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Skincare 101: Five Ways to Fade Acne Scars

If your face tells the story of your most recent run-in with acne, use these expert tips to lighten up the stubborn scars that linger long after breakouts are gone.

3. Tissue Fillers

If your face is speckled with tiny scoops and dents, a dermatologist can inject a filler (usually hyaluronic acid) to plump up skin and smooth out that golf ball-like texture. You’ll see results immediately (dents virtually disappear after the procedure), but results only last a few months. Another type of filler, silicone microdroplets, stimulates collagen production—the skin’s natural cell-rebuilding process—so fresh skin grows back on its own.  Treatments require multiple injections spaced out over the course of a month, so results take longer but are generally permanent.

4. DIY Treatment

Lemon juice, a light exfoliator, can help fade minor discoloration. Rub it on skin weekly until you see results, and be sure to moisturize after each citrus scrub-down.

Small acne scabs can sometimes be frozen off at home. Hold an ice cube to the scab for 15 minutes a day. If you can tough out the chill, you should start to notice scar shrinkage in just a day or two.

For an instant, short-term fix, reach for a concealer or lightweight foundation, like Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Concealer SPF 20 ($22, ulta.com). We won’t tell…

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5. Surgery

If none of the above treatments do the trick, ask your dermatologist about surgery options, which are reserved for the deepest, most sizeable scars. In most cases, scars are cut away one by one, and skin is resurfaced. In other cases, a doc goes beneath the skin’s surface to break up the fibrous tissues that cause scarring. Though some procedures can be done in-office and take less than a half-hour, surgery is usually the highest-risk option (some require anesthesia) and usually the most expensive one.

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