How to Get Rid of Acne Scars and Prevent Them
Acne scars are common, and frequently leave the people who have them feeling unattractive and ashamed. While they may fade over time, in other cases they may be more permanent. There are different types of scars each with a different characteristic appearance, such as icepick or boxcar scars. Read on to learn more about how to get rid of acne scars.
Popular Scar Removal Methods
The two most popular medical forms of scar removal are chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
- Chemical peels use one, or a combination of, acids to destroy the top layer of skin, so that a new, smoother layer can grow. It is not appropriate for deeper scars, but is very effective for shallower ones.
- Dermabrasion is the process of removing the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. Microdermabrasion removes just the top layer of the epidermis so it does not require anesthesia and is less painful. It can be repeated more often, and has fewer complications (though complications of dermabrasion are rare). However, being more superficial, microdermabrasion is not effective on deeper scarring.
- Fractional laser therapy is a newer approach which has shorter recovery periods than older laser techniques, so repeated treatments can be done more often. Because scars can be more precisely targeted, lasers are a popular choice, but can be expensive.
Other Methods for Removing Acne Scars
Keloid scars are those which are raised, ropy and lumpy. They can be treated by injections of steroids, through freezing with liquid nitrogen, or directly removed by excision. Skin lightening creams can be used to affect the discoloration that can come from scarring. Topical pockmark fillers are available over-the-counter for daily use at home. These products contain hyaluronic acid, which plumps the tissue in the area of the scar to smooth out its appearance. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin from the surface through vigorous scrubbing or brushing. It reveals healthy, fresh skin and creates healthier skin by stimulating circulation.
How To Prevent Acne Scars
Prevention of acne scars is dependent on keeping the skin as healthy as possible so it is not as susceptible to scarring. A good skin care regimen, focusing on keeping the skin free from dead cells and well-hydrated, is vital to success in preventing scars. Most critical, though, is to avoid picking at pimples. Picking damages the underlying skin cells, stimulating the overproduction of the protein collagen, which in turn results in the thickening of the skin that is known as a scar. However, even with the best attention to scar prevention, they may occur anyway.
Which is the appropriate method for you?
When it comes to decide, the possible options depend on the type and depth of scarring. Mild and shallow scars can often be successfully treated with an over-the-counter cream or gel. Microdermabrasion and laser therapy are also effective on these types of scars. Those with dark skin may develop darker patches as a result of laser treatment. Deeper scars are more difficult to treat, requiring repeated treatments or more aggressive therapies such as excision or grafting.