Having acne scars can be a painful and embarrassing reminder of severe acne you may have suffered from in the past. Fortunately, when you visit a dermatologist, you can learn how to get rid of acne scars permanently. Learn more about acne scar treatments at Metro Dermatology in New York before you schedule your first appointment today.
How Do You Get Rid of Acne Scars on Your Face?
Learning how to get rid of acne scars on the face starts with a consultation with a certified dermatologist who can examine your skin type and the type of acne scars you have. This is an essential step since the treatment for different types of acne scars will vary.
For example, the treatments you may use to address textural acne scars like ice-pick scars are much different than the treatments you would use to address pigmented scars such as hyperpigmentation. Some of the most common acne scar treatments include:
Laser Resurfacing Treatments
Laser resurfacing is an ideal treatment for moderate to severe acne scars, both textural and pigmented. Laser resurfacing works by simultaneously exfoliating the surface layer of the skin and stimulating collagen production deep within the subdermal layers, which effectively restructures and refreshes the appearance of the skin.
Dermal fillers may be a good solution for certain types of deep tissue scars that may not respond to other treatments. For example, ice-pick scars don’t always respond to laser treatments or other resurfacing techniques because the scar tissue is too deep. Using a dermal filler can create artificial volume or stimulate collagen production in a localized area, which can then smooth the surface of the skin.
Photodynamic therapy is a unique treatment that combines ingredients activated by light energy and specific light wavelengths to stimulate cellular renewal, collagen production, and much more. Photodynamic therapy is ideal for mild to moderate acne scars, particularly pigmented scars and shallow scars on the cheeks.
Microdermabrasion is another exfoliating facial that may be effective for reducing mild acne scarring, including dark spots and rolling scars. Microdermabrasion works by removing uneven skin tone and texture, which can improve the superficial appearance of your skin and gradually produce long-lasting results with consistent appointments.
Chemical peels may be perfect for mild or moderate acne scarring. Light chemical peels are best to gently resurface the skin to improve dark spots and shallow scars, while medium chemical peels use a stronger acid to exfoliate the skin and increase collagen production for deeper scarring. Importantly, chemical peels are often an ideal option for those who cannot withstand laser treatment.
Microneedling is an all-in-one treatment that can address pigmented and textural scars at the same time. This treatment works by kickstarting your body’s natural rejuvenation response, which will ultimately increase cellular turnover, collagen production, and blood flow in the subdermal layers of the skin. Microneedling that is paired with PRP treatments or radiofrequency may be especially potent for the treatment of acne scars.
There may be some topical medications that can also be used to reduce the appearance of mild to moderate scarring. For example, dermatologists may prescribe a retinoid, skin brightener, or silicone-based scar gel to improve acne scarring.
Sun protection may be another way to reduce the appearance of acne scars. When you are learning how to get rid of acne scars, you will need to emphasize the importance of sun protection. Not only will wearing SPF every day protect your skin from hypersensitivity after laser treatment or other aesthetic facials, but SPF also prevents hyperpigmentation from current inflammation on your skin from acne.
Skincare products may also be a way you can reduce certain types of acne scars. In particular, over-the-counter products that brighten the skin, reduce inflammation, and encourage a more even skin tone may be ideal for improving mild pigmented scars. You may also be able to use over-the-counter silicone-based scar removal ointment to improve acne scarring.
Are Certain Types of Acne Scars More Difficult To Treat?
Some acne scars may be more difficult to treat than others. However, the ease at which you can treat acne scarring will depend on your skin type, the severity of your scars, the type of scars you have, your active acne condition, and the acne scar treatment you are using.
Challenges With Textural Scars
Textual acne scarring is caused by malformed collagen, which can create uneven texture on the skin. Textural acne scars typically happen because the skin produces collagen while a pore is still inflamed with acne-causing bacteria, which ultimately leads to improper skin healing. Textural scars typically do not fade with age, which is why some people may consider them more challenging to treat.
Challenges With Pigmented Scars
Pigmented scars are typically caused by inflammation on the skin. To be clear, post-acne marks such as post-inflammatory erythema and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are not technically considered scars by most dermatologists. However, because pigmented post-acne marks are blemishes, they can be treated by many aesthetic techniques. The main challenge with pigmented scarring is additional hyperpigmentation if you still have active acne.
Can You Combine Treatments?
Combining acne scar treatments is usually ideal for most people. This is because everyone’s skin responds differently to aesthetic techniques to reduce scarring and because most people are dealing with a few different types of acne scars. It’s common to combine treatments such as microneedling or laser resurfacing with a topical treatment.
Can You Treat Acne Scars With Active Acne?
Treating acne scars when you have active acne may not be recommended depending on the type of acne you have. For example, some acne scar treatments cannot be used if you have inflammatory or cystic acne. Before you can remove acne scars, you must first get your cystic acne breakouts under control.
That said, there are other types of acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads, that can be addressed with the same treatments that correct acne scars. For example, photodynamic therapy, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels can all be used while you still have active acne since these treatments will also reduce acne-causing bacteria and inflammation.
How Can You Control Acne Breakouts?
Getting control of your acne breakouts is crucial if you want to protect your skin from acne scars in the future. However, pinpointing the acne treatments that will control your acne breakouts may be challenging if you have combination skin, if you’re only using over-the-counter products, and if you don’t understand how your skin reacts to acne treatments. Fortunately, a dermatologist can guide you through the process to reduce breakouts.
Regardless of the active ingredients in your skincare products, you must use your skincare regimen consistently. Skincare products formulated for acne-prone skin are typically only effective after being used for four to eight weeks, which is why consistency is key. If you are inconsistent with your skincare for acne, you will not get the result you want.
Leading a healthy lifestyle may be another way you can control acne breakouts. By drinking enough water and having a clean, vitamin-rich diet, you can detoxify your skin naturally. Exercise is also an easy way you can reduce bacteria on the skin’s surface.
Some people may have breakouts related to stress. This is because cortisol, a stress hormone, directly impacts cellular turnover and oil production in your skin. By reducing your stress, you may be able to avoid triggers that cause deep, painful pimples.
Oral or Topical Medications
Some people may need to explore oral and topical medications to control acne breakouts. For oral medications, acne treatments such as Accutane can reduce oil production in the oil glands. Oral medications may also include vitamins with higher concentrations of zinc, antibiotics, or low-dose birth control for women.
Topical medications may be recommended by your dermatologist to control breakouts. Common topical medications include prescription-strength retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid.
Are You a Good Candidate for Acne Scar Treatments?
Candidates for acne scar treatments are those who are suffering from mild, moderate, and severe textural or pigmented scarring. You may be a perfect candidate if you have your acne condition under control, or if you are looking for a way to reduce breakouts and acne scarring at the same time.
Learn How To Get Rid of Acne Scars Today
When you learn how to get rid of acne scars, you will have many treatment options to explore. Most likely, a combination of aesthetic and topical treatments will be necessary to produce optimal results. Schedule a consultation with us at Metro Dermatology in New York today.