Red Scars From Acne
Most people get a few pimples during their teenage years, but in some cases, especially when the acne is particularly severe, those pimples leave behind red scars. The American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) says there are several effective treatments that can make those red scars much less noticeable.
Acne erupts due to a combination of factors, including a bacterial overgrowth in the skin, inflammation and too much oil produced in the skin's sebaceous glands. Particularly severe cases leave behind red scars, which gradually fade over time. However, the fading process can take months or years, according to the AAD, and so dermatologists have developed treatments to hurry it along.
According to the AAD, those with red scars from acne first should try bleaching creams, which are available over-the-counter. The bleaching cream you buy should contain no more than 2 percent of the active ingredient, hydroquinone. The AAD warns that using a product with too much hydroquinone when not under a doctor's care can cause skin discoloration that is nearly impossible to reverse. Prescription bleaching creams with more hydroquinone, plus creams that contain several ingredients, are available through dermatologists.
A dermatologist can provide other treatments for red scars from acne, notes the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. For example, mild chemical peels or microdermabrasion performed in a physician's office can help fade the red spots. At least four to six sessions of either treatment generally are required for good results.
For someone with a less severe case of red scars from acne, bleaching creams are a good place to start. In more severe scarring cases, patients should consider consulting with a physician to learn their various options, according to the AAD. Many health insurers will not pay for cosmetic procedures, and so potential patients need to know the cost of any proposed treatments.
Regardless of the treatment chosen, it's critical for someone fighting red scars from acne to stay out of the sun and to use a strong sunscreen daily, advises the AAD. Sun exposure can make the red scars darken, and can make any treatment ineffective. Use an oil-free sunscreen to prevent additional acne breakouts, which can lead to more red scars.
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