How to Get Rid of Acne Scars: The Best Home Remedies and Treatments Out There
Wanna bid adieu to stubborn scars? Here are 12 expert-approved ways to win the beauty battle.
When we talk about skincare woes, breakouts definitely top the list. An unwelcome, stubborn guest who refuses to leave; even if you manage to get rid of acne, they often leave their mark behind. In fact, several experts have gone ahead and claimed that it's actually easier to get rid of acne, than having to deal with the scars thereafter.
"How you get rid of an acne scar depends entirely on the type of scar you’re dealing with. If you’re referring to a post-acne scar that is a pink-ish red or tan-dark brown colour, the solutions vary vastly from the scars that result from dents in your skin," states Paula Begoun, founder of Paula's Choice. While some may choose to take matters into their own hands and resort to home remedies and sworn-by kitchen ingredients, others prefer quick action through medical intervention.
"While home remedies can help get rid of most acne scars, there are some that require the attention of a dermatologist. The scars that are raised on the skin often do not just fade away with time. But a dermatologist will have multiple treatment options to offer, ones which will suit your skin-type and will minimise the appearance of the acne scars, resulting in smooth, blemish-free skin," states Dr Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist.
Either way, whether you're the quick-to-run-to-the-dermat type or a natural remedy freak, we have beauty solutions to offer for one and all.
1. Aloe Vera
"Rub fresh Aloe Vera gel on your scar, in circular motions, for about 10 minutes. Leave the gel on the skin for 30 minutes and rinse off with cool water. One must practice this twice, daily, for desired results." suggests Dr Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist. Dr Simal Soin, Aayna Clinic, informs us that Aloe Vera has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the appearance of acne and prevent breakouts. Additionally, Aloe Vera contains plenty of water and is an excellent moisturiser for naturally glowing skin!
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, enriched with vitamin E and lauric acid has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. "Warm some coconut oil and massage it on your scars for 5-10 minutes. Leave on overnight, or for a few hours, before washing your face with warm water. Practice this every alternate day," suggests Dr Kapoor.
Dr Kapoor also advocates the use of potato and lemon for best results. "The high starch content in potato helps with scars and blemishes. Cut some potato slices and rub them gently over the scars. Alternatively, you could make use of potato juice or lemon juice as well," she adds.
4. Green Tea
Dip a green tea bag in hot water for about 3 minutes, after which remove the bag and let it cool. Add honey to the green tea leaves and apply this mixture on your face for approximately 20 minutes. Rinse your face with cool water and pat dry. "With a high concentration of anti-oxidants that help the skin heal by breaking down chemicals that are responsible for damaging healthy skin cells, green tea also eliminates the possibility of new breakouts," states Dr Soin.
5. Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E oil is know for moisturising and nourishing the skin, adding to your glow and making the skin smooth. It also fights hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and wrinkles. "Apply vitamin E oil on the scar and massage gently for 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, wash your face with warm water. Practice this thrice, daily," says Dr Kapoor.
I know this sounds icky, but onions contain bioflavonoids and are known to reduce the appearance of pimple scars only after a few weeks of use. Dr Kapoor recommends gently dabbing and massaging the onion extract onto the scar. Let it dry and rinse off afterwards.
1. Over the Counter Creams
If used correctly, over the counter creams can help reduce surface acne marks. "They are not meant to treat depressed scars. Your dermatologist may also recommend retinol, salicylic acid, or lactic acid for external use. These treatments work by gently peeling or exfoliating the outer layer of your skin, thus reducing the scar appearance," states Dr Kapoor. "Topical application like Dermaceutic Yellow Cream, Kojivit Cream and Demelan Cream are also prescribed by dermatologists to ensure promising results," informs Dr Soin.
2. Acne Surgery or Cryosurgery
Cryosurgery involves freezing the scar, causing the tissue to die and fall off. Some injections such as corticosteroids or interferon may also be used to treat raised acne scars. If none of the following treatments work, the dermatologist may recommend acne surgery to remove or fill in the scars from the skin.
3. Fraxel Laser
"Fraxel laser is one of the safest, most effective, and popular treatments available for tackling acne scars and resurfacing. It intensively treats tiny portions of the skin without affecting the surrounding skin tissue, resulting in increased production of healthier collagen. This reduces healing time immensely and is effective for the hardest to treat ice-pick scars as well. After a few sessions of this treatment you will find that the scars are visibly reduced," informs Dr Soin.
4. Chemical Peels and Dermabrasion
Dr Simal Soin suggests the repeated use of chemical peels made from glycolic or salicylic acid. This alternative also delivers short-term relief from acne. "Suitable for treatment of scars that are not too deep, both peels as well as dermabrasion procedures remove the outer layer of the skin, resulting in scar-free resurfaced skin," informs Dr Kapoor.
5. Other Laser Treatments
"Pulse dyed lasers also reduce the burning and itching sensation caused by a scar, along with lightening it's appearance. However, I recommend Fractional CO2 lasers which are most ideal for Indian skin type. They promote collagen production and stimulate the natural healing of skin," says Dr Kapoor. Lasers are the safest and most convenient way to get rid of raised as well as depressed scars. "US FDA approved laser Clear Skin is used to treat acne scars with no downtime and visible side effects. This treatment is safe for all skin types and you’ll notice visible, long-lasting results after just 5 treatments! At the deeper levels of your skin, it works on collagen remodeling, which further helps improve open pores, acne scars, along with skin tightening," states Dr Soin.
Dr Soin recommends the AAYNA Signature Facial. "This treatment regulates the skin cycle like no other, hydrating, rejuvenating, and restoring dull skin that results from the build-up of dead cells caused due to external stressors such as pollution, sun damage, and stress. The hydrating elements utilised in the procedure heal damaged skin, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and acne, while shielding it with antioxidant protection. By reducing the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and brown spots caused by excessive sun exposure, the facial makes your skin look bright, supple and youthful!" she adds.
Overall, it's crucial that you avoid attempting to pick or scratching the scar out on your own, causing scabs. Consult a dermatologist for the right skincare guidance and take things from there.
Dr. Debraj Shome is Director and Co founder of The Esthetic Clinics. He has been rated amongst the top surgeons in India by multiple agencies. The Esthetic Clinics patients include many international and national celebrities who prefer to opt for facial cosmetic surgery and facial plastic surgery in Mumbai because The Esthetic Clinics has its headquarters there.