How to treat acne scarring

If you escape a bout of acne, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. If you have suffered from acne either as a teen or as an adult, we feel your pain.

Acne can be painful, damaging to your self-esteem and difficult to get rid of. But what’s worse is that when the acne finally does clear it can leave behind some scarring.

But don’t fear, most acne scarring can actually be treated at home. Be sure to wait until all acne has cleared up before starting any new treatments for your scarring, as any new acne breakouts will most likely leave more scarring.

First step.

Before you start to use anything on your skin, you should see a dermatologist. They can assess the area and make sure there is nothing else going on. They will also help you to determine the best method to reduce the appearance of any scars.

Here are some methods a dermatologist may suggest:

Alpha Hydroxy Acids 

Also known as AHAs these are found in most products used to treat acne. AHAs help to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores but better yet they also help to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.

Lactic Acid


Studies show that using products containing lactic acid can improve the texture, appearance and the pigmentation of your skin which in turn will lighten any acne scars.

Although it is advised to use lactic acid, a natural alternative would be Apple Cider Vinegar as it contains natural lactic acid.


Yes, we are encouraging SPF again! SPF is a beauty MUST. But further to that, sun damage can cause scarring to become darker and more visible. Apply SPF every day, even if it’s raining!


Retinoids are another treatment for acne which can also help with scarring. Retinoids speed up cell renewal and improve the skin's texture. They can also help reduce discoloration, making scars appear less visible.

Always take extra precautions as retinoids can make your skin very sensitive to the sun. Look for products containing retinol and remember to always use SPF (but especially when using a retinol product).

Salicylic Acid


If you suffer with acne the chances are you are already familiar with salicylic acid. It is an ingredient in most acne treatments. Not only does it treat acne, but it is also great for treating acne scarring too. Salicylic acid reduces swelling and redness as it exfoliates the skin and helps with cell renewal.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, speak to your dermatologist before using salicylic acid as it could exacerbate your symptoms.

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