First, it was acne, and you managed to get rid of them. But, now the scars keep shouting on your face, and they are the first thing people notice when you meet. So, if you are wondering how to get rid of acne scars fast, keep reading; there's a lot of information on that in this article.
You can have acne scars on your face, shoulders, or chest area. About 80% of people aged 11-30 get acne, and one out of five in this category develop scars. Although, there are several home remedies to get rid of those scars fast.
What Causes Acne Scars?
Scars form when your body tries to repair the acne. How your body responds to acne determines if and the degree of scarring you would have. The process of repair includes collagen creation.
If your body produces too much collagen, you end up with raised scars. However, the loss of tissue during repair leads to pits on the skin surface.
How Does Acne Form Scars?
Acne grows when oils, bacteria, or dead skin fill up and clog pores. Acne scars form when inflammation of acne blemishes. The acne pore swells, and it results in a breakdown in the pore's wall. Some acne spots are small and create only shallow scars that heal quickly.
Sometimes, the contents of the blemishes spill into the surrounding tissue and cause deeper scars, and the skin responds by repairing the scar by creating new collagen fibers. Acne scars may form through two main forms, which are;
a). A scar can develop due to tissue loss, resulting in skin surface indentation- depressed scarring.
b). A scar raised on the skin surface emerges-hypertrophic scarring. Let's discuss this information in detail.
a). Depressed or Atrophic Scarring
This type of scarring, as mentioned above, occurs when the skin losses its tissue, resulting in an indentation of the skin surface. This type of scar formation is in four categories. They include;
These types of scars have sloping edges that make the skin look wavy and uneven.
ii) Ice Pick
Ice pick acne scar resembles the ice pick tool. The scar is wider at the top and narrows to a point as it goes deeper into your skin. These scars are common and most challenging to treat. They may form on your cheeks, forehead, and upper cheeks where the skin is the thinnest.
Boxcar scars have sharper edges that go down deeper into the skin. These scars are common on the jaw and lower cheeks.
b). Hypertrophic or Keloid Scarring
Keloid scars result from the overgrowth of collagen tissues in their attempt to heal the wound acne. So, when it forms excess collagen, the affected area becomes raised, forming scars. These scars are pink, raised, and firm. They also have thick hyalinized collagen bundles that remain within the boundaries of the originally injured part.
c). Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
PIH is not true acne but is quite a common concern for people healing from recent breakouts.
I would like us to go through how to get rid of acne scars fast. You can use home remedies or use more professional treatments by visiting a dermatologist. The various home remedies are discussed below.
1. Use of Vitamin C to Treat Acne Scars
Vitamin C is a powerful skin lightener and one of the fastest methods to get rid of acne scars. It repairs the damaged skin by promoting the production of collagen and elastin needed to make new skin.
The easiest method to use vitamin C to clear acne is by adding the vitamin C powder to your cream or lotion, then applying it to the affected region.
You can also e vitamin C powder to remove acne scars quickly by mixing a tablespoon of the vitamin C powder with1/4 a cup of cool water. Apply it on your face and let it rest for fifteen minutes. You can use it in the evening before bed.
2. Lemon Juice Egg Peel Off Mask
You can also use a lemon-peel-off mask in treating acne scars. It is a simple and easy method involving using natural ingredients that you can easily find at home.
To use this method;
- whisk one egg white and add two teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Clean your face with a damp cloth or cotton ball.
- Gently apply a thin layer of the mixture to the area and leave for five minutes
- Once it is dry, apply another layer on top of the first one and leave it to dry completely
- Finally, peel of the mask in an upward direction.
This peel-off mask clears acne marks by regenerating a layer of new skin cells. This is because egg whites contain large amounts of protein and help to tighten the pores to avert more breakouts while also lightening the scarred skin.
3. Aloe Vera
Acne scarring is not something any of us would like to have. Therefore, you can use faster methods like the use of aloe Vera gel to clear them. Aloe vera helps soothe the skin as well as regenerates damaged tissues, hence hastening the healing process. The most effective method is to use fresh aloe vera gel squeezed from the leaf and not OTC products that claim to have aloe vera.
The method involves the following steps;
- Squeeze the gel from aloe vera leaf
- Rub it directly to the affected skin and leave it for 30 minutes
- Wash it off
Apply the gel twice daily for faster results. This natural ingredient will have your scars diminish fast and leave you with an even skin tone.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Image: Urban company
Tea tree is one of the most common and effective methods to treat scars caused by acne. It is effective as it is packed with antibacterial properties, which lets it fight acne-causing bacteria and reduces the redness and inflammation of pimples.
You can either apply this product directly to your skin or mix a few drops of the oil with your face wash. Next, apply it on the face, let it be for 20 minutes, and then rinse off the affected area.
5. DIY Aloe Vera Acne Scar Removing Cream
To get rid of acne scars fast, you may need to make the cream. Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active compounds that help heal the scar tissues faster. You can try out this recipe to make your cream.
- One tablespoon of lemon juice
- Three tablespoons of aloe vera gel
- 7-8 drops of tea tree oil or basil essentials
Mix the three ingredients and store them in a tight container in the refrigerator for about an hour. To use, wipe the affected area with a damp cloth, then apply a layer of this mixture. Use at night before bed to achieve the best results. You can store it in the refrigerator for a week.
6. Turmeric Powder
Image: Holy Pakistan
Using turmeric powder is among the home remedies you can use to get rid of acne scars. It has several benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, which are great in dealing with acne and pimples scars.
To use turmeric powder:
i). Add the turmeric powder to three tablespoons of water to form a paste.
ii). Apply the turmeric paste to the affected area and leave it until the paste completely dries.
iii). Rinse off the paste and use it daily till you get the desired results.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Image: body + soul
Apple cider vinegar is a useful and versatile product used for many home procedures. It is a good toner and helps with acne scars and marks; the vinegar balances body pH levels and stimulates blood flow, hence fastens the healing and regeneration of cells.
To use vinegar:
i). Mix it with water and apple to the affected areas.
ii). Leave it on the skin for five to ten minutes, then wash it off.
iii). Repeat daily till you get your desired results.
8. Oatmeal-Baking Soda Acne Scar Scrub
Baking soda and oatmeal are natural skin exfoliators that gently scrub pores, absorb excess oil, and diminish scars.
To use this method;
- Grind three tablespoons of uncooked oats.
- Add two tablespoons of fresh milk and a half teaspoon of baking soda to the ground powder
- Apply the homemade scrub on your face and massage gently in circular motions
- Leave it for ten minutes and wash it off.
Consider making this part of your daily skincare routine as it leaves the skin glowing and smooth.
9. Raw Honey
Image: Debur honey
Raw honey is packed with components that benefit your skin by balancing the bacteria on it. It can also reduce inflammation, and it is a natural exfoliator, so applying it to your skin will take off-dry and dull skin, revealing new cells underneath. That makes it a perfect product when treating acne scars.
Apply a teaspoon of honey all over the affected regions and massage gently. Then, rinse it off with cold water. Mixing it with lemon juice can speed up the healing process. Lemon juice is packed with vitamin C, which has healing properties. Therefore, combining it with the anti-inflammatory properties of honey will make the healing process even faster.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a great option if you want to have flawless skin. It is also a natural moisturizer and has recuperating properties. In addition, it is packed with vitamins and vital unsaturated fats that give you healthy skin.
Using coconut oil is easy. Apply it on the skin and rub it gently. You don't have to wash it off. However, if you don't want to leave it on, you can rinse it off after thirty minutes with a mild face wash.
Besides home remedies, there are other treatment procedures that you can use. These treatments require one initial procedure and up to six weeks of recovery time.
These methods work as the active ingredients fade scars by breaking scar tissue, increasing cell turnover rate, or lightening hyperpigmentation. These methods include;
a). Laser Therapies
You can use laser treatments like ablative, non-ablative and fractional laser to treat acne scarring.
This procedure removes the damaged top skin layer and stimulates collagen production to smooth the uneven skin tone in the dermis.
Non-ablative therapy targets the dermis only, with the pink and red pigments in raised scars.
Laser therapy treatments take 3-10 days, but full results are visible within six weeks.
b). Medium Chemical Peel
Chemical peels involve an acidic solution applied to the affected area to dissolve the outermost skin layer and reveal an unscarred and normally pigmented inner skin layer.
With only a single treatment, a medium chemical peel with glycolic acid or TCA can improve rolling or boxcar acne scarring. The expected recovery time for this treatment is about three weeks.
c). Punch Excision
If you have deep ice pick scars, punch excision may be the best method for you to use. The doctor will cut out individual scars and repair the wound with stitches or a skin graft in this procedure. Punch excision will leave a scar but a smaller and lighter one than the original.
Instant Acne Scars Treatments
PIH can be treated instantly with these in-office procedures. They include;
a). Light Chemical Peels
You can use this method to treat PIH and get full results after about 48 hours. It treats the dark spots using alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids like mandelic, glycolic, or salicylic acid. These acids work by dissolving the substance that holds dead skin cells together, hence revealing fresher skin.
This method involves a small handheld device to exfoliate the skin under a microfine crystal spray or vibrating diamond tip. One session of microdermabrasion lightens the PIH skin pigmentation with no downtime needed.
Several sessions of this treatment procedure can reduce mild acne scarring. However, it is not effective on extremely deep ice pick scars.
How Fast Can You Fade Acne Scars?
Acne scars take different levels of time to fade away depending on the length of time you've had them and the scars' type and severity. In addition, older scars take longer to remove than newer ones. However, it is crucial to wait until all the acne lesions have fully healed before attempting treatment procedures.
Atrophic acne scars need professional procedures to get rid of; this may take more time, especially if you had severe acne. You can achieve full results over few months to one year. However, if you want faster results, you may opt for surgical procedures.
On the other hand, Hypertrophic scars may need several procedures spread over months or one surgical procedure to treat them.
PIH may fade on its own within 3-24 months. But with treatment, it may take a few days to a few months depending on its darkness compared to your skin color.
Acne can be stubborn and may not be easy to treat if you have sensitive skin as it may react further with the products. However, you may treat it successfully, and the scars refuse to fade off completely. If this is your case, it may be a good time to try these methods to treat the scars.
The sooner you treat acne scars, the less time they will take to heal. However, it is important to wait until the acne heals completely before you try treating the spots.