Acne can seem like a never-ending curse. First, you have the spots to deal with and then those spots leave scars that can hang around for years, sometimes even a lifetime.
However, all is not lost. There are treatments out there to help eliminate the scarring caused by acne.
But before we look at treatments, we need to understand what they are.
Understanding how acne scars are formed
During a breakout, skin pores become infected with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, causing the pore to swell and sometimes the follicle wall to break. If the break is minor it can heal quickly, but the more severe ones can create a deeper area of infection.
Because your skin is a living organ it is able to repair itself and does this with collagen fibers. These are what create the scar. The more aggravated the skin is, the faster and deeper the scar will form.
Raised scars are formed from too much collagen and indented scars are formed when the structural tissue of the skin is lost.
Picking, sun exposure and too much washing or scrubbing can all increase scarring.
The good news is, that if you have scarring as a result of acne it can generally be removed with the right treatment. And your treatment options fall into two categories – at-home remedies and professional salon removal.
At home acne scar removal remedies
There are quite a few gels or creams available to treat your acne scarring at home. These are:
- Salicylic acid – clears your skin pores of dirt and other debris which can contribute to acne. Although sometimes it can help to reduce swelling and redness, it can also make inflamed acne worse so use sparingly at first. If it does cause inflammation, stop using it immediately.
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) – A soothing anti-inflammatory that can help to regulate blocked pores and soothe redness and irritation.
- Retinoids – boost the skin’s natural collagen and therefore the rate at which the skin cells are repaired. This helps to stop inflammation and reduce acne lesions, giving smoother-looking skin.
- Natural remedies – coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera gel, raw honey, lemon juice and baking soda. Use cautiously and discontinue at the slightest hint of irritation.
- Micro needling – although safer at a salon, this can be done at home using a derma roller. By running tiny needles across your skin, the skin repair process is stimulated and collagen and elastin production is boosted.
Professional salon acne scar removal
If you don’t feel comfortable attempting any of the home remedies, or you’ve tried some of them without much success, it’s probably time to visit a skin therapist. Here you’ll have a choice of treatments including:
RF infini micro needling – this is a minimally invasive treatment that targets scarring with a combination of micro-needling and radio frequency (RF). It’s a minimally invasive treatment that tightens and improves skin elasticity.
Fraxel 1550NM – This is a laser treatment designed to treat deeper skin conditions like acne scarring. It can be used on the face, neck, chest, arms or legs and uses a laser beam to resurface the skin and improve tone and texture.
Skin needling – This is suitable for all skin types and unlike other treatments, it doesn’t cause sensitivity to UV light. The method has been developed to reduce scarring without removing the surface of the skin.
Before making any decision on which treatment you’d like to proceed with, you should talk to a skincare professional.
What acne scar removal methods have worked for you or your family? Tell us in the comments below.