Acne Scar Remedies: To Go or To Forego

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Treating acne is quite a challenge but getting rid of acne scars is equally challenging. Long after acne is finally healed, pimple marks and scars could linger, which can be downright frustrating. Hence the clamor for quick ways on how to heal acne scars.

In truth, a lot has been said and read about scar remedies. However, some of these popular tips are ineffective and can do more harm than good to your skin. The good news though is, there are safe and proven ways on how to treat these blemishes. To know how to heal acne scars fast, read on. 

What are acne scars? 

Acne scars are manifestations of deep wounds on skin caused by inflammation and breakouts. They are formed when there’s a breakdown of cells surrounding the walls of skin pores. When this happens, it causes damage to the tissues, prompting the skin cells to regenerate or repair. This involves creation of new collagen. When there’s an excess of collagen formed, raised scars are formed. But when it causes tissue loss, scar indentations or “dents” on skin are formed. 

To be able to know how best to treat acne scars, let’s take a closer look at the different types of scarring that acne can create:

Types of Acne Scars

Mild acne often leaves light red or brown marks which clear up over time. But the more severe cases of acne create deeper, more permanent scarring. This often happens when you pick your pimples instead of applying the necessary treatments. Check out the most common types of acne scars:

Atrophic or Depressed Scars

These are flat scars that heal underneath the skin. While some appear as flat scars, others create depressions or dents on the top layer of the skin. Examples of atrophic scars are the following:

  • Ice pick scars
    This type of scars are often found on upper cheeks and forehead where the skin is thinner. Just like an ice pick, they create a wide hole on the skin, narrowing in size as they go deeper into the pores. This is one of the most difficult scars to heal. 
  • Boxcar
    You usually see them on lower cheeks and jaw where skin is a little thicker. Boxcar scars, as the term says it, are round, oval, or box-like skin depressions with very defined edges. This type of scar is often a result of severe, scattered acne. 
  • Rolling 
    Also commonly located on lower cheeks and jaw, rolling scars have varying depths, wave-like depression, and undefined edges that make the skin look very uneven.

Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars

These are raised scars that are formed above the topmost layer of the skin. Deeper skin lesions often result in hypertrophic scars. These scars develop due to overproduction of collagen when the skin starts repairing itself. 

The next question is, how do you actually heal acne scars?  There are too many options, but know that not all are advisable. Know which ones to keep and which ones to skip.

Acne Scar Remedies To Skip

  • Using hydrogen peroxide with baking soda is often done to treat acne marks, with the premise that this combo will help lighten the skin. These two ingredients are combined to create a paste which is applied on the skin for 10 minutes, twice a day. This practice is extremely risky because hydrogen peroxide is a very strong chemical that can seriously damage the skin’s natural environment. It is considered an acid with oxidizing properties that can have an adverse effect on the skin.
  • Lemon juice, considered a “natural” ingredient, is also a popular acne scar treatment. What’s usually done is by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing it on scarred areas of the face. Do not, in any way, do this. Lemon has a very high level of acidity that can alter and irritate the skin. The stinging and burning sensation caused by its acidity can hurt and inflame the skin. Further, it can only cause hyperpigmentation and UV sensitivity.
  • Honey masks may have done wonders for some who are trying to smoothen the skin. But that’s pretty much it. Leaving honey on your face for an hour or two does smoothen the face, period. However, the issue of treating acne scars is still not addressed.
  • Toothpaste is another popular spot treatment both for breakouts and acne scars. The premise is that it will dry out acne and lighten the scars. No truth to this. If there’s one thing that needs to be remembered, it’s that toothpaste contains ingredients that can only harm and irritate the skin.
  • Tanning is often thought of as an easy way to hide or disguise acne scars. On the contrary, staying on a tanning bed or hitting the beach can only make the scars look more visible because scar tissues do not “tan” like the rest of the skin. 

Acne Scar Remedies To Keep

  • Chemical peel. This involves application of a chemical solution to the acne scar to get rid of the topmost layer of the skin and lessen the appearance of the acne marks. There are mild and strong peels, depending on the severity of the scarring. Doctors usually perform this.
  • Dermabrasion. This is normally done for the more severe acne scars. The topmost layer of the skin is scraped using a rapidly rotating brush. Goal is to completely “sand down” and remove the surface scars to make them less noticeable.
  • Laser Therapy. This technique is often used for scars that have already gone through dermabrasion.  Using high energy light, it evens out the skin color, removes the outer layers of skin, and stimulates production of collagen to help repair the skin. Heat is also used to trigger collagen production in the inner layers of the skin. Laser therapy is usually done for hypertrophic or keloid scars.
  • Microneedling. This involves a special needle-studded device that creates tiny punctures across the scarred skin. These little “injuries” on the skin created by micro needles trigger the production of new collagen that can minimize the depth of the acne scar’s dent.
  • Home skin care. You need not go to a doctor and book for a scar surgery. For mild scarring, a simple skincare regimen can help lighten the acne scars. Using sunscreen (SPF30 at least) for instance helps lessen the contrast between scarred and unscarred facial skin. Then too, you can use skincare products that contain hydroxyl acids for mild exfoliation and niacinamide and vitamin c for skin brightening.
  • Oral skin medications with skin healing ingredients also help in improving the skin’s appearance and bringing out healthier skin cells. Lactezin, the pimple expert, is an over-the-counter anti-acne oral medication that has the combined effects of Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc. Lactoferrin helps fight pimple-causing bacteria, d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) is an antioxidant that protects the skin and regulates collagen production, and Zinc plays a huge role in rejuvenating the skin and improving its appearance.

Taken twice daily, Lactezin helps clear the skin in as fast as two weeks. Lactezin is available in leading drugstores nationwide. You may also purchase online through Lazada or Shopee.

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