Want to learn how to get rid of acne scars and spots. In this article, we outline all the treatments and remedies for acne spots and scars. Check out this guide.
Most people tend to confuse acne spots for acne scars. Because of this confusion, they might end up using products that are meant for removing scars on acne spots, and this affects the face. Good news, here we will talk about the difference between spots and blemishes and the best treatment of both. So let’s dive in.
Acne spots from acne do not have any long term damage to the skin cells or follicles. Acne spots tend to become lighter over time, and will totally disappear like it never happened. However, acne scars are damaged or overly grown tissue. Scars are much harder to remove, but they tend to fade over a couple of years but can still be seen.
Similarities between scars and spots
- They both develop as a complication of acne.
- Acne spots can sometimes lead to scarring when cysts and nodules break and damage the skin and the areas around it.
Note: Scarring also results when a spot is picked or squeezed, please try to avoid this habit no matter how comforting it may feel.
Read more: What you don’t know about food
Difference between acne scarring and acne spots
You need to know the difference between acne scarring and acne spot; this will help avoid using the wrong products and prevent the creation of other complications.
- Acne spots fade away over time but scars even when they fade; they are still visible because the skin has been damaged.
- Acne spots are smooth to the touch and are not indented.
- Acne scars are formed when there is damage to the skin which leads to abnormal collagen production
- Acne scars feel and appear as raised or bumpy indentations.
Causes of Acne spots
When a pimple pops up on the face, it gives us discomfort. Sometimes, in our efforts to get rid of it leads to constant touching and breaking of our skin. When this is done, it becomes an acne blemish leaving a dark mark on the skin even after the pimple is gone.
Acne spots can also be left behind by a pimple (a form of an inflammation on the skin). This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. As the skin heals and new skin cells form, it is possible that the cell sent to repair the skin may contain too much melanin, which gives the skin too much color and leads to an acne spot.
Types of acne scarring
There are two different ways to talk about the type of acne scars. We can discuss based on what caused the acne scars or physical appearance.
By cause of acne scars
- Atrophic scars: These scars look like pits or craters. They are small indentations that occur when the skin does not produce enough fibroblasts in the healing process. Fibroblasts are necessary for creating collagen and importance in healing. Atrophic scars might look like the following:
- Ice pick scars are small, deep holes in the surface of the skin.
- Rolling scars are caused by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin, making the surface of the skin appear uneven.
- Boxcar scars are round or oval depressions in the skin
- Hypertrophic scars: This is also called raised scars. They can be tender and occurs when the skin has too many fibroblasts as the spot heals.
- Keloid scars: They are similar to hypertrophic scars but are darker, and the surrounding skin might be brown. Keloid scars can also be itchy or might come with pain. They are also thicker than the original acne spot.
- Dark spots: These kinds of spots are typical acne spots. They result in discoloration of the skin often seen as purpose, brown, or red marks, which might fade after a few months.
How to Treat Acne Scars and Spots
Medical Treatments for acne spots
It is surgical removal of the top layer of skin by using lasers or a specially made wire brush. It operates with the same technique as microdermabrasion, but has more depth and will exfoliate the top layer of the skin deeply. Use this technique to get rid of rolling or shallow boxcars.
2. Laser treatment:
Laser treatment is used to treat mild to moderate acne scarring. It is also a preferred method if you have a lighter skin tone. Laser treatment has two major types which are
- Ablative laser treatment
- Non-ablative laser treatment
3. Punch techniques
Punch techniques are used to treat ice pick scars and boxcar scars. There are 3 different punch techniques for the treatment of acne scars
- Punch excision.
- Punch elevation.
- Punch grafting.
Subcision is also a surgical treatment for acne, scars, and wrinkles. It involves the use of a special hypodermic needle inserted through a puncture on the skin surface. It will improve the scars by creating wounds that will break up the scar tissue and trigger collagen regrowth. Subcision is primarily used to treat rolling scars.
This is a newer technique. It works like a subcision but involves a smaller handheld needle-studded roller or handheld pen on the surface of the scars. This is a safe treatment best used for depressed acne scars. The technique works for all skin tones but might take up to 9 months to notice any changes.
- Chemical peels
Chemical peels are done to remove damaged skin cells and reveal younger-looking skin underneath. The price varies. A chemical peel entails the application of a strong solution of different topical acids to your face, and then you remove the peels while taking layers of skin cells along with it.
Microdermabrasion is an improvement on exfoliating treatment that aims to buff away imperfections and leave your skin looking smooth and evenly toned. Microdermabrasion uses a device that blasts tiny particles at some regions of your skin, or a diamond-tipped device is rubbed over your skin. This treatment is considered lower risk and minimally aggressive.
8. Laser resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing removes dead skin from the body using different leaser treatment while encouraging new cells to grow in the deeper layers of your skin.
Medical At-home techniques for treating acne spots and scars
If you don’t like the treatments above, you can use these set of medical treatments for treating acne spots. However, you should get a dermatologist to pick out the best treatment for you. It is also essential to find out if you genuinely have acne scars or spots, and what kind, so you can best pick the right product.
A. Alpha hydroxy acids
You can buy products with alpha hydroxyl acids to treat all types of acne scars. These products are available over the counter. Some major pharmacies and online shopping centers also have products like that in stock. They can remove dead skin and prevent clogged pores.
B. Lactic acid
You can purchase ointments, serums, and peels with lactic acids. This can improve the appearance, pigmentation, and texture of acne scars within three months of use.
Products containing topical retinoids can improve the appearance of scars. They can also rapidly promote skin cell regeneration and the texture of your skin. They can also reduce discolorations and make scars less noticeable in a few months. However, make sure you were sunscreen daily because retinoid will make your skin thinner and more sensitive to the sun rays
D. Salicylic Acid
There are lots of products you can purchase today that contain salicylic acids. Cleansers, lotions, pads and some spot treatments contain salicylic acids. Even the more commonly used topical cream in Nigeria, Nixoderm contains salicylic acid. You can add these products to your skincare routine. They can reduce swelling, redness, and clear pores. Salicylic acids work for all kinds of scars. But don’t forget to wear sunscreen as well.
Sunscreens are important
Many of us have acne scars and spots not because there is something wrong with our skin. It happens because we expose our skin to the sun rays, which can make all types of scars darker than the rest of our body. Add sunscreens to your skincare regime and protect yourself from all kinds of skincare problems.
Learn more: Why you need sunscreens
Natural Home Remedies for Acne spots and scars
There are lots of home remedies that can get rid of acne spots and scars. In treating acne spot (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), natural remedies are mostly recommended because they do not have any side effects when used correctly. Many of them work wonders, primarily when you use them correctly.
Vitamin C can decrease the formation of melanin, which in turn brightens the skin. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C and can even your skin tone. You can also use lemon juice as a natural bleaching agent. It also aids new cell growth and gives your skin its elasticity back.
It is a plant that has many healing properties. It is grown in tropical climates and is very medicinal. Aloe Vera is also great for sunburns. The antioxidants in aloe Vera reduce swelling and redness, while its natural properties remove surplus oil and dead cells.
Grape seed extract
Grape seed extract like aloe Vera is another natural product that may work to help lighten acne spots. Grape seed can also help people who have melisma because it works to get rid of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Coconut oil is rich in omega fatty acids. It penetrates and moisturizes the skin. It can help reestablish the skin’s glow. However, don’t use too much coconut oil, or you might have a breakout. Use coconut oil only around the areas you want to treat
Baking soda is great for removing scars. It can get rid of dead skin cells and should get the scars out without damaging your skin. Make a paste by using water and baking soda, scrub it on the affected area, rinsing thoroughly and gently after a minute.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This can serve as both prevention and treatment for a scar. For treatment, mix apple cider vinegar with honey and leave it on for 10 minutes after applying it to the area. Do this up to three times a day for the best results.
You can also prevent a pimple by using a Q-tip. Soak the Q-tip a bit in apple cider vinegar and then in water to dilute it. Dab the swab directly on the looming pimple (it might hot a bit). This process will reduce redness and stop any whiteheads from forming.
Onion extract is also outstanding for fighting acne. It has properties that reduce inflammation, redness, and soreness.
Its natural moisturizing properties and stimulation of tissue regeneration make it a common ingredient to mix into your skincare routine. Adding cinnamon with honey is an excellent renewal treatment that can help keep skin even and vibrant.
Turmeric is great for acne scars specifically because it contains curcumin (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties). This reduces excess production of melanin, which adds pigmentation to your scar and makes it darker. Mix with honey, apply on the skin, and leave for 20 minutes, allow the paste to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
Essential oils are great for removing scars. Oils like lavender oil, tea tree oil, or carrot seed oil work like magic on acne spots. Simply dab around the scars daily, and you might get changes in a few weeks.
Shea butter works on acne scars and hyperpigmentation. However, make sure you use unfiltered raw Shea butter. You should also use Shea butter at night because it can react with sun rays, which might darken your skin.
And there you have it, everything you need to get rid of acne scars and spots. Trying out home remedies is a good thing. However, go and see a dermatologist and find out more about the best procedure for getting rid of acne scars and spots. In addition, medical treatments work faster than natural remedies, which can be more expensive if you have to use them over time. Since it’s pretty challenging to determine what causes people to scar, you should avoid scarring by treating acne with a great skincare routine. This also means you need to resist picking, poking, or touching a pimple.