What’re the scars?
A scar is a result of wound healing. Scars are formed when normal tissue is replaced with new fibrous tissue. New collagen fibres are produced in the body when the dermis of the skin is damaged. These fibres repair the damage and leave a scar or dark spots. Scars can result from accidents, surgeries, skin diseases, and skin conditions such as acne.
Acne scars usually result from skin inflammation caused by skin pores clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Acne causes swelling and breaking of follicle wall. When the break in the wall of the skin is deep, deeper lesions are formed and there is a high chance that these lesions are spread into surrounding areas.
Scars are unpleasant and quiet embarrassing and many people like to get rid of them real quick.
Types of Acne Scars
There are two types of scars – Hypertrophic or keloid scarring, and atrophic and depressed scars.
Hypertrophic scars are formed when excessive collagen is produced by the body during acne wound healing. As a result, a mass of raising tissue is formed on the surface of the skin.
Atrophic scarring occurs when there is a loss of tissue. Atrophic scars are of two types, ‘icepick’ scars that are small holes in the skin and ‘boxcar’ scars are round and steep scars similar to chickenpox.
Some scars are flat and pale, some sunken, and some scars appear as stretches. Not all types of scars can be completely removed, but they can be improved in terms of appearance.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars Professionally
There are many treatment options available. The recommended medical treatments that help reduce acne scars include:
Chemical peels: Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) chemical peel, for example, are usually recommended by dermatologists. A glycolic acid chemical peel is also recommended for treating acne but it is isn’t as effective as TCA.
Corticosteroid injections: A person with hypertrophic or keloid scars is treated with corticosteroid injections. Steroid injections soften the appearance of hypertrophic scars and make the scar appear flat.
Surgery: It is very rare that surgery is recommended for a scar. Surgery can only alter the shape of a scar, but it will not completely remove it. Surgery is not recommended for hypertrophic scars.
Dermal fillers: Soft tissue filler such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), hyaluronic acid (HA), and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) are commonly recommended for atrophic scars. Dermal fillers help in raising the steep sunken scars to the level of the skin.
Radiotherapy: Low-dose radiotherapy treatment is given only in severe cases. It is usually recommended for severe keloid scars.
Microneedling: It is a process in which tiny needles are inserted into the skin around the scar to stimulate the body to produce more collagen.
Laser resurfacing: In this procedure, the surface layers of the skin are removed using different types of laser.
Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion: The procedure is similar to laser resurfacing. The surface layers of skin are removed using special equipment in this treatment. Microdermabrasion is useful for superficial scars and it is less invasive.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars with At-Home Treatment
It isn’t difficult to manage acne and erase scars as remedies are easily available. People can get them over the counter and apply on their scars. Topical creams such as vitamin E, cocoa butter cream and other skin care products are available over the counter. Some of the compounds that have a good impact on acne scar are listed below.
Salicylic acid – Salicylic acid, one of the compounds in skin care products, reduces swelling and redness. It helps clear dirt and removes dead skin cells.
Lactic acid – Lactic acid not only reduces the appearance of acne scars by removing dead cells but also smoothens the overall texture of the skin. But studies show that lactic acid causes hyperpigmentation and therefore it is recommended that products with lactic acid should first be tested on a small portion of skin for any adverse reaction, and then be considered for treatment purpose.
Retinoids – Retinoids reduce inflammation, reduce acne lesions and aid cell regeneration. However, retinoids are known to make the skin sun-sensitive. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals using retinoids for the treatment of scars must apply sunscreen while exposure to the sun.
Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) – AHA reduces acne scars by removing dead skin cells and preventing clogged pores. When a person applies AHA, the outer skin on the affected area is scraped away and new clear skin is visibly seen underneath.
The products are available as cleansing bars, lotions, gels, serum, and pads (resurfacing and peeling pads).
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars with All-Natural Treatments
Various natural remedies are available for treating acne scars sitting at home.
- Coconut oil – Coconut oil is rich in omega fatty acids. Once the oil is applied on the skin, these fatty acids penetrate into the skin moisturizes it.
- Essential oils – Applying a mixture of essential oils such as apricot oil, Neroli, rose, and lavender oil topically helps in healing the scar.
- Shea butter – In general, Shea butter helps prevent stretch marks in women after delivery. Shea butter has scar healing properties too.
- Aloe vera gel – Aloe vera acts as a moisturizer and also helps in soothing the skin. It reduces swelling and redness due to its antioxidant property.
- Raw honey – Honey is a popular ingredient in skin care for its natural moisturizing property. The medicinal properties of raw honey can be used to heal skin scars. For greater effect add cinnamon to honey.
- Baking soda – Baking soda balances your pH and acts as a natural exfoliator, thereby eliminating dead skin cells
- Lemon – Lemon contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) that help in healing. It can either be rubbed on the scar or squeezed to soak the scar in the juice. After some time, clean the scar area with cool water.
- Apple cider vinegar – This natural ingredient can be used for skin cleansing. To treat acne scar, apply the mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey in that area and leave it for 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure three times a day for good results.
- Onion extract – Onion extract contains bioflavonoids, cepalin and kaempferol that help reduce scars. This extract is an excellent remedy for acne scars as it has properties that reduce redness, inflammation and soreness.
- Turmeric powder – Turmeric is an antiseptic. It contains compound curcumin that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, applying turmeric on the skin can heal scars.