Acne Scar Treatment

Acne Scar Treatment

If you see signs that your acne is leaving a scar on your skin, you don’t have to grin and bear it. There are lots of ways to heal your scars and keep new ones from forming. Cortisone and Fade Creams If your scar is red or swollen, use a cortisone cream to calm your skin, says Tina Alster, MD, a Georgetown University professor of dermatology. The cortisone is absorbed by skin cells and reduces inflammation. You can buy skin creams with cortisone without a prescription. Next, you’ll want to concentrate on lightening any dark areas left from the acne scar. “Hydroquinone, a popular skin lightener, has recently fallen out of favor and is now being omitted from many fading creams due to irritation and carcinogenic concern,” Alster says. But there are other ingredients in skin creams sold without a prescription that can help lighten your dark spots. Kojic acid (a natural skin lightener derived from mushroom extract), arbutin (also called bearberry extract), and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are great alternative ingredients to look for in lightening creams, Alster says. Laser and Filler Treatments If your acne scars don’t fade away on their own, it may be time to consider booking an appointment with your dermatologist. In one to three sessions, laser skin resurfacing using fractionated laser technology can even out the skin surface and increase the formation of new collagen. Collagen is a protein that’s a building block of the skin. The new collagen can help fill in acne scars. Ablative lasers vaporize your scar, allowing smoother skin to take its place. Non-ablative lasers help activate the production of collagen without damaging the surface of your skin. Filler injections can help fill in the indentations left behind from deep acne scars, says Ron Moy, MD, a former president of the American Academy of Dermatology. But the downside to fillers is that they need to be repeated every 4 to 6 months, as the product reabsorbs into the skin over time. Patience The main key to seeing acne scars fade is patience. A few weeks after you break out and scar, new blood vessels move into the injured area to give nourishment to the skin, which is why most early scars look pink, Alster says. Months later, collagen starts to form, filling in the injured section of skin. Because cystic acne destroys skin and fat, it can take up to a year for the scars to fade, Moy says.
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Acne Scar Treatment

Treatments include laser treatments, minor skin surgeries, chemical peels, and fillers. A dermatologist or a dermatologic surgeon can perform these treatments in a medical office. As we age, acne scars often become more noticeable because our skin loses collagen.The key to effective treatment is to select the best one for each scar type. For example, a patient who has some deep scars may benefit from getting a filler, which adds volume to the skin. This may be followed by laser treatments. Before getting treatment for acne scars, it is important to clear your acne. New acne breakouts can lead to new acne scars. Having acne also means that your skin is inflamed. Inflammation reduces the effectiveness of treatment for acne scars. To obtain the best results, a dermatologist first examines your skin. After the exam, some patients are surprised to learn that their acne scars are actually a different skin problem.
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Acne Scar Treatment

Raised acne scars: Sometimes the body produces too much collagen as it tries to heal the skin and underlying tissue. When this happens, a person develops a raised acne scar. This type of acne scar is more common in people who have skin of color like African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. 
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Acne Scar Treatment

I lost count long ago of the number of acne patients returning for their initial 6 to 8 week follow-up concerned about their new acne scars, when, in actuality, there wasn’t a scar in site. What they were really noticing was color change. This post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is not an acne scar. It is the normal remnant of the skin’s inflammatory process.
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Acne Scar Treatment

When it comes to scarring, preventing any future scarring is the best first course of action. First, agressively treat acne, thus preventing further scarring. There are two ideal options when it comes to treating acne. The Acne.org Regimen should clear up most cases of acne. In very severe cases, doctors will often prescribe Accutane (isotretinoin) to their patients. Also, it is vitally important that you do not pick at your skin. Many dermatologists contend that scars are really more from picking than from the acne itself. This is not to say that the occasional popping of a zit will lead to scarring. Occasional popping can often be performed quickly and safely. It is the picking afterward that often leads to the worst scarring. Try to leave your skin relatively untouched.
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Acne Scar Treatment

Years after outgrowing acne, the aftermath of acne scars persists. Advances in acne therapy and dermatologic surgery have made it unnecessary for acne patients, both current and past to endure acne scarring.
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Acne Scar Treatment

Skin Medica Scar Recovery GelOf all the scar treatments out there, this one gets a gold star—and a shining recommendation—from Ellen Marmur, an associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Its key ingredient is a trademarked complex called Centelline, which consists of Centella asiatica (an herbal extract that promotes cell turnover), Bulbine frutescens (a moisturizing plant-sap extract), and Oleuropein (an olive leaf extract that strengthens skin). “Massage it on the scar twice a day for 90 days, the time it takes for collagen to begin to mature,” says Marmur. If you're on a budget, she recommends doing the same thing but with Aquaphor.Skin Medica Scar Recovery Gel, $102 (skinmedica.com).
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Acne Scar Treatment

Because 95 percent of acne patients will develop scarring to some degree, the earlier the treatment appropriate for the severity of the outbreak is initiated, the better the odds are that scar formation will be mild. Delaying acne therapy by three or more years is likely to increase one’s risk of more significant acne scarring.
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Who will develop acne scars and how severe will scarring be? Short of a crystal ball, much of that is left to chance. What we do know is that genetics play a definite role in the likelihood of acne severity and consequent scar formation. Also, the severity of preteen acne lesions is linked to a more severe form of scarring later in adolescence or adulthood.
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If you and your dermatologist believe that treatment is right for you, your dermatologist will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. In creating this plan, your dermatologist will consider many things, including scar types and where the scars appear on your body. If you have taken isotretinoin to treat acne, be sure to tell your dermatologist BEFORE treatment for acne scars begins.
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When acne flares, many people scrub their skin clean. Scrubbing your skin tends to worsen acne. The worse acne gets, the greater your chance of seeing permanent scars when the acne clears.
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To obtain the best results, your dermatologist may recommend more than one treatment. For example, if you have a deep boxcar scar (often looks like a large pore), laser therapy and a type of acne scar surgery called “subcision” may be necessary to give you the results you want.
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Even when we do our best to prevent acne scars, some people scar. There are many treatment options, which can significantly diminish depressed and raised acne scars.
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Of all the scar treatments out there, this one gets a gold star—and a shining recommendation—from Ellen Marmur, an associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Its key ingredient is a trademarked complex called Centelline, which consists of Centella asiatica (an herbal extract that promotes cell turnover), Bulbine frutescens (a moisturizing plant-sap extract), and Oleuropein (an olive leaf extract that strengthens skin). “Massage it on the scar twice a day for 90 days, the time it takes for collagen to begin to mature,” says Marmur. If you're on a budget, she recommends doing the same thing but with Aquaphor.Skin Medica Scar Recovery Gel, $102 (skinmedica.com).
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Scarguard MdSilicone isn't a new ingredient in scar treatments, but with everyone talking about “silicone sheeting,” it's a buzzy one. We recently reported on the topic, and our tester saw significant results. “Whether it's in a gel or a sheet, silicone has been shown to help improve the appearance of scars,” says Zeichner. “It hydrates the scar, promotes healthy collagen production, may help minimize itching, and protects the scar from the outside.”Scarguard MD, $23 (walmart.com).
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Silicone isn't a new ingredient in scar treatments, but with everyone talking about “silicone sheeting,” it's a buzzy one. We recently reported on the topic, and our tester saw significant results. “Whether it's in a gel or a sheet, silicone has been shown to help improve the appearance of scars,” says Zeichner. “It hydrates the scar, promotes healthy collagen production, may help minimize itching, and protects the scar from the outside.”Scarguard MD, $23 (walmart.com).