You can often treat shallow acne scars with gentle fruit acids, castor oil and silicone gel, while deeper, pitted scars may require a dermatologist’s assistance. Start with all-natural treatments first -- if they reduce the appearance of scars, you won’t need to expose your skin to harsher chemical treatments. If you do decide to pursue a surgical alternative, be sure you take care of your treated skin with daily doses of sunblock and moisturizer.
Slough away dark, shallow acne scars with a homemade papaya mask. Use papaya’s natural fruit acid to help fade your skin’s uneven pigmentation, according to Sharon Ronen of Skin Haven Spa, when asked for skin care tips by “Marie Claire” magazine. To make the mask, blend 1/2 cup mashed papaya with 2 tablespoons honey. Apply the mixture to your face, leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water.
Break up any puffy, raised scar tissue with castor oil. Castor oil can penetrate scars and break up their fatty deposits, causing them to shrink, according to Skinverse. Soak a cotton ball in castor oil and place it over your scar for several hours a day; use medical tape to hold the cotton ball in place.
Dot silicone gel over your scars. Silicone can often flatten and fade scars, according to Columbia University’s Health Q&A Service. While scientists aren’t sure exactly why this works, they think it has to do with silicone’s natural static electricity and the effect it has on your skin, trapping moisture and lining up existing collagen fibers to give the skin a smoother, plumper appearance.
Make big pores less noticeable with an over-the-counter topical retinoid cream. According to Dr. Richard Glogau of the University of California at San Francisco, you won’t have much luck “shrinking” pores -- the best you can do is stimulate collagen growth to smooth skin and keep your pores unclogged. He suggests you stick with prescription or drugstore retinoids rather than seeking out clinical treatments like chemical peels that could expose, rather than shrink, your pores.
Perform microdermabrasion. Dermabrasion removes small impurities like surface wrinkles and light scarring by removing skin’s topmost layers with specialized equipment, revealing the younger looking skin beneath, according to Johns Hopkins.
Ask your dermatologist about laser resurfacing. A cosmetic surgeon uses lasers to smooth away wrinkles and impurities on the outer layer of facial skin.
Get a glycolic acid peel. Glycolic acid removes the rough layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the face, and with monthly treatment can fade uneven pigmentation, according to Johns Hopkins.