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Acne is bad enough, but acne scars can be even more frustrating. Even after the zits are gone, scars can stick around for years, reminding you of the long struggle you went through to clear your skin. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to reduce the appearance of acne scars, fading them away so they are almost invisible.
Some skincare products contain exfoliating agents, such as AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and salicylic acid. These acids encourage the top layer of the skin to slough away, which can help to fade acne scars. Some common AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, and malic acid. Glossier's Solution is an exfoliating product that promises to transform skin in four weeks, while Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50 is a cult classic for skin exfoliation.
Salicylic acid is found naturally in willow bark, but is also produced synthetically in labs. If you prefer to stick to using natural skincare products, look for ones that contain willow bark extract. AHAs are also found naturally in some foods, including yogurt and strawberries, so you can find natural skincare products that will help to reduce acne scars, or make your own scar treatment face mask.
Some people find that exfoliating products are too harsh on their skin and cause irritation. A good alternative option is to use skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid to intensely moisturize the skin. Although moisturizers will not get rid of acne scars, they can have the effect of plumping up the rest of your skin and making it glow. As a result, the scars may be less visible. As moisturizers are unlikely to harm your skin, it is worth trying this approach to treat your acne scars.
There are many skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid, such as these moisturizers from L'Oreal Paris. Applying these creams to your skin can help to treat acne scars, although the effects will be gradual. An alternative approach is to have treatment with a dermal filler that contains hyaluronic acid. A study showed that injecting hyaluronic acid into acne scars can improve their appearance.
If acne scars are really getting you down, ask your dermatologist about laser treatments. Fractional lasers make tiny holes in the skin, breaking up scar tissue to allow the scars to heal. You will need several treatments, each costing around $700-800, to fully reduce the appearance of acne scars. While your skin is recovering from treatment, you should avoid using harsh skin care products as it will be more sensitive than usual. Always get laser treatment from a qualified dermatologist who can discuss the potential side effects, risks, and benefits with you.
Once you have had treatment for acne scars, you need to take care of your skin to prevent any further scars from developing. According to dermatologist Dr. Marmur, 50 percent of acne scars are caused by picking at the face. People with darker skin are at higher risk of acne scars, so you need to be especially careful not to pick or squeeze your pimples if you have an olive or darker skin tone. Cystic acne causes more scars than regular blackheads and whiteheads, so it is important to treat cystic breakouts as soon as they flare up. Try a topical anti-cyst treatment or see your dermatologist for advice on prevention.