Acne is bad enough on your skin, no doubt about it. What more if it left scars on your face?
The truth is, acne scars are among the most common and frustrating skin problems that both men and women experience. Aside from the pits, marks and discoloration left on your face, acne scars could also take a toll on your confidence.
Here’s the good news: there are various ways and methods available on how to heal acne scars – from natural to medical procedures. Before you learn what acne scars treatments are, get to know acne and scars first, and then find out how you can get rid of them easily. Plus, say hello to the most important tip to remember when dealing with acne scarring.
1. Up Close and Personal with Acne and Scarring
Did you know that about 40 percent of women suffer from adult acne? While this is a treatable skin condition that could go away in time, there are cases where acne may decide to stay on your face a little longer, or perhaps, for good.
The question is, why?
Acne is the buildup of bacteria and oil in the sebaceous follicles, thereby causing injury to your skin. Your body responds by increasing the supply of white blood cells and inflammatory molecules to the damaged skin cells to heal the area and prevent infection.
Here’s the thing: there are instances where once the infection heals, the damaged tissues do not return to their former state. In severe cases of acne, the infection goes deeper into your skin, causes loss of tissue. This is where scarring comes into the picture.
2. Discoloration and Scarring: Get to Know the Different Types of Acne Scars
Once your acne has healed, you might notice discolorations on your skin. Relax, this is called post-inflammatory pigmentation and not acne scarring. The flat, brown, or red mark is called a macule and will fade away over time.
In case you are wondering, these post-breakout marks are not scars.
The case of acne scars is different. In fact, there are different types of acne scars:
- Soft Scars – They come with small and linear or circular appearance plus rolling or sloping edges that merges with your normal skin.
- Atrophic Macules – This type of scar is blue and sometimes wrinkled because of the blood vessels lying under your scars.
- Follicular Macular Atrophy – These are small, white, and soft lesions on your skin that looks like whiteheads.
- Depressed Fibrotic Scars – These are steep, large, and sharp scars. Usually, ice pick scars turn into depressed fibrotic scars over time.
Here’s the next challenge: Finding the best acne scar treatment for you. Read the succeeding sections to find out the different treatments available on how to heal acne scars fast.
Let’s start with tricks on how to heal acne scars naturally.
3. Say Goodbye to Acne Scars with Lemon Juice
When it comes to natural skin care, lemon juice will always deserve a spot on the list. In case you are looking for natural solution to treat acne scars, then lemon juice could also do the trick.
- The acid content makes it a natural and excellent skin bleaching agent.
- Lemons reduce the redness brought by pimples.
- Lemons lighten dark scars faster.
Lemon Juice for Acne Scars
Here’s how to use lemon juice to reduce your acne scars:
- Squeeze the juice from one lemon.
- Dab a cotton ball on the juice and apply it on the affected areas.
- Let it stay for 10 minutes then rinse with water.
- Do this once a day for three weeks for best results.
Who knows, it might be a good way on how to heal your acne scars overnight.
4. The Wonder Herb: Aloe Vera to Treat Acne and Scars
If there is one thing your kitchen should not live without, it’s olive oil.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can use because of its ability to withstand heat. Apart from this, it contains tons of vitamins, iron and antioxidants that are good not only for your health, but also for your skin. At the same time, the anti-inflammatory properties of this wonder oil helps in minimizing the appearance of scars brought by acne.
More importantly, olive oil is readily available and easy to use. All you have to do is to gently massage olive oil on your face, concentrating on pimple scars. Once your skin absorbed the oil, wipe it off with clean cloth soaked in warm water. You can also place the warm cloth on your face to act like a steam. After two minutes, rinse your face with water.
5. More Than Just a Baking Ingredient: Baking Soda as an Acne Scar Treatment
You often use baking soda in the kitchen or among the ingredients for your baked goodies. Did you know that it could also make your acne scars go away?
Baking soda comes with natural exfoliating effects, which could be helpful not just in treating acne but also in scars. The gentle but coarse granules help remove the dead skin layer off your face sans inflammation. At the same time, it is simple to use.
Here’s how to enjoy baking soda’s benefits:
- Combine baking soda and water until it forms into paste.
- Massage the mixture on your face for one to two minutes, concentrating on acne scars.
- Let it stay on your skin for five more minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Apply moisturizer on your face, preferably olive oil for added skin benefits.
Do this two to three times a week for best results.
Let’s say you want an acne scar treatment that works faster. In this case, you might need some help from topical creams and ingredients designed for scarring. An example of this is Dermefface FX7, one of the most effective ways to reduce scar appearance.
As to what these ingredients are is something you will find out in the next section.
6. Cortisone Cream: Your First Line of Defense in Treating Acne Scars
Every scar is different. If yours turned out to be red and swollen, then applying cortisone cream could help calm your skin and at the same time, minimize its appearance. This is because your skin cells absorb cortisone, thereby reducing inflammation.
The good news is that you can buy cortisone without a prescription from the doctor and especially when the scar is still in its mild state. You might need a stronger dose for severe scarring, which requires your doctor’s prescription.
How to Use Cortisone Cream
Follow these steps to use cortisone cream on your acne scars:
- Use once or twice a day, depending on your doctor’s instruction.
- Do not use the cream for more than seven days unless prescribed by your dermatologist.
- Apply small amount of cortisone cream and massage it gently in your skin.
- Do not use on broken, infected, or inflamed skin.
- Allow your skin to heal first from acne before applying the cream.
Thereafter, you need to concentrate on lightening the dark areas to even your skin tone. Read the next section to learn more about it.
7. Hydroquinone: Your Pigmentation and Scar’s Worst Nightmare
When it comes to lightening pigmentation and scars, one word will always cross your mind: hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is a popular skin lightener that helps lighten dark spots brought by injury to your skin. It minimizes the production of melanin in your body – a process that leads to discoloration. It could also help lighten marks on your face in case you are looking for ways on how to heal old acne scars.
Over the years, hydroquinone became a hot topic allegedly for its carcinogenic tendencies. However, experts agree that up to two percent of hydroquinone concentration is safe and anything beyond that will depend on your skin’s condition and recommendation from your dermatologist.
Nonetheless, if you want to treat acne scars, then applying hydroquinone on the affected area will help a lot.
In case this ingredient doesn’t work on your skin, try the next skin lightening agent.
8. Preventing and Getting Rid of Acne Scars Through Retinoids
Vitamin A is good enough for your skin. When it comes to acne scarring, vitamin A, including its derivatives, are helpful, too. By vitamin A derivative, this means retinoids.
Retinoids or retinol is a fat-soluble type of vitamin A that helps treat not just acne, but also the scars they leave behind by pushing out the discolored cells and paving the way to healthier, lighter skin. It prevents clogging of pores and removes dead skin cells, which are breeding ground for acne to develop. Consequently, it encourages collagen production to help soften the surface of your skin and lessen the appearance of scars.
However, you might experience mild stinging, redness, and dryness of the skin. Your skin becomes more sensitive too, although these symptoms will go away eventually.
If you want to keep it more natural, then try the next technique.
9. Kojic Acid: Another Anti-Scar Soldier You Can Rely On
In case you are looking for something more natural in making your scars go away, then you should consider kojic acid on your list.
Kojic acid is a substance produced by some Japanese mushrooms and also a by-product of fermentation process in making sake or Japanese rice wine. This substance has the ability to lighten your skin, including dark scars and dark spots.
Does this make kojic acid effective acne scar treatment? The answer is yes. Still, keep in mind that this ingredient comes with limitations too. These are:
- Effectiveness is limited to dark pigment scars.
- Will not work with scars that are softening and flattening.
- May cause increased skin sensitivity and disruption of hormones.
- Weakens your skin’s natural defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Minimal scientific research as to the effectiveness of this ingredient.
Make sure to follow your dermatologist’s orders as to the frequency and duration of kojic acid use. It’s far better to be safe than sorry, don’t you think?
10. Healing Acne Scars and Preventing Them from Coming Back Using Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Let’s say none of the ingredients mentioned worked for you. What’s your next remedy available?
In that case, try alpha hydroxyl acid or AHA.
AHA, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid works on the surface of your skin and helps minimize the appearance of blemishes, such as scars. It also fades discoloration by reducing pimples and blackheads. In fact, chemical peels use AHAs, although you can get your supply in drug stores, usually up to 10 percent concentration and apply it at home; however, the American Academy of Dermatology has warned consumers about this practice, since it could lead to skin irritation.
If you plan to treat acne scars at home using AHAs, then make sure you combine it with benzoyl peroxide. Otherwise, you can go for chemical peel, which you will learn more about in the next section.
11. Peel Acne Scars Off Through a Chemical Peel Procedure
You had a glimpse of what a chemical peel is. The question now is what it can do for your skin.
A chemical peel is a type of cosmetic treatment to help in skin refinement and regeneration. By using alpha or beta hydroxy acid, chemical peel strengthens your skin, improves new cell formation, smoothes your skin surface, and promote an even skin tone sans the scarring.
Although there are DIY peels you can do at home, it is advisable if you seek help from your dermatologist to make sure that chemical peel is the appropriate solution for your acne scars.
12. Fill Those Scars Through a Dermal Filler Procedure
Let’s say your acne scars are indented or forms a hole into your face. Don’t worry. There is hope for you.
Try dermal fillers.
A dermal filler is a type of procedure that uses substances, such as hyaluronic acid to “fill” the spots, hence the name. The doctor injects the filler in the damaged areas, so the ingredients can fill the areas and also act as a cushion to support the skin tissues lost because of the injury.
At the same time, this adds fullness on your skin and binds the water in the affected area to improve your skin’s texture. The good news is, the results are immediately visible, but the scars will look better after a few days from treatment. Also, the hyaluronic acid will completely break down on your skin after a few months, and you won’t even notice you had this procedure.
Still, if you are looking for a safer alternative, then Dermefface FX7 is the best option.
13. Laser Skin Resurfacing: Treating Acne Scars One Mark at a Time
Let’s say you want an instant, longer lasting option when treating acne scars. In this case, try laser treatment.
Laser skin resurfacing is a type of cosmetic procedure that reduces scars and other blemishes on your skin. In this procedure, your doctor uses laser to send short but concentrated pulses of light to remove damaged skin in a precise manner. At the same time, it stimulates collagen growth to treat damaged skin and make your skin firmer and healthier.
There are different types of laser treatment procedures depending on the condition of your acne scars:
- V-Beam – Works to treat the redness of your skin that comes with acne scars and marks.
- Fraxel – Helpful for treating older scars.
- Erbium Laser Resurfacing – This is more aggressive than the Fraxel laser, but it comes with minimal burning of the surrounding tissues and fewer side effects. Apparently, it is not ideal if you have dark skin.
Despite the available methods for treating acne scars, nothing beats prevention as your best line of defense. The next pointers will tell you about the prevention techniques you should employ the first time you see pimples on your face.
14. Touch Me Not: The Simplest Yet Effective Way to Prevent Acne Scarring
Do you want to know the simplest way to minimize acne scars? Keep your hands off them.
Before you even think about how to heal acne scars, keep in mind that the most effective way to reduce the likelihood of scarring is by keeping your hands away from them. Remember, do not pick, prick, squeeze or pop your pimples, no matter what happens.
Acne leads to intense inflammation on your facial skin, thereby resulting in the loss of collagen, an important skin component that provides elasticity to your skin. This inflicts trauma on your skin, and the results are not good.
When you pick or pop your pimples, you are inflicting further trauma, injury and inflammation on your skin, which requires more healing. Consequently, there is a possibility that the bacteria and pus from the pimple will go deep down into your skin and leads to loss of collagen; hence, more scarring.
The bottom line: keep your hands off your face as much as you can. At the same time, wash your hands before touching your face, especially when needed.
15. Sun Exposure and Acne: Avoiding the Ultimate Recipe for Scarring
Aside from keeping your hands off your face, minimizing, if not avoiding sun exposure is another way to prevents scars.
Remember that your body is wired to take care of wounds and scars, which will get lighter in time. However, sun exposure affects melanocytes, slows down the healing process and makes your scars darker. If going out is unavoidable, then at least do the following techniques:
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher.
- Cover yourself and wear protective clothing, particularly the affected area with wide-brimmed hats or long sleeves.
- Bring umbrella wherever you go for sun protection.
- If possible, avoid going out between 10 in the morning to four in the afternoon, when the sun’s UV rays are most harmful.
The bottom line is to protect your skin against sunlight at whatever cost. This will both minimize and prevent acne scarring and make your skin happier.
16. Protect Your Skin Against Vitamin E and Say Goodbye to Scarring
You heard that one of the best ways on how to heal acne scabs is by applying vitamin E on the affected area. Despite the vitamin’s good intentions and health benefits, vitamin E could do more harm than good when it comes to scarring.
A recent study shows that applying vitamin E on your scars does not help reduce its appearance and could even increase your risk of contact dermatitis. This could also hinder the healing process, which is exactly what scars want to happen.
No matter how tempting and convincing it sounds, stay away from vitamin E, and allow your skin to heal naturally to minimize problems in the future.
17. The Most Important Reminder on How to Heal Acne Scars For Good
At the end of the day, it’s all about patience. In fact, this is the most important tip you should remember when it comes to acne scarring.
Here’s the truth about scarring: A few weeks after the acne breakout, new blood vessels will move in the injured area to provide nourishment on your skin. This is the reason why the injured area looks pink or red. Thereafter, your body’s collagen starts to fill the injured area of your skin. Apparently, it will take a minimum of one year before your skin will return to normal.
What’s the bottom line? Patience. Just because you developed a scar today, it doesn’t mean that it will stay on your skin forever. Although scars are permanent, it could still lighten over time. Don’t rush and allow your skin to heal naturally – or at least during the first few weeks.
Scars may appear after acne, but this doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about it. While all of these acne scar treatments will work, at the end of the day, it is about choosing, mixing, and finding the best solution on how to heal your acne scars.
Each of the options available has their pros and cons. Before you commit to one – or more – make sure you take time to discuss the appropriate remedies according to the severity of your acne scars, and then commit to it. After all, you will spend your hard-earned money on these, so make sure you will minimize disappointment.