Treatment for Acne Scars – What Are Your Options?
Acne sufferers are all too familiar with acne scars. Many people struggle to cure acne scars, but why do most of them fail?
I will tell you the secret. Large scars and small scars need different kinds of treatment. Raised scars and pitted scars need different kinds of treatment. And also certain kinds of acne scar treatments can cause as many problems as they solve on certain skin types. And above all, people getting acne scar treatment need to have realistic expectations. Usually a single treatment is not enough to get rid of an acne scar. And sometimes the best way to hide an acne scar involves creating another scar.
Recent acne scar removal marketing research has shown that the topic of how to get rid of acne scars is usually more depressing for young adults than it usually is for teenagers. Perhaps this is true because the older we get the more skeptical we become. The simple reality is that even after using the best treatment for acne, you may need to follow up with an acne scars treatment to get rid of dark marks and pits left on your face.
Fixating on Scar
Some people think they would be pleased with the appearance of their face if only they could just find a way to fade their acne scars. The newer the scars, the greater emotional upset they cause.
Acne scars aren’t actually permanent. By the time you are 60 years old, chances are your acne scars will have healed or even disappeared (although there are people who never get over the outward facing “rolling scars” that can be caused by acne).
But even though scars aren’t really permanent, they usually are noticeable for 5 to 15 years. That’s a big chunk of your life, so it is desirable to find a way to lessen their appearance. But finding the right acne scar treatment requires understanding what causes your particular scars.
Causes of Scars
Scars are formed when (1) the skin can’t generate enough collagen to keep the surface strong enough to prevent pitting or (2) collagen is formed with an irregular texture that causes a scar to protrude outward. Fair skin types tend to develop pitted scars, and darker skin types tend to develop protruding scars.
The size of a scar often has to do with the activity of the immune system. The more active the immune system, the larger the scar. Dark skin often develops the very worst scars as the immune system attacks ingrown hairs or forms cysts to contain acne bacteria.
Solutions for Scars
What can you do to minimize the appearance of scars?
Lots of water consumption has to be the first on the list. You can’t wash away scars from the inside out, but you can keep the tissues under your skin hydrated so that the skin is stretched and scars of all types are “stretched out.”
Similarly, it helps to use moisturizer, applied to your skin after wash and pat it dry. Moisturizer brings out the natural tones of your skin and fades colored scars. It also makes it easier to use makeup to cover up scars.
Hydration usually makes a visible difference in scars, but there are also other over the counter products that help.
Scar gels, scar creams, and scar reduction sheets are all designed to keep the skin stretched so a scar fades away. Scar reduction sheets get the best results, and you don’t necessarily have to wear them when you go out. You just take them off and put them back on. Gels and creams are usually transparent and OK for all-day use.
Both silicone sheets and hydro gel sheets are hydrated. The scar sheets provide pressure to flatten the thick scar and to soften and smooth the scarred area. These sheets are comfortable and made of highly flexible materials. It does not only apply to acne scars, but can address any kind of scars including post-surgery scars and other type of scaring. One of the greatest advantages of these scar sheets is that you can use it anywhere you go especially when the scarred area is hidden. If not, it can easily be removed and used later so you can continue to utilize its healing process when you are in private.
If your acne scarring situation is not too severe, you can always try the topical creams and solutions that you can buy from your local drugstore and grocery. There are several good ones now available. A very popular brand for treating scarring called Mederma has good reviews from users.
And What About Home Remedies?
There are some very effective acne scar treatments to be found in your kitchen. Tomatoes are full of vitamin A and C as well as the powerful antioxidant lycopene. Tomatoes are also easy to obtain and inexpensive. Many of the products that are marketed for treating acne scars are made from the compounds found naturally in tomatoes. Use tomato pulp as a face mask, left on the face under a clean towel for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing way.
Some advocates of natural products are very high on the use of spices. You may also find this in your local market or grocery shop. You can try getting rid of acne scars by using sandalwood powder. Add little amount of purified or distilled water to the sandalwood powder to form a paste. Gently apply the paste all over you face leaving it like a mask. Let it stay on your face for approximately fifteen minutes before rinsing with cold water. Again, you may do this at least four times a week for faster results.
One home kitchen remedy you might want to consider as well is lemon juice. That’s right. Lemon juice can be used to reduce scars on the face and body. You simply need to use a bit of cotton with some lemon juice on it to apply to the affected regions of your body each day. The effect is temporary, only lasting until you wash your skin, but it is noticeable.
If all else fails you may want to consider medical treatment. There was a time when the only treatment for acne scars was surgery, which is essentially a process of replacing a noticeable acne scar with a less noticeable surgical scar. But modern dermatology uses surgery only as a last result.
If money isn’t an issue, then you should consider dermabrasion for acne scars as your treatment of choice. Based on the feedback from many people who have tried it, you will probably get very good results, especially if you have acne scarring you just can’t seem to get rid of. Dermabrasion at the doctor’s office will lighten or eliminate scars with four or five treatments costing $500 to $1000 each over a period of months. Microdermabrasion with over the counter skin care products, the best of which cost no more than $50, will require treatment every day and take about a year.
You can also go to a dermatologist or to a spa for a skin peel. This process makes use of an acid to ‘peel’ away the top layers of the dermis in order to enhance situations comparable to acne scars, irregular pigmentation or wrinkles. Chemical peels are not new but there is always new technology surfacing much better and safer products for this use. A skin peel you use at home is known as an exfoliant. Products that contain between 1 and 3% salicylic acid are recommended for oily skin. Products that contain between 3 and 10% glycolic acid are recommended for dry skin. Don’t try to use “professional” grade skin peels at home.
Laser treatments have been effective for some types of acne scars as well. Ablative lasers remove damaged scar tissue. They work by vaporizing such tissues and they also stimulate skin collagen growth. However, they are not right for dark skin types because the dark skin forms small spots of intense pigmentation as it heals. The new Portrait Laser, however, is safe for most people who have dark skin, although people who have dark skin will need about twice as many low-dose treatments.
Non-ablative lasers work by simply enhancing skin collagen production so that scar on skin is raised. There is no skin tissue removal. This type of laser is also effective in reducing skin lines and it enhances skin texture. 55% to 70 % improvement can be noticed in around 90 % patients after 3 months treatment. Laser isn’t a perfect treatment, but for many people who have acne scars, it is the easiest, although also the most expensive, way to go.