The most important factor in beauty is the enjoyment of clear and fresh skin. But due to the influence of several factors, the skin is exposed to acne, especially during adolescence. It may pass peacefully, and the injury will lessen over time, but the biggest problem is the effects left by acne known as acne scars, which may accompany us for many years, causing us stress and embarrassment.
Have you ever suffered from acne scars? Follow this article with us to know the causes of scars, their treatment and prevention.
In this Article
Acne Scars Formation
To know the best way to treat acne scars, we have to know how they occur, and the stages that acne go through before they turn into scars.
Pimples or acne are formed when the pores become clogged due to the accumulation of dead cells and bacteria, where the task of these pores is to allow the oil and sweat secreted by the skin to escape, and these pores are also called follicles. The follicle consists of hair and a sebaceous gland, and the inner surface of the follicles is lined with special cells called cells Keratinocytes. In the normal state, those cells rise to the surface to secrete the lipids that keep the skin moist and shiny.
In the case of clogged pores: the keratinocytes are unable to exit, causing inflammation, pain, and redness. Thus, the infection spreads to the surrounding tissues causing deep damage. At this stage, the skin begins to repair by secreting collagen to repair the damage. When the collagen is not enough, an engraved scar arises. If the body produces more collagen, a prominent scar develops.
Mumbai dermatologist Madhuri Agarwal explains how pimples form, in order to know the best way to prevent them from turning into scars. Pimples go through three stages:
- The first stage: Hormonal changes cause excess secretion of oils, as these oils collect with dead cells to block open pores, the problem of blackheads.
- The second stage, Inflammatory acne: These pimples turn into a visible red circle due to bacteria attacking the skin. And when the body begins an immune response and fights inflammation, the pimple fills with a white fluid, which prompts us to want to pop it and get rid of it.
- The third stage: The pimple begins to dry out and break out of the skin, and this is where it can turn into a scar.
Acne Scars Types
- Atrophic scars:These scars are flat, non-deep depressions, usually heal under the upper layer of the skin. Atrophic scars are divided into several types, including what looks like ice holes where the scar is narrow at the bottom and wide at the top, usually formed on the cheeks where the skin is thin. Some of them are low with prominent edges. The third type is wavy marks on the cheeks and jaws and has slanted edges that make the skin appear wavy.
- Hypertrophic scars: These scars arise during the process of healing the skin from acne, and they are prominent scar tissue. These scars are usually the same size as acne but spread over a wider area of the skin and are found on the skin of the chest, shoulders, and back.
- Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation usually occurs as spots that are darker or slightly different from the color of the skin left by acne. It usually occurs more often in dark-skinned people, or when squeezing and popping acne. In most cases, these spots disappear on their own in a short period of time as long as they remain. The skin is protected from the sun.
The Difference between Acne Scars and Superficial Acne Marks
It is estimated that nearly 80% of the world’s population between the ages of 11 and 30 years suffer from acne, and one in five sufferers suffers from scarring, which has become a real problem for many people. But not all grains in your skin necessarily turn into acne. Scars, which can be just small spots called superficial acne marks.
The pimple may heal from your skin and leave behind a small spot, do not worry, it may not be a scar, it may be a superficial sign of pimples and disappear on its own, in the form of a brown or red spot and fades over time. Sherine Idris, a dermatologist in New York City explains the easiest way to tell the difference between scars and superficial marks “The easiest way to tell if you have an acne scar is to close your eyes and run your fingers over your skin. If you feel changes in the texture of your skin, you probably have acne scars.”
Treat Acne Scars Naturally
There are many natural ingredients in your home that contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help prevent scars from forming, but it takes a longer time and requires adherence to masks on a daily basis to achieve better results.
And now, my dear, we will give you some great examples and unique ideas for making a home mask from natural ingredients that will help you get rid of the problem of acne scars:
Honey and Turmeric Mask
Honey is a wonderful skin moisturizer that can help heal damaged skin. As for turmeric, it is antibacterial. So the honey and turmeric mask is very useful in helping the skin heal from scars. To apply the honey and turmeric mask, take the following steps:
- Make sure your skin is clean and dry
- Mix a little honey and a teaspoon of turmeric, then add a little water to form a paste
- Put it on your skin for twenty minutes, then wash your skin well
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is useful in softening the skin, preventing pigmentation, and unifying the skin color. Put two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add four tablespoons of water and mix well. Then wet a piece of cotton with the mixture. Wipe the scars. Leave it for ten minutes. Then wash it with cold water.
Cucumber and Lemon
Cucumbers and lemons contain astringents that help heal damaged skin and prevent scars from forming. Mash the cucumber well. Add lemon drops to make a sticky mask. Apply it on your face for ten minutes until it dries, then wash it off.
But we warn you, my dear, of the sensitivity of the facial skin to lemon, so if you feel disturbed or irritated, wash your face well and avoid using lemon on your facial skin.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a great ingredient for the skin. It treats acne and prevents scarring. Add three drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil to help moisturize your skin. Grease your skin with the mixture before going to sleep. And wash it with a gentle cleanser in the morning.
Black Seed Oil
Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa) has antibacterial and antiviral properties and is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which helps the skin recover from acne. It is a great ingredient for getting rid of scars and preventing their formation. As it helps the skin accelerate wound healing and prevents pigmentation.
Acne Scars Treatment
If you do not feel any improvement after using natural remedies to get rid of scars, you should visit your specialist doctor to determine the appropriate treatment for your skin. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat acne scars, even old scars that medicine can find a treatment for, through one of the following treatments:
- Topical treatments:
Such as using sunscreen permanently to avoid the contrast between scarred and scae-free skin. Some topical treatments such as creams containing azelaic acid and hydroxyl acids can also be applied under the supervision of a specialist doctor.
- Do not touch the scars:
The first step before choosing the most appropriate treatment is to immediately stop touching the scar, in order to avoid infection again, especially if there is little blood, as the scar can turn into a worse form.
- Skin peeling:
The skin is peeled using a dedicated device that explodes particles in specific areas of your skin in order to help heal acne scars and smooth the texture of the skin. But this treatment does not help deep scars. Your skin may need to perform peeling two or three times until you get the desired result. After each peeling, the skin becomes red and swollen, and may take several months to heal.
- Laser peeling:
The laser is characterized by its ability to remove any scars resulting from acne, even deep or old scars. This treatment is based on removing the upper layer of the skin with a short pulse of laser light. The heat emitted from the laser stimulates collagen production in the second layer of the skin, which leads to skin rejuvenation, increased cohesion, and uniform color.
- Chemical peel:
Chemical peeling uses several acids of varying intensity to remove acne-causing bacteria and unify skin color, and hide acne scars.
Chemical peeling is considered one of the best types of scar treatment because it works at a light, medium and severe depth, depending on the condition of the skin. It can reach deep scars and get rid of them. It also achieves great results in a short time, which makes it an excellent option for treating acne scars.
- Micro needles:
Micro-needles create tiny tunnels in the skin and create small wounds, which stimulates the skin to produce collagen to speed up the healing process. Acne can be targeted by these needles by injecting the affected area with appropriate drugs with these needles, which enhances the effectiveness of the drug and gives faster results. This treatment is useful for filling deep scars, reducing pore size, and improving skin texture.
- Piercing or grafting:
There are many modern techniques that are similar to simple surgeries, targeting deep scars to remove them, such as:
Where the scar is cut from the skin with a special machine, then the wound is sewn flat, which is a great technique for treating deep scars with raised edges.
It depends on taking a skin graft from another part of the body (such as the back of the ear), then removing the scar, and filling the gap with the skin graft.
This method benefits rolling scars, the top layer of scar tissue is separated allowing blood to clot over the scars, lifting the skin and making it smoother.
This method of treatment is based on rolling a special tool over the skin causing small wounds within the scar tissue, which stimulates the skin to produce collagen to help the wounds heal, New collagen helps the upper layer of the skin to improve and recover from scars, and the treatment usually lasts from four to six weeks until the required results appear. One of its negative effects is swelling and redness in the skin after each session, but it disappears after several days.
Sometimes the skin around the scars gets wrinkled, injecting the skin with Botox relaxes the skin surrounding the scar, which leads to an improvement in the appearance of the scars, but the results of this treatment are temporary, which requires repeating it every once in a while.
This treatment depends on removing the upper layer of the skin, which leads to the disappearance of superficial scars and the concealment of deep scars, but it has some side effects, such as changes in skin color.
- Skin tightening:
Dermatologists tighten the skin using a modern technique called radiofrequency. The radiofrequency treatment session is once a month, for a period of four months. After the session, patients feel a burning sensation for about an hour, and the skin turns pink for two or three days, but it has proven its ability to heal the skin from scars clearly, especially deep scars and dark spots. Radiofrequency requires home care for a week after each session, such as applying sunscreen in the morning and moisturizing cream at night. Doctors recommend not exposing yourself to the sun’s UV rays during treatment.
The specialist doctor freezes the scar tissue. Freezing the tissue leads to its death and gradual fall, forming new tissues and thus the disappearance of scars. To achieve better results, doctors recommend a series of cryotherapy sessions and corticosteroid injections. This combination achieves faster results. Cryotherapy can cause spots on the treated skin, especially those with darker skin.
Acne Scars Prevention
Now that we know how to treat acne scars, here are some tips and advice to avoid getting them:
- Treat acne the right way:
To avoid turning pimples into permanent scars, you should treat acne as soon as it appears on your skin, by consulting your specialist doctor to choose the appropriate treatment for pimples and limit their spread. Neglecting and not treating acne exacerbates the scars on your skin, and thus makes it difficult to get rid of them.
- Do not squeeze or pop acne:
Despite your strong desire to squeeze the pimple and get rid of it, this step will make it worse, because squeezing pimples will push acne bacteria into the sebaceous glands and deep layers of the skin, which leads to the emergence of new pimples that can turn into scars. Instead, pass an ice cube on the pimple for twenty seconds to get rid of the inflammation, and you can also use topical acne treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide, and you will notice a change in its size within 24 hours.
- Do not remove the white crust:
When the acne begin to heal, a white crust forms around the pimple, which heals later to disappear and the skin returns as it was. The white crust is the natural skin bandage that protects the wound during recovery, and trying to remove it will slow down the healing process and thus form scars.
- Maintain your skincare routine:
Keeping your skin clean will protect it from spreading infection further on the surface of the skin. This is done by maintaining a regular routine that includes exfoliating the skin periodically to remove dead cells, using a daily cleanser in the morning, and moisturize the skin appropriately. If you have oily skin, choose a light moisturizer that does not clog your pores, choose makeup suitable for your skin, and make sure to remove it well before going to sleep.
- Inflammation treatment:
What most causes acne to turn into scars is the severe inflammation of the pimples. So it is very important to treat the inflammation to prevent the formation of scars with topical ointments that treat inflammation. Aspirin can be used as a topical treatment by grinding it and mixing it with a little water and using it as a paste to put on the pimples for 20 seconds, then wash the area well. Make sure to wash the affected area well before and after applying the treatment.
- Treat your skin gently:
Avoid rubbing your skin or using harsh products on the skin, as well as frequent and excessive exfoliation that leads to skin damage. So you should consult a specialist about the duration of exfoliation and the most appropriate method for it. And when you wash your skin, avoid rubbing or drying it vigorously.
- Use a sunscreen suitable for your skin:
To preserve your skin and speed up the healing process of scars, do not expose your skin to sunlight during the treatment period, as the sun’s rays can slow down the treatment. Therefore, you must choose a suitable sunscreen and keep applying it permanently before you leave the house.
For more on choosing the right sunscreen, you can read: Get to Know the Sunscreen
- Keep your skin hydrated:
Maintaining moist skin leads to an improvement in its texture and its transformation into a healthy and full complexion. Moisturizing helps the skin heal quickly from acne and makes scars appear less noticeable, it is because its ability to unify the color of the skin. To keep your skin hydrated and avoid dryness, choose a moisturizer suitable for your skin. Use it twice a day, and avoid taking a hot shower.
- Use silicone strips and gels:
Atrophic scars are formed due to a lack of collagen formation, so the effective treatment of the scar is before it sinks into the skin, silicone bands play an important role in reducing scars. Where silicone strips and gels unite with vitamin H, which helps the skin to build itself. You can buy them from pharmacies, but make sure to replace the silicone strips that you use on a daily basis to prevent the transfer of bacteria to other areas of your skin.
Having acne at any stage of our lives is a natural thing that can be eliminated. But the scars that can form due to pimples are the biggest problem. because it may accompany us throughout life if it is not treated appropriately. Therefore, as we mentioned in the article, we have to understand how pimples are formed, and see all types of treatment and know its side effects in order to choose the appropriate treatment.
Always remember that obtaining healthy skin is the result of your commitment to a daily routine to take care of your skin, and it is a reflection of your interest in it, and maintaining its cleanliness and hydration. We wish you happy times.
Frequently Asked Questions about Acne Scars
Are acne scars hereditary?
Acne scars are not hereditary, but some genes can affect the possibility of developing acne, which can later turn into scars.
Is Vaseline useful in preventing the formation of scars?
Vaseline has not been shown to be effective in preventing the formation of scars. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends not using Vaseline on top of acne because it causes acne to flare up and lacks any anti-inflammatory effect.
What happens when you burst acne?
When we press on the pimple to pop it, the bacteria rushes into the depths of the skin to form new pimples, in addition to damaging the skin cells around it, which leads to its transformation into a scar, so doctors advise not to press on the pimples and explode them so that the matter does not become worse.
What is the likely duration of healing of scars?
Deep scars do not fade, but they may appear less red with the passage of time. Light scars may take several months and then disappear automatically.
Can scars be treated and removed naturally?
Mild scars can be treated and cured using natural remedies. As for deep scars, a dermatological clinic should be visited to choose the appropriate type of treatment for them, under the supervision of a specialist.