November 8, 2021
As if an acne breakout wasn’t bad enough on their own, acne can scar and leave permanent marks on your skin. But, don’t give up hope. Modern skincare and medicine have joined forces to make treatments that can help. There isn’t truly a “best treatment” for acne scars since everyone’s skin is different. Luckily, there are many methods that you can try.
Keep reading to learn how to get rid of acne scars fast and feel better about your skin.
Acne scar types
Before we look at solutions, let’s determine the problem. Not all acne scars are the same. Below is a summary of the major types of acne scars.
- Atrophic acne scars: These depressed scars create the impression of little holes in our skin. They form when the skin doesn’t produce enough collagen as acne spots fade, leaving tiny indentations behind.
- Hypertrophic: These raised scars are similar to the ones that you may get from a cut. The scar tissue sits on the skin’s surface and is caused by excess collagen production during the healing process.
- Dark spots: Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation from acne, are grayish spots that usually go away on their own, but some can be particularly persistent. You can also get dark spots from sun exposure, so skincare products like sunscreen often target this issue. (You should wear sunscreen daily to help prevent this.)
DIY: acne scar treatment at home
These days there are a wealth of over-the-counter options for treating acne scars. There are products at virtually every price point, from costly luxury creams to more economical drugstore options. Generally, this wide range of products contains the same or similar ingredients, so it’s a good idea to do your homework. That way, you’ll be able to identify what’s right for your skin and wallet.
When introducing any new product to your wellness routine, proceed with caution. Try testing it on a patch of skin to see how your skin reacts before putting it on your face. If you need guidance, be sure to contact a professional. Remember that products affect different skin tones in different ways, so read product descriptions carefully for information on how the treatment may work on your skin type and tone.
- Alpha-hydroxy acid: This type of ingredient, also known as AHAs, are usually found in chemical exfoliants and peels. They help to remove dead skin cells, expediting the skin’s natural turnover process and speeding up the disappearance of temporary dark spots. Common forms are mandelic or glycolic acid.
- Lactic acid: Acne scars can successfully be treated with lactic acid, another popular AHA generally found in peels, ointments, and serums. This ingredient works to gently exfoliate the skin, breaking down dead cells and revealing the smoother, brighter skin underneath.
- Retinol: Treatments with retinoids fade discoloration by speeding up cell turnover rate. Today, there are effective over-the-counter products with retinol, but for stronger varieties, you’ll need to visit a dermatologist. Retinol makes your skin extremely sensitive to sunlight, so be sure to wear high-SPF sunscreen if you’re using one of these treatments to diminish acne scars. Other wondrous effects of retinol are acne prevention and fading fine lines and wrinkles.
- Salicylic acid: This ingredient is common in treatments for acne-prone skin and in solutions for the scars blemishes leave behind. Salicylic acid works to clean out pores and reduce inflammation, evening out skin discoloration. This acid is common in overnight acne treatments, like gels and spot creams, but you can also find it in cleansers, serums, and exfoliants. It penetrates the skin deeper than lactic acid, which is beneficial for acne, but can also irritate the skin more. Usually, salicylic acid can treat any kind of breakout, whether it be blackheads, whiteheads, or any other unfortunate zits.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is one of the best natural remedies to remove acne scars. This antioxidant boosts collagen production and has an overall brightening effect on the skin, helping to bring dark spots back into the light. Widely regarded as one of the overall best treatments for acne scars and the general skin health, Vitamin C can now be found in a variety of topical lotions and serums.
See a professional: in-office acne scar treatment
Sometimes even the best products for acne scars aren’t enough to treat every case. This is where dermatologists come in.
- Dermabrasion: As the name implies, this treatment exerts abrasiveness on the skin, but not in a harmful way. A dermatologist can deeply exfoliate your skin safely by using a metal brush or other abrasion tools.
- Chemical peels: Some of us may have been introduced to chemical peels through that harrowing, famous scene in the late 90s series Sex and The City, in which one of the main characters has to attend a party right after getting this treatment, her face still tomato red. The takeaway shouldn’t be to avoid peels, but perhaps not to get one right before a major event. This in-office treatment involves removing the top layer of skin with a strong acid and can improve the appearance of acne scars. Your skin will take several days to peel off, revealing fresh, bright skin underneath.
- Fillers: These injections introduce collagen or fat into the skin, filling it out, as the name implies. Fillers can effectively treat deep depressions by plumping up these pinpointed areas of scarring. Remember that most fillers aren’t forever, and you’ll need to get a top up every so often.
- Laser treatment: Laser resurfacing treatments may be an option, but only if your skin has stopped breaking out and you’re primarily seeking to reduce the scars left behind. This procedure also involves removing the top layer of skin to lessen the appearance of dark spots, and it does require some recovery time, so be sure to schedule your appointment when your skin will have ample time to heal correctly.
- Microneedling: In this treatment, professionals use tiny needles to spur cellular production, generating more elastin and collagen. Aside from just treating scars, this procedure also reduces signs of aging. Bonus!
Get all the products you need to step up your skincare routine through Gopuff and have everything delivered to your door. That way, you can focus on your Sunday self care instead of running errands.