One of the most common skin conditions to affect a lot of people during their puberty is called acne. While some people dismiss the condition as no big deal, the quality of life for others is negatively affected by acne outbreaks. Research has shown that acne can have serious consequences on people. These can include emotional insecurity leading to feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety.
Teens may avoid social gatherings by not hanging out with friends, and adults may call in sick rather than face colleagues at work. For these people knowing how to get rid of acne scars is very important.
What Is Acne?
Acne is a skin disease common among people of all ages. The pimples occur when glands in the skin become clogged. Most pimples are found on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders.
Acne pimples can form as whiteheads, black heads, papules pustules, nodules and cysts. The scars caused by acne happen during the healing process. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair the damage caused to the skin. At this time the body starts to produce collagen that is needed for proper tissue repair. If too much or too little collagen is produced then scars form. These scars can take on different forms, by either being depressed or raised on the skin.
What Are Some Common Causes Of Acne?
Clogged pores are not the only cause for acne. Hormonal changes during puberty happen during the teenage years. Both boys and girls experience high levels of androgens which signal the body to produce more sebum. With too much sebum production, glands get choked and result in acne spots.
Another problem is bacteria. When pores get clogged, bacteria may start to grow there, causing blackheads and whiteheads to form. The clogged pores at these locations can cause local hair follicles to break. This breakdown lets sebum to leak into the surrounding area creating pustules. When pustules or papules form, the acne becomes known as inflammatory acne.
When people with acne experience high levels of humidity and sweating, their condition can become worse. The same can also happen when people clean their skin excessively.
And finally, sometimes genetics may make a person predisposed to getting acne.
How Is Acne Treated?
Treatment for acne aims as healing the pimples and preventing new pimples from forming. Treatment also includes preventing scarring. To get rid of acne scars, the doctor may recommend some over the counter medication or give you some prescription drugs.
Some medications may be available as topical applications while others may be pills to swallow. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may decide to take medication for your condition .
However, because medication may be harsh and have side effects, not everyone wants to try it. Instead, you may want to try home remedies to get rid of acne scars. This is also better if your acne is not too severe.
How Long Is Treatment Needed For?
Whether you try medication or other treatments, know that results will take some time. Usually it can take up to four weeks before you can start to get rid of acne scars. But depending on the severity of the acne, it can also take a couple of months for you.
Many times, a treatment may fail only because people think that it is not working. They may give it up after a couple of weeks, not completing the whole duration. So whatever treatment you decide to use, make sure to continue it for at least six weeks. If no improvement is obvious after six weeks, try an alternate treatment instead.
Can Acne Recur After Treatment?
Acne spots can come back if you completely stop all treatment. Most experts recommend that you carry on with skin maintenance even after you get rid of acne scars. Since it is typically in the teens and 20s when acne occurs, people should follow a maintenance routine. Sometimes acne may continue in the 30, but this is rare.
As a rule of the thumb, practice skin maintenance for 4-5 years after you get rid of acne scars. Managing acne with medical treatments is often with benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid. Both these treatments can be used indefinitely. Or if you choose to use home remedies, then you can continue doing these .
Why Are Home Treatments Recommended?
People with mild cases of acne prefer to stick with homemade treatments. Homemade remedies are a great option for treating acne scars since most of these use natural ingredients. Plus, they are also gentle on the skin and will not have any irritating effects.
Homemade remedies also work well for hyperpigmentation marks. The only thing here is that these treatments will not get rid of acne scars overnight, but will take some time to give results.
Many of these home remedies work well when applied to superficial or minimal scars. To get rid of deep acne scars, you may need to see a skin specialist or follow some clinical treatments.
Using home remedies can include these ideas:
Lemon Coconut Exfoliator
Lemon is widely known for its many skin benefits. It is used in a number of home remedies and is also suitable for getting rid of acne scars. This is because lemon has alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) which are helpful in removing dead skin cells. This action can also assist in stimulating skin repair.
The other ingredient in this homemade remedy is coconut oil. Coconut has amazing moisturizing and antibacterial properties for the skin. Together the two ingredients provide cleansing and moisturizing features to this remedy.
The only thing we now need is to add in an exfoliating agent. This action is provided by adding in some baking soda to the other ingredients. The baking soda acts as an exfoliator and controls excess oil production on the skin. Because the other two ingredients are in liquid form, the baking soda also acts as a thickening agent.
The gentle granules in baking soda help get rid of dead skin cells which can otherwise dull the complexion.
To make this concoction to get rid of acne scars, you will need the following:
- 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons of baking soda
- 3 teaspoons of coconut oil
Mix all ingredients well in a small container. Once mixed, apply the exfoliator gently to the face using a cotton ball. Lightly massage the face moving the fingers in a circular motion. Leave the mixture on for about an hour and rinse with lukewarm water. Pat dry skin.
Repeat the procedure at least two times a week to notice results. This remedy is beneficial for treating hyperpigmentation and minimal acne scars.
Caution: Lemon juice can make skin sensitive to sunlight. So when you use this or any other remedy with lemon, avoid stepping out in the sun.
Apple Cider Vinegar Skin Treatment to Get Rid of Acne Scars
Apple cider vinegar has many natural skin exfoliating properties for the skin. It contains malic acid which is another AHA that is good for getting rid of acne scars. Apple cider vinegar also has antibacterial qualities that can prevent new acne pimples and scars from forming. The vinegar also helps brighten up dull looking skin.
The treatment also uses aspirin tablets which contain salicylic acid. Salicylic acid offers anti-inflammatory benefits, exfoliating properties and can help prevent the formation of new acne.
The sea salt in this mixture will eliminate dead skin cells and improve skin renewal.
To make this treatment for getting rid of acne scars, use the following:
- half an ounce of ACV,
- 3 ounces water
- 5 aspirin tablets
- 4 teaspoons sea salt
Start by mixing the water and vinegar together. Then crush the 5 aspirin tablets to a fine powder. Mix these together and add the sea salt. Apply the mixture to your face and massage gently. Leave on face for about 30- 60 minutes and wash off with warm water.
Do this once a week. You can also detoxify the skin using this formula. It is effective for hyperpigmentation and treating oily skin.
Caution: people with sensitive skin should be very careful in measuring the amount of apple cider vinegar used. Apple cider vinegar can cause skin irritation, so dilute the mixture with water if it seems too harsh.
Milk and Coconut Scrub for Getting Rid of Acne Scars
We have already discussed the benefits of coconut for the skin. Now let us take a look at how milk can help.
Milk has lactic acid which acts as a mild, natural exfoliant. Lactic acid is also helpful for evening out the tone of the skin. It is because of this feature that using milk in a skin remedy can help reduce blemishes and get rid of acne scars.
Another ingredient in this remedy is brown sugar. Brown sugar is also a natural exfoliant and somewhat less abrasive than salt. If you do not have brown sugar, then you can replace it with white sugar instead.
You will need the following ingredients to make this home remedy:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cold milk
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to get a smooth paste. Apply to face and gently massage over the scars. Leave mixture on for half an hour and rinse with lukewarm water.
This gentle mixture can be used once a week and is beneficial for treating hyperpigmentation and red patches.
Caution: The only advantage of using brown sugar is that it is finer than its white counterpart. This makes it more suitable for sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, then use brown sugar.
Honey Oatmeal Scrub to Get Rid of Acne Scars
People with sensitive skin may not always be able to use ingredients like sea salt or sugar on their face. Instead they will have to look for gentler ingredients which will not dry out or irritate their skin.
This next remedy to get rid of acne scars is for sensitive skin types. This face mask uses oatmeal which is a much gentler ingredient. Oatmeal has saponins which are plant based cleansers. When used in a face mask, they are helpful in removing dirt and oil from the skin. Plus, oatmeal also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory features that give it its healing potential.
Honey, on the other hand, is an excellent moisturizer. It helps keep the skin well hydrated, fresh and supple. Honey is considered beneficial because it has many antibacterial features.
Coconut oil has healthy fatty acids and vitamin E which are both useful for managing inflammation.
To make this remedy to get rid of acne scars, you will need these ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons oatmeal
- half a cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
To prepare the face mask, boil oatmeal in water and let the mixture cool. When cool, add in honey and coconut oil. Mix well. Massage gently onto the affected area and leave on for half an hour. Rinse with warm water.
Apply this mask once a week for best results. The face mask is ideal for sensitive skin and hyperpigmentation issues.
Witch Hazel and Aloe Gel
Witch hazel is a plant native to North America and certain parts of Asia. It has exemplary astringent qualities which can effectively work on getting rid of acne scars and pimples.
Witch hazel’s astringent features not only kill bacteria living on the skin’s surface but also provide soothing relief to acne pimples and scars. It is available in extract form.
Aloe vera is a plant that has a gel within its leaves. This gel has amazing soothing properties when applied to the skin. It is a potent source of vitamins that can help heal skin and get rid of acne scars.
Aloe vera gel is most typically used to treat sunburns or other harsh effects of the elements. But it is also very popular as a treatment to get rid of acne scars. It is very gentle on the skin so there is no risk of side effects or damage to the skin.
To extract the gel fresh from the leaves simply break off a small piece of the leaf by peeling away its outer flesh. Use the exposed gel as needed.
When applied topically, aloe vera can provide deep moisturizing and heal damaged tissue. Together the moisturizing and healing properties make it an ideal candidate .
To make this treatment gel for getting rid of acne scars, you will need:
- 1 cup pure aloe vera gel
- 1/2 cup witch hazel extract
- 1/4 cup ACV
To prepare gel, mix all ingredients together. Wash face and apply gel. Leave overnight and wash the next morning. This gel is safe to use daily.
Caution: While this treatment is very gentle, people with sensitive skin should be aware of its ACV content.
Honey, Lemon and Almond Oil Mask to clearing Acne Scars
A very potent mask uses these three ingredients. Honey has antibacterial properties while lemon comes with cleansing features. Almond oil can lend gentle moisturizing qualities to this face mask making it suitable for all skin types.
To make this mask to get rid of acne scars, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon almond oil
- 1 tablespoon milk
Mix all ingredients together and apply the mixture onto the scars. Leave on for one hour before washing off with warm water. Continue application daily for about two weeks to notice improvement in the skin’s appearance.
Cucumber Face Mask for clearing Acne Scars
Cucumbers are used in many facial treatments because of their cooling, hydrating and healing effects. Plus, cucumbers contain vitamin A and C along with magnesium which are all good for promoting skin health.
To use as a face mask, cut a few slices of cucumber and place them on the affected area. Alternately grate a small cucumber and place it on the face. The hydrating and cooling sensation of the mask can be felt instantly. Leave in place for 30 minutes and remove mask. Rinse face with cool water.
Change Your Diet
You can also make changes to your dietary habits to support healthy skin repair and get rid of acne scars. In this respect, experts recommend including fatty acids with antioxidant properties into the diet. Healthy fatty acids help reduce inflammation and can promote the skin’s resilience at the same time.
Some foods with healthy fatty acids include sea foods like tuna, salmon, herring and mackerel. Others can include flax seeds, walnuts, pistachios and almonds. Whole grains such as barley, whole wheat, oats and quinoa are also recommended.
Vitamin A Can Help Too
Vitamin A is essential to good skin health as it encourages healthy skin cell production and evens skin tone. This feature also helps to get rid of acne scars. When acne pimples become clogged with dead skin cells, oil and bacteria, vitamin A can stimulate cell turnover. You can either include vitamin A rich foods to help your skin, or use vitamin A cream to apply topically.
If you choose to try vitamin A cream for getting rid of acne scars, look for products with retinol. Retinol assists in producing cells that help with collagen production. This feature can help strengthen skin and even it out for a smoother appearance.
Vitamin A rich foods include grapefruit, cantaloupe, apricots, pumpkin, broccoli and spinach among others.
Stay Away From Make Up
To get rid of acne scars, you need to let your skin heal first. This means that you need to keep it away from harsh products. It is highly recommended to steer clear of cosmetics during this time. This is because many products contain harmful ingredients which can irritate the skin. They can also cause inflammation, redness and blotching. All these factors can easily halt the healing process and make it more difficult to get rid of acne scars.
If you must use makeup, then stick with products that are non-comedogenic and oil free. This means that the product will not clog up the pores when used. However, people with severe cases of acne should not use any cosmetics at all.
Handle Your Skin Gently
This tip can include a lot of pointers. For example, when cleaning your skin, only use a gentle or mild cleanser. Stay away from abrasive soaps and harsh astringents.
Do not rub your skin vigorously since rubbing will only make the acne worse. Clean skin using gentle, circular motions of the fingers and pat dry face after washing. Better still, let your skin air dry.
It is also not a good idea to wash the skin too often or use very hot water on the skin. Too much washing may trigger more inflammation and make the condition worse.
When suffering from pimples, many people tend to squeeze and pinch their pimples. This is never a good idea as it can not only aggravate the breakout, but also cause scarring.
If acne spreads to the shoulders, chest and back, then wear loose, comfortable clothing. The problem may become worse when wearing tight clothing as there is more friction between the skin and clothes. The affected area should be kept well aerated and dry.
With the right and consistent regimen of good skin care the problem of acne scars can be resolved at home. Many of the ingredients used in home remedies are soothing agents and have powerful cleansing and antibacterial qualities. When they are used as skin or face masks, they can help you to get rid of acne scars.