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What is the Best Acne Scar Treatment?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Any qualified dermatologist is likely to inform an audience, if asked, that there is no such thing as a best acne scar treatment, especially one that applies to everyone. There are good treatments and some effective treatments, but treatment may always depend on the type of acne people have. This varies from person to person or even may be variable on one person’s face. Since there are different kinds of scars, not all are as effectively treated with the same things.

Dermatologists have found they can make some decisions about a best acne scar treatment based on individual needs, price range (since treatments are seldom covered by insurance) and preference. For those looking for the best acne scar treatment that is temporary, and would be used to treat small depressions in the skin, many dermatologists recommend fillers. These could include collagen fillers, or autologous fat transfer that transfers fat from one part of the body to the face directly below a scar to flatten it out. Depending on substance used as a filler, results could last from about three to 12 months or a little longer, but they are certainly not permanent.

Options that may last longer can be used for varied types of acne scars like the ice pick type, which looks like a hole in the skin and is often profuse. Doctors can use a punch excision, which removes the scar tissue and is usually followed by suturing skin. Though a new scar will form, it may not sink and good wound care may help the scar heal better. Another treatment for profuse ice pick acne is microdermabrasion.

Other methods that might qualify as the best acne scar treatment include dermabrasion, which goes to deeper levels and may help reduce look of scarring and stimulate new skin growth. Alternately, many are turning to laser treatments. Ablative forms resurface or remove outer layers of skin, which may remove some pitted forms of acne. Non-ablative lasers might be the best scar treatment for very mild acne scarring or skin discolorations, or to prevent some acne from forming.

Another way that layers of skin may be removed is through procedures like chemical peels, but these may not be the best treatment for everyone because they can cause skin irritation. Without a doubt, the hardest type of acne scar to treat is the keloid scar, where tissue grows outward instead of falling in and creating pits. Those interested in getting these removed should talk to their dermatologist about available options.

There are milder and less expensive treatments that many consider the best acne scar treatment, especially by those with lighter pockets. For instance certain anti-scarring lotions like Mederma® are now highly recommended to minimize look of scars. For women, consulting with a good aesthetician or cosmetics expert about cosmetics that might minimize acne appearance may also be of use.

Perhaps for most people, the best acne scar treatment is following the advice of a board certified dermatologist who bases his/her opinion on a thorough examination of the skin. While the Internet is a boon in getting preliminary information it cannot be a substitute for the advice of doctors. Without a real doctor’s opinion based on patient exam, advice on the best acne scar treatment can only be considered very general information that does not apply in all cases and to all people.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Feb 22, 2014

@ZipLine-- You can use vitamin E oil, in conjunction with a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. The latter are common acne treatments and exfoliate dead skin. Vitamin E oil is excellent for scars and will make them disappear with regular use. Also, avoid sunlight because, from my experience, sunlight darkens acne blemishes.

By ddljohn — On Feb 21, 2014

@ZipLine-- Chemical peels do cause redness and irritation because the procedure removes the top layer of skin so that a fresh layer can grow. But when done well, it's a very effective method.

Unfortunately, if you have ice pick type scars, natural scar treatments are not going to do much. There was an actress who had this type of scar all over her face. When she started acting in a TV show, they were covering it up with makeup but it was still very apparent. Over break, she had a chemical peel treatment done for acne scars. When she was back on the show, her face was beautiful. All of the scars were gone. Her face was smooth and flawless.

So I think that these types of treatments are important. For some people, these are the only acne scar removal methods that will work.

By ZipLine — On Feb 21, 2014

I'm scared of acne scar facial procedures like dermabrasion and chemical peels. I've seen after pictures of chemical peels and they weren't pretty.

I want to get rid of my acne scars naturally, without experiencing side effects. What is the best way to do this?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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