Acne Scars & Wrinkles
Most people who get pimples as teenagers don't develop permanent scars, but those who do may also develop problems with their self-esteem or even suffer from mild depression because of the scars, according to the American Academy of Dermatology or AAD. Unfortunately, acne scars tend to look worse with age as the skin loses tone. However, dermatologists offer treatments that can lessen the appearance of both your acne scars and your wrinkles at the same time.
It's not clear why some people develop acne scars while others with similar pimple outbreaks see clearing and scar-free skin. The Mayo Clinic reports that your family history plays a role in scarring along with the severity of your acne: the more severe acne, the more scars. Wrinkles, too, have multiple causes, including heredity and your level of sun exposure and damage.
If you've decided to address your acne scars and your wrinkles, your first step should be a visit to the drug store to purchase an over-the-counter product. According to the AAD, OTC products can help with saucer-shaped acne scars that are shallow and small, and potentially can fade colored spots left by acne.
These products also can help smooth your skin and may reduce some wrinkles and fine lines. Look for products containing retinol, a form of vitamin A, and alpha hydroxy acid, both of which treat acne scars and wrinkles.
Dermatologists offer prescription acne medications that potentially can treat both wrinkles and some acne scars. Tretinoin, a form of vitamin A that's more potent than retinol, can help fade colored spots left behind by acne, and make other types of acne scars less apparent. Tretinoin, which probably is best-known as the brand-name drug Retin-A, works by encouraging skin cells to turn over more rapidly, which helps make skin look younger.
If you have particularly bad acne scarring or if you want faster anti-aging results for your wrinkles, consider laser treatment for your skin. Laser therapy can treat depressed acne scars effectively by encouraging new skin growth, making the scars appear less prominent, according to the AAD. In the process, lasers also can erase fine lines and make deep wrinkles much less obvious.
If you have acne scars and wrinkles, it's unlikely that aggressive treatment by a dermatologist will give you perfect skin. However, even minimal treatment with an over-the-counter product will provide some improvement, and dermatologist-provided treatments and medications may offer better results.
The AAD recommends that patients seeking treatment for acne scars and wrinkles have realistic expectations when they talk with a dermatologist about their options.
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