Acne is like having a bad houseguest; even after it leaves, you're stuck dealing with the wreckage left behind. Acne scars are the unfortunate souvenirs of acne's visit. Although you can seek dermatological procedures and surgical options to treat your acne scars, you might want to try using makeup to cover the scars first.
Acne scars come in two basic types -- depressed and raised [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Scars also present in different colors, including red, purple, pink, brown and white, depending on their age and type [sources: HealthNews.org, The Patient's Guide].
Unfortunately, makeup can't fill in depressions or flatten raised scars, but it can balance colors so scars blend in better with the rest of your skin. Your best bet for covering red scars is to use a green concealer that counteracts the color [source: Cleveland Clinic]. Then, you can apply foundation on top of the concealer and blend. With pink and white scars, try camouflaging them with natural toned cover-up or foundation so that they match the rest of your skin.
If makeup fails to adequately cover your scars, consider talking to your doctor about other options. A dermatologist should consider the severity of your scars as well as their impact on your mental and emotional state when recommending treatment options. Possible options to discuss with your dermatologist include dermabrasion, chemical peels and photodynamic therapy. Dermabrasion techniques remove the top layer of skin while chemical peels unclog pores and surgery removes actual pimples, such as whitehead and blackheads [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Photodynamic therapy uses a special type of light combined with a drug that together destroy certain skin cells, enabling doctors to remove blemishes [source: Alai].
Makeup is just one tool for dealing with the challenges of acne. If you use makeup wisely, you can throw away your paper bag for good.
For more information, follow the links below.
- Alai, Nili N., "Photodynamic Therapy." (Accessed 8/24/09)http://www.medicinenet.com/photodynamic_therapy/article.htm
- American Academy of Dermatology. "12 Ways to Get Better Results from Acne Treatment." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/twelve_results.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Accurate Diagnosis 'Right Stuff' to Relieve Redness, Swelling." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/rosaceanet/accurate_diagnosis.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Acne." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_acne.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Acne Scars." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/scarring.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Adult Acne: Effective Treatment Available." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/adult_acne_treatment.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Dermatologists' Top Tips for Mature Skin." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/dermatologists_tips.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Frequently Asked Questions About Acne." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/FAQ.html
- Bouchez, Colette. "The Lowdown on Mineral Makeup." WebMD. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/the-lowdown-on-mineral-makeup
- Cleveland Clinic. "Acne: Frequently Asked Questions." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/acne/derm_faq.aspx
- Cleveland Clinic. "Cosmetic Options: Skin Care." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://my.clevelandclinic.org/plastics/services/skin_care/default.aspx
- Cleveland Clinic. "Protecting and Taking Care of Your Skin." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/skin_care/hic_protecting_and_taking_care_of_your_skin.aspx
- Cleveland Clinic. "Tips for Beautiful Skin." (Accessed 8/17/09)http://my.clevelandclinic.org/plastics/services/skin_care/tips.aspx
- DeNoon, Daniel J. "Acne Drug Accutane No Longer Sold." WebMD. July 8, 2009. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/news/20090708/accutane-off-the-market
- HealthNews.org. "Acne Scars and Acne Scarring." Dermanetwork.org. (Accessed 8/24/09)http://www.dermanetwork.org/information/acne_scars.asp
- Matlin, Jessica. "Have Your Beauty Products Gone Bad?" WebMD. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/have-beauty-products-gone-bad
- Monroe, Valerie. "How Can I Get Rid of Acne?" O, The Oprah Magazine. April 2007. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/200704_omag_val_acne
- The Patient's Guide. "Types of Acne Scars." (Accessed 8/24/09)http://www.acnescars.com/types.aspx
- Syrett, Marilynn, Dr. "Make-Up Tips for Oily Skin." Best Syndication. May 26, 2009. (Accessed 8/14/09)http://www.bestsyndication.com/?q=node/30372
- WebMD. "10 Tips for Preventing Acne." March 27, 2009. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/10-tips-for-preventing-pimples
- WebMD. "Acne Causes." September 19, 2006. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/acne-causes
- WebMD. "Acne Vulgaris -- Home Treatment." March 1, 2007. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-vulgaris-home-treatment
- WebMD. "Rosacea -- Topic Overview." July 24, 2007. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/rosacea-topic-overview
- WebMD. "Skin Conditions: Acne." October 1, 2004. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne
- WebMD. "Teen Acne: Prescription Treatments for Acne." February 11, 2009. (Accessed 8/17/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/teen-acne-prescription-treatments