Acne is the most common skin condition in the world, with most people experiencing some form of acne during puberty or in adulthood. But while acne is common, it can also be hard on the skin. Even if you do everything you can to limit your breakouts, you may still end up with acne scarring, especially if you’ve been dealing with acne for years. Luckily, the compassionate skin experts at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY know all the best ways to get rid of acne scars.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Acne Scars?
Treating acne scars is much more difficult than it may first seem. Many acne scars develop over time from continual break-outs because the skin doesn’t have enough time to heal properly. Essentially, acne scars happen when your skin heals improperly from inflammation associated with acne.
The good news is that, although it may be a challenge to get rid of acne scars, using the right treatment methods can restore the appearance of your skin. Some of the fastest ways to get rid of acne scars include:
Laser and Light
Advanced technology treatments, such as laser and light treatments, are generally the most effective methods to treat moderate to severe acne scars. In particular, laser treatments are powerful enough to diminish old scar tissue and increase natural collagen production to refine the appearance of the texture of the skin. For example, CO2 fractional lasers and Pico lasers may be good options for your acne scar treatment.
Mild acne scarring, on the other hand, may do better with radiofrequency and light-based treatment systems, such as IPL treatments. Mild acne scarring can include hyperpigmentation and shallow scars. Treatments with light energy can resurface the upper-most layers of the skin and stimulate collagen production to correct minor tissue concerns.
Peels and Facials
Whether it’s professional chemical peels or mild at-home solutions, advanced exfoliation techniques can treat mild to moderate acne scars. Because chemical peels and facials are customized to your skin type and skin tone, they can be a good method to use to resurface the skin, kill acne-causing bacteria, and improve the appearance of the skin overall. Some facials, such as Hydrafacial, can also be used to correct hyperpigmentation and enlarged pores.
Some dermal fillers can be used to smooth the appearance of certain types of advanced scars. A dermal filler can get rid of acne scars by increasing the volume of the skin within the scar so it matches the surrounding tissue. Using this method to treat acne scarring may not be appropriate for all types of scars, such as hyperpigmentation and keloids.
Can You Prevent Acne Scarring?
Treating acne scars is only one piece of the puzzle. In general, the best way to treat acne scarring is by preventing any scarring at all, and that means controlling your acne breakouts. The fewer breakouts you have, the less opportunity you will have to develop scarring. There are many treatments you can use to control your acne and prevent scarring, including routine washing, using acne-fighting topicals, and leaving active acne alone.
Most people who have had acne have tried every over-the-counter product under the sun, but even those products may not have been the right match for your skin type. Sometimes it can feel like those products even make your acne worse. The truth is that controlling your acne breakouts will take time since you will need to figure out the treatment plan that works best for your time, budget, and skin type. Some common acne treatments include:
Photodynamic or light-based treatments are sometimes the most ideal option to limit acne breakouts. Light-based treatments work by killing acne-causing bacteria in your skin, regulating your oil production, and correcting the superficial appearance of your skin. Because light-based treatments tend to be gentle on skin, they can be an ideal match for anyone who has sensitive skin or hasn’t had much luck with other treatments.
Exfoliating your skin is one of the simplest ways to manage acne breakouts. Most of the time, acne is caused by bacteria being trapped beneath dead skin cells, so by using a resurfacing or exfoliating treatment, you can do a lot to prevent this from happening. Some facial treatments include exfoliating steps that slough the surface layer of dead skin cells, which allows acne-fighting skincare products to be more effective.
For some, the most classic treatments are the best option to control acne breakouts. The right combination of topical products can regulate the oil production in your skin, wipe away dead skin cells, and effectively kill acne-causing bacteria before it can spread. Topical treatments may include acid exfoliants like salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid. Those products are traditionally followed up with benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria.
What Causes Acne Scarring?
The root of your acne scarring can be found in many places. For instance, some skin experts believe there is an especially important link between your genetics and your acne scar development. If you have sensitive skin or your skin is prone to scarring, then the chances are high that you have a genetic component that makes it easier for you to develop acne scars. Additionally, some types of acne scars, such as hyperpigmentation, may be more common for certain skin tones.
As to how acne scars are formed, you can trace the main cause to inflammation in the skin. When bacteria-causing acne starts to cause trouble, the skin around an oil gland found in the hair follicle becomes inflamed and may even break the wall of the pore. When this happens, your body’s immune system will try to heal the skin even when the pore is still broken and inflamed. This will eventually cause the new tissue to heal incorrectly and leave you with acne scarring.
Different Types of Acne Scars
Acne scars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you may even have multiple types of acne scars on your skin. The best way to get rid of acne scarring fast is to know the type of acne scar being treated. The most common scars include:
PIH or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is one of the most common types of acne scars. While other acne scars have a certain texture, PIH is a flat type of scar that only affects the pigment of the skin cells. Generally, this hyperpigmentation is left after the inflammation of the acne scar has faded away and may appear as a red, pink or brown patch of skin.
Sometimes, PIH goes away by itself through natural skin shedding, although this process may take several weeks. Other times, because the acne was very bad, PIH can linger for months.
Both keloid and hypertrophic scars are a type of raised textural scar that leaves a bump on the skin surface. This raised scar tissue is usually the same size of the acne or slightly bigger than the original acne. Keloids are generally caused by skin tissue growing over inflammation and are considered permanent. They are also the most challenging type of acne scar to treat.
A boxcar scar is an atrophic scar or a scar that creates a depression on the skin surface. Boxcar scars are typically wide, shallow, and squarish in appearance, and may have a deep or shallow depression. These scars generally form on the cheeks, jawline, and chin as a result of widespread acne.
Rolling acne scars are another type of atrophic scar that creates sloping, soft depressions on the skin that appear as a wavy skin texture. Most commonly found on the cheeks, this type of acne scar occurs by repeated break-outs over time. Although more subtle than a boxcar scar, rolling scars can be equally challenging to treat.
The last type of atrophic acne scar is an icepick scar, a very narrow and deep acne scar that requires advanced treatments. Icepick scars open narrow depressions in the skin and may be as small as the head of a pin, but as deep as the entire dermis, making them especially challenging to treat without professional help.
How Quickly Can You See Results?
Treating acne scars requires a great deal of patience. To correctly treat acne scars, you will need to break down old scar tissue and create new tissue from collagen stimulation. Depending on the type of scar being treated and the treatment used, it may take four to six weeks to see the initial results of your treatment. Overall, it can take six months or more to effectively treat especially advanced acne scars.
Which Treatment Is Best?
The best treatment for you will depend on your skin type, your acne scar type, and where you are in your acne management journey. For the most part, you will get the best results from these treatments if you do not have active acne and you are committed to preventing future acne flare-ups. Other factors that may determine which treatment is right for you may include:
Your acne scar treatment should ideally match your lifestyle and be manageable for you to keep up with. Most acne scar treatments will require regular appointments, sometimes as often as once a month, to get the best results. But because some treatments, such as laser treatments, have aftercare restrictions, it’s important to pick a treatment you know you can keep up with.
If you’re still battling with hormonal acne or your acne breakouts are out of control, then the first step of your treatment will be to find the acne management solution you need to control your breakouts. A consultation with one of our skin experts can help you find the treatment that will work with your acne – and eventually with your acne scar treatment.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most people are good candidates for acne scar treatment. Whether you have mild acne scarring or severe scarring, you will be able to find a treatment that will reduce the appearance of your acne scars and improve the overall appearance of your skin. You may be a good candidate for these treatments if you are self-conscious about the appearance of your acne scars or you simply want to treat these scars effectively, once and for all.
Get Rid of Acne Scars Now
Your journey to get rid of acne scars removal starts right now. From finding the right treatment to control acne and finding the right plan to reduce or erase the appearance of your acne, our experts are ready to help you realize your skin dreams. Please contact Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY today to schedule your consultation.