How to Reduce Acne Scarring
When it comes to acne breakouts, one common long lasting side effect is scarring. Scars can vary in size and depth depending on how severe the acne outbreak was, and whether or not it was popped, scratched or picked at. When acne scarring becomes a problem, there are several treatment options available to help address the situation.
Apply salicylic acid. Salicylic acid can be found in many acne treatment products, and when applied to acne scarring, can help reduce the prominence of the scar. Salicylic works by softening the skin, and increasing skin's ability to shed its outer layers. The more layers of scar tissue that are removed from the skin, the less noticeable the scar will become. Using a gentle exfoliant may speed up the process by helping remove the salicylic acid affected skin cells from the body.
Try laser resurfacing. Lasers are now approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of skin imperfections and blemishes. Ablative lasers work by removing the outer surface of the scar tissue, revealing the less affected tissue below, and reducing the prominence of the scar. Non-ablative lasers can be used to penetrate deeper into the skin, causing the production of collagen. Collagen fills out the scars, making them level with the surrounding skin tissue.
Try a chemical peel. Chemical peels use active ingredients, such as glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid, to remove the outer most layer of your skin, called the epidermis. The type of active ingredient used depends on how deep you want the chemical peel to penetrate. Like other methods of acne treatment, as the outer layers of skin tissue are removed from the acne scar, the prominence of the scar will be reduced.
Talk to your dermatologist about dermabrasion or microdermabrasion. Traditional dermabrasion uses a wire brush or another abrasive tool to remove the outer layer of skin from the affected area. According to the Mayo Clinic, as the skin grows back, it is typically smoother, making the acne scar less noticeable. Microdermabrasion is slightly less invasive, and typically uses a small wand to propel small crystals of zinc or aluminum oxide. This also removes the outer layers of skin, requiring less recovery time once the procedure has been completed.
Inject a dermafiller. Dermafillers are relatively new to the acne scar treatment market, and work by flattening out acne scars that dip into the skin tissue. Dermafillers most commonly consist of products such as Restylane, collagen or just plain fat, which get injected into dipped scars, filling the space beneath them until the scar tissue is even with the surrounding skin tissue.
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