There are a variety of opinions on what makes acne scars vanish, and the only real consensus is that time plays an enormous part in the process. Acne scars are unfortunate and can be very discouraging, but you do have to be patient and let your skin do its job and heal itself. However, in some cases, you - or your dermatologist - may be able to help nature along in that quest.
Types of Scars
Before you can choose which treatment is right for you, use a mirror to examine your scars. Here is a list of some common scars from acne. Know the scar type so you may ask your dermatologist for the best acne treatment option available.
Skin color changes: Technically, these are not considered scars; however, these do sometimes require treatment to even the skin tone.
Ice pick scarring: Ice pick acne scars look like deep pits on your skin. They resemble puncture marks. The edges of the scars will appear rough and steep.
Atrophic scarring: Atrophic scars are also deep and pitted. However, the edges of the holes are smooth. Typically, atrophic scars are not as deep as ice pick scars.
Hypertrophic scarring: Hypertrophic scars are lumpy-looking scars that may cause the skin to look thick and uneven. These scars are normally found on the body, but they do sometimes occur on the face. Look on your back and chest for hypertrophic scars.
Over-the-Counter Acne Scar Skin Care
Some acne scar treatments are appropriate for home use and don't require prescription medications or a doctor's intervention. Most skin color changes will improve over time but some over-the-counter therapies can help.
Mild forms of acne may just leave spots on the skin, which fade away over time. If you want to hasten the process, use over-the-counter skin creams designed to lighten dark spots; many of these contain hydroquinone, a bleaching ingredient. Use a sunscreen diligently to keep spots from re-darkening during treatment.