Acne Scars Skin Care

Acne Scars Skin Care At A Glance

  • Best ResultsWith clinical revision
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure TimeNA
  • Skin SpecialistGuidance from clinician
  • Duration of ResultsVariable - years
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Acne Scars Skin Care

Skin care at home can help reduce acne & pigmentation, as well as improve collagen. Simple & precise skin care products can lay the foundation for improved skin- for life. The ABC’s of skin care, coupled with antioxidants, skin care acids & collagen boosters can complement scar revision procedures.

FactsFacts on Acne Scars Skin Care

  • Simple skin care can help build a foundation for life
  • The foundation is to prevent & treat acne early
  • Retinol & retinoids can remodel collagen & decrease outbreaks
  • Niacinamide can reduce inflammation & redness
  • Pigment correctors can improve post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Sunscreen is essential for patients on scar revision programs

Can skin care help with acne scarring?

Acne Scars Skin Care

Well formulated skin care gives marginal improvements in established scars. For mild & early scarring, collagen stimulation products such as retinoids, ascorbic acid, & skin care acids can help.

Red acne scars, known as PIE or post inflammatory erythema can improve with adequate sunscreen, vitamin B3 & vitamin C.

What simple things can I do at home to help my scar revision journey?

By far, the most important aspect of DIY treatments should be focused on preventing acne. Once you have achieved this, you can look at scar improving procedures & skin care. Active acne slows down scar remodelling, hence the importance of gaining absolute control early.

The following suggestions are not designed to replace clinical analysis & specialist management of acne scarring, but to help you build a better understanding of skin care, laying down the foundation for life.

This page only discusses topical skin care, for more information on sensible DIY procedure, review the page on home treatments for acne scars.

What are the best creams for acne scars?

Retinoic acid can treat acne & early 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.

Retinol is my go to ingredient during the scar revision process. I prefer retinol over retinoids simply because it is much easier to use & titrate. During your scar revision journey, your skin’s barrier function will be compromised following microneedling, RFM, peels & laser resurfacing. In many cases prescription retinoids can prolong redness post procedure- hence why I advocate retinol during the revision journey & retinoids after.

Glycolic acid can be useful in the management of acne scars, especially the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This skin care acid acts as an exfoliant in lower concentrations of 8 to 15%. High concentration AHAs can stimulate dermal collagen. As with retinoic acids, incorrect use during your revision journey can lead to prolonged healing.

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 & Retinoids / AHA can cause significant skin irritation if used together. For patients with skin type 3 or above, I occasionally initiatie ascorbic acid post resurfacing.

Retinoids are useful actives to help reduce scars & active acne

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 with associated red marks (post inflammatory erythema.)

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.

Why is sunscreen vitally important during scar revision treatments?

Adequate use of sunscreen can markedly accelerate your scar revision process. This is because after procedures such as microneedling, RF microneedling, lasers & peels, your skin is prone to pigmentation changes, including brown (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) & red, (post inflammatory erythema).


With subsequent treatments, these colour changes can be prolonged. The use of sunscreen will accelerate your recovery, assisting both me & my team as this allows us to provide better treatments (often higher settings). If you have pigment changes, we will have to back off on treatments until your skin recovers.

Davin’s Viewpoint- skin care for acne scars

I do think that skin care is important, not because it makes any noticeable difference to established scars, but because it teaches patients the value of prevention & looking after their skin.

I always start with the absolute foundation- namely sunscreens. Use them correctly. They are important. They allow me or my nurses to treat your scars with higher settings. This means better results, less side effects, less treatment sessions, & less costs.

From there, add retinol. Why retinol over a prescription retinoid? Because the latter is much harder to modulate, especially if you are having revision treatments that can make you skin more sensitive. Certainly post procedure, a retinoid is sensible.

If your skin can tolerate it, ascorbic acid is sensible to add in the morning. It can protect your skin (antioxidants) & decrease pigment production. Additionally it can theoretically increase collagen production.

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