Contrary to the common misconception being peddled around, acne scars will rarely go away on their own. You have to take deliberate action against dark spots and scarring if you aspire to have a flawless complexion – you just can’t wish them away. Fortunately, the evolution of acne scar removal techniques have seen the inception of ingenious, clever and convenient ways of getting rid of the unsightly marks that a debilitating acne episode often leaves behind in its wake.
Here’s what you need to know about some of the best ways of handling acne scarring to regain your once gorgeous skin texture.
The Best Treatment Plan Will be Dependent on Your Skin Type
It’s no news that inflammatory acne causes painful, red, swollen, deep and itchy skin lesions that damage both the epidermis and the underlying collagen. And as these wounds heal, the body tends to produce collagen in an attempt to repair the damage sustained. Too little or too much collagen production results in unsightly marks that do not resemble the surrounding skin.
Depending on your skin type, there a few factors that influence your risk of scarring after an acne outbreak, including;
- How fast you attempted to treat the acne. The longer you wait before starting acne spot treatment, for instance, the higher your risk of sustaining permanent scarring.
- Your genes and family history
- Propensity to popping or picking acne
- The severity and frequency of the acne breakout itself
In short, the acne scars you end up with, and consequently the type of treatment that you will need to get rid of them, will hinge on your skin care routine too.
Speaking of which, there are three main types of acne scars that are left behind after blackheads, pustules and papules have healed. And this includes;
- Atrophic scars: Occurs when your skin produces less collagen than optimal during the healing process. The result is sunken and depressed scars and pits.
- Hypertrophic and raised scars: Occurs when the skin overproduces collagen leading to the formation of elevated or raised-looking scars.
- Hyperpigmentation and dark spots: Although they are not technically categorized as scars, their negative impact on one’s complexion is akin to that of scars. They are the result of changes in melanin composition of the skin after an acne lesion has healed, which explains why they are more common in people with darker skin types.
As expected, each of the above acne scars will require a different plan and approach.
Dermatological and Skincare Routine Orders for Acne Scars
There are a number of dermatological treatments that one can pursue to make their acne scars less conspicuous or visible. Compared to home scar treatment remedies, the services of a professional scar remover are likely to achieve better results, although they are not exactly cheap or accessible to most.
Here’s a quick overview on some of the approaches that your skin specialist can choose to adopt to help you fade out your scars.
- Fillers: Your skin specialist can fill in the sunken pits and scars with special dermal fillers such as collagen, hyaluronic acid or even your own fat tissues to give your skin texture a more even and balanced look. The results can be permanent or temporary depending on what you are looking for and your overall skin type.
- Skin resurfacing: This is a collection of various professional scar removal techniques whose objective is to physically grind down the excess scar tissue with the intention of triggering the regeneration of new, smooth and unscarred skin cells to replace it. They include the likes of dermabrasion, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser therapy.
- Microneedling: It’s also widely referred to as collagen induction therapy, and its an excellent option if you happen to be battling a ton of depressed and sunken acne scars. It basically involves pressing a motorized needle-studded roller onto the sunken acne scars to trigger collagen production.
- Electrodessication: It’s a highly advanced add-on treatment that is mostly employed in reducing the conspicuousness of boxcar acne scars. It’s, however, not advisable if you have skin that is super sensitive to heat.
- Radiofrequency skin-tightening: As the name would suggest, its modus operandi is based on the idea that depressed and sunken scars – such as boxcars and icepicks – are less visible in taut skin. Your dermatologist will employ radiofrequency technology to tighten your scars and make them less visible.
- Injections: It is now possible to reduce the appearance of scars through administering a series of injections like corticosteroids directly into the scar tissue. This type of treatment is best tailored for keloid scars – they can be softened and flattened using special injections.
- Surgery: Here the plastic surgeon aims at excising and breaking up any excess scar tissue to make the acne marks less visible. It is also possible to reduce the appearance of depressed acne scars by raising the tissue to make up for the sunken pits. Cryosurgery, on the other hand, focuses on freezing off the raised acne scars to improve their appearance, although it is not recommended for darker skin tones.
Natural Remedies: How to get Rid of Blackheads Acne Scars at Home
There are several natural and home remedies that you can try to lessen the conspicuousness of your acne scars. A word of caution though; you may want to check in and consult your dermatologist before adopting any new acne home treatments just to rule out the possibility of it aggravating your symptoms further.
That aside, many active ingredients found in standard over-the-counter treatment creams and ointments have been proven to be effective at reducing hyperpigmentation and improving acne scarring if assimilated well into one’s skin care routine. The following ingredients, for instance, are adept at improving skin cell turnover and improving the appearance of angry-looking scars.
- Salicylic acid: It’s well-known for its unmatched ability to exfoliate scar tissue to provide an impetus for the skin beneath it to regenerate new skin cells. It is also believed to minimize the redness of scars left behind by inflamed blackheads, something that can go a long way in reducing their conspicuousness.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids: AHAs are quite effective against hypertrophic scars and keloids, something which makes an excellent self-treatment remedy for body acne marks that are impossible to rub off using conventional approaches.
- Retinoids: Retinoid-based treatments are well-known for their ability to minimize scarring by stimulating cell regeneration and blocking further inflammation. Skin lightening products that contain retinoids as the chief active ingredients are also popular for being effective at reducing the overall appearance of acne lesions.
- Sunscreen: Unusual as it sounds, sunscreen can actually help you reduce the contrast between scars and unscarred skin, especially if you have a tendency of spending a lot of time outdoors. You see, prolonged exposure has been known to darken scars faster and more intensely than unmarked skin. And since sunscreen acts as a shield between your epidermis and the sun’s harmful UV rays, it can lessen their hyperpigmentation impact on your scars.
- Azelaic Acid: Turns out that the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of azelaic acid makes it very effective in the treatment of rosacea and puberty acne scars. Besides, it is thought to be instrumental in preventing future breakouts by purging acne-causing bacteria from the skin pores.
When it comes to treatment of acne scars, the golden rule is simple and straightforward; the earlier you start, the easier it will be to get rid of the scar tissue before it has had a chance to settle in.