Acne is a common concern for many people, but once your acne is under control you may be faced with long-term scarring that can be equally frustrating. There are at-home and professional treatments that can diminish the look of acne scars, even if they are decades old.
Try At-Home Exfoliation
Although there are many facial scrubs available, when you are trying to diminish the look of hyperpigmented acne scars, the minor abrasiveness of a facial scrub may not be enough. Rotating exfoliating brushes are popular tools used for the face. If you want to purchase one, look for brushes that have different types of exfoliating brush heads or pads so you can find one that best suits your skin type.
In general, you should start with an exfoliating brush that is meant for normal skin, unless you know your skin is sensitive. Use the exfoliating brush on a discreet area of your face, as instructed, until you can determine if the brush causes any irritation. If you notice any problems with irritation, try switching to a brush or exfoliating pad for sensitive skin. Daily use of exfoliating brushes is typically discouraged. Aim for exfoliating once or twice per week. When choosing an exfoliating brush, make sure you choose one that is antimicrobial to reduce the chance of breakouts from bacteria growth.
An easier and less expensive alternative is using a soft toothbrush that is only used for your facial care routine. You can use the toothbrush with your favorite non-exfoliating facial cleanser and work around your face in small, circular motions. When you are finished with the toothbrush, allow it to air dry and consider dipping the toothbrush in rubbing alcohol to keep the toothbrush sterilized. Before use, you may want to dip the toothbrush in alcohol again and allow it to dry, to ensure you are not adding bacteria to your face.
Not all acne scars are the same. If your acne scars have caused craters or other indentations in your skin, you need to have the areas filled to minimize their appearance and even out your skin texture. A dermatologist can suggest the appropriate fillers for the severity of your acne scars and the area of your face that needs treatment. Most fillers used for acne scars are made from hyaluronic acid and may last up to a year before you need another treatment. Although the use of temporary fillers can seem like an inconvenience, if you are not satisfied with the results, the filler will simply dissolve over time.
Consider Laser Treatments
If you would rather invest in a treatment option with long-term results, laser treatments can be a better option. Laser treatments can improve various types of acne scars, both scars that have changed the color, and scars that have changed the texture, of your skin. One such option is laser resurfacing, which uses lasers to exfoliate the outer layer of skin. Unlike at-home exfoliation methods, the entire outer layer of skin can be removed, which encourages new layers of skin to push toward the surface.
Another type of laser treatment is known as focal area scar treatment (FAST), which is more precise than other types of laser treatment. FAST can pinpoint areas of scarring and prevent unnecessary irritation to unscarred areas of your skin. With any type of laser treatment, the speed of results will depend on the depth of your scars. Hyperpigmented areas are usually easier to treat than scars that have created indentations in the skin.
With dedication, you can often improve the appearance of hyperpigmented acne scars with at-home methods. If you have substantial scarring, there are several dermatological procedures available to improve or eliminate visible reminders of acne.
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