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Suffering From Acne Since Puberty

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Hello everyone. I recently joined this forum in hopes to find a solution to my acne-ridden problem. I have had mild acne since I was 16 and now at 22, I still have them but at least many of them already subsided in time, but I still I have and I still suffer from the redness that comes with acne. But my main concern is the aftermath: acne scars. They are really hard to get rid of. I have a lot of deep acne scars on my cheeks, temple and forehead. I was wondering if there are any over-the-counter topicals and medications I could use in getting rid of acne scars without resulting to dermabrasion or taking accutane and how long will it take? Please share your stories below. Thanks so much.

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Acne scars originate in the dermis, which is a lower layer of skin. For any treatment to be effective, it has to penetrate to the dermis.

Treatments that do not affect the dermis:

- Microdermabrasion

- Most acids (AHA, BHA/salicylic, lactic)

- Any over the counter cream

Treatments that treat the dermis:

- Dermabrasion (dermabrasion is a true surgical procedure, unlike microdermabrasion)


- Fractional lasers

- TCA cross with subcision

- Retin-A (only slightly)

You mention Accutane. Accutane itself helps acne, not acne scars. In some cases Accutane can actually make acne scars worse. Some people notice an improvement in skin texture from Accutane because it dries up the sebaceous glands and thereby shrinks pores.

I am sorry to say that realistically you will not get true improvement in acne scars from any over the counter topical. It is simply impossible to get to the dermis where the scars originate. Even prescription Retin A will only give you very mild improvement. For true reduction of scars you will need to get a serious treatment such as laser, subcision, or dermabrasion.

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