Acne breakouts can happen out of nowhere and can be pretty frustrating to deal with. The main concern is that this problem doesn’t exactly end once your pimples fade away; it often leaves behind scars that can dull down the appearance of your skin. However, the good news is that just like active breakouts, these scars can be treated as well.
Before proceeding on to trying out the ways to eliminate acne scars, one important thing to keep in mind is that you first have to get rid of any acne once and for all.
Types of Acne Scars
Ice Pick Scars: These are deep, narrow scars that extend into the dermis. The skin looks as if it has been punctured with a sharp tool.
Boxcar Scars: These scars are broad with sharp edges, similar to chickenpox scars. They may be shallow or deep and are most commonly found on the cheeks and temples.
Rolling Scars: Caused by damage under the skin, they give the skin a wave-like appearance. They are wide and shallow.
Atrophic Scars: These are flat, thin, or depressed scars. They are also known as depressed fibrotic scars.
Hypertrophic Scars: These are raised scars that stand above the surface of the surrounding skin. They are caused by excess collagen during healing.
Keloid Scars: Similar to hypertrophic, but keloids grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound, possibly causing pain or itchiness.
Any discoloration left behind after a pimple has cleared, isn’t regarded as a scar. These light to dark red, purple, or brown marks typically fade by themselves over time.
Now that you’re well-aware about the acne scars that occur, let’s have a look at the various ways through which you can get rid of them.
Treatments for Acne Scars
Treating acne scars often involves a combination of methods, and the approach can vary depending on the type and severity of the scars. Here's a general guideline for the treatment of each type of acne scar:
Ice Pick Scars:
- Laser Resurfacing: This method uses a laser to remove the top layers of skin.
- Punch Excision: A method where the scar is physically removed and the remaining wound is sutured closed.
- TCA Cross: A high concentration of trichloroacetic acid is applied to the scar to encourage collagen formation.
- Laser Resurfacing: Helpful in smoothing out the edges of these scars.
- Dermal Fillers: Can be used to raise the base of the scar.
- Microneedling: Encourages the skin to produce more collagen, which can reduce the depth of boxcar scars.
- Subcision: A surgical technique that involves breaking up the fibrous bands causing the rolling scars.
- Microneedling: Can stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture.
- Laser Therapy: Can be used to smooth out the surface of the skin.
- Dermal Fillers: These can plump up the sunken areas.
- Microneedling: Encourages the skin to regenerate.
- Chemical Peels: Can improve the appearance by removing the top layer of skin, allowing new skin to form.
- Corticosteroid Injections: Help to flatten and soften the scar.
- Laser Therapy: To reduce the thickness of the scar and improve skin texture.
- Silicone Sheets or Gels: Used to flatten the scar over time.
- Corticosteroid Injections: To reduce inflammation and flatten the keloid.
- Surgery: To remove the keloid, often followed by other treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence.
- Laser Therapy: Can help in reducing the redness and improve the texture.
Acne scars can easily be treated at home through various creams, oils and solutions containing certain ingredients. While it’s safe to use organic skincare products by yourself, make sure to consult a dermatologist before opting for any serious treatment for your acne scars.
Here are some skincare ingredients that make for great acne scar treatments.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
AHAs are commonly found in products specifically tailored to treat acne. Not only does this extremely potent ingredient help get rid of dead skin and prevent clogged pores, but it also helps make acne scars less noticeable. AHAs contain mild traces of acid that exfoliate the outer layer of the skin, helping remove discoloration and rough skin.
Lactic acid works great as peels. Applying this once every two weeks can help bring about a noticeable improvement in the texture, appearance and pigmentation of the skin, which means lightened acne scars. There are numerous serums, peels, and other skincare products available that contain natural or synthetic lactic acid. Either way, you should consult a skin specialist before using any product containing this ingredient.
Retinoids are another super-beneficial treatment that can help you bid farewell to acne scars. Retinol is a type of retinoid that remains mild on the skin while enhancing cell regeneration, improving your skin’s texture, and reducing discoloration, making acne scars less noticeable. Topical retinoids also help reduce inflammation that occurs as a result of can lesions.
However, the only problem is that retinoids can make your skin sensitive to the sun’s rays. This is why you need to wear sunscreen daily when using any skincare product containing retinoid. Check out the amazing retinol moisturizing cream by ML Delicate Beauty to say goodbye to acne, acne scars, and aging signs!
Salicylic acid is a highly versatile ingredient that is present in almost all types of acne treatments these days. Besides this, salicylic acid has also proven to be quite beneficial for acne scars as it helps clear up your pores, exfoliates your skin, and reduces swelling and redness. Once you start using salicylic acid, you will have to wait for at least a few weeks to see the difference. Moreover, this ingredient can also cause some dryness and irritation. So, make sure to consult a dermatologist or conduct a patch test to see if it’s safe to use for your skin.
If there’s an ingredient that naturally breathes life back into your skin, it’s Vitamin C. Vit C serums are a great way to treat acne scars, reduce inflammation, and provide hydration to the skin, making it appear plump and rejuvenated. The Advanced Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum by ML Delicate beauty is one of the best vitamin c serums for acne scars.
Procedures to Get Rid of Acne Scars
Even though the above-mentioned at-home treatments are quite effective, if they don’t seem to be making a difference to your skin, your skin specialist will probably recommend one of the following treatments to you.
Dermabrasion tops the list as one of the most common and effective treatments meant for facial scars. It entails the use of a wheel or wire brush by a professional to deeply exfoliate the top layer of your skin. Even though this procedure is most effective for scars that are closer to the surface of the skin, it also makes deeper scars less noticeable.
You can’t just casually use all chemical peels at home. It is a strong acid that only professionals know how to use effectively. However, there are certain chemical peels that are light and mild enough to be used at home. This procedure helps get rid of the top layer of the skin in order to reduce deeper scars from your skin. Since there are various kinds of chemical peels on the market, it is best to consult your skincare specialist to suggest the best one for you.
This treatment helps resurface the good layer of your skin without using any scrubs or chemicals. It helps remove the topmost layer of skin to reveal the underlying younger skin cells, reducing the appearance of scars.
Laser treatment, however, isn’t suitable for everyone as its success typically depends on a person’s skin type and the acne scarring they have. It may also cause a reaction for some people, especially those who have sensitive skin.
Fillers are another great way to help get rid of acne scars. The professional performing this procedure fills in the acne scars and help even out your skin. These fillers can contain your own fat, collagen or commercial substances, and are typically injected under the skin’s surface to help plump up depressed acne scars. While some fillers are permanent, most fillers last between 6 months to a year before they need to be redone.
This is a relatively newer treatment that effectively reduces scars. Microneedling entails the use of a handheld ‘pen’ or needle-studded ‘roller’ that punctures the surface of the scars rather than going through it like a shot. Once the procedure is done, your skin begins to produce more collagen during the healing process.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that even though this procedure helps reduce the depth of acne scars, it can take almost 9 months to view any visible changes. However, microneedling is a safe and effective treatment for all skin tones.
When thinking of surgery, the idea of removing a scar just to potentially replace it with another one might seem crazy. However, plastic surgeons or dermatologists can help remove a noticeable acne scar, leaving behind a minor scar that will fade with time.
A skincare professional can also loosen the underlying fibers of a scar and lift it up to bring it closer to the surface of the skin, making it less noticeable. This procedure is commonly known as subcision.
Acne scars can be quite annoying, but there are many treatments available that can make them less noticeable. However, the best way to treat acne scars is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. So, when you do experience acne, always refrain from popping, squeezing or touching your acne as this leads to scarring.
Are you struggling to get rid ofacne scars? Have you tried any treatment or procedures to remove them? Let’s talk about it!
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Christine Wright is a trusted beauty expert and an esthetician who is loved by editors and bloggers. She is a prolific writer on the topics of natural, chemical-free skin and body care. She also does reviews on store brand beauty products, with fairness and a real point-of-view. She is well-known of creating products for specific skin types, especially to those with ultra-sensitive faces.
Opinions expressed are those of the writer.
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