Acne Scars

Acne is one of the most common skin problems affecting thousands of young men and women, across the United States. Also known as zits, pimples or blemishes, acne can seem like a never-ending problem, as new ones crop up, just as the older ones seem to disappear. Acne can range from mild to severe, depending upon the causes and the areas affected. Although this skin problem can affect just about anyone, it is a lot more common in teenagers. Studies indicate that almost 85% of the teenagers in the US are affected by acne problems at some time or the other, mainly due to the production of the androgen hormone. Fortunately, getting rid of acne is not a major challenge. There are a few simple dietary and lifestyles changes that you can incorporate to reduce this problem. There are many individuals who have the tendency to pick at their pimples; many also try to burst them, in desperate attempts to get rid of them faster. However, this practice should be strongly discouraged as it leads to the formation of acne scars on the skin. These acne scars not only look unsightly, but are also very difficult to get rid of.

Acne scars are not really a major cause for concern. However, most people who have them feel very self-conscious about their appearance. Unfortunately, it has also been seen that people who have acne scars find it very difficult to get rid of them, without the help and assistance of a dermatologist. This is because the cures for acne scars are not as effective as the cures for acne. Moreover, while it may be possible to treat the scars so that they fade over a period of time, the procedure is usually lengthy and time-consuming.

In order to save yourself a lot of time, money and trouble, it is best for you to avoid the formation of acne scars. This means that you need to refrain from touching the pimples, picking on them, fidgeting with them or bursting them.

Remedies for Acne Scars

There are several medical and cosmetic procedures that can help get rid of acne scars, such as laser treatment, dermabrasion, tissue fillers, surgery and so on. However, most of these procedures are quite expensive and in most cases will not be covered by insurance. Fortunately, there are several home treatments and natural remedies for acne scars too, many of which are quite effective in the lightening and perhaps even the gradual removal of the scars. Given below are some of the most widely recommended remedies for acne scars:

  • Ice: Rub a few pieces of ice directly on to the areas of skin that have been affected by the scars. Ice has a soothing effect on the skin, and this helps to overcome the inflammation and hastens the healing. However, for best results, this exercise should be carried out at least 3 or 4 times a day. Rub ice cubes on to your skin for around 15 minutes at a time, or even longer, if possible. This is one of the most effective home remedies for acne scar removal.
  • Olive Oil: If used every day, this treatment can help lighten scars considerably and gradually reduces their visibility.
  • Lemon Juice: When it comes to reducing the appearance of acne scars on the face, lemon juice is usually very effective. This natural treatment not only brings about a reduction in the scars naturally, but also helps to lighten the skin tone. For maximum effectiveness, the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon should be applied on to the skin and left on for at least 15 to 20 minutes, before it is washed off.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: This remedy is used for alleviating several skin-related problems, which includes acne scars. Dip a small ball of cotton in the vinegar and apply it on to those parts of the skin where the acne scars are present. After around 10 to 15 minutes rinse the skin with water. This exercise needs to be carried out twice a day.
  • Cucumber: Several spas and salons use this home remedy in lightening skin scars. Cucumber not only soothes the skin inflammation, but also speeds up the healing process. Cut a chilled cucumber into thick slices and apply them on to your skin for around 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Baking Soda: Being a natural cleanser, baking soda can help to relieve many skin conditions, including acne scars. Mix a small amount of baking soda in water, to make a thick paste. Dampen the acne scar-affected skin and apply the paste on it, using circular motions. After around 10 or 15 minutes, rinse the skin with warm water.

While most of these remedies for acne scars are quite safe if used correctly, it is best to consult a doctor before trying any of them.

Symptoms of Acne Scars

It is usually the more severe forms of acne that lead to serious scarring. However, those who have a tendency to get pimples usually assume that any scar has been caused by acne. At the same time, there are some who have acne scars, but do not realize it. This is because most of us are not really sure what acne scars look like, or if they are different from other types of scars in any way. Moreover, the appearance of acne scars may differ for various people. Therefore, recognizing an acne scar may be a bit of a challenge without the help of a skin specialist.

In most instances, an acne scar will be a bit darker than your normal skin tone. This is probably why many of us mistake an acne scar for skin discoloration problems. In some individuals, an acne scar can look more like a bruise that has formed under the skin. Though it is not very common, in some instances the skin may take on a reddish tint.

In several individuals acne scars may take on the appearance of holes or depressions. This causes their affected skin to look bumpy and dented. These acne scars are also commonly referred to as acne craters, acne pits, ice pick scars, depressed fibrotic scars or soft tissue scars. The size as well as the depth of these depressions or holes may vary, from one person to the other, based on the size of the pimples that were formed on the skin. Smaller craters can go unnoticed at times, but the bigger and deeper ones are hard to miss.

Causes of Acne Scars

The types of scars that are usually formed by acne include atrophic scars, or depressed scars. Atrophic scars like ice pick and boxcar are often formed where there is a loss of skin tissue.

Most health and skincare experts will probably tell you that the most common cause for acne scars is from the habit of touching the pimples, picking on them, fidgeting with them or popping them. While this is true in most cases, there could be other factors too, because of which you may develop acne scars. For example, in case you have the tendency to scar easily, you are more likely to develop acne scars, even if you do not fidget with your pimples too much.

Superficial wounds, including those resulting from acne, usually heal without leaving a mark on the skin. However, if the dermis is damaged for any reason, a scar will probably be formed on the skin. In case of acne scars, inflamed lesions like a cyst, papule or pustule are usually the most common culprits. This inflammation occurs when the follicle or skin pores are blocked by bacteria, dead skin cells or excess oil. These factors cause the pore to swell and eventually lead to a break in the follicle walls. If this rupture is close to the surface of the skin, the damage to skin tissue will be minimal. However, deep breaks in the follicle wall can cause the infection to spread to the dermis, thereby destroying healthy skin tissue, which in turn leads to the formation of an acne scar.

Diet for Acne Scars

The effect of a diet on acne scars is still a bit controversial in most medical circles. However, following a healthy diet that is high in vitamins and minerals can help detoxify the body. This in turn prevents acne outbreaks and expedites the healing of the scars. Given below are a few tips on a diet for acne scars:

  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, as it flushes the toxins from your body.
  • Consume a glass of water to which some freshly squeezed lemon juice has been added, first thing in the morning. Do not eat anything for at least half an hour after that.
  • Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, as they are high in silica, which is excellent for restoration of the skin. Fresh fruits and veggies also contain natural antioxidants, which keep the skin clear and healthy by eliminating toxins from the body.
  • Increase your consumption of foods that are high in Vitamin C, as it helps the skin tissues heal faster. Oranges, peppers, mangoes and other citrus fruits are great for this purpose.
  • Zinc is good for the growth, healing and regeneration of skin tissues and therefore, foods that are high in zinc should be consumed regularly. This includes meat, seafood, poultry, potatoes and pumpkin seeds.
  • Herbal tea is excellent for overall health, which includes the skin and therefore, you could try drinking a cup of herbal tea after each meal. Some of the types of herbal tea that are effective include chamomile, cumin, fennel and coriander tea.
  • There are certain foods that should be avoided, if you are trying to get rid of acne scars. This includes greasy food, processed food and fatty foods, as they slow down the healing process.

    Suggestion for Acne Scars

    Many people regard acne scars as a painful reminder of their skin’s difficult history. They have been known to trigger off many negative emotions, like loss of confidence, depression, poor self-image and so on.

    It is true that getting rid of acne scars is a lengthy and difficult process; however, it is possible to do so. What is required though is a lot of patience, dedication and commitment to follow a proper skincare routine and diet on a daily basis. It is also a good idea to seek help from a professional dermatologist.

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