You’ve effectively treated your body acne, and now you’re left with residual scars on your chest. You want smooth, unblemished skin free of old acne scars. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help you get rid of both raised and indented acne scars on your chest. Minimize your body acne scars by choosing the best treatment for your type of scar, whether it’s with a medical procedure at your doctor’s office or a remedy you use at home.
EditGetting Medical Treatment
- Visit your dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment options. Not everyone needs medical treatment to deal with acne scars, but visiting your dermatologist is a good first step in deciding on treatment. See your dermatologist for an exam to be sure you have acne scars and not another skin condition.
- Your doctor can then discuss your different treatment options with you, including the risks, possible side effects, and benefits of each, and if at-home remedies may suffice to deal with your scars.
- Get a needling or rolling treatment. Needling and rolling are non-invasive procedures that may minimize acne scarring. Your doctor will roll a needled device over your scars to stimulate the tissue underneath them. You will probably need multiple treatments to see results, but it’s a safe and effective scar treatment.
- Another small surgical procedure called subcision may help improve scar appearance. This is when your doctor loosens the fibers under your scar by inserting needles. This is a more invasive process than rolling, so talk to your doctor about what’s best for you.
- Try procedures like dermabrasion or microdermabrasion. Dermabrasion is a minor medical process in which your skin is basically “sanded” with an abrasive, rotating brush. This allows newer, fresher skin beneath to shine through, appearing smoother and minimizing the uneven appearance of mild to moderate acne scars.
- Dermabrasion may cause some bleeding, and it takes about a week to heal; then some redness may occur for another 1-3 months. You’ll be required to follow some procedures afterwards such as avoiding certain products and direct sunlight. The outcome is usually quite good.
- Microdermabrasion requires less downtime and may improve mild acne scars, but is not as effective as dermabrasion for reaching deeper layers of skin.
- Dermaplaning is similar to dermabrasion, except that outer layers of skin are removed in small slices with a blade.
- Get steroid injections for raised scars. Many body acne scars are raised, red, and lumpy – sometimes called keloid scars. Talk to your doctor about trying a series of injections of corticosteroids, which may decrease inflammation and minimize scars over time. Depending on how severe your scars are, you may need 2-4 rounds of treatment spaced several weeks apart.
- Try a chemical peel. Your doctor will apply a potent acid to your skin to burn away the top layers, which lessens the depth or height of scars. This treatment works better on your face and hands than it does on your body, but deep peels can improve the appearance of shallow scars. A dermatological surgeon should do a good evaluation of your skin before you get a chemical peel. You should expect tenderness and peelings for up to 3 weeks, depending on the depth of the peel.
- Chemical peels make your skin more sensitive to light for a while, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun.
- You cannot get a chemical peel if you’re pregnant or nursing, have taken the medication Accutane within the last 6 months, or have an underlying skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea. You have to abstain from using retinoid products and bleaches for at least 48 hours before a chemical peel.
- Get soft tissue fillers for dimpled or puckered scars. Most acne scars on the chest are raised, but they can also be indentations in your skin. In this case, a filler injection can help improve the look and contour of your skin. Your doctor can inject collagen or fat beneath your dimpled scar to fill the skin and minimize the appearance of scarring.
- The effects are temporary, so treatments need to be repeated periodically.
- Try botox injections to improve dimpling around scars. Some scars can pull on the surrounding skin and cause dimpling or puckering. If this is a problem, your doctor may suggest getting botox injections in the surrounding skin to smooth it out. These treatments need to be repeated periodically.
- Have sporadic scars surgically excised. If you only have a few acne scars here and there, you can have them surgically removed. Your doctor can perform punch excision to remove scar tissue and then sew the wound or use a skin graft. Like any surgery, there is a risk of infection and other complications. This is not a good option for widely dispersed scarring.
- Consider trying a laser-based treatment, if recommended by your doctor. Laser- and light-based skin treatments can improve the look and contour of your skin, though it works best on fine lines and has questionable response with raised, lumpy body acne scars. However, laser therapy like Fraxel may soften scars over time, making them less visible. There are several devices that can be used, and healing time varies between them. Discuss this option with your dermatologist.
- Laser treatment goes by many names, including facial laser resurfacing, laser skin treatment, lasabrasion, laser peel, and laser vaporization.
- A V beam vascular laser may decrease redness in scars by targeting the blood vessels within scars.
EditUsing Home Skin Care
- Use bleaches and sunscreen to minimize color contrast. Creams won’t really decrease your scarring, but you can use over-the-counter creams to bleach skin that has been darkened by scars, minimizing their appearance. Be sure to use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher on your scarred area, as well, because scarred and unscarred skin tend to tan differently – scars are less noticeable when they blend in with the color of your surrounding skin.
- Try vitamin E oil. Some people find that rubbing vitamin E oil on their scars reduces their color and appearance. You can try this method by applying vitamin E oil to your scarred area, leaving it for 15-20 minutes, and washing it off with water. Do this regularly and watch for improvement.
- Use a lemon juice application. Wash your chest and pat the area dry. Use a cotton ball to rub fresh lemon juice onto your scarred area. Leave this on for about 10 minutes, then wash it off. This hasn’t been scientifically proven to decrease scarring, but doing this weekly may lighten the appearance of scars over time.
- Lemon juice can make your skin more sensitive, so always wear sunscreen on exposed areas when you’re outside.
- Try a natural exfoliant for mild, raised scars. If you have mildly raised scars, you may benefit from using exfoliants made from natural ingredients – similar to a very mild at-home dermabrasion. Try periodically using one of the following natural remedies to see if scars appear smoother or lighter over time:
- Mix honey and a little milk to get a paste. Apply this to your scars and leave on for a few minutes before rubbing it off with a soft, clean washcloth in the shower.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water. Rub this onto your scars in a circular motion and leave it for 2 minutes. Wash it off with fresh, warm water.
- Prevent chest acne. Preventing acne scars is easier than treating acne scars. See your dermatologist for medications as soon as you start to experience chest acne. You can also try to reduce your chest acne with natural remedies, such as:
- Do NOT pop your pimples. This can cause infection and worse scarring.
- Get about 15 minutes of sunlight on your acne-prone areas each day – not enough to get a sunburn, though.
- Drink 7-9 cups of water a day to stay hydrated and help your body flush out toxins.
- It’s much easier to prevent acne scarring than it is to eliminate acne scars, especially on your body. Seek treatment right away if you have acne to try and minimize scarring.
- Do not try to get rid of your acne scars unless you no longer get acne. New acne can make new scars and cause worse inflammation in scarred areas.
- All medical procedures to decrease scarring have potential risks and side effects. Always discuss these possibilities with your doctor.
- Aesthetic procedures such as dermabrasion are generally not covered by health insurance.
- Creams are probably ineffective in reducing acne scars on the body. Antihistamine creams may be helpful if your scars are itchy or sensitive, but will not change how the scars look.