To treat acne scars, use cortisone cream on red and swollen areas, and apply skin-lightening cream on the dark spots. For persistent scars, get ablative then non-ablative laser treatments and have fillers injected for deep or wide pits.
- Use cortisone to calm the scar
For new scars that are red and swollen, apply cortisone cream directly to the affected area.
- Apply skin-lightening cream
Most acne scars leave behind dark spots even after the swelling has been reduced. Use a skin-lightening cream daily on these areas. Look for creams that use kojic acid, arbutin or vitamin C. Hydroquinone is another option, though it can cause irritation.
- Get ablative laser treatments
For pitted scars, creams are not enough. Have a dermatologist use an ablative laser, which vaporizes scars. Several treatments may be necessary.
- Get non-ablative laser treatments
Once the pits are gone, non-ablative laser treatments activate the body's production of collagen. Non-ablative laser treatments leave behind smooth skin.
- Have filler injected
For deep or wide scars, such as those from cystic acne, filler injections may be necessary even after laser treatments. Fillers plump up the skin, but they need to be injected every three to 12 months. Another option is fat transplantation to fill in the pit.
- Prevent new scars
Early treatment of acne prevents scarring. Prevent new scars from forming by seeing a dermatologist when new breakouts occur.