Acne scars can result from deep acne, if the same area is prone to acne over and over or if you have a bad habit of picking at your acne. There are different creams to help remove acne scars that are available by prescription and over the counter. If you’re considering using an over-the-counter treatment, ask your dermatologist for recommendations or consult with her about possible adverse interactions such as an allergic reaction.
Mederma can effectively treat acne scars, burn scars, surgery scars and stretch marks, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Mederma is highly recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology because it also contains SPF, which helps protect scars from the sun. SPF is extremely important when it comes to treating scars because scars are very sensitive to the sun. Mederma does not require a prescription from your primary care physician or dermatologist. It is best to apply the cream at least 30 minutes before going outside as this allows the cream to soak into your skin. If you’re going to be outside for a long period of time or participating in water activities, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends reapplying the cream every two hours.
Hydroquinone works by lightening scars, according to DermNet NZ. Hydroquinone is available over the counter and by prescription, depending upon the strength of the cream. Hydroquinone creams containing a maximum of two percent of the active ingredient are sold over the counter whereas greater strengths, up to four percent are available by prescription. To increase the effectiveness of hydroquinone, wear SPF when going outdoors or avoid sun exposure whenever possible. Tanning should be avoided while using hydroquinone. Hydroquinone bleaches the skin, according to DermNet NZ and using products that contain benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide or other products containing peroxide should be avoided as this can cause temporary darkening of the skin.
Creams containing retinol, vitamin C or glycolic acid can help reduce the appearance of acne scars, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These types of active ingredients encourage collagen growth in your skin, which helps plump up the skin. You can also apply a silicone bandage over the cream to help reduce raised scars, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.