Pimples are bad experiences already. Add acne scars in the picture and it seems a double punishment for you already. As you may know, having acne scars can last forever, especially if not given attention. The good news for you is that there are effective ways on how to get rid of acne scars. Hence, you will not be doomed to have them forever.
Acne scarring can be mild or severe. The type of acne scar treatment depends on how severe the case is. Mild acne scars can fade in time and so they need no or little treatment. However, for serious acne scars, professional intervention is needed for successful treatment.
Acne scars form as a result of the healing of the acne. The scars are often considered as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a natural body repair procedure as a response to inflammations brought by acne. Basically, there are two kinds of acne scars: raised and depressed. Raised acne scars are in the form of a keloid. It is a growth of tissues at the site of the acne infection. However, raised acne scars are usually uncommon.
On the other hand, depressed acne scars form due to the loss of tissue at the site of acne. Once the acne heals, the depression remains. Some of the common types of depressed acne scars are ice pick, boxcar, and rolling scars. All these acne scars do not easily fade away with time. They are oftentimes best removed using surgical and physical procedures.
Severe Acne Scar Treatment
Acne scars can be treated with topical treatments available over-the-counter. They usually work to lighten and fade the scars over time. However, if the acne scars are severe enough that topical solutions work no more, surgical procedures may be necessary in getting rid of acne scars. For really bad acne scars, creams or other products are simply not strong enough. In those cases, the best way to get rid of acne scars is surgery. Some of the acne scar surgical treatments include:
This uses laser light to remove the damaged layer of the skin. The laser also works to tighten the middle layer of the skin, resulting into a smoother skin surface. A session of laser resurfacing can last from a couple of minutes to an hour. After this treatment, the skin may require three to 10 days for complete healing.
Photo by Universidad de Navarra
This uses a rotating wire brush or instrument that wears down the surface of the skin. Once the skin heals, a new and smooth skin layer will replace the abraded skin. It takes anywhere from 10 days to three weeks for the skin to totally heal after undergoing this procedure.
Fractional laser therapy
This works for serious acne scars that cannot be addressed by regular laser resurfacing or dermabrasion. This does not wound the top layer of the skin, which means a shorter healing time. If you undergo this treatment, you will simply look sunburned for a couple of days.
This is reserved for severe deep acne scarring such as ice pick acne scars. The surgeon here removes an oval piece of the skin that contains the scar. This is replaced by small pieces of normal skin taken from the skin behind the ear.
Other surgical procedures for acne scars
Other surgical options can be used to treat acne scars. This includes subscision, pressure bandages and massages, cryosurgery, and cortisone injections.
Mild and Natural Acne Scar Remedies
If your acne scars are mild enough, you can rely on home acne scar remedies to help treat the scarring. Here are the usual home remedies that are known to be effective in treating acne scars:
- Lemon juice. Fresh lemon or lime juice can help get rid of the dark acne scars. Use a cotton ball to apply lemon juice on the scars. Leave the juice on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
- Tomato. Slice tomatoes and place it over the acne scars. Tomatoes are known to help heal the damaged skin because of its vitamin A and antioxidant contents.
- Olive oil. Massage olive oil onto the acne scars. Olive oil can effectively moisturize the skin and even fade away acne scars.
- Cucumber. Juice a fresh cucumber and apply it onto the face, especially the acne scars. Wash your face after 15 minutes.
- Baking soda. Give yourself a home dermabrasion by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of filtered water. Rub the mixture gently onto the acne scar for 60 seconds before rinsing it off.
- Ice. Ice cubes are known to soothe irritated skin, tighten pores, and even give the skin an even texture. Rub an ice cube on the acne scars to reduce their appearance.
- Sandalwood and rosewater. Mix sandalwood with a couple drops of rosewater to form a paste. Use this paste as a facial mask overnight. Wash the paste off in the morning and you will see a smoother skin as sandalwood can soothe the skin.
- Natural face mask. Create a face mask using a tablespoon each of yogurt, sour cream, and oatmeal plus a couple drops of lemon juice. Place the mask on the entire face for 10 to 15 minutes prior to rinsing it off.
Prevention of Acne Scars
Still, the best cure against acne scars is prevention. There are certain ways for you to prevent getting acne scars in the first place. Here are some tips for acne scar prevention:
- Treat acne as soon as it develops. Don’t allow the acne to become more severe because it will give more chances of developing acne scars. Consider over-the-counter or home acne treatments. You may even consult your dermatologist if you fear your acne is not responding to any of the treatments you are trying out.
- Avoid inflammation. If the acne is inflamed, there are more chances of acne scars. Avoid inflaming the acne by not further irritating the skin. Avoid scrubbing your face and avoid using harsh skin care products.
- Don’t interfere with the acne’s healing process. Do not squeeze, pick, or pop the pimples just because you want to get rid of them right away. Squeezing the pimple will only spread the infection and worsen the blemish. Picking a pimple may even cause permanent scarring.
What is your personal experience regarding acne scars? Share how you got rid of them.