Waging a war with pesky, painful and persistent-AF acne is frustrating—but the ugly flag it plants on our face in the form of an acne scar (which can take months, if not years, to finally disappear) is some total unfair bullshit. Because no matter how much you coddle your zits while in the throes of breakouts, there are some forms of acne, especially the cystic, hormonal kind, that leave behind a smattering of pocked, raised, red, or white scars that seem nearly impossible to get rid of. At least, that’s what we thought.
“Certain factors play a role in determining how your skin responds to breakouts and blemishes,” says dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, M.D., noting that “genetics, age, stress, medications, drinking, and smoking” can all be a factor in why scars stick to your skin like a Lite Brite. Luckily, though, you don’t need to move to a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods to treat your skin (though laying off the drinking and smoking will always be a good skin choice); you just need to find the right treatments for your specific type of scar.
Of course, the first step to getting rid of scars is to talk to your dermatologist. Hey, don’t roll your eyes—scarring can be extremely challenging to treat, and they’ve got fancy lasers and prescriptions that are miles more effective than anything you can buy in the drugstore. But since we know you won’t be heading to your derm any time soon, we brought the derm suggestions to you. So click through to find all of the best recommended treatments for all of your worst scars, below.