5 Best Laser Treatments for Acne Scars, According to Dermatologists
Nov 10, · Using a minor procedure called punch excision, your doctor cuts out individual acne scars and repairs the wound with stitches or a skin graft. With a technique called subcision, your doctor inserts needles under the skin to loosen fibers below a scar. Sep 25, · The potent IS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance+ uses a blend of restorative, antioxidant ingredients to promote skin healing, which is what acne scars need. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a.
Here's the lowdown on how to subscribe to Allure's print edition for more beauty routines, recommendations, and features. The bad news: There's no secret ingredient or miracle gadget that makes scars totally disappear.
Don't get discouraged, though. A lot of what you think of as acne scarring is really just post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or erythema — brown or red spots — rather than an actual change in the texture of the skin. Because of the inflammatory and bacterial aspects, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after acne is in its own category. Calling all opinionated beauty lovers: We want to know which products you can't live without! Take our annual poll to pick the top hair, makeup, nail, and skin-care products that deserve our coveted Readers' Choice seal.
Luckily, there's a bevy of gels, creams, and treatments that can bring this kind of discoloration down. We asked top dermatologists to recommend the most effective products for lessening the marks left behind by breakouts. Here's what the experts recommend. All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our how to build a cotton gin model links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Salicylic acid is one of the gold-standard ingredients for clearing up a breakout, but don't dismiss this exfoliant once the pimples are gone — especially if they've left a mark. But look closely at the components of the brand's "Interrupter Complex" and you'll find licorice extract, which finds its way into mark-fading formulas for several reasons.
Additionally, she says, it contains liquiritin, which breaks down and remove melanin, fading dark spots. And because it also has antioxidants properties, it may aid in brightening the skin. With a blend of potent antioxidants, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is loved by beauty editors and dermatologists alike. Vitamin C plays a leading role: "The powerful ingredient has been shown to brighten dull skin and lighten brown spots.
It may also be helpful in lightening a dark scar," says Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The formula also includes another antioxidant vitamin, alpha tocopherol — aka vitamin E.
When it comes to scarring, many doctors will tell you that prevention is key. Wearing sunscreen daily is critical, says Heidi Waldorf, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist. Garshick says retinoids and retinollike the 2. This serum also includes lactic acidfor an extra brightening and smoothing boost. Because continuing to use the beta hydroxy acid — aka salicylic acid — post-breakout is beneficial for exfoliating away pigment buildup, Murad included it among vitamin C and cica in its Invisiscar Resurfacing Treatment.
It promises to minimize the look of scar size, depth, texture, and discoloration in eight weeks, and in the meantime, this serum's light-diffusing and blurring powders give a cosmetic how to check tcp port to your skin, allowing it to look smoother and more even as soon as you apply it. This toner is so much more than just witch hazel — though it does include that classic astringent. Garshick says that the molecule size of different AHAs can determine their potency; for example, smaller-molecule acids such as glycolic acid are able to penetrate deeper and be more effective.
Good news: This toner has both. Dennis Gross's famous Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Daily Peel — packed with glycolic acid — promotes cellular turnover to remove the top layers of the skin revealing a brighter, fresh complexion. And that's especially true when it's accompanied by fellow exfoliating acids like that of the lactic, malic, citric, salicylic variety. Bottom line: By removing these dead cells, healthy, glowy skin is revealed.
The benefits of retinol seem limitless — smoothing fine lines and easing the visible effects of sun damage among them — but it can also improve the evenness of skin that's been broken out. A-Passioni Retinol Cream, Drunk Elephant's take on the vitamin A derivative, is a vegan one-percent strength that pledges less irritation while you work toward more clarity, thanks to cohorts like peptides, vitamin F, and antioxidant-rich botanical extracts like that of broccoli and avocado.
Stickers have become a convenient way to spot-treat zits, and thanks to the technology and ingredients found in Peace Out Microneedling Dark Spot Brightening Dots, they're becoming a must-have for spot-treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
In addition to licorice and tranexamic acid, these dots tout niacinamidea form of vitamin B3 that Garshick says reduces inflammation and redness associated with acne and may also improve discoloration. Ascorbic what is the price of a golden retriever puppy vitamin C is a time-released acid that simultaneously stimulates collagen synthesis and promotes wound healing.
Retinol works similarly in this formulation, while zinc sulfate is as an anti-inflammatory, and arbutin helps manage hyperpigmentation. This entire skin-care line is made with the brand's proprietary retinol, but Verso's Dark Spot Fix contains the efficacious ingredient in the highest concentration in the whole line. It's a concentrated cream that treats unwanted spots and scars with the special super-strength, low-irritation retinol.
Join us as we explore the inextricable link between science and beauty. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Keywords skin care skin tips acne zit blemish acne treatment spot treatment dark spot discoloration hyperpigmentation brown spot murad PCA Skin SkinCeuticals laser laser treatment verso iS Clinical dr dennis gross Elta MD Drunk Elephant.
Start your journey to clear skin
Acne scar surgery, followed by injections After surgery, dermatologists often treat raised scars with injections of corticosteroids, 5-FU, or interferon. Combining acne scar surgery with these shots remains one of the most effective treatments for raised scars. Most patients receive injections once a . What are the best office treatments for acne scars? Unlike hyperpigmentation, which can be treated with prescription and over-the-counter creams, true scars require in-office treatments from a dermatologist. There are several treatment options to help minimize the appearance of acne scars and even remove them altogether. Nov 05, · Most people have multiple types of scarring, and, particularly for atrophic and hypertrophic scars, in-office treatments such as lasers and fillers are your best bet, Dr. Chang notes. That being said, there are effective at-home treatments you can seek out that are especially effective for those discolored acne scars and marks.
Acne, on its own, is extremely frustrating and can take a serious toll on our confidence. Unfortunately, even after active acne controlled and cleared with the right skincare products, we're often left with a long-term reminder of the pimples that were once there—acne scars. While post-acne dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be treated successfully with a dark spot remover, treating real, textured acne scars is challenging.
That said, it is certainly possible! Read on to learn more. Acne scars result from active acne inflammation in the dermis i.
The acne scar is actually created by the wound trying to heal itself, resulting in the overproduction of collagen fibers in the area where the pimple once was. While most pimples will heal independently without leaving a permanent scar, cystic acne lesions are more likely to leave behind a scar due to the more significant inflammation and damage to the dermis.
Besides, popping and picking pimples dramatically increases scars' risk due to greater damage and disruption to the healing process. Hyperpigmentation: the term "acne scar" is often misused when referring to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation PIH.
These are post-acne marks that aren't technically scars but rather dark spots left on the skin after a pimple heals. They can range in color from dark brown to reddish, to pink, depending on skin tone and severity but tend not to be textured pitted or raised. Atrophic Scars : These depressed or raised scars can be divided into different groups; Icepick scars: Deep, narrow scars that appear like pinpoint pits deeper than they are wide.
Rolling acne scars: Broad, inconsistent depressions that give the skin a wave-like appearance. Boxcar scars: Sharply defined, pitted scars that are depressed with steep borders. These are usually round or oval and tend to appear on the temples and the cheeks.
Boxcar scars are more difficult to treat than another type of acne scar. Hypertrophic scars: Raised, tough scars caused by overproduction of collagen during the skin healing process. Keloid scars are similar but extend beyond the size of the original wound. Unlike hyperpigmentation, which can be treated with prescription and over-the-counter creams, true scars require in-office treatments from a dermatologist. There are several treatment options to help minimize the appearance of acne scars and even remove them altogether.
Fractional Microneedle Radiofrequency AKA Fractional RF Microneedle is one of the most effective, non-surgical treatments currently available to treat depressed acne scars. This treatment combines two highly effective skin rejuvenation treatments—micro-needling and radiofrequency—for even greater efficacy with minimal downtime and side effects.
It works by inserting very thin, ultrasharp, gold-plated needles into the skin's dermis micro-needling. Once the needles reach a certain skin depth variable—. With minimal side effects red skin for a few hours , patients can go back to school or work as early as the next day with no noticeable treatment signs. Fractional Laser Resurfacing also referred to as a "laser peel" is another treatment for acne scars that works by directing pulsating beams of light lasers at the skin.
There are two main types of laser resurfacing, Ablative and non-ablative fractional lasers. How it works: This treatment works by resurfacing or removing the outer layers of skin. Non-ablative lasers create changes in the dermis without causing damage to the skin's surface. The most common ablative lasers used to treat acne scars are carbon dioxide laser CO2 Laser Resurfacing. It works by creating micro burns in the skin that are intended to trigger new collagen buildup.
Types of ablative laser resurfacing: Carbon dioxide CO2 laser, Erbium laser The results: The usual result of fractional ablative laser treatment is that "new" skin is smoother, atrophic scars are reduced in-depth, and the overall look of scarring is softened.
The results and efficacy are usually similar to microneedle radiofrequency but with more pain, more downtime, and more risk for post-treatment hypo and hyperpigmentation. The side effects: After ablative laser treatment, the skin generally heals within two weeks but can remain red for a period of time after healing. The redness fades over the course of several weeks to several months. More severe side effects listed on this Mayo Clinic page are possible but rare.
How it works: non-ablative laser resurfacing works by heating the underlying skin tissue to stimulate new collagen production without causing damage to or removing the top layer of skin. Types of non-ablative laser resurfacing: Intense Pulsed Light IPL , Pulsed Dye Laser, Fraxel, CoolTouch, N-lite The results: While non-ablative lasers can improve acne scars, they are less effective than both microneedle radiofrequency and ablative lasers at treating acne scars.
That being said, Pulsed Dye Lasers one form of non-ablative lasers can be used to improve raised scars and keloids. The side effects: Fractional lasers have a few probable side effects. That being said, treatments are usually significantly more painful than other treatment options.
The popular "Fraxel" laser skin resurfacing comes in both ablative and non-ablative formats. Moderate and deep chemical peels improve acne scars' appearance using a chemical solution to remove the old skin's outer layer.
The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother with improved, more even color and texture. The results: Superficial peels with glycolic acid, lactic acid, or other alpha and beta hydroxy acids can improve skin texture and fade dark spots but will not provide a significant effect on depressed acne scars.
The side effects: Light, superficial chemical peel: After a light chemical peel, patients typically experience a reaction similar to sunburn in the treatment area with mild redness lasting from days. Moderate to severe chemical peels: After moderate and severe peels, patients can expect significant swelling, blisters that will crust, turn brown and peel off within seven to 14 days.
Additional risks : Temporary or permanent change in skin color is possible following a chemical peel. Dermal fillers, similar to the ones used for wrinkle reduction or lip plumping, can also be used to treat depressed acne scars, which do not respond to the above treatments for acne scars.
How it works: dermal fillers help reduce the appearance of depressed acne scars by inserting a needle underneath the scarred area and depositing the fluid of choice until the scar depression is filled. The amount of filler used will vary and depend on the number of scars being treated and the scars' severity.
The type of filler will depend on the recommendation by your provider. Types of dermal fillers for acne scars: Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane are commonly used in this application. The results of acne scars dermal filler treatment are temporary and typically last for months. In addition to the immediate, short-term benefits in the appearance of acne scars, dermal fillers also have long-term benefits as they can help break up the scar tissue and stimulate collagen production, minimizing the appearance of scars long-term.
The side effects: Injection site swelling, redness, and bruising is possible but typically subsides. While allergic reactions are rare with dermal fillers used today, they are possible.
Another risk that is rare but possible is included infection at the injection site. Subcision cutting under the scar with a scalpel : One of the causes of depressed scars is collagen fiber that pulls down the skin's surface. In Subcutaneous incision AKA subcision , a needle or small scalpel is inserted to run parallel to the skin's surface. Once these bands have been released, the skin's surface lifts, smoothing the skin surface's appearance. This procedure is invasive, requires local anesthesia, and is more costly than the microneedle or laser treatment.
While the acne scar treatment list above can also help with dark spots and hyperpigmentation, they are usually unnecessarily invasive and costly for those most worried about dark spots and less about textured scars.
The gold standard prescription formula for the treatment of hyperpigmentation is the Kligman formula , which includes hydroquinone to fade dark spots hydrocortisone, to reduce the irritation associated with higher percentages of hydroquinone , and retinoid to enhance the penetration of the hydroquinone.
While this formula has been the 1 dark spot treatment for decades, it does have its drawbacks. Also, due to the inclusion of hydrocortisone, it is not suitable for long-term use. Finally, as a prescription product, it requires a dermatologist visit, which can be cost-prohibitive and difficult. That's why we created the MDacne Dark Spot Remover , which contains both hydroquinone, retinoids, and hydroxy acids combined with plant-based botanicals making it an excellent treatment for post-acne hyperpigmentation.
However, like most other topical treatments, it will not have much of an effect on true acne scars. Commit to effective topical acne treatment: The best way to prevent new scars and hyperpigmentation from forming is to prevent the inflammation i.
This means you need to start a medical-grade acne treatment program ASAP. Do not wait until you are desperate or settle for mild acne. You can use a program like MDacne to identify the best acne treatment products for you or visit your local dermatologist. This type of medicated acne cleanser has a mild exfoliating effect that improves skin brightness and glow. Cleansing the skin should've always followed by a moisturizer, preferably an active one. One of the best active ingredients for people with acne-prone skin and post-acne scars is niacinamide.
Niacinamide is regarded as one of the top skincare treatment ingredients. It minimizes and tightens enlarged skin pores, strengthens the skin's natural protective layer, and helps balance oil production. Also, it improves uneven skin tone, reduces skin redness, and diminishes skin dullness.
Applying Niacinamide around the eyes reduces the appearance of under the eye dark circles and wrinkles on the eyes' sides crow's feet. Niacinamide based moisturizers are great for all skin types, including sensitive or rosacea-prone skin. Niacinamide hed has been shown to increase the production of ceramides. Ceramides, found in our skin's outermost layer, help the skin form a healthy barrier that keeps water in and toxic environmental elements out.
Clinical studies have also shown applicating over several months can reduce skin sallowness and lead to fresher, younger-looking skin. Retinoids , derivatives of vitamin A, are known to exfoliate and remove the dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin and increase the cell turnover in the epidermis.
Using retinoids can also help slow the loss of collagen fiber and promote new collagen production in the dermis, increasing the skin's strength and elasticity. Bonus, retinoids can also make your epidermis thicker, which improves skin texture.
Unprotected sun exposure increases the amount of pigment in the skin and can cause pigmented acne scars and post-acne dark marks. To prevent those dark marks from forming, one needs to control active acne with an effective topical or oral anti-acne treatment. In parallel, it is recommended to use an oil-free sunscreen with SPF The best sunscreen for acne or post-acne dark spots is also water-resistant, which will stay on your skin when sweating.
Some of the new sunscreens contain, in addition to SPF, plant extracts with anti-oxidants like green T and vitamin E and ingredients that help fade post-acne dark spots like licorice and vitamin C. Using a pink clay mask x per week can be a good addition for people with acne-prone skin and a tendency for acne scars. By absorbing the dead cells and excess sebum from enlarged skin oil glands, these masks can help with acne breakouts, reduce skin redness, and improve overall skin texture and brightness.
MDacne's pink clay mask contains, in addition to the pink clay, a few ingredients that can help calm the skin and reduce the appearance of post-acne dark marks and scars. By mildly exfoliating the skin, pink clay masks are a great way to provide a fresh, natural glow for acne scars' skin. These ingredients include, among others, a non-irritating retinoid that is converted in the skin to potent, active retinoic acid, rosehip that helps build healthy new collagen fibers to enhance skin regeneration and reduce the appearance of scars.
MDacne's pink clay acne masks also include hyaluronic acid that enhances moisture content, keeping the skin hydrated while revitalizing its outer surface layers for a smoother, healthy, radiant appearance.