Acne scars can cause a lot of embarrassment to the teenagers, and people of all ages. It is more common to the teens because hormones are changing. It can be also caused during menopause due to similar reasons. 80% of people in their teens and twenties suffer from acne scars. 5% of the adults suffer from them.
Acne is caused due to oil and dead skin cells clogging up the pores and causing superficial skin eruptions by the outflow of sebum.
It is very foolish to squeeze or prick a pimple and think that it will be gone. It actually leaves behind a reddish or brownish mark on your skin which is hard to treat. There are however, two types of acne scars - pitted and pigmented. The pitted scars are caused due to the damage caused to the underlying skin tissue whereas the pigmented scars leave behind red or brownish spots after the acne blemish disappears. The spots sometimes take weeks or months to fade. Sometimes they are the cause of a lot of embarrassment and mental depression.
• Honey – You can use honey as a facial once a week. It only rehydrates and moisturizes the skin, but has some natural medicinal properties as well that works wonders for skin acne scars.
• Aloe Vera - Pure aloe Vera gel is very soothing and can speed up the curing of blemishes and scars.
• Oatmeal - Oatmeal and rosewater can be mixed together as a mask.
• Ice cubes - Ice cubes rubbed gently on the acne scars before going to bed every night for a minute can aid in healing of the scars.
• Rose water – A proper cleansing routine is very necessary for a healthy skin. You can clean the skin with cotton wool soaked in rose water in the morning and at night
• Jojoba oil – You can use jojoba oil as a natural moisturizer.
• Yogurt – The Alpha Hydroxy Acids in yogurt which treats acne and reduces scarring.
• Vitamin E and Cocoa butter work wonders at times.
• wearing a good sunscreen as exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun can cause a lot of damage to your skin
• Tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) helps a lot in the post-inflammatory changes in the skin because of acnes.
• Correct concentrations of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) maintains the pH level of the skin and helps in the healing process.
If you are really concerned with the acne scars and nothing seems to work at all, there are some more extensive treatments like:
It actually refers to the sanding away of the upper layer or the top layer of the skin with wire brushes, fast-spinning wheels covered in diamond dust, or similar devices. First, the skin is numbed with anesthetic like lidocaine or with ice packs. After the treatment, the skin is red for quite a few days and then visibly pink for about two or three months. As the new skin starts to develop, the pinkness fades away. The final outcome of dermabrasion takes about six months to show up.
However, one should take care of avoiding stepping out in the sun or using bleaching creams. That can create skin complications like hyperpigmentation and infections.
The laser surgery is an effective way of treatment of the scarred skin. Like dermabrasion it also leaves the skin pink and vulnerable for months.
Micro dermabrasion is an advanced form of dermabrasion which is done by spraying the skin with a high-pressure stream of crystals made of aluminum oxide or salt. After that, an artificial vaccum is created which removes the crystals and exfoliated skin cells for a skin that looks smoother. The skin is a bit pink and tender for the next few days, but Microdermabrasion has lesser risks than dermabrasion or laser treatment.
This treatment doesnot work for the deep scars and should not be used if:
• isotretinoin (Accutane) has been used within the past year
• it is a case of active herpes infection
• the person has skin cancer or skin tumor
It is also a very effective treatment of the scars. Collagen is injected so that the area below the skin is filled up and brought up to the level of the surrounding tissue. However, the results may last from six months to a year only. Some of the complications associated with it are:
• Allergic reactions in case animal collagen is used
• Formation of new scar
Deep acne scars or "ice pick" scars cannot be treated with the above treatments. Your skin care advisor may suggest going for a minor skin surgery for their removal.