We’ve all wondered about how to get rid of acne scars. Some even argue that acne scars are worse than the acne itself because they can stay long after the pimple is gone. The ever-present scar doesn’t let you feel that you’re looking your best. Many people confuse acne scarring with hyperpigmentation. The two are very different skin concerns that require different kinds of treatment. Acne scar develops when there’s excess or lack of tissue in the area where there was once a pimple.
Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, develops due to the overproduction of melanin which results in the formation of a dark brown, tan, or brown spot. Acne hyperpigmentation can go away on its own, although it may take years for the dark spot to go away. However, you may find it difficult to discern between the two. That’s why we should get into understanding what acne scars are, how they develop and why they develop. Most important of all, how to get rid of acne scars.
What Causes Acne?
Our bodily hormones have a lot to do with acne. Many women experience breakouts right before their period. That happens because of the fluctuations in the oestrogen and progesterone levels. A week before the period, you may notice the appearance of a big red pimple on your face.
Mid-cycle the levels of progesterone increase which cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. That’s not all that’s happening, though. Your opening of the pores also shrinks due to skin swelling. This further increases the risk of a sebum plug clogging the pore.
During pregnancy too, progesterone contributes to the development of acne. Polycystic ovary syndrome can increase the levels of testosterone in the body, which also causes an increase in the production of sebum. Testosterone levels can also cause acne among males and females during puberty.
Other factors increase the risk of acne, such as smoking, makeup products, hormone imbalance, and stress. People who’re dealing with acne often hear that they might not be doing enough to keep their skin clean or aren’t eating healthy. That’s not entirely true. Many people experience acne despite doing everything “right.” A lot of the time, the person cannot control the factors that are responsible for causing acne.
What is Acne Scarring?
The deeper the wound, the greater the chances of permanent scarring. The same goes for acne scarring. There are three layers of our skin, epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. On the surface of the skin itself, there are hair follicles to which sebaceous glands are attached. The glands are responsible for the production of sebum. When the glands produce too much oil, together with dead skin cells, it can form a sebum plug, which can then cause acne. An acne scar develops when the breakout penetrates the deeper layers of the skin while damaging the tissue.
Once the pimple is gone, your body tries to repair the damage. For this purpose, it produces collagen. Overproduction or underproduction of collagen will lead to acne scarring. Who does or doesn’t develop acne scars is rather unpredictable. You may do everything right and end up with an acne scar. On the other hand, a person may be doing everything that can cause acne scaring and still not develop it. The good news is that acne scar treatment is available.
What are the Different Types of Acne Scars?
Different types of acne scars on the face need different acne scar treatments. Make sure that you consult a dermatologist to exactly determine the type of acne scars you have. The type of scarring depends on the production of collagen by the body. They’re broadly divided into two categories: atrophic (depressed scars) and hypertrophic (raised scars).
These scars develop as a result of the underproduction of collagen while the skin is in the healing phase. Atrophic scarring occurs most commonly.
Rolling scars give the skin an irregular, rolling appearance. The edges of the indents are curved, which makes the skin look wavy. These scars develop as a result of bands of scar tissue underneath the skin. These scars usually develop on the lower cheek and jaw.
These are round, u-shaped depressions or craters in the skin. Their indents have sharper edges. They can be deep or shallow and, usually, form on the lower cheek and jaw.
Ice Pick Scars
The most difficult to treat, ice pick scars can penetrate deep into the skin. They usually have a small round, oval shape at the top and form a V-shape as it goes deeper into the skin. They occur more commonly on the forehead and the upper cheeks.
Hypertrophic scars develop when the body produces too much collagen in the healing phase. The production of collagen continues as if the body doesn’t realize that the wound has healed. Hypertrophic scars can overgrow the area of the wound and expand farther away. The overproduction causes a raised scar above the surface of the skin.
What Increases the Risk of Acne Scarring?
As satisfying as popping or squeezing the pimple may be, you should never do that. It will only increase the risk of acne scarring. The type of acne that you’re dealing with can also determine if the person will develop an acne scar. Cysts and nodules usually cause scarring. Untreated or prolonged acne also increases the risk of scarring. Importantly, if acne scarring is something that your family deals with, you might too.
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars?
Looking up acne scar removal methods is something that you might’ve probably done if you have acne scarring. There are many in-office treatment options that are available. Laser treatment for acne scars, chemical peels for acne scars, dermal fillers and PRP facials with microblading are the most popular.
PRP Facial with Microneedling
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can help with acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and even signs of ageing. The healing properties of the PRP can help rejuvenate the skin by stimulating the production of collagen, improving the appearance of scars. During the procedure, the dermatologist will most likely use a professional-grade derma-roller to create small punctures in the affected area. Following this, the PRP will be applied to the skin. The microneedling helps the PRP penetrate deeper into the skin, which can further improve the results of the PRP (vampire facial on its own).
Made from hyaluronic acid, dermal fillers are injected into the skin to stimulate the production of collagen. This usually helps in the treatment of depressed scars. Dermal fillers not only help with acne scars but can also combat signs of ageing.
Laser treatment can work well for raised scars where the heat of the laser removes the topmost layer of the skin. It also promotes the development of healthier skin in its stead. You cannot expect your acne scarring to completely disappear after laser treatment, but it can reduce their appearance.
Chemical peels work by shedding the topmost layer of the skin. Chemicals are best for acne hyperpigmentation, evening out the texture and even preventing a future breakout. Chemical peels are not a good option for severe acne scarring.
Which Acne Scar Treatment is The Best?
The best treatment for acne scars depends on the skin type, acne type, and age of the person. As a person ages, their collagen production decreases. In this case, microneedling works better since the treatment can stimulate the production of collagen in the body. Some who have deep, depressed scars can benefit from dermal fillers as they can add volume to the skin.
How To Get Rid of Acne Scars at Home?
Many people wonder how to get rid of acne scars at home. Using retinol for acne scars is very common. Since retinol can speed up the process of cell regeneration, it can help with scarring. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid can also exfoliate the skin and help with scars.
At-home DIY recipes can also help if your scarring is not too severe. Aloe vera for acne scars is also very popular. Many people make face masks for acne scars using different ingredients such as milk, egg white, turmeric, and honey. However, make sure that you do not try anything out without the consultation of a doctor. You can end up irritating your skin or cause a bad flare-up.
Acne scarring is something that many people deal with regardless of their gender, age or ethnicity. Contrary to the popular beliefs that acne has something to do with a person’s poor diet, hygiene or personal habits, that might not be the case. Certain factors can increase the risk of acne scarring, though. It can significantly impact the quality of life of a person. If you’re struggling with acne scarring, get in touch with us right away.