Face Lift

Acne Scar Treatments: Demystified

Six Do's and Don'ts of Managing Acne Scars

Yes, acne can leave emotional scars, but it can also leave physical reminders of breakouts past.

Acne scars may be raised or depressed, and some may be painful and inflamed. The most serious scarring is usually caused by severe forms of acne, including cysts and nodules.

If you have acne scars, there is likely little you wouldn't try to get rid of them. Here are some expert-approved do's and don'ts designed to help:

Courtesy of AAFPRS

1. Do get your acne under control before you seek scar treatment

No therapy will be effective if you still have acne. See a dermatologist to make sure you are doing everything you can to treat your breakouts.

2. Do try over-the-counter (OTC) scar creams first

They may help soften the appearance of modest acne scars and are relatively inexpensive and widely available.

3. Do see a dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon for an evaluation

If the OTC scar cream doesn't do the trick, see a specialist. There are several types of acne scars. Ice pick scars are pitted, atrophic scars are flat and thin and hypertrophic or keloid scars are thick and lumpy. Treatments work best when they are paired with the right scars. For example, rolling or atrophic scars are best treated with injections of soft tissue fillers under the scar to raise it to the level of normal skin.

4. Do know your options

To address severe acne scarring your dermatologist will need to break out the big guns — chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, cryotherapy (freezing), injections of soft tissue fillers or steroid injections. Acne surgery is also an option to remove, raise or fill deeply indented scars.

5. Don't pick, pop or squeeze your acne

This will increase your chances of developing unsightly hard-to-treat acne scars. The best way to treat acne scars is never to get them in the first place.

6. Don't expect miracles

No scar ever fully disappears, but today's treatments can make a significant difference in the look and feel of your acne scarring.

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