How to get rid of acne scars ?
With more people suffering breakouts alone, the fear of blemishes and the scars they leave behind has only intensified. If you’re wondering how to get rid of acne scars, know that, while they can be hard to treat, you can effectively minimize their appearance with patience, determination, and the correct array of products and treatments in your arsenal.
Understanding what acne scars are, which are tiny depressions or indentations in the skin caused by moderate to severe acne, is an important element of treating them. Second, several sorts of scars exist, including ice pick, rolling, and boxcar scars, which are distinguished by their size, form, and contour. Depending on the intensity of the acne eruption, it might impact not just the surface layer of the skin but also the deeper layers. Scar tissue can form when the inflammation decreases and the skin tries to repair it. Scarring can be caused by very inflammatory acne, extrinsic causes such as picking, and a delay in therapy.
The experts weigh in on how to get rid of acne scars and markings, from prevention to the most effective at-home and cutting-edge in-office treatments.
What are acne scars & why do they occur ?
Acne scars are fairly frequent on the face, chest, and back. Between the ages of 11 and 30, around 80% of people will get acne, with one out of every five developing scarring. Scar reduction needs the use of either over-the-counter drugs or one or more dermatologist-assisted treatments.
When bacteria, oils, and dead skin clog and inflamed pores, the microscopic holes in your skin through which oil and perspiration rise to the surface, an acne lesion (pimple) develops. Every hour, 40,000 cells shed off your skin, yet these dead cells might plug a pore. Clogged pores can also be tiny, resulting in “whiteheads or blackheads.” These pores can become irritated, resulting in different forms of acne.
You’re not alone if you suffer from acne. Acne is the most common skin problem on the planet. It will affect around 80% of adults between the ages of 11 and 30. Acne develops in teenagers as a result of their shifting hormones. Stress, the environment, menstrual cycles, oil-based cosmetics, and birth control pills are all to fault in adults, while hormones can still play a part.
How does acne cause scars?
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. There are three basic levels to it. The epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis, in order of thickness, are the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The layers shield your delicate inside organs from the weather, UV radiation, and germs, and they also aid vitamin D production by absorbing sunshine. Acne may affect any place containing sebaceous glands, including the face, back, and chest.
Acne scars are the result of acne lesions becoming inflamed. The acne pore expands, and the pore wall begins to break down. Some acne lesions are minor, leaving shallow scars that heal fast. Blemishes can sometimes discharge their contents into the surrounding tissue, causing severe scarring. The skin responds by generating new collagen strands to mend the scar.
Acne scars can take one of two forms: either a scar develops when tissue is lost, resulting in a depression in the skin’s surface, or a scar develops that is raised on the skin’s surface. In fact, this form of acne scar indicates that your skin is doing its job – but possibly a little too effectively. Your skin produces collagen (“repair tissue”) to aid in the healing of the lesion — acne — but too much collagen causes elevated scars.
It’s important to remember that just because you have acne doesn’t indicate you’ll have scars. And if you do (one in every five persons with acne scars), the good news is that not all acne scars are permanent! There are treatments available. Some treatments can almost completely eliminate scars, while others assist the skin in healing itself using its own collagen.
Type Of Acne Scars
Acne can range from minor to severe. Acne can develop painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the skin’s surface called nodules or cysts in severe instances.
Red bumps and pus-filled pimples are common symptoms of moderate acne. Mild acne causes whiteheads or blackheads that are less inflamed, with or without a few red bumps or pustules. Most of the time, the mild red or brown markings left by healed acne go away on their own with time. However, severe acne, particularly cystic acne, will almost certainly leave lasting scarring when it heals.
If you pick or squeeze your acne instead of treating it or allowing it to heal, you’re more likely to develop permanent scarring.
Acne scars aren’t experienced by everyone. However, almost everyone has acne scars at some point in their lives. Your acne scarring will be determined by the type of acne you have and how you treat it.
Acne scars can develop as shallow, mottled depressions, often known as rolling scars, or as deep, narrow depressions.
These depressions are usually skin-colored, although they can also be darker or pink. Here are some of the scars that acne may leave behind:
Atrophic scars are shallow, flat depressions that heal beneath the surface of the skin. Severe cystic acne is the most prevalent cause of these scars. Other forms of acne, however, can also cause them.
Atrophic acne scars can have a variety of appearances based on a person’s acne history. Atrophic scars are divided into three categories:
An ice pick is a tool with a long shaft that narrows to a point. This form of acne scar is shaped like a tool, with a large opening at the top that narrows to a point as it penetrates further into the skin. This type of scar is prevalent, yet it’s also one of the most difficult to heal. Your forehead and top cheekbones, where your skin is thinner, are where you’ll locate them.
Rolling scars usually appear on the lower cheekbones and jaw, where the skin is thicker. The skin appears uneven and wavy due to the sloping margins of the indents.
Indents with sharper edges are known as boxcar scars. Those edges pierce the flesh deeply. Scars on the lower cheeks and jaw are typical.
Hypertrophic or keloid scars
These scar tissue lesions protrude from the skin. They occur when fibrous tissues, such as collagen, in the skin’s area overgrow. These scars can be itchy, sensitive, or painful and can be found on the chest, back, shoulders, and jawline.
When acne cures, it frequently leaves a darker or discolored area of skin behind. This is not a scar, and with proper sun protection, it will go away on its own.
When skin is injured by severe acne, or if you pick at your acne, hyperpigmentation can result. However, with sufficient sun protection, your skin will revert to its original hue over time.
People with darker skin and those who scratch or squeeze their pimples are more prone to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Medical Treatment for Acne Scar
Acne scars can be reduced using a variety of medical procedures. Depending on a person’s skin type and the severity of the scarring, a dermatologist may propose a variety of therapies.
Acne scar treatment options include:
A dermatologist can help you choose the right peel for your skin type, acne severity, and scars.
Six out of ten people who used a specific form of chemical peel called trichloroacetic acid (TCA) saw at least a 70% improvement in their acne scarring, according to the authors of a 2017 review on acne scarring treatments.
Chemical peels that aren’t as strong may be less effective. For example, 25% of individuals who received glycolic acid had no improvement in scar appearance.
A person may need to experiment with several types of peels to find the one that works best for them.
If a person develops hypertrophic or keloid scars, corticosteroid injections may aid with the treatment of elevated acne scar tissue.
A series of injections is usually used in the therapy. These injections can be done in a dermatologist’s clinic once every few weeks while the outcomes are monitored.
Dermatologists may recommend soft tissue fillers to minimize the look of scars in specific circumstances.
Dermatologists may choose for a collagen-based filler, which may necessitate allergy testing. Alternatively, fat from another region of the body might be removed and used. Other commercial fillers, such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), hyaluronic acid (HA), and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), can also be used (PLLA).
Atrophic scars respond well to dermal fillers, however many are just temporary. Treatment usually lasts six to eighteen months. However, a person can speak with their dermatologist about potential long-term possibilities.
Microneedling is a technique that involves injecting small needles into the skin around a scar to encourage the body to produce more collagen. By smoothing out the skin, this collagen may help to decrease the appearance of acne scars.
According to a 2017 study, microneedling improved the look of acne scars by 31 to 62 percent. Microneedling, on the other hand, might have negative consequences. After the therapy, many patients feel redness, discomfort, and inflammation, although these adverse effects fade with time.
Without the use of chemicals or washes, laser therapy resurfaces the skin. It removes the top layer of skin to show the younger skin cells beneath, which can make scarring look less noticeable.
However, laser therapy is not ideal for everyone, since its effectiveness is mostly determined by a person’s acne scars and skin type. Some patients, particularly those with sensitive skin, may experience a response to the therapy.
This efficient scar removal procedure resurfaces your skin and removes or reduces the depth of scars using a high-speed brush or other tool. The skin might take up to three weeks to heal.
A dermatologist or aesthetician uses a portable instrument to remove superficial skin in this less-intensive kind of dermabrasion. According to the AAD, many treatments may be necessary, but there is no downtime.
This form of skin surgery eliminates acne scars by excising, or cutting out, each scar one at a time. Stitches or a skin transplant might be used to close the hole created by the incision. A skin transplant fills up a damaged region with a tiny piece of normal skin (typically taken from behind the ear). After the surgery, there may be some bruising for one to two weeks.
Can Natural Remedies for Acne Scar
There are no surefire natural methods for totally removing acne scars.
Which solutions work for you will be determined by your skin type. There are a few steps you may do to lessen the severity of your acne scars and prevent future scarring. Consult a dermatologist for more powerful, long-lasting remedies.
Over-the-counter (OTC) creams and gels
There are a variety of over-the-counter treatments that can assist relieve inflammation and pain on your skin. Some treatments can help to lessen the swelling and color of acne scars, making them less apparent.
These creams aren’t intended to be used only once. To have any discernible impact, they must be used on a regular basis.
There are also over-the-counter medical lotions that can kill germs and reduce oiliness on your skin. Look for creams that include the following ingredients:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Salicylic acid
These are intended to minimize skin irritation, which may also help to diminish the redness of acne scars.
Make sure you do a lot of research on the topical treatments you’re going to use. Some lotions include ingredients that might cause skin to become dry. This might aggravate your acne scars even more.
Expensive moisturizers that include a lot of smell and chemicals might actually make your scars redder and more visible.
If you don’t want to experiment with over-the-counter lotions, you might already have a few items in your kitchen that can be used to heal acne scars.
Because everyone’s skin is different, these treatments may or may not be effective for you. Before you use any of these treatments, make sure you’re cleaning your face with a non-abrasive cleanser on a daily basis.
- Apple cider vinegar can enhance your skin’s pH balance and minimize the look of red scars. Use a cotton ball to apply a combination of one part apple cider vinegar and two parts water to your scars every day.
- Baking soda may be used as an exfoliator to exfoliate dead skin cells from the skin. To make an exfoliating combination, combine one tablespoon baking soda with two teaspoons of water. Rinse with lukewarm water after gently applying to the damaged region.
- Lemon juice’s acid content and antioxidants are another natural way to reduce acne scars. A combination of equal parts lemon juice and water can be applied to scars for an extended amount of time before rinsing. The acidity of this approach might irritate your skin if you use it too often.
How To Prevent Acne Scar
Although you can’t totally avoid scarring, you can reduce your chances of getting acne scars by following these methods.
Acne should be treated as soon as it appears.
Getting acne under control as soon as possible is the finest thing you can do. Start treating it right away, and if your acne doesn’t improve with over-the-counter acne remedies, contact your doctor straight away.
Treatment as soon as possible helps to keep outbreaks to a minimum and prevents acne from progressing to a more serious stage. Scarring may be avoided by avoiding pimples.
Inflammation should be reduced.
Large, inflammatory acne blemishes are far more likely than non-inflamed breakouts and blackheads to produce scars. The objective should always be to reduce inflammation and avoid doing anything that irritates your skin even more. Scrubbing too hard or using harsh skincare products should be avoided.
Pimples should not be squeezed, popped, or picked.
Resist the urge to pluck or pinch a pimple. This can push debris further into the dermis, causing infection to spread to other tissues and exacerbating inflammation. This is especially true for blemishes that are deep and dangerous, such as nodules and cysts.
Remind yourself that popping pimples can prolong the healing process and increase the risk of a permanent scar. Allow time for the blemish to cure naturally. Take actions to assist heal and reduce skin damage if you’ve previously picked at a blemish.
Scabs Shouldn’t Be Picked
Picking at scabs is likewise not a good idea. Scabs are the skin’s natural “bandage,” protecting the wound as it heals. Picking a scab from a wound before it has fully healed delays healing and increases the risk of scarring.
Find Out If You’re Susceptible to Scarring
The truth is that some people are more prone to scarring than others, and other people can get through a bout of severe acne with no visible scars. If you’re prone to scarring, make an appointment with a dermatologist straight soon to talk about your acne treatment choices.
If you have deep breakouts or cysts, see your doctor.
Smaller blemishes can still scar the skin, but it’s the huge ones that inflict the most damage. Deep nodular or cystic breakouts are more likely to harm skin tissue and produce scars because they reach deeper into the skin.
These sorts of outbreaks will not respond to over-the-counter acne treatments. Schedule a consultation with a dermatologist. Treatment that is quick and effective can help reduce the risk of acquiring severe scars.
A Word From Verywell
Despite your best efforts, you may still get scarring. Scar treatments are available to help reduce the look of scarring. Please don’t be afraid to speak with your healthcare practitioner. He or she will be able to clarify your therapy choices to you.