If you have been spending hours working on primer, concealer and heavy foundation to even out your facial skin and hide deep acne marks and scars; relying on camera filter apps for your social media posts for a more flawless look; and constantly searching for acne scar treatments that will suit your budget, then you are obviously worrying about these imperfections and aiming to improve your appearance.
Most of us may have experienced those horrendous breakouts during our teenage years. Back when our hormones are raging, we are experiencing physical and reproductive changes and back when we spend sleepless nights thinking about that teenage love. Acne is a common skin disorder affecting 40 million Americans, most especially teenagers between the age of 14 and 19. Some types of acne go away on its own, but some types of acne don’t go away and leave dark and deep marks that will need attention and budget.
Recover your confidence and put your best face forward because we have selected the top acne treatments, for every price point, to help you get rid of acne scars permanently.
- Laser Treatments
Laser treatments provide various treatment options to address varying severity of scars while taking into account the acceptable downtime for the patient who will undergo the treatment. Ablative laser treatments work by vaporizing the outer layers of the skin, restructures and heal the skin and eliminate fine lines and improving the appearance of scars by increasing collagen production. This requires 1 to 2 weeks recovery time and costs $4000-$6000 per treatment.
Non-ablative laser treatments are less invasive with a minimal downtime. It heats up the skin’s tissue and unlike ablative laser treatments, it does not destroy the skin and what beneath. It also stimulates collagen production to fill the damaged and aging areas. It will require several treatments to achieve optimum results or 30% improvement on the scar appearance. Treatment costs $1000 per session with multiple repeat sessions.
Both treatments can address acne scars, acne spots, infection, skin redness and swelling.
- Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
Commonly mistaken as the same treatment but these two are different. Dermabrasion is a procedure a tool with an abrasive end. The Dermatologist will even out shallow scars, improve deep scars and make way for a smoother layer of skin by getting rid of the top layer of the skin. This treatment uses anesthesia for full face treatments and topical anesthesia for targeted areas. Downtime is 3-5 days and will cost around $1500-$2000 per treatment.
Microdermabrasion is like a magic wand with magical diamond crystals at the tip that exfoliates, massages, promotes blood circulation and collagen production in the surface of the skin. Best used for dark but shallow acne scars and must have several repetitions. Microdermabrasion is available in-clinic but you can also buy or rent a machine – they might all cost the same between $150-$300, so better check and compare your options.
- Skin fillers
These fillers will add volume under the acne scars to eliminate or minimize the appearance of the depressed areas. Fillers have varying lasting effect and will require re-injection. Among the common fillers being used in this treatment and the duration of their effects are:
Hyaluronic acid – 9 to 12 months
Calcium hydroxyapatite – 12 to 16 months
Your own fat – 6 to 12 months
Polymethylmethacrylate – 7 to 10 years
Microdroplet silicone – permanent but delicate
Skin fillers cost $600-$2000 depending on the type and amount of filler required. Downtime is 24 to 48 hours with restricted facial movement to avoid migration of fillers.
- Chemical peeling
Since there is no “one size, fits all” treatment even for acne scars, chemical peels offer a varying degree of acid concentration depending on the depth of the scar. Light scars will need light peel using alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) like lactic acid, glycolic acid or citric acid, and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) or salicylic acid. Medium peeling for medium scars use TCA or trichloroacetic acid. Deep peel on the other hand, uses Phenolic acid which has known side effects to the kidneys so some clinics will use TCA instead. Since peeling will expose a new layer of the skin, sun exposure is a big no-no. Take home skin regimen will also be advised as the newly exposed skin is prone to infection. Recovery time is two weeks and you won’t be able to wash your face during the first two days after the treatment. Full-face treatments cost $2000-$5000.
While in-clinic acne scar treatments sound promising, it is not for everybody’s budget. These are the home treatments you can easily find and save up for.
- Needle rollers
A cult favorite of beauty bloggers and celebrities, search for it and you’ll find tons of results about needle rollers. Costs around $20 and can be purchased from specialty stores and online shopping sites. Use sanitized and on a freshly cleansed face and roll your way to a smoother face and improved scar appearance. Must be used every 6 weeks and can be used with your targeted skin serum after for best results. Downtime is 24 hours and you must not wash your face 8 hours after and definitely no makeup for 24 hours.
- Home peeling
If you can’t afford clinic-based peeling procedures, there are in-home treatments of skin peeling agents like AHA and salicylic acid in smaller concentrations are offered in affordable home kits. Similar post-treatment care is required and sun exposure must be avoided.
- Herbal remedies
Some people prefer the natural way to everything. Having that in mind, here are the herbal remedies to help you get rid of acne scars:
Sugar can be your cheap alternative to microdermabrasion. The sanding effect of sugar crystals exfoliate the skin and a little pressure and massaging it on your face in circular motion will improve blood circulation as well.
Lemon juice is your best replacement for harsh chemical peels. It dries up acne and when used as mask, it can promote mild skin peeling. You can tone it down a bit with water or honey.
- Acne scar treatment creams
If you have a little bit of a budget but does not have time to prepare herbal remedies, then you can grab a jar of these acne scar treatment creams:
- Keeva Organic Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment that offers 7 times faster treatment for acne scars, marks, cystic acne and blackheads in 3 days.
- Amaira Advanced Scar Vanishing Cream that removes old and new scars in just a week.
- Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream that uses 92% snail mucus filtrate to lighten and heal scars by improving skin elasticity.
Whatever acne scar type you have, there are available treatments at different price points. It is never too early or too late for you to gain your confidence back. Money can’t buy happiness but if better skin appearance can bring joy, then it’s the same thing.
Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Keeva Organics and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.