“The best thing to do at home is to prevent the acne so you’re not causing any additional scars,” says Kellett, because you can’t treat the damage caused by blemishes until you get them under control. Also, I know we’ve all heard this a zillion times, but I’ll add in another refrain one more time for the cheap seats in the back: Do not pick! Like, not at all! It will not feel satisfying even though our lizard brains tell us it might.
“In general, I tell my acne clients to use an exfoliating cleanser, a topical benzoyl peroxide, no creams, no lotions, no oils, no liquid foundations, all of which can contribute to acne,” says Kellett. “Use gel-based moisturizers and sunscreens that are alcohol-based, as well, since you don’t want to use anything that will make you break out. You can also use topical vitamin A such as topical 1 per cent retinol, which you can get over the counter because it’s good for acne as well as wrinkles.”
So that’s your homework, if you still have active acne. But if that’s in the past for you, there are certainly in-office treatments that can improve the look of your bothersome scars. Though it’s unreasonable to assume deep pits will be erased, Kellett says her patients are normally happy with the results.
One of the newest treatment options available is laser-resurfacing, which “burns the surface of the skin and also goes underneath to help improve collagen regeneration.” Micro-needling — which, let’s just say it, needs a cuter and cuddlier name — is well suited to ice-pick scars because the doctor can use a small needle to stimulate the collagen in a very precise way.
Kellett often opts for the subcision technique, however, when dealing with scars, in which she uses a fine needle to cut the fibrous adhesions that are pulling down on the skin and causing the puckering. “You can actually feel them as you break through them,” she explains. The benefit is that the results are permanent.
“There are always possible side effects,” says Kellett, since it’s considered to be a very mini surgical procedure, and they include scarring, infection, pigment change and bruising. “But they are rare.” Injectable filler such as Restylane Skinboosters dispersed in tiny droplets across the scarred area afterwards can further improve the texture of the skin.
So if cutting the ties that bind down a few of your little scars will help you to also release some of the burden you’ve been carrying with you, then talk to an experienced doctor and see if it’s right for you. Whatever you decide, it’s time to feel good in your skin — and not because you’re too old to care, but because you’re too young to miss out on any of life’s pleasures.
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