How to Remove Acne Scars and Acne

To avoid acne scars, be gentle when caring for your skin.

Photo: Matthew Wakem/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Acne appears on your skin after glands are clogged by sebum, a type of oil. It's natural but distressing: You want clear, unblemished skin. Even after you're rid of the acne, you may have acne scars to contend with. Taking a slow approach to getting rid of your acne can help prevent scars that develop when acne disappears suddenly. Once you've banished your acne without creating scars, you'll just have to maintain a healthy skin-care regimen to keep your look flawless.


Wash your face twice a day with oil-free products and lukewarm water to help keep your pores clear. Keeping your skin clean will help prevent the appearance of future acne, which can help you avoid scarring.


Use the lowest strength acne-fighting cleaners and medications you can find. Strong medications may cause your acne to disappear more quickly, but it can leave a pit when it recedes into your skin. Coaxing your acne away instead of forcing it to disappear overnight may help minimize this risk. Products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help remove stubborn acne, and come in many strengths. Start with the lowest possible strength and spend a few weeks using the product to see how it affects your acne.


Try using all-natural or oil-free hair products and makeup to help reduce the amount of acne that appears. Some people also see an increase in acne when they're stressed. Find ways to manage your stress to avoid this.


Seek a surface chemical treatment to reduce the appearance of scars. Laser resurfacing, dermabrasion and chemical peels can help remove acne scars. These must be performed by a dermatologist, and cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the procedure, the doctor and the location. Irritation or peeling can occur, and it takes the skin at least 10 days to heal.


Use surgical procedures to treat the deepest, most stubborn acne scars. If your scars are deep pits and you're willing to exchange one skin of scar for another, talk to a doctor about either an autologus fat transfer or punch grafts. In the first, fat is removed from an area of your body, such as your butt or thigh. The fat is injected under the site of the scar and can help to smooth particularly deep scars. Sometimes autologus fat transfers have to be repeated after a few months, because the fat can be absorbed into the body. Punch grafts involve removing the scarred area of the skin and replacing it with a piece of skin from an unmarred location on the body, such as the back of the earlobe. This procedure will cause new scars, but these may be less distressing than your current scarring. Talk to a doctor to see which treatment, if any, is right for you.

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