While breakouts can be frustrating and a pain to deal with, nothing prepares us for the aftermath of a major acne episode – the scars left behind after battling zits and papules. Acne scars are a traumatic reminder of a bothersome, painful and possibly embarrassing condition from our past. Fortunately, thanks to the various acne scar removal techniques available today, you don’t have to carry this gruesome and bothersome memory along for the rest of your life.
That being said, professional acne scar remover services can cost quite a tidy penny. Not everyone, especially in the prevailing economy, can afford to churn hundreds or thousands of dollars just to improve their complexion if they don’t earn their daily bread directly from it.
Here’s where simple, affordable but effective at-home treatment comes in. A disclaimer, though. Before commencing any home remedy for acne scars, it’s imperative to seek a green light from your dermatologist to help you choose the best method for your skin type. They will also confirm that the marks on your face are indeed scars sustained from a past breakout and not another skin condition that would require a different approach.
Lactic Acid for Chin Acne
Lactic acid is one of the key ingredients that you need for acne scar removal at home. It acts as a gentle exfoliator that helps peel off dead skin tissue that forms the better part of acne scars. In short, it can improve the overall appearance of the scars and smoothen the exterior-most texture of your face, particularly around the chin area. In fact, a 2010 study unearthed how dermatologists were able to improve the general complexion of badly scarred skin by performing comprehensive lactic acid peels every fortnight or so.
Besides, lactic acid plays a critical role in lightening darkened scar tissue. It is even believed to aid in minimizing hyperpigmentation and this explains why most OTC acne spot treatment, serums, peels and ointments often contain lactic acid as one of the active ingredients in their formulation. Speaking of which, you can extract lactic acid from a dilute solution of apple cider vinegar, just in case you cannot find it at your local drugstore. It is also a more natural and quite affordable source especially for beginners.
That being said, there are reports of some people being sensitive to lactic acid. As such, it is advisable to test any acne scar treatment that contains this ingredient on a small localized patch of skin just before embarking on using it extensively to manage acne scarring.
Retinization Using Retinoids
There are reports that a few topical retinoids can be helpful in getting rid of acne scars within record time. You see, retinoids are known for the following beneficial dermatological properties;
- Block inflammation
- Speed up the rate of cell regeneration
- Reduce the appearance of acne lesions
- Lighten hyperpigmented or darkened acne scars even in people with darker skin tones
A combination of the above factors means that you can minimize acne scarring by simply adopting a weekly or bi-weekly retinization routine. What’s more, you can find a variety of serums and creams that employ retinoids over the counter at your nearest drug store. In this case, be on the lookout for treatments that contain retinol as one of the principal ingredients. They are best for minimizing the appearance of depressed or atrophic scars.
Having said that, it is important to also realize that retinization can make your skin hypersensitive to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Hence, it is advisable for anyone employing retinoids for long term acne scar treatment to normalize wearing sunscreen whenever they are outdoors to avert predisposing themselves to more skin problems.
Salicylic Acid as an Acne and Dark Spot Remover
There are high chances that you have already encountered salicylic acid – albeit unknowingly – at some point in your skin care journey, It is a naturally -occurring biochemical compound that is used in most acne treatment products, from the likes of face cleansers, lotions to spot treatments and pads. In other words, outside of lactic acid, salicylic acid is the major nexus in just all kinds of acne care treatment regimens available these days.
And it is easy to see why – salicylic acid is beneficial in removing dead skin cells, clearing dirt/grime from the skin and opening up the skin pores to stave off future breakouts. Besides, it can minimize swelling and redness which is instrumental in improving the overall appearance of recent acne scars. It is also a decent exfoliator when applied regularly which explains why it ranks as the best accessible acne scar remover for the common man. And this makes it an excellent addition to one’s daily or bi-weekly skin care routine, particularly if you are frequently battling acne.
Unlike other acne scar remedies, salicylic acid is useful for almost all scar types. Nonetheless, it may take anywhere between a few weeks and a month or two before you start seeing a difference in some stubborn types of scars. The compound is also known to cause minimal irritation and dryness in some people, you may want to attempt spot treating before scaling up to extensive and regular use if you happen to have sensitive skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids for Body Acne Scars
There’s no denying body acne scars are some of the most difficult and pertinacious scarring to get a hand on, especially if they have already morphed into keloid or hypertrophic scars. Fortunately, AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids have been found to be a bit beneficial in minimizing the appearance of such types of acne by making them less noticeable and removing dead skin.
In tandem with this, the mild acid contained in AHAs is believed to be helpful in the exfoliation of the exterior of those angry-looking scars, something that goes a long way in making them easier to the eye. There are also reports from past users that claim that acne patches that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids are effective at clearing skin discoloration and getting rid of rough/scaly-looking skin.
A Combination Sunscreen and Moisturizer
It may sound like a no-brainer but you would be surprised by how many people overlook the benefits of wearing sunscreen on a daily basis over their acne scars. For starters, extensive research and even casual observation has shown that prolonged sun exposure darken acne scars further thereby making them more noticeable than they really are. The explanation behind this is quite simple, really. Acne scars have a mildly different melanin composition and this distinctiveness becomes even more contrasting in the presence of UV light rays from the sun thus making them stand out more. And this increased mismatch between scars and unscarred skin does not do your complexion any favors.
Some people opt to skip the trip to the drug store altogether and use natural kitchen remedies to help reduce post-acne scarring. Some of these traditional treatment options that have been used for generations to improve complexion include
- Lemon juice
- Raw/unprocessed honey
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda/yeast
- Aloe vera gel
- Shea butter
The truth is that the science behind some of these approaches is rather unclear but this does not mean that they don’t work entirely. That aside, you may want to exercise a bit of caution to avoid aggravating and worsening your symptoms further.
The above face and body acne scar removal techniques ought to be your first port of call before advancing to other professional but potentially more expensive approaches such as laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, chemical peeling or full-on surgery.