Red marks or brown marks left on the skin where acne has occurred but now the acne has cleared is a common complaint among acne patients. Most acne patients feel these red or brown marks make their skin appear more broken out and uneven than it really is. Treatments are available to help lighten and remove these acne marks. Topical agents such as retinoids, calming agents such as gloTherapeutics Clear Healing Gel, gloTherapeutics Clear Anti-Blemish Cleanser, or Biafine, and lightening creams can be used. Also, a series of superficial chemical peels, such as Beta Peels or DERMALINFUSION® or laser treatments (such as Genesis or photorejuvenation) can be effective.
Watch Dr. Taub speak about scarring solutions.
Acne scars come in 3 main types- rolling, boxcar, icepick and many combinations of the 3. Rolling scars are those, which are like broad, low hills. Boxcar scars are those that have a thick, hard center, often white, that pulls down on the center. Ice pick scars are very narrow and deep. These are all “atrophic” scars meaning there is an overall loss of skin. Most acne scar treatments attempt to either remove or replace abnormal tissue and to stimulate new collagen formation to fill in old scars. It is important to really get the acne under control as many treatments for scarring can cause acute acne to worsen. It also is not a good idea to put the energy, time and monetary investment into fixing the scars if you are continuing to make new ones. We favor 3 forms of fractionated resurfacing: the Ematrix, a radiofrequency device, the Fraxel Repair and CO2 laser resurfacing, or CO2RE. Other treatments include Dermaroller, subcision and injectable fillers, such as Bellafill®. Due to the variety of the scars in acne, a combined approach is often needed for optimal results.