur when pores become engorged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. This causes a pore to swell, which breaks the wall of the pore. If that rupture happens near the surface of the skin, it often heals quickly1. If the lesion occurs deeper within the pore, infected material can leak into the dermis, destroying healthy skin tissue2.

The skin then forms collagen, a fibrous protein, to heal the pore. Too much collagen, a loss of tissue, or inflammation can cause scarring. It’s part of the natural healing process, but it might not look great.

How to Prevent Acne Scars

Patients can lessen the chances of developing acne scarring by controlling inflammation. The best way to prevent it is really to treat acne as quickly and effectively as possible – go to a dermatologist if needed, and get prescription-strength medication for the patient’s skin type. Don’t pick at pimples or squeeze them, because this can force debris further into the skin and spread the infection.

Don’t pick at the scars that result. Make sure the face is regularly cleaned, and that patients have developed a skincare routine that minimizes the production of oil and keeps the skin exfoliated. Moisturize often, which sounds counter-productive. Well-hydrated skin tends to loosen up the sebum that builds up in the pores. Furthermore, if patients are over-drying the surface, the pore will actually secrete more oil to combat the dryness, which could make the breakouts worse. A moisturizing sunscreen is also helpful to minimize dryness and irritation from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

How to Treat Acne Scars

Many people treat acne scars with creams, serums, and at home products, but these often don’t provide the results they want. For patients in this situation, the best bet may be to visit a medical practice that specializes in skin and utilizes a professional procedure that can reduce the appearance of the scars. Microdermabrasion, for example, exfoliates the top layer of dead skin to reduce the appearance of dark spots and encourage collagen and elastin production3.

Chemical peels use chemicals to destroy the dead skin cell buildup on the top layer of skin4. Laser skin resurfacing is also an option, because it deeply heats the skin tissue, causing healing and restructuring to occur5. Dermal fillers, too, can add volume to reduce the appearance of certain types of acne scars that result from loss of tissue.

Often acne scars can get better over time, but in many cases patients will need some type of treatment to reduce their visibility. For patients concerned about acne scars, they can take steps to minimize the risks of developing them. And if a patient does get scarring that doesn’t go away on its own, they have options.

Citations
1. Moradi, Tuchayi S (2015). Acne vulgaris. Nature Review Disease Primers. 2015; 17: Page 15029. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27189872
2. Clark, AK (2018). Acne Scars: How Do We Grade Them? American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2018; 19(2): Pages 139-144. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28891036
3. Lloyd, JR (2001). The use of microdermabrasion for acne: a pilot study. Dermatologic Surgery. 2001; 27(4): Pages 329-331. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11298700
4. Kontochristopoulos, G (2017). Chemical peels in active acne and acne scars. Clinical Dermatology. 207: 25 (2): Pages 179-182. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28274356
5. Alexis, AF (2016). Nonablative Fractional Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scarring in Patients With Fitzpatrick Skin Phototypes IV-VI. Dermatologic Surgery. 2016; 42(3): Pages 392-402. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26945321
What is Smart Lipo 360? Is it Different from Liposuction?

What is Smart Lipo 360? Is it Different from Liposuction?

Smart Lipo 360 is a liposuction procedure for the midsection of the body, which includes the flanks, abdomen, and lower back areas. Completing this procedure 360 degrees around can help create a more natural-looking and balanced appearance. Smart Lipo, also known as...

read more
What is Smart Lipo?

What is Smart Lipo?

Smart Lipo is a less invasive form of liposuction that uses laser energy to liquefy tissue before being vacuumed out, as a result, the fat is easier to remove and there is less trauma in the surrounding areas. This procedure was approved by the FDA in 2006 as a method...

read more
5 Things to Know About Hyperhidrosis

5 Things to Know About Hyperhidrosis

If you find yourself excessively sweating, even when you’re not exercising or lounging in the summer heat, you may have hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating, which can be frustrating, embarrassing, and interfere with daily...

read more