Acne scars can be a tremendous source of embarrassment for those even mildly affected. Many people try at-home or over-the-counter treatments to improve the appearance of acne scars. At-home treatments may take considerable time to see even minimal results. But advancing medical skin care options have helped millions affected by acne scars. We have compiled a list of at-home and medical treatment options to help treat your acne scars and improve your skin’s overall health.
Some at-home acne scar treatments, using readily-available natural ingredients, provide an affordable solution. This can also be a good option for those with sensitive skin because these natural treatments rarely create side effects that may further irritate sensitive skin. However, individuals who try these options should be patient, as they often take considerable time to affect results.
With any skincare treatments, individual results may vary. It’s always wise to test any new treatment product on a small area of skin prior to wide-spread use. This allows you to determine if a treatment causes you irritation, allergic reaction or other adverse effects.
At-Home Acne Scar Treatment Options
Oatmeal cleanser – A natural cleanser that you can make it home. Oatmeal helps eliminate skin concerns like blackheads and may lessen the appearance of acne scars.
How to use: Create your own oatmeal cleanser at home by mixing rose water and oatmeal powder to form a paste. Apply over the areas of your skin affected by the acne scars.
After applying it allow for about fifteen minutes to pass then afterwards rinse it with cold water. This method helps reduce the appearance of pore size and minimize the appearance of acne scars. Can be used daily.
Honey – Considered one of the best natural remedies for skin concerns, honey’s natural anti-bacterial qualities may help prevent future acne outbreaks and reduce the inflammation that may make acne scars more prominent.
How to use: After cleansing your skin with a mild cleanser apply honey to the affected areas. Wait about ten minutes before rinsing it with clean water.
Over the Counter Treatments – There are a number of scar diminishing treatments available through your local pharmacy or drugstore. However, many contain salicylic acid & silicone which can further irritate the skin. You may need to try several different products before finding one that suits your specific skin-type and sensitivity.
How to use: Most over-the-counter treatments are applied topically. Follow package instructions.
Medical Treatment Options
Laser Resurfacing – A qualified medical professional can help smooth away fine lines and wrinkles, reverse skin discoloration and minimize the appearance of acne scars through a process called laser resurfacing. It’s a process that involves a laser using three or more light and laser technologies to address the need for skin tightening, resurfacing and color.
What to Expect: Treatments may take from a few minutes to about an hour or so. Your Medical Aesthetician will recommend a treatment plan which may include several treatments over time for best results.
Learn more about skin rejuvenation through laser resurfacing at Larson Medical Aesthetics.
Chemical Peels – Offered by medical aestheticians, chemical peels help improve overall skin clarity and smoothness, including the look of acne scars. In-office procedures are designed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of pore size, soften fine lines and wrinkles, clear acne lesions and reduce the appearance of scars and stimulate collagen and elastin for firmer skin. Most medical-grade chemical peels contain glycolic acid and treat acne, Actinic Keratosis, general skin roughness or uneven tone.
What to Expect: Chemical peel treatments are typically repeated multiple times per year, and cause little to no down-time.
Learn more about chemical peels and facials at Larson Medical Aesthetics.
Medical Grade Skincare & Prescriptions – There are many different types of skincare lines offered through medical offices. These skincare lines are specially formulated to treat both active acne and scarring with prescription strength topical medications. Some of the most popular lines include Obagi, SkinMedica and Regenica. After a consultation with a licensed medical professional, these may be the least invasive and the most economical option if prescribed to you.
What to Expect: New skincare can take time to get used to, especially a retin-a or tretinoin cream which are commonly prescribed when dealing with acne or acne scars. Initial redness, dryness or flakiness is normal.
Bellafill ® – Dermal Filler Injections – Bellafill® has been FDA approved to treat acne scars by injecting a small amount of filler into the deficit created by acne. Often this is a preferred treatment for deep “ice pick” scars.
What to Expect: Treatments are quick and have little downtime. This option is best for treating the deepest acne scars and creating long term correction when combined with other treatments.
Remember there are now many ways to treat acne scars. Just be patient in looking for a method that meets your needs and desired timeline for improvement. Consult your physician or qualified medical professional for complete details on these and other medical options available.
Margaret L. Larson, ARNP is a specialist with the long lasting filler, Bellafill. She was the recipient of the “BellaDiamond” award in 2014 for being the top injector in her field for this product. Her skill and experience in acne scar treatment is extensive, and her patients have reported that this particular treatment has changed their lives.
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The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes. It should not be considered as, or used in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Consult your medical provider prior to beginning any skin care regimen or if you have been diagnosed with any disorder involving the skin.