Have you got acne scars that are getting you down? It’s not the end of the world; there are some great and very effective treatments available from skincare clinics and dermatologists that will help to diminish the appearance of the scars over time and give you back confidence in your skin.
What Are the Main Types of Acne Scar?
There are different types of scar – some of these will fade away naturally in time but some are harder to get rid of. The main types are:
- Macules: flat, red spots where you once had a spot, boil or acne breakout. These tend to fade on their own after a while.
- Skin discoloration: where a healed acne scar leaves you with discolored skin. This is sometimes called post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation and can take months to fade completely.
- Tissue scars: these are the enlarged, raised growths also called keloids caused by excess production of collagen.
- Tissue loss: the acne ‘pits’ or scars caused by a loss of tissue.
Acne Scar Reduction
If you have acne scars, and you’re unhappy about the way they make you look, there are several options available that you can to try to reduce their appearance. The first thing to do is to make an appointment with a professional; a dermatologist or esthetician at a skin clinic. They can assess your acne scars and talk you through the best options for professional acne skincare, at home or in-clinic.
Common Acne Scar Removal Treatments
Micro-dermabrasion: this is where an esthetician exfoliates your skin using very small crystals, taking off the surface layer of dead skin and encouraging cell renewal. For deeper scars it’s likely you’ll need more than one session, so discuss this with the therapist when you consult with them. It’s non-invasive, doesn’t hurt and requires no downtime so is an ideal first treatment for acne scarring.
Chemical peels: a chemical peel is very effective at reducing hyper-pigmentation and also reducing the appearance of shallow acne scars. A chemical peel simply involves applying a mild type of acid to your skin to remove the very top layer. Taking off the dead skin cells leaves your skin looking brighter and evens out your skin tone. Mild skin peels don’t usually need any down time, but the harsher ones might leave your skin red for a while – your esthetician will be able to advise you.
Retinoic acid: always get your esthetician or dermatologist’s opinion before using home acne scar removal treatments – they may recommend you use a professionally prescribed cream containing retinoic acid cream on the scars, especially if you have keloid scars.
Lasers: there are several laser treatments available that help to remove the outer layer of your skin, as well as contouring the areas of skin around acne scars, and lightening any redness. The type of laser therapy that will suit you depends on whether the scar you’re treating is raised or flat. You’ll probably need several sessions and it’s possible you’ll need down time for your skin to heal after a treatment.
All of these treatments can help to improve the appearance of your skin and reduce the scarring – but with acne scars you should always discuss your expectations with the esthetician or dermatologist.