How To Get Rid Of Your Acne Scars
Acne is a common skin condition affecting about 80% of those between the ages of 11 and 30 at some point. It can be on your face, chest, back and shoulders. It may seem like the irritation will never go away, but it does. When it goes away, then you can deal with any remaining scars.
Your first line of defense is to consult a dermatologist. They will first focus on getting your acne under control. The fewer breakouts you have, the fewer scars youll get. The good news is that not all acne scars are permanent.
When your doctor turns attention to the scars your acne has left behind, they will typically explore three main treatment options:
1. Laser treatments
Vascular-specific lasers target blood vessels and can help lighten flat or raised scars that are pink or purple and help flatten raised scars. Doctors often use fractional or carbon dioxide ablative lasers to treat acne scars.
Afterward, the skin is swollen and red, and may bleed, for up to five days, says Dr. Kassouf. Also, you may need between three and five treatment sessions.
Laser treatments arent just for acne. Doctors use lasers to treat other types of scarring as well including those from burns, skin cancer and tattoo removal.
2. Chemical peels
Your dermatologist may apply a chemical solution to the skin. This causes it to blister and eventually peel off, creating new, regenerated skin thats usually smoother than the old skin.
Make A Paste With Aspirin
Curious! however, aspirin is an effective remedy to get rid of pimples also. This is really valuable fix to get rid of pimples fast. It works fast and makes a better treatment from others remedy. Aspirin has the anti-inflammatory property, and helps to reduce the pimple redness, swelling and inflammation because of amassed pus.
- Crush 1-2 aspirin tablet and add a couple of drops of water to make a thick paste of it. Now apply this paste directly to the pimple. Let the paste dry for a few minutes.
- You can also leave the paste overnight and wash off in the morning. You can see that the pimple is less noticeable and shrink in size after aspirin treatment.
Can Boxcar Scars Heal On Their Own
Boxcar scars will not heal on their own. However, they may fade over time.
Treatment for boxcar scars can reduce their appearance. Sometimes, though, very deep boxcar scars remain visible even after treatment.
There are a variety of ways to try to minimize the appearance of boxcar scars. The method a person chooses may depend on the depth and severity of the scars.
Talk With Your Doctor
If youre pregnant, be sure to talk with your doctor about which products are safe to use and which you should avoid.
While OTC acne scar treatments might lessen the look of acne scars, there could be side effects, says Dr. Jeannette Graf, a board certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
These possible side effects include:
- dry skin
Graf explains that these products can have a high percentage of active ingredients that can cause side effects for sensitive skin.
Its best to start by using these products in small amounts so the skin can get used to them and if youre concerned about irritation, test it on a small patch of skin before using, she says.
Dermatological Procedures To Improve Or Remove Acne Scars
But while certain measures can help prevent new scarring, what are your options for minimizing the appearance of existing scars?
Common procedures to remove or improve acne scars include:
Dermabrasion This effective scar removal treatment uses a high-speed brush or other instrument to resurface your skin and remove or reduce the depth of scars. It can take up to three weeks for skin to heal.
Microdermabrasion For this less-intensive type of dermabrasion, a dermatologist or aesthetician uses a handheld device to remove surface skin. More than one treatment may be required, but theres no downtime, according to the AAD.
Chemical peel During a chemical peel, a chemical solution is applied to the skin. It removes the outer layer of your skin, resulting in a smoother, more even appearance. You may experience redness and peeling for three to seven days after the procedure, notes the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery .
Laser Your dermatologist can use a laser resurfacing treatment to remove the outer layer of your skin, contour areas of acne scars, or lighten redness around healed acne lesions. Healing may take between 3 and 10 days.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Treat Acne Scars
How Long Does It Take For Acne Scars To Go Away
The answer to this question depends on the type of acne scar you have. Some or most acne scars dont go away that quickly, unfortunately.
Overall, yes acne scars will go away but some types of scars require treatment. Dark spots or hyperpigmentation can fade on its own after several months, but you may want to treat them to speed the process. Depressed acne scars may remain permanent without treatment, but with treatment you can expect acne scars to improve within 3-6 months of consistent treatment.
Because each individual’s skin type reacts differently to acne scarring and healing, it is challenging to pinpoint an exact time frame. Multiple treatments may be required for the individual to feel satisfied with the results.
Can Treatment Remove Scars Permanently
Treatment can often help remove scars, but scars also tend to fade with time. How effective treatment will be will depend partly on the type and extent of scarring and the persons skin type.
Treatment can be costly and time-consuming, and it is worth thinking carefully and talking with a dermatologist about what to expect.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Forehead Acne
Dermatological Treatments For Acne Scars Go Away
- The use of lasers, dermabrasions, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels can improve the appearance of acne scars that arent very deep. To stimulate the production of new cells, they all remove layers of skin.
- Fillers: Substances such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, or your fat may be used to fill in shallow scars. In general, results last a few months, although some fillers are permanent.
- Microneedling: Acne scars can be treated with this technique, also known as collagen induction therapy. Using a thin roller stimulates collagen production in scarred areas by pressing into them.
- Radiofrequency skin tightening: This method can sometimes be sufficient for deep icepick and boxcar scars. Using radiofrequency, a doctor can tighten skin and minimize the appearance of acne scars.
- Electrodesiccation: A combination of electrical probes and heat is used in electrodesiccation for boxcar acne scars to help even out a scars edges.
- Injections: such as corticosteroids can soften and flatten raised scars when repeatedly injected into the skin.
- Surgery: Surgery involves removing and supporting tissue for the appearance of discouraged acne scars. People with darker skin shouldnt undergo cryosurgery to remove acne scarring because the procedure freezes the skin.
What Are The Best Products & Ingredients For Acne Scars
A combo of preventative and restorative products are necessary – so make sure you are adequately armed from the get go.
You don’t need us to tell you, but Dr Fabusiwa is here to remind you again how important it is to wear suncream. “Daily SPF is imperative in preventing hyperpigmentation.” Make sure your chosen protector is oil-free and ideally one formulated for blemish-prone skin so it doesn’t cause new breakouts.
Is there anything retinol can’t do? Put simply, no, not really. If you are unfamiliar with all the wondrous ways it can improve your complexion read this. If you cba, in a nutshell, you need it. Don’t wait until the scars have already formed, if you are battling breakouts you should already be applying retinol regularly. “Retinol or vitamin A prevents acne and the scarring,” says Dr Fabusiwa. It does this by increasing cell turnover, which in turn removes the buildup of dead skin and bacteria from pores. This process of exfoliation helps brighten your complexion and fade any darkened areas.
Think of these as a less severe version of an in-salon chemical peel, which you can safely administer yourself in the comfort of your bathroom. Again, it makes sense to be using these during, after and even before blemishes rear their relentless head, so you might as well invest in one now.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Acne Scars Naturally
Does Acne Scarring Ever Go Away
Basically, how soon the acne scar will fade depends on the type of scar.
The problem is that scars usually wont disappear quickly, and some scars wont disappear at all unless you use skincare products for acne marks. Since there are various types of scars, knowing which type of acne scar you have can help in choosing the right treatment option.
Atrophic scars are caused by the loss of skin tissue, which results in a depression of the skin. Types of atrophic scars can be boxcar scars, rolling scars, and ice pick scars.
Boxcar scars are shallow with sharp edges. Rolling scars are very superficial with soft and smooth edges, and ice pick scars are narrow and very deep.
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.
Also Check: How Long For Acne Scars To Fade
Why Do Acne Scars Happen
Scarring occurs as a result of injury to the skin and excess oil production, bacteria, and inflammation.
Zeichner explains, Inflammation in the skin tells our pigment producing cells to become overactive, explaining why pimples leave behind dark spots.
The hyperpigmentation that remains isnt permanent, but it can be uncomfortable for some people. It can also present differently, depending on your complexion.
is more common in patients who have darker skin tones, he adds. Whereas, fair skinned patients are often left with pink or red spots in areas where there used to be pimples. This post-inflammatory erythema heals on its own over several weeks.
Although most superficial breakouts heal on their own without leaving a significant mark, there are others that leave a more noticeable scar behind.
This is why its advised to avoid picking pimples. It can lead to more injury to the skin, which can lead to a greater chance of a scar, Garshick says.
To create this list, we asked dermatologists which products they swear by for the different types of acne scarring.
They took into consideration:
- efficacy of the products
- any safety concerns patients should be mindful of
Keep in mind that some scarring can be treated at home, but its best to talk with a dermatologist about severe scarring.
Things Your Skin Is Trying To Tell You And How To Respond
Fillers A substance such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, or fat can be used to “fill out” certain types of acne scars. Since fillers are eventually absorbed into your skin, youll have to repeat filler injections, usually every few months, depending on the substance used.
Punch excisions This type of skin surgery removes acne scars by individually excising, or cutting out, the scar. The hole left by the incision can be repaired with stitches or a skin graft. A skin graft uses a small piece of normal skin to fill in an area of scarred skin. Bruising can occur for one to two weeks after the procedure.
Microneedling Also called collagen induction therapy, this procedure involves pricking the skin repeatedly with tiny needles to stimulate the growth of new collagen. This can reduce the appearance of scars. Microneedling can improve the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and fine lines. Skin redness may last a few days, according to the AAD.
Also Check: What Can Pregnant Women Use For Acne
Tread Carefully When It Comes To Home Remedies
While toothpaste, lemon juice, and even Windex have been cited as excellent at-home remedies for blemishes, dermatologists advise against them. Skip these DIY fixes:
- Toothpaste traditionally contained an ingredient called triclosan, which has antimicrobial properties, and the thought was that it helped lower levels of acne-causing bacteria to reduce inflammation and treat the pimple, Dr. Zeichner explains. Because triclosan is a known cause of skin allergies, it has been removed from most toothpastes, so they are no longer useful in treating acne.
- Lemon juice is also irritating and wouldnt have any effect on the pimple itself, Dr. Day adds.
- Windex well, its glass cleaner. Dont put glass cleaner on your face.
One way to remove pimples naturally is by applying tea tree oil, which may help by reducing inflammation and lowering levels of acne-causing bacteria, Dr. Zeichner says. But he warns against applying it undiluted to the skin, because it may cause irritation.
They’re One Of The Most Stubborn Forms
Dealing with acne can be frustrating, to say the least. And when you throw acne scars into the mix, it can get even more complicated. As with most scars on the body, there’s no magic serum or tonic to make acne scars magically disappear overnight. The same is true for pitted acne scars, the ones that tend to leave behind a hollow, “pit-like” impression in the skin.
Despite being among the most common skincare conditions, both acne and acne scars can look, feel, and respond to treatments differently for each individual. So, we’ve tapped double board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp and Jeriel Weitz for expert insights into managing, treating, and eliminating the pitted acne scars that breakouts can leave behind.
Below, Camp shares 11 recommendations for treating pitted acne scars.
Meet the Expert
- Brendan Camp, MD, is a double board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology at MDCS Dermatology in New York City.
- Jeriel Weitz is a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Acne Skin Care Routine
How Do You Get Rid Of Acne Scars
Getting rid of acne scars will most likely require a combination of treatment methods. To reduce the appearance of mild scars, home remedies and OTC medications may work. Some acne scars will go away on their own within several months. More severe cases of scarring may require oral or topical prescription medications and treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser resurfacing.
Products To Help With Acne Scarring
The treatment is different based on the type of atrophic scar that you have. Fillers can help treat small and deep ice pick scars temporarily. Boxcar scars can, in most cases, be treated with subcision, which can also treat rolling scars pretty well.
On the other hand, hypertrophic scars occur when the body produces excess collagen, which leads to a raised scar.
When the scar occurs, it will usually be pink or purple, but the color will fade over time, and it will match the skin color. Note that if the scar is recent, cortisone can slow down the production of collagen and therefore reduce the appearance of the raised scar. Also, an erbium laser can be used to reshape and decrease the size of the scar.
Keloids can also appear when the body exaggerates trying to repair the inflammation caused by a cyst. They are usually much larger than hypertrophic scars and tend to have a dark color. It is actually pretty rare but is also very difficult to treat. If you happen to have a keloid, then you should try a skincare product that contains a retinoid.
You May Like: Can Aloe Vera Help Acne
When And Why Does Acne Scar
While acne often makes its presence very known above the skin, the reason it leaves scarring behind actually has to do with what’s happening underneath the skin.
“During a breakout, inflammation is happening underneath your skin. This inflammation causes trauma to skin tissue leading to scarring,” says Christenson. “Whether there’s scarring and how exactly it presents depends on your skin type and the extent of damage.”
The two main types of acne scarring are:
- Discoloration scarring hyperpigmentation that causes the affected skin to remain darker after the blemish has healed
- Indentation scarring more common with severe acne, occurs when the top layer of skin doesn’t fully heal and regenerate leaving an indentation in the skin
“In most cases, acne scarring mirrors how your skin generally scars. Some people’s skin discolors easier than others, for instance. I have a Hispanic background and my skin hyperpigments fairly easily, so I myself am prone to discoloration scarring after a breakout,” adds Christenson.
So…scarring can happen whether you pick at your acne or not, but here’s why you should still avoid the urge to pop.