As if pimples aren't bad enough to deal with, you may be left with a constant reminder of old acne in the form of scars. While some of these scars fade over time on their own, others may last. Treatment can help fade acne scars; meanwhile, the best way to prevent scarring is to avoid picking pimples.
Scars may fade faster if you address them as soon as they form. Certain formulas may even improve texture as your skin heals from a recent pimple. Look for over-the-counter treatments labeled for acne spots. “Elle” magazine recommends ingredients such as purCellin oil, centelline, vitamin E, vitamin B3, hydroquinone and kojic acid. Usually in the form of serums and gels, these products are applied after cleansing, but before moisturizing.
Sometimes you have to exfoliate to really reduce the appearance of acne scars. A variety of products exist that help shed the top layer of your skin, or epidermis, to accomplish this effect. Glycolic acid face pads can exfoliate dull skin cells while lessening the color of pimple scars. Over-the-counter microdermabrasion products also remove dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of colored spots on the face. Microdermabrasion is a less invasive form of dermabrasion, a dermatologic procedure that removes the epidermis with a wired brush.
When to Go Professional
There is no one-size-fits-all plan of action for treating pimple scars. If your skin doesn’t respond to over-the-counter products, then it may be time for professional treatments from a dermatologist. Laser treatments completely remove the outer layer of skin, while radiofrequency helps stimulate new skin. The purpose of both of these procedures is to decrease the appearance of scars. Occasional collagen injections offer the same potential effects by plumping up the skin. Pimple scars may also be surgically removed.
Protection Is a Must
Sunscreen is a beauty must-have that can prevent premature wrinkles and sunburns that can potentially lead to skin cancer. An added bonus to this type of protection is that it prevents the sun from worsening the appearance of acne scars. When unprotected skin is exposed to the sun, you risk making red acne scars turn brown. Avoid sun exposure altogether if you’re currently using any acne scar treatments, as you may have an increased risk for sunburn. To save time, use a daytime moisturizer with built-in sunscreen.