Removing Acne Scars: Do Home Remedies Really Work?
Acne Scar Treatments: Which Remedies Work?
It is a well-known fact that dealing with acne can be a challenge. However, the marks it leaves behind on your skin can be just as damaging to the complexion.
You may have many acne-related questions, especially when you notice a new spot or zit on your skin.
- What’s the best way to treat acne scars?
- Do home remedies work?
- What is the quickest way to get rid of acne?
We asked Dr. Jeremy Fenton, a medical and cosmetic dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group, about his thoughts on whether at-home acne scar remedies really work. Read on to see what Dr. Fenton has to say.
Are there any acne scar home remedies that you’ve seen actually work?
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne scars is a common and frustrating problem. Pigment deposits from cells called melanocytes cause it. This discoloration can sometimes take months or even years to fade in darker-skinned patients.
Increasing the rate of turnover of the skin cells by exfoliation or peeling can speed the process along. This can be done using over-the-counter (OTC) cleansers with salicylic acid or glycolic acid and by using topical treatments, which slowly peel off the top layer.
A topical over-the-counter retinoid can also help with this same process.
How do these home remedies compare to in-office acne scar treatments?
Home remedies are unlikely to be as effective as in-office acne scar treatments. Prescription-strength retinoids combined with in-office peels performed by a dermatologist will give much better results than their drugstore counterparts.
You can also use pigment lightening creams that can be prescribed by a dermatologist or bought OTC, such as hydroquinone.
These creams work by reducing the amount of pigment produced by the melanocytes. Once again, the stronger versions available by prescription will work better.
Have you seen effective home remedies for atrophic (pitted) acne scars?
I do not know of any home remedies that will give sustained results for atrophic scars.
Some products available for at-home use claim to improve the appearance of atrophic scars. This includes products such as microneedle rollers, but no reliable data exists to prove such claims.
What would you recommend to an acne scar patient who wants to see quick results for their acne scars?
If one only has a few atrophic scars that are a concern, then for the most immediate and impressive results for atrophic scars, I would recommend an injection of filler.
Belotero is one of the few fillers that can be injected superficially to plump the skin under the scar. It shows a high degree of immediate improvement.
However, for lasting results, you should consider laser resurfacing, which will show results over 3-6 months.
For scars with discoloration, chemical peels can lighten them progressively. However, treatment with a Fraxel laser will provide the most impressive results in the shortest time.
Do you have more questions for our acne experts?
Schedule a consultation with one of our expert dermatology providers for a comprehensive skin examination and advice on treatment for your acne problem.