Effective Treatments for Acne Scars

Acne is no fun affair and is embarrassing, painful, and unsightly. The aftermath of acne is even worse. We are talking about acne scars. Acne scars leave a lasting history of the acne you had from high school and puberty and may only diminish slightly over time. Acne scars are caused by the skin producing natural oils that bacteria forms in. The bacteria cause the skin to become irritated, clogging the hair follicles around the irritated area. Dirt collects in the under layer of skin of the hair follicle causing the skin to become inflamed. A pimple then is produced. As the acne begins to heal collagen is produced. When too much collagen is produced a scar is formed. Acne scars do not require treatment but should acne persist the scarring may become more severe and the amount of acne scarring may increase.

Whether you are just beginning to have acne, have had acne for years, or are only left with the scars it is recommended you consult a dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan for your skin. The treatment will help prevent acne from forming and prevent further acne outbreaks.

A dermatologist will prescribe a medication based on the type of acne scar you have. Possible acne treatments include creams, chemical peels, laser treatments, microdermabrasion technology, and injections. Creams are used the most often and are available over the counter and through prescriptions.

Chemical peels use an acidic solution applied directly to the affected area. The outermost layer disintegrates and peels away. Once the skin peels away a newer unaffected layer of skin is left. The treatment is available in mild to deep penetration solutions.

Microdermabrasion technology treatments wear down the surface of the skin using rotating wire brushes or spinning diamond instruments. As the skin heals, new, smoother skin replaces the removed skin.

Laser treatments remove the top layer of skin and tighten the middle layer of skin. This treatment makes the skin smoother. Mild pain may occur with this treatment so a dermatologist may use a local anesthesia to reduce the pain by numbing the skin. Injections are for more severe types of scars. Injections soften and flatten the scar.

Ineffective Treatments for Acne Scars

Acne is very common among teenagers and people in developmental years going through puberty. It affects some people very badly, and will be present in large breakouts commonly. In others, there will only be a few pimples at a time, and acne won’t ever be an issue for their skin. However, sometimes acne scars can be left by bad acne. These will last forever if untreated, and can be devastating for skin that has finally cleared up from acne.

Unfortunately, many of the acne scar treatments on the market are very ineffective. There are hundreds of different treatments available as over the counter products, and they mainly come in three categories: topical creams, topical steroids, and vitamin mixtures.

Topical creams are usually made up of different medications for acne, antibiotics, ointments, and mineral oils. There have been many different studies done on these, and it has been shown that the majority of these products are effective at healing, but ineffective at reducing the physical appearance of scars. So if you have acne, they may help to heal and not scar, but they do little for scars that are already there in most cases. For very small scars, there are some topical creams that have a triple dose of antibiotic that showed some efficiency in clearing scars, but usually, these are ineffective.

The other type of over the counter options are the vitamin mixtures. It is common and popular to use vitamin C, vitamin E, onion extract, and other things to reduce scar visibility. This can be a bad idea because vitamin E causes dermatitis in about a third of the people who use it, giving the user a skin rash and making the acne scar look even worse.

Over the counter topical treatments are ineffective in removing acne scars. Acne scars are deep enough that you have to get into the skin to really have any beneficial effect, so topical creams won’t cut it.

The most effective methods for removing acne scars are all through a dermatologist. Some of the best methods are a dermabrasion procedure, chemical peel, and laser treatments.