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It is completely fine if you got acne or acne scars. But if you are looking for acne scar treatment products, I got you! In this post you will understand how acne scars are formed, the types of acne scars and the best 7 acne scar treatment products.
Not all scars are the same so treating them requires different approaches. So let’s start with how acne scars form, the types of acne scars and treatment products.
How Acne Scars Forms
There are two ways in which scars are formed. The first is the regeneration and the second one is called repair. Regeneration does not leave any scars because healing happens in the epidermis (the first skin layer) while repair leaves scars on the skin.
Acne scars are formed by repair caused by inflammation. Inflammation plays a major role in acne scarring because it extends deep into the dermis. Inflammation together with enzymes destroys the dermal structure. This in turn produces collagen – too little or too much collagen leads to acne scars. Hence, controlling inflammation early is one of the keys to preventing or reducing acne scarring.
Visit different types of acne to learn more about acne, causes of acne and the best acne products. This post will focus solely on acne scars.
Types Of Acne Scars
1. Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE)
This type of acne scar is still in the early stages and usually goes away on its own if treated early. But if left untreated, they give the impression of acne lesions and are prone to permanent scarring. They are superficially red, pink, or purple blotches, very common in lighter skin types. Also very common in people with very sensitive skin like rosacea.
2. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
Another by-product of acne. This type of scar happens when pigmented cells are overstimulated during the healing process. They are more common in darker skin types and those that pick at their lesions. PIH differs from PIE, PIH is brown and long-lasting than PIE (red or pink).
3. Ice Pick Scars
Ice pick scars are very common, severe and very difficult to treat. Due to their depth and narrow impressions, It gives the “V” shape that appears on the skin. They tend to worsen with age making you look more mature than your actual age. These scars are commonly seen around the cheeks, eyebrows and nose.
4. Boxcar Scars
Boxcar scars look round, oval or irregular and sharply defined “U” shaped in your skin. They are wider than ice pick scars. They are very common on the lower cheeks and jawline.
5. Rolling Scars
They appear poorly demarcated depressions of the skin or appear “wavey” on the skin. They worsen with age and are seen commonly on the lower cheeks and mandibular areas.
6. Hypertrophic & Keloidal Scars
Hypertrophic & Keloidal Scars occur when there is abnormal production of collagen and a decrease in elastin. You would notice them to be elevated, dome-shaped fibrotic scars. They are either pigmented or take the colour of the skin. Frequently seen on the face, back, shoulders and chest and very common in males than females.
There are still more types of acne scars but the ones mentioned above are the most common ones.
Best 7 Acne Scar Treatment Products
Sunscreens especially broad-spectrum sunscreens are highly recommended for acne scar treatment to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Broad-spectrum sunscreens are those that block against UVA and UVB light. Use a non-comedogenic and preferably gel-based sunscreens
Applying retinol is very useful in acne scar treatment, especially for keloids and hypertrophic scars. Daily application of retinol acid has been shown to soften and decrease the size of acne scars. Also, it improves post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne scars.
3. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from sugarcane. It acts by remodelling the epidermis, accelerating cell turnover and resulting in decreased hyperpigmentation. It also increases hyaluronic acid and collagen expression in the dermis.
For optimal acne scar treatment, mix with retinol. Studies have shown a positive combination of retinol with glycolic acid helps to prevent and improve acne scars. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to do a patch skin test before mixing these two together. Visit how to mix skincare active ingredients for safe combination.
4. Mandelic Acid
Another alpha hydroxy acid is derived from bitter almonds. If you find glycolic acid irritating, then you can opt for mandelic acid. It is a very large acid and less penetrating, making mandelic acid well tolerated in the skin. Consider doing a patch test before using mandelic acid.
5. Pyruvic Acid
Pyruvic acid is an alpha-ketoacid with a very strong antimicrobial effect. It promotes collagen and elastin when applied. The use of 40-70% pyruvic acid is recommended. It is also effective in rosacea and inflammatory acne. Side effects include burning, stinging and irritation. You should do a patch test before using.
Adapalene is an approved treatment for acne and it is more tolerable than retinoids. Formulation of 0.1% to 0.3% has been shown to treat acne scars and also improves fine lines and wrinkles. For optimal treatment, mix adapalene with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide for the treatment of moderate acne scars.
7. Onion Extract
Lol, I know onions did not come to your mind for acne scarring treatment but research has shown that it works. For what is worth, you definitely don’t want to be smelling like onions but this vegetable contains lots of skin-friendly benefits. It is anti-inflammatory, kills acne bacteria, increases collagen synthesis and reduces the breakdown of collagen. A study compared the effects of onion extracts with another popular acne scar treatment (silicone gel). After applying for 12 weeks, researchers found that they are equally effective.
You can make your own onion extract at home by combining 1 tsp of freshly made onion juice with 1 tbs of aloe vera gel. Apply the mixture to the scar and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and moisturize the area
Topical Acne scar treatment plays a crucial role in the management of acne scars. It is useful in mild acne scars to improve your skin acne scars and reduce hyperpigmentation. Acne scar treatment doesn’t stop here, there are still much more treatment strategies out there.
How do you treat acne scars? Let me know down in the comment box below