An unexpected pimple is annoying enough, but the dark mark left in its wake is often worse. Whether it’s post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, red spots or deep craters, acne scars are among the most dreaded of all skin care issues. Even if you never picked at a pimple, acne can still leave a dark mark behind. You’ve probably heard of salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol to manage acne flare-ups, but tackling acne scars can be trickier. So, how to get rid of acne scars? The first step is understanding how acne scars are formed, and what you can do to prevent them.
How are acne scars formed?
To understand how to get rid of acne scars, you first have to know how they are formed. Although it may not look like it, when a pimple first shows up on your face, it creates a wound. How your body heals that wound is what creates an acne scar. Acne scars occur when normal tissue in the skin is destroyed and replaced with fibrous tissue. When the damage caused by acne is severe, the body responds by creating too much tissue or too little tissue. When the body creates too much tissue a keloid or hypertrophic scar is formed. When too little tissue is created, a depression in the skin is formed called an atrophic scar. Understanding the type of acne scars you have is paramount to getting rid of the marks.
Different types of acne scars
- Rolling scars are sloped and have a wavy appearance.
- Boxcar scars are broad with well-defined ridges.
- Icepick scars are small, narrow and deep.
If you suffer from any of these pitted scars, your first stop may be with a dermatologist. Your dermatologist may use a laser to correct mild or moderate acne scars.
Most non-pitted acne scars will fade on their own but may take six months to a year to disappear. To speed up the process, home remedies or over the counter treatments may reduce the appearance of acne scars. Follow these simple tips on how to get rid of acne scars.
Top 3 tips to get rid of acne scars
- Use Sunscreen
When dealing with skin inflamed by acne, the sun is your worse enemy. Sun exposure during an active break-out can lead to the darkening of inflammatory lesions. Sun exposure prolongs the appearance of acne scars on your face and makes scars harder to fade over time. Use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen every day to combat this process.
- Try a Vitamin C Serum
Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) is good for immunity and restoring the health of your skin. It promotes wound healing and stimulates collagen production, which builds healthy skin tissue instead of acne scars. Vitamin C blocks abnormal pigment production which brightens dull skin and lightens brown spots. Choose a vitamin C serum with a high potency 20-25% vitamin C concentrate. Since Vitamin C is light sensitive, make sure the serum is in a dark-colored glass.
- Tone with Aloe Vera
Aloe has been used in herbal medicine for over 2,000 years. Aloe contains saponin, a compound with anti-inflammatory properties that’s good for acne scars.Additionally, aloe vera contains vitamin C and E, nutrients are known for their skin brightening properties. To use, buy an organic aloe vera gel from a natural foods store. Rub the gel over problem areas and let the gel sit on your face for 30 minutes before rinsing off. Follow the aloe treatment with a moisturizer.