Acne is a common problem that almost all people experience at some point in their lives. Managing acne can be a challenge. Unfortunately, your skin problems don’t just end when you get rid of the acne. Acne often leaves behind a parting gift in the form of acne scars. Read on to find out how you can get rid of those acne scars at home, using natural remedies.
What are Acne Scars?
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that acne scars are part of the healing process in the aftermath of acne. Once the acne starts clearing up, your skin tries to rectify the damage that has occurred.
To correct this damage, your skin produces collagen in an effort to heal itself. However, if you are unable to produce enough collagen, the blemish won’t heal fully and can leave behind a concave scar, called atrophic scarring.
Similarly, if you produce too much collagen, the blemish ends up being a raised scar, called hypertrophic scarring. Though AAD suggests surgery, including laser treatments to heal acne scars, there are alternative, natural remedies that may help as well and be less invasive.
Types of Acne Scars
As mentioned, acne scars can be either atrophic and hypertrophic in nature. There are different types of atrophic scars.
- Boxcar Scars––these scars appear as depressed areas on your skin. They are oval or round in shape and look as though they have sharp edges.
- Ice Pick Scars––these scars leave behind noticeable holes on your skin, although they are small in size.
- Rolling Scars––these scars appear with indented slopes and leave behind uneven skin. They mostly appear on the jaw and lower cheek areas.
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
Aloe vera is an excellent remedy for nearly any skin issue. It’s a tropical plant with clear, gel-filled leaves. Applying aloe vera gel directly to acne scars aids in the healing process by reducing inflammation and minimizing the size of the scar.
These properties of aloe vera come from the fact that it contains sulfur and salicylic acid. Both ingredients are used for acne treatment. You can also apply aloe vera directly to your skin as a moisturizer, which is great after being in the sun for a period of time!
Honey has been used in medicine for ages. It’s known to help heal burns, herpes, wounds, inflammation, dryness, and more. Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is also a natural exfoliator.
Even better, research indicates honey can also be beneficial in minimizing the risks of scarring, while speeding up the process of healing. That means not only can it prevent or reduce acne, it may also help heal acne scars.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is essentially an acid, made by fermenting apple cider. All the different types of vinegars have one thing in common––they are excellent at fighting fungi and bacteria.
Additionally, apple cider vinegar includes an organic acid called ‘citric acid’ that is known to fight p. acnes bacteria, and ‘succinic acid’ that reduces inflammation triggered by the p. acnes bacteria.
It also contains lactic acid which is known to reduce the appearance of scars––including acne scars––because it’s an exfoliator. However, it’s best to dilute the vinegar before applying it to your skin. As a side note, lemon juice works in much the same way and can help reduce the appearance of scars.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Although rosehip seed oil is marketed and commonly used for its anti-aging properties, it can be helpful in treating acne, too. Rosehip oil is calming and soothing to the skin. It’s also rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamins, especially Vitamin E, which all help to speed up cell repair and regeneration. This makes rosehip oil an effective home remedy for acne scars and other marks on the skin.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has excellent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil comes from an Australian tree called the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree. Using tea tree essential oil as a spot treatment can help clear up comedones and acne, while also reducing the appearance of scars.
It’s also gentler on the skin compared to other acne fighting agents and causes much less irritation and skin dryness. Just be sure to dilute tea tree oil before application since it can be somewhat intense.
Shea and Cocoa Butter
Both cocoa and shea butters get absorbed deep into your skin and lock in the moisture. This increased moisture speeds up the regrowth and regeneration of skin cells. This, indirectly, leads to the reduction of acne scars. Even better, shea butter also has anti-inflammatory properties that minimize the risks of acne in the first place.
Each of these acne scar home remedies are suitable for most cases and skin types. However, if you don’t see a difference in the appearance of your scars after consistently using any or all of these methods, it may be time to consult with your dermatologist!