Zits, pimples, blemishes, blackheads or whiteheads – called them what you want, but those nasty red, white or black, raised and sometimes painful sores are a serious struggle for most people. In fact, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, afflicting up to 50 million Americans annually. It usually begins in puberty and almost 85 percent of those between the ages of 12 and 24 will experience at least minor acne.
Acne may be a long-term condition for some people, but for others, it may only occur during teenage years. No matter when acne occurs, or for what duration, it can leave lifelong scarring. And those acne scars can cause a person’s self-esteem to plummet more than acne itself. Just as there are many different acne medications, there are several different ways – depending on the type of scarring – to get rid of or diminish acne scars.
WHO GETS ACNE SCARS?
Not everyone is prone to scarring after their acne clears. However, there are certain specific reasons that make you more at risk:
- Inflammatory Acne
Swollen, red and painful acne, such as cystic acne or nodules tends to penetrate deeper into the skin and damages it. Delaying or not treating this type of acne can lead to scars.
- Squeezing Acne
When you excessively pick at, squeeze or pop pimples it increases inflammation. This leads to a greater risk of scarring.
- Preteen Acne
When blemishes develop at a young age, they are more likely to develop into severe acne within a few years. Severe acne is more difficult to treat and may end up scarring.
Genes actually play a huge role as to whether or not you may develop acne scars. If you have a blood relative who has experienced scarring, you may, as well.
WHAT CAUSES ACNE SCARS?
Acne breakouts that penetrate deep into the skin can damage the tissue beneath it. When acne clears, your body tries to repair the damage. During the process, your body produces collagen. If too much or too little collagen is produced, you will see scarring. The type of scar produced depends on the amount of collagen:
- Depressed Acne Scars
If too little collagen is produced, depressions or pits will form on the skin. Depressed scars usually form on the face. They may be referred to as “atrophic” and come in three different forms or shapes: Boxcar, Icepick or Rolling.
- Raised Acne Scars
When the body produces too much collagen as it tries to heal the skin after a breakout, you may develop a raised scar. They are considered keloids and may be referred to as “hypertrophic.” Raised scars are more common on the back and chest.
These are flat, red spots where acne appeared in the skin. They typically persist for a few weeks and should fade on their own.
- Skin Discoloration
Healed acne may leave dark, discolored areas on the skin. This is called post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. This will remain visible for months after after an acne lesion has healed.
HOW TO GET RID OF ACNE SCARS
Although some scarring is permanent, there are many ways to lessen the discoloration and appearance of acne scars for a better appearance. You may also be able to completely get rid of acne scars with some of the treatments below.
- Dermabrasion – Use of a high-speed brush to remove the top layer of your skin and give you an smoother, fresher look. You will need 5-7 days of recovery.
- Microdermabrasion – Use of small crystals to abrade the skin. There is no down-time, but it may require multiple treatments.
- Chemical Peels – Are used for hyperpigmentation and superficial scars.
- Retinoic Acid – Used for keloid scars to reduce their appearance
- Lasers – Used to contour areas of acne scars, remove the outer area of the skin or lighten redness.
- Fillers – Are used to “fill in” certain types of scars. Substances such as collagen, hyaluronic acid or fat can be used in the depressed areas.
- Punch Excisions – Used to remove acne scars by individually cutting out the scar itself. The hole is repaired with stitches or a skin graft.
- Skin Grafts – Are used to repair acne scars by taking a piece of normal skin to fill in a scarred area.
- Prescribed Topical Treatments – Used at home to mainly treat dark spots. These may include azelaic acid or niacinamide.
- Microneedling – Used to boost collagen and elastin in skin. A dermaroller punctures the skin with tiny, acupuncture-like needles to improve the look of acne scars.
If you don’t like the idea of harsh chemicals or the expense of medical procedures, there are several natural remedies you can choose from when it comes to how to get rid of acne scars.
- Aloe Vera – Helps your scars heal with its moisturizing and soothing properties. It has antioxidants to reduce swelling and redness and a natural astringent to remove oil and dead skin cells.
- Baking Soda – Balances your pH and acts as a natural exfoliator. In doing so, it eliminates dead skin cells and leaves you refreshed without damaging the skin around the scar. Use 2 parts water to 1 part baking soda, make a paste and scrub it on the affected area.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Use it to treat a scar by mixing with honey and leaving it on the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat up to 3 times a day, if needed.
- Onion Extract – It contains bioflavonoids, such as cepalin and kaempferol, that have been known to significantly reduce the appearance of scars. Use daily for best results.
- Shea Butter – It is known for its ability to reduce stretch marks, so it should provide the same assistance to acne scars. Make sure to get unfiltered raw shea butter for best results.
- Lemons – They are great for lightening scars. Known as a natural bleach, it also aids in new cell growth and healing, thanks to its alpha hydroxy acids.
- Turmeric Powder – It is great for acne scars as it contains curcumin, a compound that provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory advantages. It is best used for skin discoloration. Combine with honey in equal parts, keep on for 20 minutes – allowing it to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.
Essential Oils for Acne Scars
There are many essential oils that are effective in helping to repair and reduce the look of scarring. Below are five of the most popular choices when it comes to how to get rid of acne scars. Remember to always dilute with a carrier oil. Jojoba oil, for example, is a beneficial carrier oil that boosts skin health by working as a protectant and cleanser. It is rich in iodine and fights harmful bacteria growth that leads to breakouts. Jojoba oil can speed up the healing process and reduce skin lesions, as well.Helichrysum Essential Oil – one of the best essential oils for the treatment of both acne and acne scars. It fills up the scar by activating the growth of skin fibers. Also, helichrysum oil helps even out skin tones due to dark spots.
- Lavender Essential Oil – It has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It soothes the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots and scars due to acne.
- Frankincense Essential Oil – Contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It helps reduce redness and dark spots.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil – Is beneficial when it comes to minimizing the appearance of raised acne scars. It has amazing antifungal and antibacterial properties
- Carrot Seed Essential Oil – One of the best essential oils for sun damaged and mature skin. The oil is rich in beta carotene, which has skin healing and rejuvenating properties.
Natural Acne Scar Treatment Using Essential Oils
For a natural acne treatment for scars, make a paste by mixing the following ingredients:
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 3 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 3 drops frankincense oil
Wash and dry your face, then apply the paste and let it sit for an hour before rinsing off.
If you found this article on 22 Ways of How to Get Rid of Acne Scars informative, you may also like to read The Best Essential Oils for Skin