Dealing with acne scars as a teenager is one of the most difficult struggles, but you’re not 13 anymore, you’re an adult, you can vote, apply for a loan, and if you commit a crime, you’re not going to juvie. So there’s nothing to worry about now, is there?
Except, there is. Those pesky little zits have left something to be remembered by, and as much as you are happy they are not popping anymore, the scars they’ve left behind aren’t something to be happy about, in fact, they might even be worse, they seem to stick around for some reason.
You’re tired, you’ve given up on the fight, and you’ve accepted the truth : those scars aren’t going anywhere, and you’ll have to live your insecurities for good.
WRONG! I am here to tell you this : there’s a way out, you can have a clear skin, and you will, as long as you keep on reading. In this article, you’ll learn why these scars persist, and most importantly, how you can get rid of them, once and for all.
So grab a pen and a notebook, and say goodbye to those nasty scars.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What Are Acne Scars?
- 2 Types of Acne Scars
- 3 Depressed Scars
- 4 What Causes Acne Scarring?
- 5 How to Get Rid of Acne Scars?
- 6 Using Natural Remedies
- 6.1 1. Baking Soda and Water Combination
- 6.2 2. Lemon Juice Remedy
- 6.3 3. Fenugreek Seeds
- 6.4 4. Glycerin and Lemon Juice
- 6.5 5. Aloe Vera
- 6.6 6. Egg Whites
- 6.7 7. Coconut Oil
- 6.8 8. Olive Oil
- 6.9 How to Use
- 6.10 9. Cucumber
- 6.11 10. Potato Slice
- 6.12 11. Honey
- 6.13 12. Sugar Scrub
- 6.14 13. Turmeric Powder
- 7 Medical Treatment : Cortisone and Fade Creams
- 8 Laser and Filler Treatments
What Are Acne Scars?
You wake up one day, look in the mirror, and find a zit. You wait for it to go away on its own, and it does, but what’s left behind isn’t as smooth as it used to be.
That, my friend, is a scar. It results of your body trying to fix the inflammation, resulting of the breakout, but failing. These scars come in different shapes and forms, and understanding that will help us know how to fix them.
Types of Acne Scars
Now onto breaking down these scars and its types.
1# Rolling Scars
These are relatively large depressed areas of the skin, with rounded sloping edges. They’re the most common type of scarring, and they tend to be more prominent amongts individuals who have suffered from long-term inflammatory acne.
2# Boxcar Scars
Relatively broad as well, these scars have more rigid and defined edges. The good news about them is that they tend to occupy a small surface, in comparison with rolling scars, making it easier to treat them.
3# Icepick Scars
Icepick acne scars are deep and narrow scars. In many cases, icepick scars resemble a large, empty pore in the skin.
Since they tend to be deeper than other scars, it’s a lot harder to treat them, since the damage is done to deeper levels of the skin. However, they can be treated, it’s just that the results may not be as satisfying as with other types of scars.
4# Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars
These scars occur when there is an excess of the scar tissue at the site of the injury. They are regions of fibrous and firm scar tissue which is raised relative to the surrounding healthy tissue. And they tend to occur less commonly than depressed scars, but mostly seem to be affected by genetic factors or secondary inflammation.
5# Discoloration and Pigmentation Scarring
Scars come in different shapes, and colors as well. In fact, discoloration seems to be the most common form of scarring.
Melanin is the component that gives us coloration. The more you have of it, the darker your skin will be. With this type of scarring, only small patches will have a higher amount of melanin, making them look darker than the rest of your skin.
As you’ve probably guessed, this type is of scars is the exact opposite of the previous one, and happens when the melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin, stop doing their job. And you end up with patches lighter than the skin surrounding them.
This time, the skin is red, due to the damaged or dilated small capillaries near the skin surface. It is pretty common amongst people suffering from acne, and is most evident in people with light skin.
What Causes Acne Scarring?
You may believe that the heavens are out to get you, for the scars on your face and body, but it’s a lot less complicated than that. We know how scars happen, which is a good thing, because it means we’ll be able to treat them.
Now picture this, a follicle gets filled with excess oil, bacteria, dead skin cells… you name it. Naturally it swells and a zit breaks out. This causes an inflammation, that affects the surrounding tissue.
Alarms ring, and your body is now on the fast track to fixing what’s been damaged. Sometimes, that works, the damaged tissue is repaired and all is clear, sometimes, the damage is too deep, and the body fails at retrieving the previous state of tissues.
Of course genetics an important role in this, so if a parent or a sibling suffers from acne scarring, chances are you’ll suffer as well.
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars?
Now, you’ve made it to the most important part of this article : how do you regain the clarity that your skin once had? Is it even possible? Can I do it at the comfort of my home, or is a doctor visit necessary?
We will cite the different ways to treat acne scars, from home remedies, to medication and surgical treatment. It’s up to you, and your doctor to see which one works best for you.
Using Natural Remedies
1. Baking Soda and Water Combination
Baking soda can be an effective ‘skin shredder,’ making it an effective way to get rid of acne marks. Also, baking soda can be utilized to shed the skin, while minimizing the presence of acne scars.
Although baking soda may appear to be a bit coarse, don’t worry about it harming your skin, because it’s actually smooth enough to do such damage. In fact, if it’s used on the top layer of dead skin cells, it would effectively rub it off without causing your facial skin to wind up chafed.
How to Use
Mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda to 2 teaspoons of water, until you achieve a paste-like consistency. This should be applied on the face and massage it in a circular motion, focusing on the acne marks. Leave it for about 3 minutes and wash your face with cool water. After doing that, you’ll notice that your skin became more glowing and smoother.
Reminder: We don’t advise leaving the paste on your acne for more than 8 minutes, because this can irritate your skin. Although you might get tempted to leave it for another couple of minutes, it would be better if you don’t.
2. Lemon Juice Remedy
Despite the fact that there has been a number of ways on how to treat acne scars naturally, nothing beats the citric acid present in lemon juice!
Each lemon contains L-ascorbic acid, which is a common astringent that could dry out almost any forms of inflammation. Aside from that, its antibacterial property can eradicate most bacteria that cause acne. If used from the moment the acne marks begin to appear, one would notice that it’s really capable of keeping the problem at bay.
However, those who are going to use this natural remedy should stay away from the sun, as the citric acid of lemon, could make your skin more vulnerable to the damage brought by sun exposure.
How to Use
For those who want to reduce their acne scars, you’ll be glad to know that by simply using lemon, you’d be able to solve this problem right away. You’re going to need 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice and a cotton swab. Apply the lemon juice on your skin using a cotton ball and leave it on for 30 minutes. Some experts also suggest leaving it on your face before going to bed, and do this regimen for 2-3 weeks.
Although lemon juice is definitely wonderful for the skin, there are some that experiences a little irritation after using this. In case this happens to you, what you can do is wash your face 10 minutes after application.
3. Fenugreek Seeds
Studies show that Fenugreek seeds work well with removing acne scars naturally. This is one of the reasons that Fenugreek is also known as the “Greek hayseed,” and “root of fledgling.” For centuries, this herb has been used to resolve all types of skin problems, as well as easing aggravation. It’s also packed with powerful antioxidants that help in treating various skin issues.
Despite the fact that further experimental exploration should be made to affirm the effectiveness of Fenugreek in treating acne, a lot of those who have tried using this natural remedy could attest the fact that it really works well, especially when it comes to treating inflammation.
How to Use
Applying this remedy is fairly easy. Basically, all you have to do is put 2 tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds in 2 cups of water, and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Store the mixture in a cool place, or inside the refrigerator and dab a small portion of it on acne marks. Leave the mixture for about 15 minutes and wash the skin with water.
Important Reminder: Never leave the Fenugreek glue for more than 20 minutes on your skin, as this might irritate the area. Also, a cotton ball can be used to clean your face.
4. Glycerin and Lemon Juice
Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t familiar with the benefits that can be enjoyed from using Glycerin. Glycerin is best known for its potent healing properties, because it can easily remove any type of scars in just a short period of time. All you have to do is apply some glycerin mask on the affected area and leave it twice a day to eliminate acne scars.
However, it’s also important to note that dry skin could lead to chipping and tingling, resulting to the development of dead skin cells. Once this happens, you should stop using this combination, as there’s a possibility that your acne has been irritated, and you have a sensitive skin.
The saturating property of Glycerin allows the pores to inhale, and it secures regular dampness, while counteracting obstruction. Thus, it’s safe to say that it actually addresses one of the major causes of acne breakout– obstructed pores. Glycerin works in a way where it meets the expectations from the outside by filling the small voids and breaks on the skin surface to promote a smoother and healthier appearance.
Aside from that, the different properties present in glycerin, have the ability of fighting a wide range of contagious diseases, bacterial contamination, and skin issues.
How to Use
Take 3 drops of glycerin and mix it with 3 teaspoons of lemon juice– mix them well, and use a cotton swab to apply on the affected area. This can be left on the acne marks overnight, or for an hour, depending on your preference. After using this remedy, you’ll notice that your skin will become smoother, and the healing properties of lemon, combined with glycerin, can effectively help in reducing the appearance of acne scars.
5. Aloe Vera
There’s a reason that most beauty products contain Aloe Vera– it’s rich in vitamins and minerals that it can effectively speed up the healing process. Aside from that, the moisturizing property of Aloe Vera can soothe an irritated skin– which happens very frequently when it’s affected with acne.
How to Use
For this natural remedy, it’s very ideal to use fresh Aloe Vera gel to ensure maximum effects. Peel it away and rub it tenderly into your skin. For best results, leave it for a couple of minutes, and let your skin savor its goodness first.
Reminder: There are instances where Aloe Vera could trigger an allergic reaction or irritation if it’s the first time you’re using it. Don’t be alarmed, because you can wash your face immediately.
6. Egg Whites
Believe it or not, egg whites contain properties that can help in fading acne marks and promote faster healing. All thanks to the amino acids that could tighten the pores whenever there’s new breakouts, and it could also lighten a scarred skin.
How to Use
If your eggs have been sitting inside the fridge, take one out a couple of minutes before using it. Then, separate the yolk from the whites and whip the egg whites out until it becomes a little feather and milky white. With your fingers, lightly spread the egg whites on your skin and focus on areas where there’s a lot of acne. Allow your egg white mask to dry for a couple of minutes, and wash it with warm water. This should be done 2-3 times a week to achieve optimum results.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a number of uses, and being an effective moisturizing agent, that means it can really be an effective acne remedy.
How to Use
If possible, try to look for extra virgin coconut oil, and scoop a quarter teaspoon of it and apply it on the palm of your hand. Let it dissolve by briskly rubbing your palms against each other for a couple of seconds. Then, apply it on your face, and allow it to sit for several minutes.
Reminder: For those who don’t like the idea of leaving the oil on your skin for too much time, then it’s ideal to leave it even for just half an hour and wash your face with a mild face wash.
8. Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in vitamins and iron. Wherein, the vitamin E present in olive oil can help in eliminating acne marks. Not just that, studies show that olive oil is also rich in antioxidants.
How to Use
Olive oil is a decent skin inflammation acne scar treatment that could unclog obstructed pores. To use this remedy, just rub a small amount of olive oil on the affected area, focusing on areas that were severely affected with acne.
After doing that, get a warm towel and rub it around your face, allowing the steam to open up the pores. Wipe the excess oil and repeat the procedure 1-2 times a day, and don’t forget to wash your face after.
Just like coconuts, cucumber also works great when it comes to cleaning the skin. In fact, you can easily use this natural remedy as your regular facial treatment, because cucumber isn’t only hydrating, but it’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and magnesium– all of these are good for the skin.
How to Use
You just have to grab a fresh piece of cucumber and slice it up. Put the thin slices on the affected areas of your skin and leave it for 30 minutes. Rinse your face with warm water after that. No need to use any facial wash or soap.
10. Potato Slice
Potato isn’t only good for making French fries, but it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals that could heal up the skin– and this includes acne scars.
How to Use
Take a fresh potato and slice it. Apply the potato slices on the affected areas and leave it for half an hour. Likewise, you can also massage your face with these slices, and wash it up with warm water.
Since honey has its fair share of antiseptic and moisturizing properties, it has been considered as one of the popular ingredients that could reduce acne scars. Though, in order to ensure that you’d be able to enjoy its full goodness, it’s highly advisable to use raw honey for this purpose, instead of the regular ones.
How to Use
A teaspoon of honey is more than enough to heal your acne marks. You just have to apply it completely on your skin and leave it for about 10-15 minutes. After that, wash your face with cold water, and see the difference.
This remedy should be done at least twice a week, and before going to bed in order to enjoy the positive results.
12. Sugar Scrub
Sugar scrub is very wonderful for the skin, to the extent that it can help in removing acne scars.
How to Use
Combine 2 teaspoons of olive oil with 3 teaspoons of sugar, to create a natural face scrub. Apply this on the affected area and leave it on your face for 20-30 minutes. Wash your face with mild soap after.
This remedy should be done 4 times a week, or everyday if possible.
13. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric powder has anti-inflammatory properties making it also effective in removing acne scars. That’s why the Indians do love using this remedy for more than centuries already.
How to Use
Combine 2 teaspoons of milk with 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder and mix it well. Apply all over your face, focusing on the affected area and leave it for about 20 minutes.
Ideally, this should be applied two times a day– during the morning and before going to bed.
Medical Treatment : Cortisone and Fade Creams
For red and swollen skin, creams with cortisone work perfectly, as they reduce the redness and inflammation.
But that’s not all, next you’ll have to work on lightening your skin. Hydroquinone was a popular choice, up until recently, when concerns arose, as it was linked to irritation and cancer. You can find excellent lightening creams, that contain vitamin C, Kojic acid, and arbutin. They all work perfectly, and have little to no side effects.
Laser and Filler Treatments
When all else fails, a trip to the dermatologist becomes inevitable. Though a bit expensive, the results are more evident and satisfying. In less than 3 sessions, laser evens out the skin surface and increases the production of collagen, which will help fill the acne scars.
Another way to treat the scars is by fillers, which, as their name indicates, fill the indentations left behind. The downside is that they have to be done every 4 to 6 months, since the fillers are absorbed by the skin overtime.
Acne scarring is a serious skin condition, it can have serious psychological implications, so handling it ASAP can help improve one’s daily life. Avoid picking and popping acne, let your body do its job, and be patient. If, overtime, your skin doesn’t regain its natural shape and state, then you can move onto taking matters into your own hands.