Once you have your acne under control (or even if it isn’t) you still have to deal with acne scars which can be just as annoying as the acne itself. Treating dark or red acne scars that’re flat in texture is relatively simple but indented or ‘icepick’ ones are a lot tougher – let’s look at your options.
Prevention – Sometimes it’s impossible to prevent an icepick scar from forming but to lessen the odds, make sure you’ve got a good routine for your acne and try not to scratch, pick or pop your spots (unless they’re whiteheads).
Exfoliation – Exfoliation using an AHA product can go some way in smoothing out your skin texture. It won’t get rid of the scars but it’ll make your skin look smoother and healthier overall. Try something with alpha hydroxy acid – I prefer the AHA Lotion from Acne.org if you’re acne prone. Treatments like Dermabrasion and Chemical Peels will yield the same results; a slight improvement but nothing drastic.
Collagen formers - Using a high concentration Vitamin C serum during the day and prescribed Retinol product at night will help your skin to produce more collagen which will help to slightly raise the indented parts (as well as treat/prevent wrinkles!). I’m quite liking the Obagi line of products at the moment, available from dermatologists.
Fillers – If you have deep acne scars, you can try having them individually filled in by a surgeon using some sort of dermal filler.
Dermarolling – This is a slightly new/weird option but I’ve seen amazing results on other people. Dermarolling is a process where something that looks like a paint roller is rolled across the skin – the roller has tiny needles in it which prick the skin, causing tiny wounds. These wounds cause the skin to produce lots of collagen to heal the wounds and so – in turn – will gradually fill in indented acne scars. Angelina Jolie is said to be a fan – huge surprise there! It’s a tricky and uncomfortable treatment so make sure you only see a professional if you’re considering it.
Laser treatments – If you’re looking for a dramatic improvement, laser treatments are your best option. Consult a dermatologist to find out the best kind of treatment for your skin type but I highly suggest researching and asking your dermatologist about Fraxel laser treatments. I’ve seen the results in person (and in photos like the above!) and they’re fantastic.
Cosmetic products – If you’re looking for an instant fix, a thick, silicone-rich primer will temporarily fill in your acne scars so that your skin looks nice and smooth. Easiest way to apply is to smooth the product across your skin and then gently pat your face to even everything out. The best ones I’ve found for this purpose are the Clarins Instant Smooth and the budget (but almost identical) L’oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Primer. These are colourless and keep oil at bay too.
So if you have indented acne scars – there’s hope! To be honest your best bet is to save for laser treatment if they bother you a lot but in the meantime there are a lot of options for you to try out while you save that cash. Hope that helps!