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What Are the Treatments for Acne Scars & Redness?

What Are the Treatments for Acne Scars & Redness? What Are the Treatments for Acne Scars & Redness?

When acne heals, it sometimes leaves an unpleasant reminder. Embarrassing scars and redness can occur, especially if the skin is often exposed to the sun. The severity of redness and scarring varies from person to person. While some only notice slight reddening that fades over time, others may develop raised scars that are both extreme in color and pain. Fortunately, there are several treatment options that can be used both at home and at the doctor's office.

Laser Resurfacing

According to experts at the Kids Health website, laser resurfacing is an effective way to treat acne scars and redness. Laser resurfacing is a procedure performed by a doctor. Using a laser, the doctor removes the acne scared top layer of skin. A local anesthesia is usually administered to help reduce pain. It typically takes three to 10 days before the skin heals completely.


When scars do not respond to other treatments, the American Academy of Dermatology states that a dermatologist may decide to surgically remove the scar. The surgery can usually be performed in a doctor's office and does not require hospitalization. Often, surgery is followed by another procedure, such as injections of corticosteroids, the use of a pressure garment or radiation.


Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion procedures are sometimes used to treat raised acne scars and redness. As the Kids Health website explains, this process involves the use of either a revolving diamond instrument or wire brush. It works by wearing down the top layer of scarred skin, allowing new, smoother skin to replace it. One to three weeks are typically required for the skin to heal. The American Academy of Dermatology says to refrain from using home microdermabrasion kits because they can be used too aggressively, encouraging new spots and discolorations to form.


With cryotherapy, a doctor or dermatologist freezes the scar tissue. After several treatments, the tissue will eventually fall off. The American Academy of Dermatology explains that a doctor may use cryotherapy in conjunction with corticosteroid injections for optimal results. Unfortunately, cryotherapy may cause the skin to appear lighter than the surrounding skin, limiting its use on darker skin.

Bleaching Creams

Bleaching creams may be especially effective on acne-caused red spots. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a bleaching cream should contain hydroquinone to be effective. Bleaching creams can be purchased without a prescription, but be sure it does not contain more than 4 percent hydroquinone. Excessive amounts of hydroquinone can cause severe discoloration of the skin that is almost impossible to treat.

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