Some of us escape our acne-prone teenage years with our skin unscathed. However, some people with acne may find themselves dealing with acne scars. Acne scars can cause a rough and uneven appearance, but treatment can give you smooth, even-toned skin. 

What Causes Acne Scars?

Acne begins with clogged pores that become filled with oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria can multiply within the pore causing inflammation, pustules and nodules.  These lesions can resolve leaving marks behind. The appearance of scars depends on several factors, including:

  • Your skin’s unique healing process
  • Picking or interfering with acne blemishes
  • The depth of your acne, for example cystic acne affects deeper layers of skin
  • Your skin color and tendency to discolor with inflammation

Even if you keep your skin clean and avoid touching blemishes, you can still develop acne scars. Each person heals differently, and some skin tends to scar more than others. 

Acne Wellesley and Boston, Ma

How Long Does It Take for Acne Scars to Fade?

While their appearance may decrease over time, after about 6 months of healing acne scars will not improve further without intervention.  We recommend seeing a dermatologist for acne and acne scars that make you self-conscious or affect your life. Treatment of acne can decrease the chance of future scarring and some interventions can reduce the appearance of existing scars.

How Are Acne Scars Treated?

Acne scars, especially on the face, often look like darkened or red blotches as well as small pits or indentations. These types of scars can be very difficult to treat. Topical scar treatments can help reduce pigmentation and soften the appearance of acne scars, but some scars will continue to be a problem.  

More advanced methods include:

Fraxel® Dual Laser

This non-ablative laser targets pigmentation issues and textural irregularities. It stimulates collagen development to make your skin smoother and more even. It also triggers the production of healthy new skin cells and the shedding of old, damaged ones. Pigmentation and texture can both be addressed.  Fraxel is best for more superficial scars, not deep, depressed scars.

VBeam Pulsed Dye Laser

Acne sufferers often develop redness that lasts long after an acne pimple fades. If you have acne scars accompanied by redness, VBeam can target the red discoloration. This can dramatically reduce the visibility of red acne scarring. 

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers can be injected into acne scars to lift them to the skin level around them. This can work well for deep acne scars that are not firmly bound down, but you will need injections every six to eighteen months. 

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Is There Any Downtime with Acne Scar Treatment?

Your downtime will depend on the treatments chosen for your acne scars. Dermal fillers may bruise slightly, but generally have minimal downtime. The VBeam laser can cause a few days of redness and mild swelling often well camouflaged with tinted sunscreen. The Fraxel® laser usually causes two to three days of redness and swelling, followed by a few more days of peeling. 

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Take the Next Step

If you have further questions about acne and treating acne scars, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of the board certified dermatologists at Krauss Dermatology. Call us at (781) 416-3500 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to taking care of you.