Acne Scars; DIY Home Treatments

Acne Scars DIY Treatments; At A Glance

  • Best Results5-15+ sessions
  • Treatment Recovery0-4 days
  • Procedure Time5 minutes every 1-2 weeks
  • Skin SpecialistYou, with help from me
  • Duration of ResultsMany years to permanent
  • AnaestheticNone
  • Back to WorkNext Day
  • Cost$

Acne Scars; DIY Home Treatments

In the ideal world, patients with acne scars should be medically managed by trained specialist nurses, therapists & in severe cases, by dermatologists & plastic surgeons. Costs & travel constraints are rate limiting factors for some patients, hence this landing page.

FactsFacts on DIY Home Remedies for Acne Scars

  • Mild cases of acne scarring can be improved with DIY treatments
  • Controlling acne is paramount prior to treatments
  • Retinol & retinoids can reduce acne,& acne scars
  • Pigment inhibitors & sunscreen can reduce brown marks
  • Sensible Dermaroller or Dermastamping can improve scars
  • For mild to moderate cases nurses & dermal therapists can assist
  • For severe cases a dermatologist or plastic surgeon can help

How can I safely treat my scars at home?

This page will give you a sensible idea of how to safely treat mild to moderate or early (less than 3 months old) acne scars. These guidelines are not the Gold Standard in managing acne scars, however they are cost effective. Guidelines are aimed at –

  1. Treating acne & placing it in remission
  2. Creams that can help with scar remodelling & collagen generation
  3. CIT or collagen induction therapy using simple cost effective tools from eBay or Amazon
  4. Creams that help with post acne marks, including dark patches (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) or red marks (Post Inflammatory Erythema)

These suggestions are a compromise between safety, affordability, & technical skill. They are not designed to replace clinical analysis & specialist management of acne scarring.

What is the best cream for acne scars?

Retinoic acid, in particular retinoids (as well as retinol), can treat acne & acne scars. Differin or adapalene is the most studied retinoid for the treatment of acne scars. This is OTC or over the counter in the United States & in some countries in Europe. In Australia it is prescription only (however, apparently you can order this through Amazon or other websites. Hint.) Review the section on how to use retinoids on this website for better understanding.

AHAs, in particular glycolic acid can be useful in the management of acne scars. Concentrations of 8 to 15% are recommended. AHAs can be used on alternate nights with your retinoid of choice. Note- AHAs & retinoids can cause significant skin irritation if used together. Be guided by your skin care expert.

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C can reduce dark acne spots, known as PIH or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Formulations containing 10-20% L-Ascorbic Acid are recommended. Note- Vitamin C & Retinoid / AHA can cause significant skin irritation if used together. Be guided by your skin care expert.

Niacinamide or vitamin B can reduce inflammation from acne, in addition to reducing post acne marks. This vitamin is best for patients who have sensitive skin.

Disclaimer: My work is a procedural dermatologist, I do not consult with products in mind. My focus is on lasers, surgery, & injectables. My clinical staff are experts in the field of product use. My clinical team are experts in the management of acne & mild to moderate acne scarring.

How can you treat brown acne marks at home?

Brown marks from acne are termed PIH or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 50% of PIH will persist for one year, 25% will be apparent at the 5 year mark. You can do the following DIY treatments to reduce or prevent PIH-

  • Sunscreen. Twice a day, regardless of sun exposure
  • Retinoids can reduce acne, preventing PIH
  • Vitamin C can repair scars & reduce pigment
  • Azelaic acid is a powerful anti-inflammatory & pigment inhibitor
  • AHAs such as glycolic acid can fade pigment

Microneedling is NOT advisable for brown spots as it may make this worse. For DIY treatments, sensible AHAs & exfoliation can help. If you are struggling with brown marks, please consult my clinical team @cliniccutis. My nurses & therapists are well versed in the management of brown spots-PIH. We employ nano, pico & fractional lasers to help improve skin texture & scars.

How can you treat red acne marks at home?

Red marks from acne are termed macular erythema, or PIE (post inflammatory erythema). These are notoriously difficult to remove at home without lasers. Sunscreen use will decrease the intensity of redness. Red marks take 6-18 months before fading, vascular lasers are best at removing them (2-4 sessions). Microneedling gives marginal improvements.

Davin’s Viewpoint- Scar Revision At Home

Understanding the limits of geographical & financial resources, sensible scar revision can be conducted at home. My suggestions on this page is a compromise between safety & efficacy. It is not designed to teach people the skills of scar revision, nor try to give one the skillsets of medical dermatology & pharmacology. To summarise this page-

  1. Above all, control your acne. If you have scarring time is ticking. The biggest prognostic factor for scars is the time taken to achieve absolute control. It is NOT the time taken to try something out, or see someone, it is the time taken to treat every single pimple, cyst or zit. The biggest mistake I see in the management of acne scars.
  2. Try topicals including retinol or better still Differin. Use sunscreen to reduce or prevent PIH – red acne marks.
  3. Dermaroller or stamping with 0.1-0.2 mm to flat areas such as the cheeks. You can go up to 0.25 if needed.
  4. You are safer using an AHA 10-15 rather than a DIY chemical peel.
  5. If you have mild scarring consult my clinical team.
  6. If you have objectively moderate to severe scars, I would be more than happy to assist.
  7. Please read point number one again. The majority of patients will make this mistake. If you still have significant acne, see a medical dermatologist (not me, I am a procedural dermatologist)

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