Beautiful skin is a major factor for attractiveness because your skin is the first thing that people notice about you. However, not everyone is as lucky as others. Almost 90% of the people get acne during their teenage years, and 30% of these people get permanent acne scars after successfully exploring the ways on how to get rid of acne.
When it comes to skin problems, one of the most asked question is “how to get rid of acne scars.” Acne scarring is a result of acne vulgaris, which is the most common skin problem among adolescents. While acne vulgaris is a temporary and treatable skin disorder, acne scarring is a permanent skin problem and harder to treat, unless there’s proper dermatological care during crisis attacks.
Three Main Types of Acne Scars
This type of acne scarring can be found mostly in acne sufferers who were able to explore successfully on how to get rid of acne. The best way to avoid this kind of acne scarring is the early treatment of acne vulgaris. Atrophic acne scars have three subtypes: ice pick, rolling, and boxcar. Patients may have more than one type of scar.
Ice pick scars
These scars are long, deep holes that often go sideways into the skin. They usually extend into the deep dermis layer. Dermabrasion and laser resurfacing are often used as an option on how to get rid of acne scars for this type since they are typically too deep into the skin surfaces. They usually develop from a cyst infection or after an inflamed blemish that works its way to the skin’s surface.
Similar to chickenpox scars, boxcar scars are oval or rounded depressions and have vertical, sharp edges that usually occur on the temple and cheeks. They are wider than ice picks and cause a pitted appearance in the skin. They do not taper to a point at the base like ice pick scars. Collagen beneath your top layer of skin can be destroyed during an acne breakout. The skin over that area is then left without support causing a depressed area.
These scars create a raised wave-like appearance on the skin surface and are normally wide and shallow. Rolling scars occur when fibrous bands of tissue develop between the outer layer of the skin and the tissue beneath it. This provides the skin the undulating or rolling appearance.
These scars appear as red, raised lumps which stay within the boundary of the original pimples and can often shrink with the passage of time (months to years). Any wound, in addition to acne, can cause these sorts of scars. They are sometimes confused with keloid scars but, unlike keloids, hypertrophic scars tend to resolve on their own over time.
This type of scarring is a result of a hyper-reaction to trauma on the skin – like a big infected pimple. Keloid scar is considered a more severe form of a scar and can be defined as shiny overgrowths or rubbery, firm lesions of tissue that expand beyond the original wound site. The scar may itch and can change in its color – that is from dark brown to red to pink. The scars have many causes besides acne. These include surgery, accidents, and sometimes body piercings. In some cases, they may even form spontaneously. Although they are benign and non-contagious, they can be a cosmetic nuisance since they can continue growing. Keloid scars most commonly affect dark-skinned people but can occur on anyone.
Four Grades of Acne Scars
GRADE 1: MACULAR
These scars appear as a color change of the skin. Usually, the scar is not easily noticeable. It can be treated by topical treatments, peeling, laser treatment, or pigment transfer treatment. Besides, creams with vitamin C and vitamin E can help reduce the appearance of scars.
GRADE 2: MILD
This grade scars can easily be covered by makeup or facial hair. Treatment options include punch excision and laser treatments. In addition, mild acne scars can be managed with a natural peeling treatment.
GRADE 3: MODERATE
Moderate scars are hard to cover with makeup or facial hair. These scars can disappear by manual skin stretching. Grade 3 scars can be treated by surgery, chemical peeling, or resurfacing techniques.
GRADE 4: SEVERE
Scars on this grade cannot be covered or flattened. For severe acne scars, you should see a dermatologist because the scars are harder to managed and can be treated by combination therapy. Dermatologists can recommend you a laser treatment or surgery. They may also offer temporary solutions such as skin filling injections.
Medical treatment on how to get rid of acne scars
There are many different forms of acne scar removal treatment. Various types of acne scar treatment are suitable for different sorts of acne scars. A dermatologist or skin care specialist will be able to guide you as to what is the best acne scar treatment or the most suitable for your specific case. There is definitely an option on how to get rid of acne scars that will help you achieve that nice, smooth, and clear skin you desire.
This treatment is a common cosmetic medical procedure where a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon uses an electrical device to remove the surface of the epidermis of the skin (the stratum corneum). Dead skin cells are removed by abrasion (sanding), resulting in the skin looking smooth and fresh.
In addition to its use as a treatment on how to get rid of acne scar, it can also be used to remove dark spots on the skin as well as to treat skin that has been damaged from sun exposure. Patients often experience pain with this procedure and often require a general or topical anesthetic.
The skin is usually very red and raw-looking after the procedure, it normally takes several months for the surface tissue to regrow and heal completely. Dermabrasion is considered most useful for acne scar removal where the scar has risen above the surrounding skin surface, and less effective on sunken or deeply pitted scars.
When first developed, the dermabrasion procedure made use of a small, electric Dremel-like sander. Recently, CO2 (carbon dioxide) or Erbium: YAG lasers have become more common replacements with fewer risks. This newer type is referred to as Laser Dermabrasion and is much easier to control and gauge, and is practically bloodless compared to older styles.
Recovery time after laser dermabrasion is usually minimal and there is most often no need to take extended time off of work. This technique is not for everyone as its results are highly dependent on the characteristics of the patient’s skin.
Ideal candidates for laser dermabrasion are considered those who have healthy and fair non-oily skin. The results on patients with darker olive, black or brown skin may be higher pigmentation. In these cases, it is important to consult with your physician or qualified technician before beginning any treatment.
This technique removes the outermost layer of dead skin layer to fade more superficial facial scarring. A vacuum system is used to deliver aluminum oxide crystals through a tube and handpiece. The technician can determine the depth and rate of abrasion at which crystals are applied to the skin’s surface.
On average, patients require 4 to 8 treatments spaced 2 to 3 weeks apart. The method involves very little recovery time and is said to be a ‘lunchtime’ treatment. Moderated to severe acne is not known to respond well to microdermabrasion.
This procedure uses laser technology to ‘burn away’ the surface of damaged skin. A single session of this treatment may be enough to get permanent results. Laser ablative surgery as a treatment on how to get rid of acne scars is now considered the gold standard in which the entire epidermis is removed by light and permitted to re-grow. Vascular lasers that target small blood vessels in the skin tissue can greatly reduce the redness of most scars six to ten weeks after initial treatment. To date, they haven’t been proven effective in flattening scars, although it has been theorized that removing layers of skin with a CO2 or Erbium laser may help with this problem.
This treatment uses laser light to exfoliate top layers of the skin to expose new, smoother skin. This laser treatment is a powerful treatment on how to get rid of acne scars. Severe acne scars respond well to this laser treatment. This technique might be more painful than other laser treatments. A local anesthetic is usually used before the treatment. Full recovery may take up to 1 month, and the skin may stay pink for up to three months after CO2 laser treatment.
CO2 laser treatment can be anywhere between $3,000-$6,000. Dermatologist recommends this laser treatment for severe cases of an ice pick, boxcar, and rolling acne scars.
Er: YAG Laser
This laser treatment works similar to CO2 laser treatment. However, Er: YAG treatment is recommended for less severe acne scars or mild cases of an ice pick, boxcar, and rolling acne scars. Pain will be less compared to CO2 laser treatment, and recovery time is few weeks. Skin color may remain pink for a month or two. Your dermatologist is the best person to decide whether you need CO2 laser or Er: YAG laser.
Fractional Laser Treatment
Compared to CO2 and Er: YAG laser treatment, Fractional Laser Treatment is a milder laser treatment option. Pain is much less and full recovery time is only a few days. You may need several sessions with fractional laser treatment. The cost of this treatment is somewhere around $1,000 per session. It is recommended for mild cases of ice pick, boxcar, and rolling acne scars.
This form of treatment on how to get rid of acne scars is effective because it can be very precise. It again works by removing the damaged top layer of skin, allowing the new smoother skin to grow back. Treatment time can be anywhere from a few minutes and up to an hour. As with other treatments, there will be swelling and redness. Proper care should be taken to avoid infection.
Small needles or a needle roller is used for this technique. Skin needling induces natural collagen repair process, and skin will look smoother in a month. Full recovery time is only 2-3 days, but the collagen repair takes time. Results will be achieved in months. The cost of Skin Needling is between $150-$500 per session. This treatment option is good for rolling acne scars.
This treatment uses various chemicals to exfoliate top layers of the skin. Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), Jessner’s Peel (salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol), retinoic acid, trichloroacetic acid, and phenol peel are used for chemical peeling. The application is made depending on the severity of the acne scar and can be modified by using different acids, amounts, and the time it is left on the skin. More than one session may be necessary. Chemical peels are most useful for less severe cases of scarring. This treatment must be done by a trained professional.
The cost of Chemical Peeling varies, depending on the treatment level (light, medium, and deep). It can be anywhere between $150 to $5,000. The average cost is $600. It is recommended to use this treatment if you have ice pick acne scars.
This treatment on how to get rid of acne scars is used to treat raised scars. Steroids are injected into the scar tissue to shrink it down and make it blend in with surrounding tissue.
A long-term course of steroid injections into scars may help to improve the appearance (by flattening and softening) of keloid or hypertrophic scars. The cost of Steroid Injection is anywhere between $50-$100 per injection.
In this treatment, substances are injected to raise the depressed scar to make it level with the surrounding skin. This acne scar treatment is not permanent and will need to be repeated after a few months as the substance breaks down within the body.
Collagen, silicon, or body fat is injected into the skin to fill the scars. This procedure must be used by a trained professional. The cost for this procedure is between $500-$1,000 and is good for the boxcar and rolling acne scars.
Purified bovine (cow) collagen can be used to fill in, and therefore raise, sunken scars to the same level as the surrounding skin. Collagen injections do not produce permanent results. Because they are made of natural protein, collagen will break down over time into amino acids and be absorbed by your body. In many cases, the effects of the injection will last anywhere between 3-6 months, although in some patients the effects of a single injection may last up to 2 years. There is also a risk of allergic reaction to these products with some patients.
This method is suitable for patients with a few acne scars on shallow shoulders (edges). Collagen is not considered suitable for narrow ice pick scars. It is a less expensive option. Usually, a .5 cc costs about $125. Popular skin-filler products for this procedure are Restylane and Cosmoderm.
Autologous Fat Transfer
In this technique, fat is transferred from another part of the body to the scar site. This fat is injected under the scarred area to lift the depressed scar. This technique is often used to treat deeply contoured skin defects caused by nodulocystic acne. Because the transferred fat may be reabsorbed into your skin tissue, you may require additional treatment sessions – often after 6 to 18 months.
There are three different types of this acne scars treatment.
Excision involves cutting out individual acne scars and then joining back together with sutures or steri-strips. It works best for deep scars. There may be some faint scarring as a result but much less than the original scar.
Elevation is where the base of the scar is excised and then lifted level with surrounding skin and secured in place.
Graft is when the scar is cut out and replaced with a graft usually taken from behind the ear.
How to get rid of acne scars using home remedies
There are various modern treatments to remove acne scars, but mostly they will cost you a good fortune. If you don’t have the cash or simply don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, you can try the following home remedies for acne scars. The lists below will help you how to get rid of acne scars naturally.
Many people around the world get great results on treating their acne and scarring using cucumber. It has some substances that are great for our skin condition as well as curing skin disorders. You may use it as a mask. Also, you can make it as juice and rub it on the acne scars directly for about 20 minutes then wash it with cool water.
One of the most used ingredients in various skin care products is aloe vera. This plant is loaded with different essential substances that are very beneficial for our skin. Many people have got great results using it to cure their acne and acne scars problem. Currently, you can easily find aloe vera juice products available in various stores. Apply the juice directly on the scars, just like the cucumber juice above.
Just like the above two ingredients, you can use tomato extract or juice and apply it directly on the affected skin. Tomato is loaded with many vitamins and antioxidants that are great for our skin health. Many people have seen significant positive effects on their acne scar condition using the tomato extract.
You can use honey directly on the acne scar, or mix it with other ingredients above to boost the effects.
Another ingredient that has been proven to work great on how to get rid of acne scars naturally is cocoa butter. You can find it easily in any stores, just make sure not to choose one with added flavor since it can trigger any side effects. You can apply the butter directly on the scar.
Some people also have great results by mixing the above ingredients. For example, make a mask using tomatoes and cucumbers extracts and apply it as a face mask for about 30 minutes a day. You can even add honey to the mix as it also has great medicinal benefits for our skin.