I've been struggling with acne for 10 years now. It's actually worse now at my current age, 22, then it was when it first began at age 12. Seeing all these pimples on my face made me upset and drove me to do the worst thing possible, squeeze, pop and pick them. Due to all of that, now I have scarring on my cheeks. What would be the best and most afforable way to remove acne scars? I also still have cystic acne on my cheeks along with the scars.
Best Way to Get Rid of Acne Scars?
Doctor Answers (5)
Acne Scars and Treatment Options
Before addressing your acne scarring, it’s very important to first treat your cystic acne. What methods have you used to prevent and treat it? Acne treatment options includes benzoyl peroxide topical products, antibiotics, topical retinoids, oral retinoids, phototherapy, photodynamic therapy and laser treatments.
Treatment for cystic acne and acne scars
First step is to control your cystic acne. See a dermatologist in your area for advice best for your skin. Medication for cystic acne might include topical agents with oral antibiotics or oral contraceptives. If this fails to control your acne, you might be a candidate for Isotretinoin (Accutane) , which is a safe and highly effective treatment.
Once the acne is cleared up, you can evaluate the degree of scarring present. If the scarring is deep, repairing the scars with laser treatment might be the most effective but not inexpensive options
Acne and Acne Scar Treatments
I would recommend getting the acne under control before addressing the acne scars. If you still have cystic acne, you will most likely benefit from a combined oral and topical acne regiment. There are several treatments for acne scarring depending on what type of scars you have. If you have discoloration from acne, topical bleaching creams (ie. RetinA, glycolic, hydroquinone) and chemical peeling can be very helpful.
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The best treatment of acne scars is laser therapy. The FAST program, or focal acne scar treatment program is a two step laser program involving aggressive CO2 fractional laser to indivial scars and Fraxel laser to the entire face, helping overall resurfacing of the skin. Patient generally only need 1 program, which is done in 2 visits over 30 days, however for out of town patients it can be done in a single day.
The fraxel can also help with acne, however it is best to also treat the cystic acne with laser, light and medications to get it under control and then treat scarring once the active acne is managed better.
You are not alone. Many people touch their skin and causes severe scarring and discoloration. The best thing you can do is to see a Dermatologist and start a regimen to reduce the oil and bacteria on your skin. Retin A cream or Differin gel will unclog your pores and reduce oil. Benzoyl peroxides and topical antibiotics will reduce the bacteria on your skin and reduce inflammation. Chemical peels and Microdermabrasons are very affordable (as low as $75 dollars per treatment) and can slowly improve shallow scars and discolorations. Also invest in one of those electronic brushes 9Clarosonic) and scrub your face twice a week with Neutrogena acne scrub to unclog the pores.
Dr. David Rahimi