Acne breakouts are very frustrating, and they usually leave scars on your body, particularly on the face. In most cases, these scars serve as an unwanted reminder of a painful condition.
But acne scars need not be permanent since there are medical treatments and home remedies that you can use to get rid of them. However, it is good to know that getting rid of acne scars is a process as they cannot just disappear overnight.
Therefore, you need to be patient. Besides, the treatment needs special care from a dermatologist since it involves intense procedures compared to over-the-counter methods.
Types of Acne Scars
Acne scars fall into these categories:
• Atrophic (depressed) Scars
These scars occur when your skin doesn’t produce enough fibroblasts as the skin heals. Fibroblasts play a vital role in healing wounds. The acne scars include icepick, boxcar, and rolling atrophic scars.
• Hypertrophic (raised) Scars
Raised scars occur when the skin produces too much collagen as it heals from acne. As a result, elevated scars form, mainly on the chest and back.
• Keloid Scars
Keloid scars are the same as hypertrophic scars, only that they are thicker than the initial acne spot. They are darker compared to surrounding skin and can also be brown or red.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars
Are you wondering how you can get rid of acne scars? Relax! Remember, you should only start treatment after the acne is fully healed. The following are some of the ways that you can get rid of acne scars:
1. Medical/Dermatological Treatments
There are numerous medical treatments that a dermatologist can advise you to use depending on the scar’s depth and skin type. These include:
Injections of medicine like corticosteroids can help soften and flatten thick and raised acne scars. A dermatologist will inject you in their office for a few weeks since the treatment comprises a series of injections.
• Dermal Fillers
In some instances, the dermatologist can recommend filling the shallow scars using substances such as collagen, your own fat, or hyaluronic acid. Dermal fillers are ideal for atrophic scars though many are not permanent.
However, there are still permanent options that will help you correct dented acne scars. This treatment lasts up to 18 months, with some taking as little as six months.
• Laser Treatment
Sometimes if the scars are not so deep, your dermatologist can decide to resurface your skin without using scrubs or chemicals. Laser treatment only removes the outer skin layer to encourage the production of new skin cells, which decreases the scarring appearance.
However, it is good to note that laser treatment is not ideal for anyone since its success depends on the individual’s skin type and acne scar type. The treatment can lead to some reactions, more so to people with sensitive skin.
Microneedling is also referred to as collagen induction therapy, and it is one of the suitable methods if you have plenty of depressed scars. It involves inserting needles into acne scars to stimulate the production of more collagen.
The collagen helps to reduce the acne scars’ appearance by flattening the outer skin. This method can help to improve the acne scars appearance by up to 62%. However, micro-needling is painful, and most people experience inflammation and redness after treatment, but this subsides as time goes.
• Chemical Peels
You can use different chemical peels to get rid of acne scars depending on your skin type and acne scar type. This method helps to improve your acne scarring by up to 70%.
These chemical peels work differently on various individuals. Your dermatologist will recommend the best type of peels to use.
• Radiofrequency Skin Tightening
The treatment is ideal for treating boxcar and icepick acne scars. The doctor usually uses a radio frequency to compact the skin, making the acne scars less visible.
2. Home Remedies
Other than medical treatments, you can use home remedies to get rid of acne scars. However, before using any treatment, ensure you consult your dermatologist to confirm that you have acne scars and not any other skin condition.
Dermatologists can also recommend the most effective treatment for you. Here are some of the over-the-counter products that can help improve your acne scarring:
Topical retinoids play a vital role in getting rid of acne scars. They help decrease acne lesions, block inflammation, and accelerate cell reproduction.
Retinoids can assist in the lightening of hyperpigmented acne scars. However, retinoids can make your skin become sensitive to the sun.
• Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a compound that occurs naturally, and it is mainly used as an ingredient in various acne skincare products. It helps to clear skin cells and dirt that cause acne from the skin’s pores.
Salicylic acid also reduces the redness and swelling on the surrounding area, minimizing the scarring’s appearance. Apart from improving the acne scars, salicylic acid helps in daily skincare, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin and acne.
• Lactic Acids
Lactic acid helps to remove dead skin cells, reducing the scars’ appearance and smoothening the skin. It also lightens all dark scar tissues. However, lactic acid can cause hyperpigmentation.
• Alpha Hydroxy Acids
These alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) help prevent clogged pores and eliminate dead skin cells, revealing new skin. This aids in acne treatment and reduces scars’ appearance.
• Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid occurs naturally in grains such as rye, wheat, and barley. It helps to treat various skin conditions such as rosacea and acne. The acid also helps prevent upcoming outbreaks and cleans your pores from dirt and bacteria that lead to acne.
3. Natural Remedies
There are various natural remedies that people use to get rid of acne scars. However, the science behind these remedies is not clear.
Some remedies work, while others cause more harm than good. Some lead to severe irritation and other adverse skin effects. Thus, you need to be extra cautious when using these methods.
Here are some of the natural remedies that people use to get rid of acne scars:
- Coconut oil
- Lemon juice
- Shea butter
- Raw honey
- Aloe vera gel
Acne scars can reduce someone’s self-esteem but do not be the case. There are numerous acne scars types like keloid scars, raised scars, and atrophic scars.
The type of treatment to apply depends on the type of scar you have and your skin type. Some treatments will permanently get rid of your acne scars, while others will improve your appearance.
Some can lead to further irritation. Ensure you talk to your doctor before using any treatment. Your dermatologist will recommend the best treatment plan for you.