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What's the best thing for acne scars?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

I have finally got my acne under control but I still have these little red marks all over my cheeks from when I had bad acne. I googled it and I don't really understand all the medical terms & the blah blah,,,soo does anybody have any suggestions? I am kinda on a budget so is there anything out there that can help them fade away without costing a fortune?! I definately cannot afford laser removal & all that...is there any drugstore product that would help & actually work? Someone told me to try Mederma...but I wasn't sure you could use that for acne scars. Any recs out there?

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post #2 of 37

Try Bio Oil.

 

You can purchase it at most stores like Walmart, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart (These are stores in Canada)

post #3 of 37

The tried and true (and cheapest) method is just to wait it out.  The redness (not bumpiness) is called "hyperpigmentation" which basically means the skin coloration is darker than normal.  Time eventually lets your skin to heal and they'll fade away. Unfortunately, the time method is also the slowest method there is.  Just make sure you're doing things to prevent any additional acne, and your skin just eventually heals up.

 

Since there's no physical bumps, concealer and foundation usually do a good enough job of hiding the redness until your skin heals.

It takes usually around 6-12 months for my redness to go down to a level where I don't need concealer anymore, and another 6-12 months on top of that where they'll finally just lighten up until they fade away.  I think that I heal slower than normal though, since from what I've read, most people are back to complete "normal" again in 3-6 months, whereas for me that much healing takes well over a year.  (It's been about 12 months since I had my last pimple, and I've finally gotten to a point a few weeks ago where a quick application of my EDM pressed powder will even out my skin to make the spots unnoticeable.)  If I ever get a spider bite that turns dark purple (3-4 months), it then turns dark brown (3-4 months), then light brown (3-4 months), then fades away.  Those spots also take around a year to go away on me.

 

Some of the prescription drugs out there worry me because it can actually cause like bleaching spots on your skin (it lightens up the red spots, but it also lightens up your normal skin) so you end up getting like...halos around your spots.  So I'd recommend seeing a dermatologist if you're looking into any of the stronger stuff.

post #4 of 37

I agree with Anelle.

 

But a few things:

 

Exfoliate with a gentle product (try mixing baking soda with cleanser, into a paste) at least once a week. Or start using a liquid BHA exfoliant daily. Stay away from anything harsh like grated almond shells.

 

Make sure you wear sunscreen everyday - the brownish red hyperpigmentation will stay around longer if you don't use a decent spf of 15 or more.

post #5 of 37

I´d get into using a chemical exfoliant (like a 8-10% glycolic serum, the Alpha Hydrox brand from Walgreens has the correct pH and it´s cheap, or a salicylic acid serum if you´re still breakout prone). You could also add a fade cream with 2% hydroquinone and see if that helps any (didn´t do much for my post-acne hyperpigmentation since they were caused by the pimple itself, not the sun. Hydroquinone works best on sunspots)

And use sunscreen of course.

 

Apparently things like bio-oil, emu-oil, mederma etc don´t have proven benefits for post-acne hyperpigmentation, according to Paula Begoun (Cosmetics Cop). Things that speed up your skin´s natural exfoliation process seem to work better.

 

It really depends on how bad your hyperpigmentation is though, and how much of an improvement you want to achieve! If your cheeks are covered by hyperpigmentation, and the red marks are quite big then you might need laser treatments if you want to get rid of them 100%.

Mine weren´t horrible to begin with, but very stubborn and hard to get rid of. Some spots I had for over 3 years and they still wouldn´t completely disappear with the methods I was using. The things that really worked for me were Retin-A and TCA chemical peels, but you might never need to use any of that.

post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice! I think I'll pick up that Alpha Hydroxy cream and see if it helps any. You girls are the best! :D

post #7 of 37

Aloe vera is the best solution for acne scare.. It might be taken internally, ordinarily as an ingredient to some herbal acne remedies. It can be helpful in treating acne cases on account of hormonal imbalance. Another benefit that aloe vera could give to men and women with acne is its healing effect to infection and its ability to removes scars. That’s why aloe vera has often been a common ingredient to soaps and gels for scar treatment. With its quite a few benefits, aloe vera gel would be among the best natural acne treatment.

post #8 of 37

^I tried Etude's(korean brand) Aloe mask sheet and yes, a lot of red bump swelling subsided! but I'm not able to use the 2-3 times a week though.. the mall with the Etude House store is quite far from where I'm living.. so, I kept on having breakouts and my face right now, is the moon!

post #9 of 37

I use lavender essential oil, and sunscreen. To cover it, i apply mineral makeup to tone down the redness, but the best thing to do is wait, it's taken me a few months to get it to reduce considerably, i still have a tiny scar left that's slowly disappearing.

post #10 of 37

I like to use a mixture of avocado oil + aloe vera to moisturize.  I use it in the daytime under my makeup, but get more generous with it at night before I go to sleep, and I always wake up with a more even toned face.  Avocado oil has vitamin E and other healing vitamins, and boosts collagen.  I mostly use aloe vera because then I'm not just slathering a heavy layer of oil on my face, and as someone else mentioned, there are helpful benefits to aloe as well.  I've actually recently experienced some bad breakouts, and my skin is now slowly getting back to normal, so I'm dealing with some scars myself.  I just started using oatmeal+yogurt+honey masks which feel soothing to the skin and I think is helping fade scars as well.  I think the yogurt aspect of it is most effective, probably because the lactic acid in it helps exfoliate the skin.  I've also been using the baking soda+cetaphil combo that someone else also mentioned, and I think it's one of my favorite scrubs.  I normally use St. Ives apricot scrub, but this feels more gentle.  As recommended by someone on Makeupalley, I follow it up with an apple cider vinegar/green tea toner.  Supposedly, it adjusts the pH balance. 

 

Good luck!

post #11 of 37

Time helps acne scars.  I don't do anything to it expect use foundation to even my skin tone and hide the dark spot and wait for it to go away.

post #12 of 37

Perhaps you can try going to the doctor? They provide some cream for you to apply. It is quite effective too.

post #13 of 37

I use a face lotion called Raw Essentials and it helped decrease my scaring!  I also use Laura Mercier cover up and powder over my whole face- helps even out my skin tone!

post #14 of 37

I dunno about Bio-Oil though. It broke me out, so that may be counter-productive.

post #15 of 37

I visit acne.org and many people there like using plain lemon juice on the red marks. They say it makes them fade faster. I haven't tried it myself though because I just wait for them to fade on their own.

 

post #16 of 37

I want to know what works best on ACNE PITTED SCARRING.. not red dots, but actual pits in your face scarring left from cystic acne. 

 

I do things now for it and they work and my skin has changed so much and Im very happy but Im always opened to hear more and "better".. lol i always want more, better, now, hurry!  LOL

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHaNGiNGFaCESx View Post

I want to know what works best on ACNE PITTED SCARRING.. not red dots, but actual pits in your face scarring left from cystic acne. 

 

I do things now for it and they work and my skin has changed so much and Im very happy but Im always opened to hear more and "better".. lol i always want more, better, now, hurry!  LOL


You sound like me lol, I´m always looking for more improvement in my skin as well.

The best resource would be the scar forums on acne.org. You should find lots of info from people that have actual acne scars, not just dark marks - although you can find lots of posts on that as well. Treatment for acne scars can be pricey and difficult, often discouraging if you have really bad scars. But you can always achieve some sort of improvement with the right treatment

 

post #18 of 37

I've found AHA to be most helpful with post inflammatory pigmentation from acne.  I like Paula's Choice 8%.

post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHaNGiNGFaCESx View Post

I want to know what works best on ACNE PITTED SCARRING.. not red dots, but actual pits in your face scarring left from cystic acne. 

 

I do things now for it and they work and my skin has changed so much and Im very happy but Im always opened to hear more and "better".. lol i always want more, better, now, hurry!  LOL



What things did you do?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi View Post




You sound like me lol, I´m always looking for more improvement in my skin as well.

The best resource would be the scar forums on acne.org. You should find lots of info from people that have actual acne scars, not just dark marks - although you can find lots of posts on that as well. Treatment for acne scars can be pricey and difficult, often discouraging if you have really bad scars. But you can always achieve some sort of improvement with the right treatment

 


That's my main concern too but so far I haven't found anything I'd want to do regarding my pitted scars :(. All treatments sounds scary and I don't think my scars are that bad that I'd want to risk like that. That dermaroller some are using...no way I'd ever go near that thing. Subcision sounds bad too. I wonder if peels would be best option?

 

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliana View Post





What things did you do?




That's my main concern too but so far I haven't found anything I'd want to do regarding my pitted scars :(. All treatments sounds scary and I don't think my scars are that bad that I'd want to risk like that. That dermaroller some are using...no way I'd ever go near that thing. Subcision sounds bad too. I wonder if peels would be best option?

 

I did spot treatments with 2 layers of 15% TCA on the areas where I have my icepick scars (they´re small though, and I think I have about 6 so it´s not bad at all, you can barely see them unless you´re up close). I also did 2 tries of TCA CROSS on the scars (did it myself, since the procedure itself is quite simple), which improved them a bit. In the end I would say I got a 50% improvement, although I can´t say if it was the 15% TCA or the TCA CROSS that gave me the improvement-probably a combination of both.

 

I wouldn´t use dermarollers on myself either, even if I had bad scars. I read that not a lot of dermatologists do it because supposably the documented actual improvement is quite small. Plus, you´d have to have scars on a large area of your face to be able to use a dermaroller I think. For individual pitted scars, TCA CROSS is an option, but not every dermatologist will do this either.

 

There are different types of acne scars, and according to your type, number and severity of scars there will be different treatments. If your skin can handle them, chemical peels are worth a try. If anything, they will improve your skin tone & texture, maybe take some of the redness away that some pitted scars have.
 

 

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi View Post



I did spot treatments with 2 layers of 15% TCA on the areas where I have my icepick scars (they´re small though, and I think I have about 6 so it´s not bad at all, you can barely see them unless you´re up close). I also did 2 tries of TCA CROSS on the scars (did it myself, since the procedure itself is quite simple), which improved them a bit. In the end I would say I got a 50% improvement, although I can´t say if it was the 15% TCA or the TCA CROSS that gave me the improvement-probably a combination of both.

 

I wouldn´t use dermarollers on myself either, even if I had bad scars. I read that not a lot of dermatologists do it because supposably the documented actual improvement is quite small. Plus, you´d have to have scars on a large area of your face to be able to use a dermaroller I think. For individual pitted scars, TCA CROSS is an option, but not every dermatologist will do this either.

 

There are different types of acne scars, and according to your type, number and severity of scars there will be different treatments. If your skin can handle them, chemical peels are worth a try. If anything, they will improve your skin tone & texture, maybe take some of the redness away that some pitted scars have.
 

 


I have 3 pitted scars that bother me A LOT and a weird skin texture. I have 2 icepick one but they don't bother me as much. I would love 50% improvement! I don't know where to start with chemical peels. I think I'll do a search if I can get TCA cross in my country...

post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliana View Post




I have 3 pitted scars that bother me A LOT and a weird skin texture. I have 2 icepick one but they don't bother me as much. I would love 50% improvement! I don't know where to start with chemical peels. I think I'll do a search if I can get TCA cross in my country...


I´m not an expert, but it sounds like you have boxcar (the 3 wide pits you mentioned) and rolling scars (the uneven, bumpy skin texture). I think CROSS only works on icepick scars from what I´ve read, so it sounds like that´s not really an option. Have you ever consulted a dermatologist about your scars?

You can always try a round of low % at-home glycolic acid peels to see how that evens out your skintone, but chemical peels really have their limitations with acne scars.

 

post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi View Post




I´m not an expert, but it sounds like you have boxcar (the 3 wide pits you mentioned) and rolling scars (the uneven, bumpy skin texture). I think CROSS only works on icepick scars from what I´ve read, so it sounds like that´s not really an option. Have you ever consulted a dermatologist about your scars?

You can always try a round of low % at-home glycolic acid peels to see how that evens out your skintone, but chemical peels really have their limitations with acne scars.

 


My dermatologist said it would improve on it's own and he didn't want to talk about it any further.  I know I can never get rid of them completely, I just want to make them look better and if chemical peels can do that, than I'm willing to try. I've been lurking on acne.org for half a year now and I still don't know what to do *sigh*

post #24 of 37

See, I don't know what I have then, I don't know what the difference between ice pick and pitted scars are.  I also have some messed up scarring on my chin where it's not a pit hole, but actually the skin is like rough/lumpy..some of the scars are bad on my chin where it actually makes a line like i was cut or something because I guess I had a couple in that area and then the scars all formed or whatever but my chin was notorious for that when I was younger to get zits all in the same spot right next to each other and all congregating in one area

post #25 of 37

Aliana, is there any way you can get a 2nd opinion from a different dermatologist? It sounds like the previous one wasn´t in the aesthetic dermatology field and probably wasn´t trained in any of the procedures. I live in a very rural area, and if I had acne scars I´d have to travel to a bigger city to go to a specialist, because the derms in my area only treat acne, not scars.

Like I said, there´s no harm in starting out with a low % peel at home.

 

Changingfaces, this link might help you to figure out what kind of scars you have so you maybe you can look into what treatments would work for you: http://acne.about.com/od/livingwithacne/tp/acnescartypes.htm. Have you had your scars evaluated by a dermatologist?

post #26 of 37

Andi, that link didnt work for me, but I did find this link that I thought might help:

 

http://www.acne.org/acne-scar-treatment.html

 

 

post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post

Andi, that link didnt work for me, but I did find this link that I thought might help:

 

http://www.acne.org/acne-scar-treatment.html

 

 


that´s an awesome link, even better that it lists the treatment options and for which scars they usually work

 

post #28 of 37

use tretinoin or glicolic acid at nights it peels out the scars and makes  your skin glow.

post #29 of 37

i had the same problem, it really sucks. but what i noticed makes them lighter is moisturizing and drinking plenty of water. so try that it will

post #30 of 37

I've been using Alpha Hydrox glycolic acid 10% at nightime and in the mornings. It really helped with the minor scars and pigmentation.

I've also used prescriptions like Benzaclin which is used for acne, but it also makes your skin peel and helps with pigmentation.

I have some deep scars that I know will never go away. but oh well! :(

 

If it's severe and makes you cry the best option is to see a dermatologist or your family doctor, imho.

 

 

 

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