How To Remove Acne Scars: Simple Natural & Medical Treatments
|How To Remove Acne Scars Fast At Home. Photo KnowInsiders|
Acne scars can be an unwanted reminder of acne and may reduce self-esteem in some people, but they do not have to be permanent.
If you’re struggling with acne - don’t worry - it’s a common issue for people of all ages, especially teens and women going through the menopause.
Acne happens when you’ve got a hormonal imbalance in the body. Any changes in your hormones cause glands to produce more oil than usual, which then causes your skin pores to get clogged up, allowing bacteria to grow.
So you know why it happens, but we all know it doesn’t end there. If you’ve tried to take things into your own hands, and got impatient, you’ll know that acne can sometimes leave scarring after a bad breakout.
What is an acne scar?
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Approximately 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 years old have acne due to hormonal changes, stress, menses, oil-based cosmetics or birth control pills. However, only 5% of these people get acne scars.
Clogged pores may become reddish, swollen and painful due to a bacterial infection. Further, these acne lesions or breakouts penetrate deeply and damage underlying skin. Your skin tries to heal these lesions by forming new collagen fibers, which may leave a prominent scar or pit behind. It can be more visible when the acne clears.
Acne scarring can sometimes develop as a complication of acne. Any type of acne spot can lead to scarring, but it's more common when the most serious types of spots (nodules and cysts) burst and damage nearby skin.
Scarring can also occur if you pick or squeeze your spots, so it's important not to do this.
What are the types of acne scars?
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Atrophic scar: This develops when there is loss of skin tissue.
Ice pick scar: These are usually small and make noticeable holes in your skin.
Boxcar scar: These are depressed areas that are usually round or oval with sharp edges and very similar to chickenpox scars.
Rolling scar: These are typically seen on your lower cheeks and jaws where your skin is thicker. The indentations slope and produce uneven wavy skin.
Hypertrophic or keloid scar: These occur when the skin produces too much collagen to heal acne wounds and causes a mass of raised tissue on the skin. It can be itchy and tender.
|Are acne scars permanent? |
Now time for some good news. Christenson says there are definitely things you can do to reduce acne scarring once you have it.
"The best course of treatment depends on the type of scarring you have, with indentation scarring often requiring more advanced treatment," says Christenson.
For discoloration acne scarring, start by trying the at-home retail topicals aimed at counteracting hyperpigmentation, such as brightening serums or retinol-containing products.
"The one watch-out about using retinol is that it can make your skin more sun-sensitive. It's always important to use sunscreen to protect your skin, but be even more diligent about applying sunscreen while using a retinol product," warns Christenson.
Best natural remedies to combat acne scarring
Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory and has antibacterial properties so is a great tool in your acne scar treatment arsenal.
What to do:
You’ll need the actual aloe vera leaf - scoop out the gel after you cut it open or you can use
Apply the gel to the scars and massage it in.
Leave it for 30 minutes. Rinse it off.
Repeat 2 or 3 times daily.
Mix 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and 2 or 3 drops of tea tree essential oil.
Apply it to the scar.
Rinse it off with cold water after 10 to 15 minutes.
Use once daily.
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Lemon is a good natural way of fixing it
Lemon works as a natural bleach and helps lighten any kind of scars on your skin.
It removes dead skin cells, promotes new skin cell growth and improves skin elasticity.
What to do:
Apply fresh lemon juice directly on to the scars using your fingertips or a cotton bud.
Leave it for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
Repeat 1 or 2 times a day.
Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and honey.
Use a cotton ball to apply to the scars.
Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes.
Wash it off with water and pat dry.
Repeat once a day.
Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil.
Apply to your acne scars before going to bed.
Wash it off the next morning.
Use coconut oil
This is a rich source of vitamin E and fatty acids.
Rub coconut oil into the skin
Apply warm coconut oil to the scars
Massage onto scars for 5 to 10 minutes
Leave for an hour
Rinse with warm water
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Mix lavender oil with 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Apple to area and massage in for a few minutes
Leave for 20-30 minutes
Rinse it off with warm water
Repeat once or twice daily for several weeks
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is another great ingredient for skin ( Image: Getty Images)
The oil is an antioxidant so helps repair the skin.
Puncture the end of a vitamin E gel capsule.
Take out the gel and apply directly on the scarred skin.
Do this 2 or 3 times a day.
Mix 1 vitamin E capsule contents with 1 teaspoon of castor oil.
Apply it on the affected skin before bed.
Leave it on overnight.
Rinse it off the next morning - use warm water.
Tea tree oil: This is a product derived from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree that possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Spot application of oil on the face may help clear comedones and even reduce scarring.
Turmeric powder: This may reduce bacterial growth due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps skin regeneration and reduces scarring.
Margosa (neem): This has antibacterial properties that may reduce bacterial growth in skin pores.
Shea butter: This has anti-inflammatory properties that helps to reduce bacterial growth, which causes acne. It also reduces discoloration and acne scars.
Best home skin care ingredients for treating acne, according to doctors
Salicylic acid dissolves oil, unclogs pores and prevents buildup from occurring, board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, recently told us in our guide to blackhead treatments.
Azelaic acid inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme that creates pigment in the skin and decreases the production of acne-causing bacteria, according to board-certified dermatologist Eileen Deignan, MD.
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that boosts skin exfoliation and prevents acne. It also promotes skin cell turnover and collagen production treating post-acne hyperpigmentation and minimizing the appearance of current acne scars, according to Deignan.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) unclog pores and exfoliate skin, thus reducing acne, fixing uneven skin texture and preventing some acne scars from forming and improving ones already present on the skin, noted Green.
Vitamin C is a “powerful antioxidant” that can help reduce the appearance of redness and pigmentation from acne scars. It also helps prevent some acne scars from forming, according to Green.
Medical treatments for severe acne scars
Several medical treatments are available to help reduce acne scars. A dermatologist may recommend different procedures depending on a person’s skin type and the extent of the scarring.
Medical treatments for acne scars include:
A dermatologist can recommend medical treatments for acne scarring.
A dermatologist can recommend a type of peel that is suitable for a person’s skin type, acne severity, and scarring.
The authors of a 2017 reviewTrusted Source on treatments for acne scarring note a study that found that six of 10 participants using a specific type of chemical peel called trichloroacetic acid (TCA) had at least a 70-percent improvement in their acne scarring.
Other chemical peels may be less effective. For instance, 25 percentTrusted Source of those who used glycolic acid did not see any reduction in the appearance of scars.
A person may need to try different types of peel to determine which one works for them.
Injections of corticosteroids may help with the treatment of raised acne scar tissue if a person has either hypertrophic or keloid scars.
The treatment typically consists of a series of injections. A dermatologist can do these injections in their office once every few weeks, monitoring the results.
In some cases, dermatologists may recommend using soft tissue fillers to reduce the appearance of scars.
Dermatologists may choose a filler that consists of a collagen-based product, which may require allergy testing. Alternatively, removing fat from another part of the body to use may be an option. They can also use other commercial fillers, such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), hyaluronic acid (HA), and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA).
Dermal fillers work best for atrophic scars, but many are temporary. Treatment typically lasts between 6 and 18 months.
There are some permanent options, however, that a person can discuss with their dermatologist.
Microneedling is the process of inserting tiny needles into the skin surrounding the scar to stimulate the body to make more collagen. This collagen may reduce the appearance of acne scars by smoothing out the skin.
In a 2017 review, microneedling provided an improvement of 31 to 62 percentTrusted Source in the appearance of acne scars.
However, microneedling can cause side effects. Many people experience redness, pain, and inflammation after the treatment, but these effects subside over time.
Laser treatment resurfaces the skin without the use of chemicals or scrubs. It removes the uppermost layer of skin to reveal the younger skin cells underneath, which can help reduce the appearance of scarring.
Laser treatment is not suitable for everyone, however, as its success is mostly dependent on the acne scarring that a person has and their skin type. The treatment may also cause a reaction in some people, especially those with sensitive skin.
How to prevent acne scars from forming
King advised resisting the urge to pick your pimples, otherwise it can cause acne scars, infections, hyperpigmentation and inflammation.
Even if you’re diligent about not picking your acne, sometimes pimples may leave behind marks and scars. In those instances, King advised that it’s best to “control it as well as possible” by utilizing skin care products rich in anti-acne ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and adapalene.
When you notice an inflamed acne is forming, she advised going to a dermatologist for an intralesional cortisone injection because it helps decrease inflammation and the potential of scarring.
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