While there is no acne scar cream that will get rid of acne scars quickly, there are a number of methods to help prevent and reduce the appearance of scars. If you’re wondering how to get rid of acne scars, check out these 9 tips for preventing and treating this very common problem.
Avoid picking and squeezing. Before you start thinking about how to get rid of acne scars, it’s important to note the most effective way to reduce the likelihood of acne scarring. Scars are formed during the healing process. When additional trauma is inflicted on the skin, extra healing is required, thus increasing the probability that scarring might occur.
Use Targeted Acne Treatments. Treatment for acne scars begins with prevention. Because scarring occurs during the healing process, it makes the most sense to encourage this process to accelerate. Even better, quick acne spot treatment may help stop a breakout before it can even begin. Make sure you’re using the right products for each type of breakout—Drying Lotion for whiteheads, Buffering Lotion for deep, cystic acne and Drying Cream for under-the-skin pimples.
Quit Smoking. Smoking depletes oxygen from the skin, thus slowing down the healing process. Smoking also accelerates the skin’s aging process.
Treat Acne Scars On Your Back. If you’re wondering how to help get rid of back acne scars (bacne scars) the answer will most likely be found in Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). AHAs work on the surface of the skin to help accelerate the exfoliation of old skin cells and encourage the production of new, fresh skin cells.
Choose The Right Products For Acne Scars. Pay attention to active ingredients in skin care products and incorporate these into your daily regimen. AHAs such as Glycolic Acid are excellent for helping reduce the appearance of acne scars. Other ingredients in products to get rid of acne scars include Kojic Acid and Vitamin C.
Never Forget Sun Protection. Tanning temporarily evens out the skin tone, making acne scars appear less noticeable for a very short period of time. However, if you’re trying to get rid of acne scars, this is the worst possible thing to do. Exposing an acne scar to the sun will only cause it to become darker. The sun’s rays stimulate pigment-producing cells called Melanocytes, which will make acne scars far more noticeable. Protect your skin at all times.
Treat Hyperpigmentation. The dark, perhaps red acne scar you’re experiencing is a form of hyperpigmentation, the overproduction of the skin’s pigment. In Japan, the most common method of fighting hyperpigmentation is the use of Kojic Acid. Kojic Acid is a byproduct of the fermentation of rice for Sake (Japanese Rice Wine). It encourages skin discolorations to lighten by helping to inhibit the formation of pigment in the skin’s cells.
Get Rid of Blackheads The Right Way. It’s time to put down the blackhead extractor—removing blackheads is a job for professionals only, and for good reason: at-home extractions tend to go awry and cause acne scarring. Instead, soak up excess oil and unclog pores with Kaolin Clay and Zinc Oxide.
Vitamin C Acne Scar Treatments. Vitamin C is known for brightening acne scars and age spots. It is believed that Vitamin C helps halt the production of melanin.
ACNE SCARRING - CAN I GET RID OF ACNE SCARS?
Perhaps the most difficult issue to deal with in having an existing or past acne condition or even an occasional blemish is the pitting, discoloration and the leftover scars that can seem like they take forever to fade away. Is there help? Read on and learn about what will work, what won’t work and the way to prevent acne scarring from the beginning.
It is important to understand that treating acne scars and treating active acne are two different skin concerns. Products that are effective at drying and healing pimples, cysts and whiteheads are not necessarily the same products that work to lighten and treat acne scars. There are however, products that can help prevent scarring in the first place so prevention is key.
HOW DOES AN ACNE SCAR OCCUR?
Simply put, scars are the result of injury to the tissue. In the case of acne, a build up of bacteria and sebum in the sebaceous follicle causes the injury. The body responds by rushing white blood cells and inflammatory molecules to the damaged cells, which can remain at the acne breakout site for weeks in order to heal the area and prevent infection. After the infection heals the damaged tissue sometimes does not return to its former state. In severe cases of nodular acne where a larger infection occurs in the deeper layers of skin, there can be tissue loss and permanent scarring.
ACNE SCARS AND DISCOLORATIONS THAT CAN BE TREATED
When we think of acne scars, the first thing that comes to mind is the flat, red or brown mark that a healed pimple leaves behind. The technical name for this occurrence is a “macule.” Usually this leaves no permanent mark on the skin and it is not really a scar, but can take months to fade away completely. Post inflammatory pigmentation is the discoloration of skin where an inflamed pimple has healed. Sun exposure can slow the fading process a great deal. Here at Mario Badescu Skin Care we can help you select the best regimen of products to prevent and reduce this discoloration significantly.
CAN BLACKHEADS CAUSE SCARS?
Blackheads form when dead skin cells and oil mix with sebum and plug up the pores. Exposure to the air oxidizes the top causing it to discolor and look black. Blackheads alone can not cause scarring but squeezing and picking at them can cause permanent damage. In this case prevention and proper treatment is the key to minimize any damage to the skin.
LARGE PORES. CAN I GET RID OF THEM?
Large pores are not acne scars and are not the direct result of picking at a pimple. Large pores are primarily genetic and can not be “closed.” Dirt and oil can also stretch pores but with proper cleansing, exfoliating and treating with clay-based masks, pores can tighten up, be minimized temporarily and are less likely to become clogged giving the skin a smoother appearance.
STOP PICKING! EASIER SAID THAN DONE.
Squeezing and picking at whiteheads, blackheads and pimples can cause deeper infection and injury to the skin as well as damage healthy, surrounding skin causing scarring. Having a regular facial can improve excessive build up and minimize acne eruptions so you’re less likely to take matter into your own hands. Estheticians and dermatologists are licensed and trained to do extractions in a sanitary, proper way to avoid damaging the skin.
OTHER TYPES OF ACNE SCARS
The more severe scarring and pitting on the skin is called “ice pick” scarring commonly referred to as craters or divots. They are jagged and shallow or deep like ice pick stabs on the skin. This type of scarring is a result of tissue loss from deep, nodular acne. At the first sign of this type of acne, consult a dermatologist for prompt treatment to minimize damage and scarring on the skin.
Atrophic Macules These scars are soft and sometimes wrinkled and can turn blue in appearance because of the blood vessels lying directly under the scar.
Follicular Macular Atrophy Small, soft, white lesions that look like tiny whiteheads just under the surface of the skin. These usually appear on the back and chest.
Depressed Fibrotic Scars Generally very large, steep and sharp. Ice pick scars can develop into depressed fibrotic scars in time.
Soft Scars These scars have sloping or rolling edges that seem to merge with normal skin. Most often they are small and circular or linear.
Topical, over the counter skin care products make little difference in severe scarring cases where there is tissue loss. You should consult your dermatologist for other options such as collagen injections, dermabrasion and laser treatments, to name a few. Although it may seem discouraging if you have the more severe scarring, a good skin care regimen customized for you can prevent future breakouts and improve the overall look and feel of your skin.
IS YOUR SKIN READY FOR TREATMENT?
As stated earlier, products that are most effective in lightening discoloration and smoothing the skin may not be the best products to treat acne. Certain ingredients may be too strong for delicate, healing or openly erupted skin. If you have both scarring and acne, it is recommended that you start off with an anti-acne system first and in time work into products that will address the scarring issue once the acne is under control.
Products containing ingredients such as Kojic Acid, Vitamin C and Licorice Extract for brightening and reducing discoloration and Glycolic and Alpha Hydroxy Acids for smoothing and exfoliating are often recommended. Speaking to a skin specialist to get the proper balance of products for your individual needs is encouraged.
A concentrated foaming face wash that deep cleans and promotes exfoliation. Depending on your skin type and condition you may be directed by a skin specialist to use this product only once times a week if you are dry or more often if you are oily.
This is a clay mask that will tighten and clean pores while the botanicals Licorice Extract, Mulberry Extract and Kojic Acid work to brighten discolorations. Gentle and effective even on acne erupted skin.
This is an ideal mask for acne eruptions on dry or sensitive skin types. Soothes and promotes healing with Balsam Peru and an anti-inflammatory, mineral rich seawater ingredient. Non-hardning, non-drying. May be alternated with Drying Mask for oilier skin types.
This mask gives the strongest pore-tightening and lifting effects for large pores and loss of firmness. Egg albumin is the traditional, at-home mask ingredient frequently used by Mario Badescu on his clients in the salon. Makes a great special occasion treatment with lasting results.
WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT AGAINST ACNE SCARRING?
Smoking is a factor that can make skin more vulnerable to acne scarring. Smoking depletes the skin’s oxygen reserves, deposits toxins into the pores and causes free radical damage.
Never extract pimples yourself. Leave it up to the professionals who will do it thoroughly and properly to minimize or eliminate scarring and spreading.
Treat acne flair ups, especially deep, cystic pimples at the first sign so they can start healing before spreading out of control.
Limit sun exposure or use a full sun block daily, especially if you are using prescription treatments for acne.
Do not use abrasive scrubs or scratchy buff puffs on the face. This can damage delicate, healing skin and prolong healing time making scarring more likely. It can also spread bacteria from newly erupted pimples.