Breakouts of acne can be frustrating, and they can leave marks on the face and other body areas as well. Some individuals learn that acne scars are an unwelcome reminder of a painful and irritating disease. However, as some home remedies and medical procedures will help get rid of them, acne scars do not have to be permanent.
Learn about a number of approaches in this article to help reduce the appearance of acne scars and encourage healthy skin.
Over the counter, various therapies are available, many of which can help individuals treat their acne and reduce the appearance of scars.
Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring compound in acne skin care products that is also an ingredient. Salicylic acid helps remove dirt, skin cells, and other debris from the pores of the skin that contributes to acne.
It also tends to decrease the area’s swelling and redness, which can reduce the appearance of scarring.
For all scar forms, salicylic acid is helpful. For most people who deal with acne, it is a pleasant complement to a normal skin care routine.
Before using it on their entire face, people with sensitive skin can need to test a product containing this acid on a specific area of skin as it can cause dryness or irritation.
It can help to get rid of acne scars with some topical retinoids. Topical retinoids block inflammation, decrease acne lesions, and accelerate cell regeneration, as the authors of a review in the journal Dermatology and Therapy note.
The authors also note that retinoids, including those in individuals with darker skin tones, could help lighten hyperpigmented acne scars.
It should be remembered that retinoids are capable of making the skin sensitive to the light. When going outside, anyone using retinoids for acne or scar treatment should wear sunscreen.
Alpha hydroxy acids
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help to eliminate dead skin cells and prevent pores from being clogged. For treating acne and reducing the appearance of acne scars, doctors can prescribe AHAs.
AHAs are a mild acid type that scrapes the outer layer of skin away to expose clean , fresh skin underneath. Due to scarring, this process can assist with discoloration.
To pull away dead skin cells, lactic acid may act as a gentle peel. It may help decrease the presence of scars and smooth the skin ‘s overall texture.
Lactic acid can also help lighten dark scar tissue, while hyperpigmentation is often caused by it. It is safer to test products containing lactic acid on a small patch of skin before using them to treat acne scarring, because of this potential adverse effect.
Many acne products contain lactic acid. It is also contained in diluted apple cider vinegar, making the treatment more natural and cost-effective.
To help cover up acne marks, many individuals use natural remedies, but the evidence behind them is uncertain. Some can cause additional irritation or other problems, so individuals should use them with caution.
Home remedies that have traditionally been used by people to treat acne scars include:
- coconut oil
- shea butter
- aloe vera gel
- raw honey
- baking soda
- lemon juice
To help minimize acne scars, several medical treatments are available. Depending on the skin type of an individual and the extent of the scarring, a dermatologist can recommend various procedures.
For acne scars, medical therapies include:
A dermatologist may prescribe a form of peel that is acceptable for the skin type, severity of acne, and scarring of a individual.
A research found that six out of 10 participants using a particular form of chemical peel called trichloroacetic acid (TCA) had at least a 70-percent improvement in their acne scarring, the authors of a 2017 analysis on acne scarring treatments report.
It is likely that other chemical peels are less effective. 25 percent of those who used glycolic acid, for example, had no decline in the presence of scars.
To decide which one works for them, a person might need to try distinct types of peel.
If a person has either hypertrophic or keloid scars, injections of corticosteroids may help with the treatment of raised acne scar tissue.
Typically, the procedure consists of a series of injections. In their office, a dermatologist will do these injections once every few weeks, tracking the outcomes.
In certain cases , in order to decrease the appearance of scars, dermatologists may suggest using soft tissue fillers.
Dermatologists may select a filler made up of a substance based on collagen, which may require allergy testing. Alternatively, an alternative might be to extract fat from another part of the body to be used. Other industrial fillers may also be used, such as polymethylmethacrylate ( PMMA), hyaluronic acid ( HA), and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA).
For atrophic scars, dermal fillers work best, but many are temporary. Usually, care lasts between 6 and 18 months.
However, there are some permanent solutions that a person may explore with their dermatologist.
In order to encourage the body to produce more collagen, microneedling is the method of inserting small needles into the skin covering the scar. By smoothing out the skin, this collagen can decrease the appearance of acne scars.
Microneedling produced an increase of 31 to 62 percent in the appearance of acne scars in a 2017 study.
Microneedling can, however, cause side effects. Following therapy, many individuals experience redness, discomfort, and inflammation, but these symptoms subside with time.
Without the use of chemicals or scrubs, laser treatment resurfaces the skin. To expose the younger skin cells underneath, it eliminates the uppermost layer of skin, which may help reduce the presence of scarring.
However, laser therapy is not sufficient for everyone, as its effectiveness depends more on the acne scarring that a person has and their type of skin. In some people , especially those with sensitive skin, treatment can also cause a reaction.
Types of acne scar
Depending on the type of scarring that acne has caused, appropriate treatment options can differ slightly. Three forms of acne scars exist:
- Atrophic scars: These scars appear as small indentations in the skin. They occur when the skin does not make enough fibroblasts in the healing process. Fibroblasts are cells that play a crucial role in wound healing and the synthesis of collagen.
- Hypertrophic scars: These occur when the skin makes too many fibroblasts as the acne spot heals, causing a raised scar.
- Keloid scars: These are similar to hypertrophic scars but are typically much thicker than the original acne spot. They are usually darker than the surrounding skin and can be red or brown. Keloid scars may also cause symptoms, such as itchiness or pain.
In certain individuals, acne scars may be an unwelcome reminder of acne and may decrease self-esteem, but they do not have to be permanent.
Using one or more home remedies, several individuals have success. In cases of stubborn scarring, it can also help to get rid of acne scars by seeking medical care at the dermatologist ‘s office.