Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Reduce Acne Scars

How to Reduce Acne Scars

Overview

You can reduce acne scars in a variety of ways. Prevent acne from occurring by treating it early with topical medications and possibly prescription antibiotics, which may reduce the number of scars. Some scars will fade over time, usually within four to 12 months, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. These scars are actually spots that can be treated with skin lighteners and light chemical peels, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Another way to reduce scarring is to treat current scars with collagen implantation, laser resurfacing and chemical peels.

Step 1

Wash your face with a mild face soap that does not irritate your skin. Soap will get rid of oils and dead skin cells that can clog your pores and increase acne, advises the National Institutes of Health.

Step 2

Cover your blemished skin with an over-the-counter topical cream or gel. Look for one that contains salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or resorcinol, recommends the National Institutes of Health.

Step 3

Protect your skin from sun damage. Sunlight can make the spots that look like scars, also called postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, more visible, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Cover your skin with sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside. Wear a hat or visor to shade your face.

Step 4

Lighten spots with a bleaching cream that has 2 percent hydroquinone, advises the American Academy of Dermatology. Only use a cream that has 4 percent hydroquinone if your doctor tells you to. Use a cream that contains lightening ingredients, such as corticosteroid, tretinoin, tazarotene, adapalene and azelaic acid, if prescribed by your doctor.

Step 5

Get a chemical peel or use an at-home chemical peel. It may take four to six peels for you to notice a difference, notes the American Academy of Dermatology.

Step 6

Try microdermabrasion. Get one from your dermatologist or use an in-home microdermabrasion system, though the American Academy of Dermatology says the in-home kind may irritate and darken your spots.

Step 7

Schedule a laser therapy treatment with your dermatologist to treat spots and scars. Your dermatologist may recommend other procedures, such as collagen implantation. Collagen implantation is effective for depressed scars, Laser resurfacing is best for scars that don't respond to chemical peels. Surgery with an instrument called a punch, which removes pitted scars, might also be necessary.

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