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5 Tips On How To Get Rid of Acne Scars

5 Tips On How To Get Rid of Acne Scars
Shweta Chaubey

Acne scars are a persistent concern for many of us. While it may not be possible to get rid of acne scars completely, treatments and home remedies can help make your skin healthy and beautiful.

What Are Acne Scars?

Just about everyone has had a deep cut that formed a scar. When the skin is damaged in this way, the body’s natural healing process forms a scab to cover the wound.

These scabs become scars that can remain on the skin for a long time, and in some cases, they may never go away. When acne lesions, such as pimples, cysts, or nodules, penetrate the skin deeply and damage the surrounding tissue, they can form acne scars.

Types of Acne Scars

There are several types of acne scars, such as -

  • Atrophic Scars: These scars form due to depressions or indentations in the skin. Atrophic scars are classified as -
    • ice pick scars - narrow and deep
    • boxcar scars - wider depressions with defined edges
    • rolling scars - wave-like indentations
  • Hypertrophic or Raised Scars:  Raised tissue around the acne site that may be pink, red, or flesh-colored. Hypertrophic scars form due to excess collagen produced during the healing process.
  • Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: This is actually not a real scar, PIH is simply a discoloration of the skin resulting from acne inflammation. They appear as flat, dark spots or red or brown patches.
  • Post- Inflammatory erythema:  Also a form of discoloration, PIE is similar to PIH, however, it is caused by damaged blood vessels and appears as pink or red marks on the skin.

How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars

Complete acne removal may not be possible. However, there are certain things that you can do to reduce acne scars and improve the overall texture and tone of the skin.

Best Tips On How To Get Rid of Acne Scars

1. Make Skincare a Habit

A consistent skincare routine is essential to get rid of acne scars. Wash your face with a face cleanser twice daily to remove debris, dead cells, and excess oil from the skin. A moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated and promotes healing, so don’t ever skip it! Make sure that the moisturizing lotion you use is formulated for your skin type.

Exposure to harmful UV rays darkens acne scars. Wear sunscreen with a high SPF whenever you go out, even on cloudy days. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that safeguards against UVA and UVB rays. And only use products that will not clog pores.

2. Home Remedies for acne removal

Home remedies are often the first approach for acne treatment for obvious reasons. Home remedies have minimal side effects, and the ingredients are easily accessible.

Although there is substantial proof that home remedies work wonders in reducing acne scars, it is essential to note that their efficiency varies from person to person. Some of the most effective home remedies for acne removal are -

A. Aloe Vera

Its amazing soothing properties make it a popular ingredient in many cosmetic products. Applying pure aloe vera gel directly to the scars helps reduce acne scarring. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse it with cold water to see the results.

B. Lemon Juice and Honey

Lemon has vitamin C, which removes dirt and lightens scars. Similarly, manuka honey contains moisturizing abilities that keep skin hydrated. You can apply lemon juice and raw manuka honey separately or mix them to make a face mask.

  • To use lemon juice: Dilute it with water, apply it to the scars for a few minutes, and then rinse.
  • To use honey: Apply it to the affected area and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

C. Rosehip Seed Oil

The fatty acids and vitamins A and C in this essential oil enhance skin texture and eventually fade acne scars. Gently massage a few drops onto the scars daily to see the results. While home remedies may have their merits, remember to use them cautiously.

Not all home remedies are scientifically proven, and what works for one person may not work for another. Talk to a dermatologist for a customized acne treatment plan.

3. Over-the-counter acne creams and gels

In general, products to get rid of acne scars contain ingredients like -

  • Retinoids - promote cell turnover and collagen production.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) - exfoliate the skin.
  • Silicone gel or sheet - reduces scar appearance and hydrates the skin.
  • Benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, or tea tree oil - known for their antibacterial properties, they kill acne-causing bacteria and remove access oil from the skin.
  • Vitamin C - a strong antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and reduces swelling and redness.
  • Salicylic acid - removes dirt and debris from the pores.

4. Prescription medications

Your dermatologist may prescribe medicated creams or gels containing corticosteroids to promote intensive skin healing and reduce scar visibility. They may also suggest an antibiotic such as tetracycline and topical creams for quicker recovery. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are often advised to take erythromycin, a relatively safer antibiotic.

If your breakouts happen around your periods or polycystic ovary syndrome, your doctor may prescribe hormonal treatments such as Co-cyprindiol or Isotretinoin.

A. Co-cyprindiol

Co-cyprindiol helps to reduce the production of an oily, waxy substance called sebum which is produced by the body to protect the skin. It takes a couple of months to improve the acne scars significantly.

Side effects include -

B. Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is prescribed when your body does not respond to antibiotics. It comes in capsules and controls sebum production, prevents pores from clogging, kills bacteria, and reduces redness and swelling.

This powerful medication does not come without side effects, and it is unsuitable for children under 12 years of age or if you are - 

  • Allergic to isotretinoin.
  • Diagnosed with symptoms of depression or psychosis.
  • Trying to conceive or are pregnant.

5. Professional Treatments

If all the above treatment options fail, your dermatologist may recommend professional treatments to get rid of acne scars that won't fade. Some of these are -

  • Chemical Peels - This involves applying a chemical solution to the skin, exfoliating the top layer, and encouraging new skin growth. Chemical peels help reduce the appearance of acne scars and improve overall skin texture.
  • MicrodermabrasionIn this treatment, the skin is exfoliated using tiny crystals to remove the outer layer, stimulate collagen production and remove pimple scars.
  • Laser Therapy - Fractional laser resurfacing or pulsed-dye laser therapy reduces acne scars by stimulating collagen production and remodeling the skin.
  • Micro-needling involves using a device with fine needles to create controlled micro-injuries in the skin to stimulate collagen production and minimize scars.
  • Dermal fillers are injections filled with collagen, your body fat, or some other chemical injected to plump up and smoothen depressed scars. Fillers are temporary and may need repetitive treatments.

Dealing with acne scars can be a frustrating experience. Various treatments and self-care techniques can help to get rid of acne scars. Remember, your skin is unique, and to identify which acne treatment suits you the best, consult your doctor.

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HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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