Acne causes both pain and self-consciousness. And not just that – they leave scars on your face that are nearly impossible to remove. But, fear no more – you can read about how to get rid of acne scars fast in this article. Aside from professional methods, you’ll be able to read about some home remedies for acne scars on face, too. Continue reading for more information.
So, what are acne scars, anyway?
Acne is a type of skin inflammation, and scars appear as a side effect of pimples, blackheads, and cysts. When there’s an inflammation of skin pores caused by oils, bacteria and old skin cells, the pores expand. That causes the follicle wall to crack. The infection then oozes out and damages the skin tissue, leaving behind a scar.
The acne can appear almost anywhere on the face or on the body – cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, torso, buttocks, etc. All of these have different causes, too. For example, acne on forehead is usually caused by dandruff and excess oils from the scalp. People with oily scalps also tend to have acne on chin, acne on chest and bacne. Back acne scars and chest acne scars indicate that the person has a severe acne problem and needs to visit a doctor.
Another common place where acne grows is the buttocks. Butt acne is usually caused by hair follicle inflammation. If not treated correctly and immediately, bottom acne can become infected and very painful. Besides that, they can leave you with gnarly scars. A bit later in the text, you’ll be able to read about some home remedies for acne scars on buttocks.
Acne Scar Causes
There are two main groups of acne – non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Blackheads and whiteheads are non-inflammatory acne. This type of acne is usually harmless and leaves minor scarring. Inflammatory acne, however, is what you should be worried about. Healing acne scars like these is almost impossible. Cysts, white papules, and nodules are in this group. These acne leave bigger scars, especially the cystic acne.
Scars after cystic acne and other inflammatory acne scars appear when the follicle wall breaks. That happens when the pore fills up with bacteria and oils and then swells.
The size and the depth of the scar depend on where the follicle wall burst on the skin. If the bursting happens close to the skin’s exterior, then the scar probably won’t be deep. That means that it will be less noticeable and easier to remove. However, if the follicle wall bursts deeper beneath the skin, the scar will be deeper. Besides that, the inflamed substance may ooze out and affect the dermis as well, damaging the healthy skin around it.
Different Types of Acne Scarring
There are two general types of acne scars: atrophic and hypertrophic. Atrophic scars, or pitted acne scars, are caused by tissue damage and loss, whereas hypertrophic scars are caused by an excessive amount of tissue. Aside from this classification, acne scars can be one of these four types: ice pick scars, rolling scars, keloid scars and boxcar scars.
Discoloration is also a side effect of acne, although it’s technically not a scar. It is just your skin’s response to inflammation, and it should disappear eventually. Discoloration is characterized by hyperpigmentation of a skin area. The color of these dark acne scars can be anything from red or brown to black or purple. It all depends on your skin pigmentation and the severeness of inflammation. Acne dark spots occur when there’s an inflammation caused by certain acne, such as pimples and cysts. The inflammation actually causes the skin to generate more melatonin than usual. You should consult your doctor on how to remove dark spots on face caused by pimples.
Here are the four most common types of acne scars and their recommended acne scar treatments.
1. Ice Pick Acne Scars
Causes: After a cyst, pimple, or other acne has inflamed, infection slowly climbs to the top of the skin and destroys healthy skin tissue along the way.
Characteristics: Ice pick acne scars are very small, yet very deep, extending to the dermis. They were named ‘ice pick’ because of their appearance – these scars look like holes that were made with an ice pick or a thin needle of some sort. The holes of these scars can sometimes be wider than usual.
Typical Treatments: Common acne scars removal method for ice pick scars is punch grafting and excision.
2. Boxcar Acne Scars
Causes: While the inflammation is rising to the skin’s surface, it damages collagen, and therefore damages the skin tissue, too. The skin underneath is left without support, and that’s when the cavity forms. Depending on how much tissue was damaged, boxcar scars can be very intense to very small.
Characteristics: A boxcar scar looks like a round cavity on the surface of the skin. Basically, they look like ‘pits,’ which is why atrophic scars were named ‘pitted’ scars in the first place. They are much bigger than ice pick scars, although they are not as deep.
Typical Treatments: Just like ice pick scars, boxcar scars can be treated with punch excision and elevation. Besides that, they can also be treated with dermal fillers and laser resurfacing.
3. Rolling Acne Scars
Causes: Their cause is the fibrous tissue that forms between the subcutaneous tissue and the skin. The aforementioned fibrous tissue then pulls the skin down deeper, and thus creates the wavy effect.
Characteristics: Rolling acne scars are slightly curved skin indents that resemble waves. Their edges are smooth and have a slope.
Typical Treatments: The best acne treatment for rolling scars is subcision. Subcision is a minor surgical procedure during which the base of the scar is carved. The scar then rises up to the level of the skin, reducing the indentation.
4. Hyperpigmentation or Dark Spots
Causes: Discoloration is your skin’s natural response to inflammation.
Characteristics: Hyperpigmentation or discoloration appears on an inflamed area of skin that contains acne. The color of the dark spot depends on your skin pigmentation.
Typical Treatments: The best way to treat hyperpigmentation is by using hydroquinone and a powerful sunscreen. Hydroquinone will help bleach your dark spot, and the sunscreen will protect it from the sun, so it doesn’t become even darker.
Aside from this, you can try using glycolic acid-based products and retinoids. Glycolic acid can help you eliminate the outer layer of the affected skin, and the retinoids can help new skin cells grow. Use these with the hydroquinone for best results. If none of these work for you, you should try laser treatment.
Note: If you have black or tanned skin, do not use hydroquinone. Using a bleaching agent on dark skin can lead to severe damage, such as melasma.
5. Keloid (Hypertrophic) Acne Scars
Causes: A hypertrophic scar is caused by excess tissue. They form because of the overabundance of collagen in the skin.
Characteristics: Unlike atrophic scars, which appear as indentations on the skin, hypertrophic scars show up as a rise on the skin. They can also grow to be much bigger than atrophic scars. Hypertrophic acne scars usually grow on the torso, and they usually occur in men as chest acne scars.
Typical Treatments: The most common remedies for keloid acne scars are steroid creams, silicone gels, cryotherapy, interferon and other injections, laser treatments, etc.
Professional Acne Scar Treatments
In this part, you’ll be able to read about how to get rid of acne scars fast, safely and professionally.
Because acne scars are so difficult to remove, you’ll need to find the right method. One treatment may not work for you, but it might work for somebody else and vice versa. You’ll need to try a couple of them to see which one works best for you. But, make sure you consult your doctor first. They can advise you on how to get rid of cystic acne scars effectively.
Dermabrasion or Microdermabrasion
These treatments are recommended mostly for those with bigger and deeper scars.
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are procedures that remove the outer skin layer with a special brush. This brush usually has wire bristles, and it rotates. These procedures are very effective, and they can help eliminate your scars completely or at least significantly diminish them.
This procedure involves the application of a strong acid on the scarred area. The acid then dissolves the scarred outer layer of the skin.
The laser burns the scarred tissue and thus helps the skin become flatter and smoother.
Laser resurfacing and other treatments that use light-sources and radiofrequency do not damage the skin. However, because they aren’t invasive, you’ll need to repeat them several times in order to get the end result.
The scarred area can sometimes get folds and wrinkles. In order to get rid of them, you can use Botox injections. They help fill up the indents, which then helps with the scar’s appearance considerably. However, Botox injection effects can fade over time, so you might need to redo it from time to time.
Soft Tissue Fillers
Just like Botox injections, soft tissue fillers help fill the indents that scars have created. They use either collagen or fat to do so.
And, again, the effects aren’t permanent, so you’ll need to repeat the procedure.
Needling or Rolling
Needling is an older acne removal technique that uses a rolling device embedded with needles. The device is used to massage the scarred skin. It slowly stimulates the tissue so that it stretches out and becomes smoother. This is the safest and the simplest technique from the list, but it needs to be repeated many times because its effects are hardly noticeable.
Punch excision is the most common acne removal surgical procedure. This procedure is done by removing the scarred skin and stitching it back or replacing it with a skin graft.
Another popular method is subcision. Subcision is done by inserting needles underneath the scarring in order to relieve the fibers beneath.
You should consult your doctor or dermatologist to see what procedure will suit you the best.
Ingredients You Should Look for in OTC Acne Scar Creams
Since there are many different types of acne and acne scars, there are many types of creams that you can get over the counter, too. It’s up to you and your doctor to find one that will help you the most. The doctor will also tell you which ingredients you should not use, since they may cause your situation to worsen, or even cause allergic reactions.
Nobody knows for certain how to get rid of acne scars overnight, but there are some ingredients that can help you improve your scars’ appearance vastly and fairly quickly. And, you can find most of these ingredients in over-the-counter creams and ointments.
Read the labels carefully and look for these ingredients when getting your cream.
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that helps cells grow quicker than usual. To make the most of retinol, try getting a super effective, strong retinol-based cream and apply it to the scarred area. It’s certainly the way to go for those who are wondering how to get rid of acne scars fast. Retinol-based creams are especially useful with hyperpigmentation. Regular application will lead to a more evenly colored skin and less noticeable acne scars.
This ingredient truly works miracles with acne scars. Glycolic acid is made up of tiny molecules, which enable it to enter the skin deeply. Besides that, it’s very effective in treating such delicate imperfections like acne scars.
Glycolic acid dissolves the top layer of the skin, moisturizes it and helps renew the skin cells by stimulating collagen and elastin production. Skin treated with glycolic acid becomes bright and smooth.
Zinc is also a great option when trying to remove acne scars. It’s a rich source of Vitamin A, just like retinol. And, as mentioned previously, retinol accelerates the skin growth process.
So, if you are not sure how to get rid of pimples, zinc is your solution, as well. Not only does it reduce swelling and ruddiness, but it also helps wounds heal and regenerate quicker.
Zinc sulfate can be found in various vegetables and fruits, but you can also find it in cream form.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an ingredient known for its many beneficial effects on both the skin and health overall. It’s great for immunity, so naturally, it helps heal wounds, too. Also, it stimulates collagen production, which helps renew and strengthen your skin.
Products with Vitamin C will especially help with dark spots. Besides that, they will give your skin a much brighter and nicer complexion.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can be found in some nuts and vegetables, and also as a dietary supplement.
It truly is magical for the body. Aside from various benefits it has, such as balancing cholesterol levels, balancing hormones, and fighting cancer, it does wonders for the hair and skin.
Vitamin E actually has anti-aging properties, and it helps heal the scarred skin quicker. It does so by strengthening the capillary walls and making the skin more flexible.
Home Remedies for Acne Scars and Dark Spots
You are probably wondering: ‘How can I remove acne scars at home?’ Going to the doctor all the time isn’t the most pleasant experience, that’s for sure. And, all those medical creams and procedures can be both costly and full of side effects.
Well, do not worry. Here you can read about how to get rid of acne scars fast by yourself at home. However, make sure to consult with your doctor first. They know what is good for acne scars, so they can give you great advice on how to choose the right home remedy and make the most of it. Also, they can tell you what not to do and what to avoid, based on your skin’s features.
Here are a couple of home remedies for acne overnight:
Lemon contains natural acids that have many positive effects on the skin and the scars. The acids from the lemon rejuvenate the skin and help heal wounds and scars.
Make sure the lemon you’re using for the remedy is organic. Squeeze it into a bowl. If your skin is rather sensitive, dilute the lemon juice with water. Use cotton pads to apply the juice onto your scars. Let everything dry. Wash your face with cold water. Then apply your regular moisturizing cream. Do this every couple of days.
Note: Try to avoid the sunlight for a couple of hours after you’ve applied the remedy. Lemon juice makes the skin more prone to UV radiation.
Aside from having multiple health benefits, garlic is also one of the best home remedies for acne scars fast. Some people even claim that it cured their acne overnight. Cut a fresh garlic clove into two halves. Rub them on the scarred area. After 5 to 10 minutes, you can wash it off. If you want quick results, do this a couple of times a day. Also, try eating raw garlic. That should speed up the process even more.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil fights the bacteria that compiles on your skin and turns into acne. You can also try this super effective 17 tricks to remove whiteheads from your pretty face. Dilute a couple of tea tree oil drops with witch hazel. Apply the mixture to your face with a cotton swab. Repeat this once or twice a day.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer, but it can help heal your scars, too. Take a quarter of a teaspoon of organic coconut oil and put it on the palm of your hand. Because of your body’s temperature, the oil will melt naturally. Use your fingers to massage the oil onto the scarred area and leave it on. There’s no need to wash it off because your skin will absorb it. In case you feel any discomfort, you can wash it off with a cleanser after about half an hour.
Just like the coconut oil, honey is also a natural moisturizer with healing powers. Make sure you use organic honey, and not the processed one, which you can find in every grocery store.
Apply a bit of honey on your acne scars and massage it in. If you want, you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the mix for an even more effective pore cleansing experience. Do this as often as you can – there are no limitations.
6. Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seeds contain beneficial fatty acids and Vitamin A, which does wonders for the skin. Put some organic rosehip seed oil on your scars once or twice a day.
7. Aloe Vera Gel
The gel from the aloe vera plant is full of vitamins that are great for the skin. It helps moisturize your skin and even fade scars. Moreover, if your skin is really sensitive, don’t worry – aloe vera gel will only help alleviate the irritation.
Again, it’s best to use the gel extracted directly from the plant rather than a store-bought one. Aloe vera plants are inexpensive and can be found at almost every farmer’s market. Besides that, they are really easy to take care of.
Just cut off a part of a leaf and peel the outer layer off. Apply the gel to your scars and let it soak in for 30 minutes.
8. Potato Juice
Potatoes are rich with both minerals and vitamins, and they make a great skin treatment.
You can either cut bigger slices of potatoes and squeeze the juice out, or rub thinner slices directly on the skin. Leave the juice on for about fifteen minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. Repeat this every day.
9. Egg Whites
Egg whites are full of protein, and they help tighten the skin and the pores. Besides that, They help lighten the skin and prevent new acne breakouts.
Using a cotton pad, apply the egg whites on your acne scars. For the best results, leave the mixture on overnight. In case you do not want to do that, it’s alright. Apply the egg whites only to the most problematic areas and wait a couple of minutes to wash them off with warm water. You can do this two or three times a week.
10. Sugar Scrub
Sugar contains glycolic acid, which is an amazing skin regenerator, as we mentioned previously.
Mix 2 teaspoons of organic sugar with a teaspoon of virgin olive oil. Add a couple of drops of lemon juice as well. Apply the liquid to your scarred areas and leave it like that for about fifteen minutes. Then wash it off and moisturize.
11. Vitamin E
We already talked about Vitamin E and all of its benefits in one of the previous paragraphs. Now let’s see how to use it on your scars.
Buy Vitamin E in gel capsules. Rather than swallowing one as a supplement, pierce one end of the capsule and squeeze the gel out. Apply it to your scars directly or mix the gel with your moisturizer and then apply.
12. Baking Soda
Every household has baking soda at all times, mostly because it has many purposes. One of these purposes is skin exfoliation. Baking soda is an extremely useful scrub to fight blackheads also. Combine a couple of teaspoons of baking soda with some water and mix until you get a paste.
Apply the paste to your acne scars and massage it in. Wait a few minutes for the baking soda to do its job and then rinse it off with warm water. And don’t forget to moisturize!
13. Raw Tomatoes
Tomatoes are full of Vitamin A and carotene, so they are quite good for the skin, especially scars.
Cut a ripe tomato into smaller pieces. Then mash the pieces together with a fork until you get a paste. Apply the tomato paste, leave it on for about 15 minutes and rinse it off. Do this every day for two weeks.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
Applying apple cider vinegar to your skin will help maintain its pH levels and remove redness and blemishes over time. Mix a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with the equal amount of water. Apply it to your scars with a cotton ball every day.
Cucumbers have many benefits – they are hydrating, and they have a lot of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and magnesium.
Take a whole organic cucumber and cut off a few thin slices. Put the slices on your scarring and leave them on for thirty minutes. After that, wash your face with cold water. Do this on a daily basis.
Toothpaste won’t really help with your scarring, but it will prevent scars from developing. Apply some toothpaste to your acne to reduce swelling and redness. Leave it overnight.
17. Sandalwood Paste
Sandalwood can also help fade your acne scars.
Combine a tablespoon of sandalwood powder with a bit of rosewater to make a paste. You can use milk instead of rosewater. Apply the paste, wait half an hour, then rinse off. Do this every day, and you’ll surely notice a difference after a while.
18. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric is an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Mix turmeric powder with a bit of water to get a paste. After that, apply it to the problematic skin areas. Leave it to dry and then wash it off with water. Do this every day.
19. Ice Cube
Ice can significantly help with inflammation and swelling.
Cover an ice cube with a piece of cloth or tissue and press it gently onto the scarred skin. Hold it like that for about 2 minutes, until the area starts to feel numb or starts burning a bit.
Here’s a tip: freeze some concentrated green tea instead of water. Green tea has many benefits for the skin.
Home remedies should be applied only in case of moderate or mild scarring. Those with deeper or infected scars should consult the doctor as soon as possible.
Hopefully, you found this article helpful, and you learned how to get rid of acne scars fast. Here’s our final piece of advice: put together a healthy and nutritious diet plan for yourself – it will definitely help you heal your acne scars.