Why Do Acne Scars Occur
Why do some people have acne scars, while others dont?
The reasons vary, but genetics is one risk factor for scarring. If a blood relative struggles with acne scarring, you might, too, according to the American Academy of Dermatology . Also, scarring tends to happen more as the skin loses collagen with age.
Because collagen plays a role in the healing process, your skin produces new collagen as it repairs itself after a breakout. But sometimes, it produces too little or too much, resulting in a scar.
Keep in mind that acne is an inflammatory condition. Scar development has a lot to do with the extent and duration of skin inflammation, so delaying acne treatment raises the risk of scarring, according to the AAD.
Acne scars result from a complex and abnormal inflammatory response, which results in poor wound healing, says Kara Shah, MD, a board-certified general and pediatric dermatologist with Kenwood Dermatology in Cincinnati.
Because scarring is a complication of acne, anyone who experiences a breakout can have temporary or permanent scars, according to the NHS yet scarring is most common in those who suffer from inflammatory acne characterized by numerous pimples and cysts, says Dr. Shah.
How Fast Can You Fade Acne Scars
The length of time needed to fade acne scars depends on the type and severity, and the length of time youve had the scars. Generally, older scars are more difficult to treat than newer ones. However, it is important to wait until all acne lesions have fully healed before attempting treatment, as active pimples can be further irritated and inflamed.
Atrophic scars require professional procedures to treat, usually in multiple sessions spread out over weeks or months. Full results are typically achieved over a few months to 1 year, depending on their severity. Surgical procedures can get rid of them more quickly.
Hypertrophic scars require multiple procedures spread out over several months or a single surgical treatment to excise them.
PIH typically fades on its own within 324 months. With treatment, it fades in a few days to a few months, depending on how dark the hyperpigmentation is in comparison to your natural skin color and the treatment you use.
How Do You Get Rid Of Acne Scars Overnight
Acne breakouts are common and quite frustrating. They may leave scars on the face and can trigger anxiety in teens and adults. Professional treatment of acne scars has shown excellent results but needs six to eight weeks to work.
If you want radiant skin, a regular skincare routine is key. This must be coupled with a healthy diet, a good exercise regimen, and stress relief techniques to avoid acne in the first place and eventually achieve clear and healthy skin.
Below are a few common ways to get rid of acne scars. These will take time to work, so you must be regular and diligent in their application. Always do a patch test behind your earlobe to check if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.
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Best Acne Scar Treatments This Year: How To Treat Acne Scars
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Treatments for acne scars are typically intensive, the best results coming from lasers, injections and fillers best handled by medical professionals, experts told us. There are, however, some solid home treatments you can consider if you want to improve the appearance of acne scars. To understand how some of these at-home treatments work and what their limitations are we consulted dermatologists and found some highly rated options to consider based on their guidance.
Before you choose an at-home treatment, it’s important to understand what acne scars are, what they aren’t and when to differentiate them from hyperpigmentation, dark spots caused by inflammatory skin issues like acne and eczema, according to board-certified dermatologist Corey Hartman, MD. While hyperpigmentation can fade away on its own within 12 months, acne scars are permanent textural changes like bumps and roughness, according to Hartman. Since people with darker skin tones naturally have more melanin in their skin, they are more likely to experience hyperpigmentation due to those aforementioned inflammatory skin issues, explained Arisa Ortiz, MD, the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at UC San Diego.
What Are The Different Types Of Acne
Acne comes in different forms:
- mild acne: this causes the whiteheads or blackheads that most of us get at some point
- moderate acne: this can cause red, inflamed pimples and red pimples with white centers
- severe acne: this causes painful, pus-filled cysts or lumps under the skin
Most serious scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne.
The best approach is to get treatment for acne soon after it appears to prevent further severe acne and more scarring. If you have nodules, see your doctor or dermatologist for treatment.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Severe Acne Scars
The most effective treatments to get rid of severe acne scars include
- Chemical peels: This involves the use of strong chemicals to remove the outer layer of the skin and reduce the appearance of scars. Some salicylic acid, glycolic acid containing peels are available OTC.
- Botox injections: These are highly effective for acne scars with puckered skin around them. These puckered areas can be treated with botulinum toxin injections to improve the appearance of skin.
- Dermabrasion: The procedure involves the removal of the top, damaged layer of skin with a rapidly rotating wire brush or wheel with a rough surface. The procedure deeply exfoliates the top layer of skin to reduce the appearance of deeper scars.
- Microneedling: This uses a small, handheld pen or needle-studded roller to puncture the skin on the surface of the scars. As the punctured skin heals, it makes collagen and reduces the visibility of acne scars by smoothing out the skin.
- Laser resurfacing: The procedure involves removing the top layer of skin to reveal younger underlying skin cells to reduce the appearance of scars. It creates a more even skin surface.
Speak with a dermatologist to determine the best treatment for your acne scars.
Microneedling For Acne Scars
Do you experience uneven pigmentation and wrinkles on top of redness and acne scars? If so, you should consider a microneedling skin treatment. Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment that uses tiny needles to stimulate the skins collagen production. You can use it on any facial area, and the treatment works for all skin tones.
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What Are The Types Of Acne Scars And What Do They Look Like
If you have acne scarring, youre likely to have more than one of the following types. Rarely does someone have just boxcar scars, or just keloid scars, etc. Each of these can be treated with varying degrees of success.
Atrophic or Depressed Scarring:
- Ice pick: An ice pick tool has a wide shaft that narrows down to the tip. This type of acne scar resembles the tool in that its a hole thats wide at the top and narrows to a point as it goes deeper into the skin. Such an indentation is common and also one of the most challenging scars to heal. Youll find them on your forehead and upper cheeks, where your skin is thinner.
- Rolling: These scars are typically found on the lower cheeks and jaw, where your skin is thicker. The indents have sloping edges that makes the skin look uneven and wavy.
- Boxcar: Boxcar scars are indents that have sharper edges. Those edges go down deep into the skin. These scars are common on the lower checks and jaw.
Hypertrophic or keloid scars: These lesions of scar tissue rise off the skin. Theyre caused when fibrous tissues, the collagen, in the region of the skin overgrow. These scars are usually found on the chest, back and shoulders and jaw line and can be itchy, tender or painful.
How Do Dermatologists Treat Acne Scars
If you and your dermatologist believe that treatment is right for you, your dermatologist will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. In creating this plan, your dermatologist will consider many things, including scar types and where the scars appear on your body.If you have taken isotretinoin to treat acne, be sure to tell your dermatologist before treatment for acne scars begins.
To obtain the best results, your dermatologist may recommend more than one treatment. For example, if you have a deep boxcar scar , laser therapy and a type of acne scar surgery called subcision may be necessary to give you the results you want.
Your dermatologist relies on in-depth medical knowledge to determine which treatments are best for you.
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Treatments To Get Rid Of Redness From Acne
To get rid of redness from acne, treatment must focus on reducing the inflammation itself which will result in reducing the redness and visibility of acne lesions. Fortunately, there are numerous medications available that effectively fight acne by unclogging pores, regulating oil production, reducing inflammation and killing acne-causing bacteria.
Ineffective Treatment Options For Acne Scars
Many people have them due to acne and their common question is how to get rid of them.
It is generally known that the aesthetic damage and psychological damage caused by these type of scars can last a lifetime.
Until recently, there was prevailing thinking in medicine that they are very difficult to deal with regarding current ineffective treatment options.
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What Are The Best Treatments For Acne Scars
Luckily, there’s a bevy of gels, creams, and treatments that can bring blemish-induced discoloration down. Dr. Sarkar says that collagen-building ingredients will generally help acne scars, so she looks to retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids when treating her patients.
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“Retinoids, a vitamin A derivative, help to increase collagen, even out skin tone, and prevent future acne,” she explains. “Vitamin C is a brightening agent and an antioxidant, and it has been shown to build collagen as well. Glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids help to resurface the skin to even out skin tone.”
Tea Tree Oil For Acne
Tea tree oil is an essential oil with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a natural treatment for acne, reducing inflammation and healing the skin. For usage, you must first dilute it in a few drops of a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil. You can then use this oil as a spot treatment for your pimples. However, be careful as tea tree oil can cause skin dryness and redness if you use it undiluted.
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Depressed Acne Scars: Many Effective Treatments
Best results often come from using two or more treatments. The treatments that a dermatologist may use to treat depressed acne scars include the following.
Acne scar surgeryThis sounds scarier than it is. Dermatologists often perform this minor surgery to treat very noticeable acne scars. The goal is to create a less-noticeable scar. The remaining scar should fade with time.
To perform acne scar surgery, a dermatologist may lift the scar. Bringing a scar closer to the surface of the skin tends to make it less noticeable. Another type of acne scar surgery involves breaking up scar tissue.
A dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon can safely perform acne scar surgery in a medical office. Patients remain awake but numb so that they do not feel pain.
Best for: Treating a few depressed scars.
Resurfacing proceduresWhen a patient wants to diminish the appearance of widespread acne scarring, a dermatologist may recommend a resurfacing procedure. Resurfacing removes layers of skin, which allows the body to produce new skin cells.
Dermatologists use the following resurfacing procedures to treat depressed acne scars:
Laser skin resurfacing
Resurfacing works well for treating acne scars that are nearly flat . Even dermabrasion, which removes the top layers of skin and some of the middle layers, cannot effectively treat deep acne scars.
Best for: Treating a few depressed scars, but not icepick scars.
Best for: Shaping or reducing the edges of boxcar scars.
How Long Does It Take For Acne Scars To Fade
Depending on the severity of your acne condition and damage suffered by your skin, acne scars may take 3 to 6 months to completely disappear.
Acne induced hyperpigmentation causing brown or black spots, or red marks caused by post-inflammatory erythema may fade quicker than deep scars.
Following a proper Ayurvedic skincare routine will help your skin to heal faster. However, for deep atrophic scars, you may need to consult your doctor and seek other treatment.
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Differin Gel Adapalene Gel
Differin Gel is the No. 1 bestselling skin care product among Select readers in 2020 and it earned a recommendation from Garshick who noted it contains adapalene, an ingredient that prevents breakouts, treats acne and improves acne scarring. She advised you use it only a few times a week to start and increase the frequency to once daily as necessary. Differin Gel boasts a 4.5-star average rating from more than 31,580 reviews on Amazon.
Natural Remedies For Acne Scars
If you want to stick with home remedies for your own reasons, natural home remedies to get rid of acne scars could give mixed results and aren’t able to show results for deep and pitted acne scars.
If your acne scars are limited to mild hyperpigmentation or discoloration, these home remedies could work for you.
Aloe is one of the best household products anyone can use to treat their hyperpiemgntation as it helps them to heal faster by strengthening collagen structure. It can also speed up the healing process and reduce acne scar formation. This is one possible way of getting rid of your discoloration acne scars. Aloe Vera has been a popular plant remedy or solution for many skin problems such as acne.
To Use: Purchase Aloe vera gel and apply onto skin daily.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
This fermented vinegar has a lot of useful functions, including fading your acne scars, naturally exfoliating and shedding away dead skin cells. It contains Vitamins A, B2, B6, C, and E along with the natural lactic and malic acids which are responsible for gently exfoliating the skin for an even-toned complexion. Dilute it with water so it doesn’t cause too much stinging and to help lower the acidity.
Youre still beautiful with or without acne.
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Fade Acne Scars With Over
Over-the-counter or nonprescription products may also help minimize the appearance of acne scars.
Even though dark spots may fade over time on their own, an over-the-counter medicated dark spot remover with hydroquinone may help these scars fade quicker, notes Yoram Harth, MD, a dermatologist and the medical director of MDacne in San Francisco.
In addition, acne treatments with alpha hydroxy acids can stimulate the growth of new skin, minimizing the appearance of old scars while simultaneously preventing the formation of new acne, says the Mayo Clinic. When shopping for an acne treatment, look for products that contain alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid.
If over-the-counter products dont fade acne scars, concealer and foundation can help camouflage discoloration.
Acne Marks Versus Acne Scars
What’s the difference between acne marks and acne scars? Acne marks refer to the discoloration or dark spots from post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation can fade on their own although it can take several months and years, even. Whereas acne scars are a result of texture change that can be raised or indented that are permanent without treatment.
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How Can I Remove Acne Scars And Discoloration
Depending on the type and extent of scarring, there are various ways to remove or reduce acne scars. Fillers, for example, can help indented or atrophic acne scars. Laser treatment may reduce hyperpigmentation and flatten raised scars.
A dermatologist can help decide on a suitable option, depending on the persons skin type and the extent and type of scarring.
What You Need To Remove Acne Scars
Stop acne scars before they start with these star-shaped patches flecked with tea tree oil. Not only do they look great, but they also help to eliminate the blemish while protecting the skin as it heals.
Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty
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Its Never Too Late To Treat Those Scars
Although its not possible to get rid of your acne scars quickly, its never too late to treat them. Teenage patients may have to wait until their early 20s before undergoing treatment to make sure theres little risk of future acne flare-ups.
While theres no real way to get rid of acne scars naturally and at home, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of getting acne scars:
- Quit smoking or dont start smoking.
- Keep your hands off of your face. Resist the urge to pick or squeeze your pimples.
- Treat your acne as soon as possible to reduce the chance of scars.
Scarring can happen at any age, no matter if youre a teenager and your hormones are changing or youre an adult. Sometimes when adults lose weight or lose elasticity in their skin as they age, scarring from years past becomes more evident.
Occasionally, we will actually remove a pitted scar that we know wont heal well with standard treatment using a technique called punch excision, she says. This is where the whole scar and hair follicle are removed prior to resurfacing.
Another treatment that may be helpful before any of the lasers or peels is called subcision, a procedure that involves releasing a scar thats bound to the muscle or deeper tissues so that it can move freely again. Both of these techniques are used with deeper scars to bring them to the surface to enhance their response to the laser, chemical peel or microneedling.