The 2 Most Important Steps for Eliminating Acne Scars
By Dr. Agnes Olszewski
It’s hard enough to fight acne, but fighting acne scars is truly an uphill battle. There are many options available to help make scars less visible, but unless you work on treating, and most of all PREVENTING acne from coming, NONE of them will work and be worth your effort and money.
Acne marks and scars result from repeated (and extensive) damage to the skin due to acne pustules and papules, pimples, zits, cysts, etc. Each pimple is associated with an inflammatory reaction which causes some local damage when combating bacteria trapped in the clogged pores of the skin.
If you think of a cut on your skin, you get a scab that helps it to heal. Pimples that become inflamed are like little cuts that need to heal; with repeated breakouts there is no time for the skin to regenerate. When you stop acne from coming you will allow your skin to at least partially renew itself using collagen (building blocks for the skin) producing new healthy tissue. As a result, your acne scars will become less visible, and those marks that are more superficial (small and less deep) may even vanish.
Step 1: Preventing Acne From Coming
Your skin needs to heal so that acne scars don’t form – it doesn’t have a chance to do this when the acne cycle is not broken. Choosing an acne treatment that not only helps to treat existing acne but will actually break the acne cycle and prevent repeatable breakouts must come first. Otherwise, anything you do to make the existing acne scars less visible or “non-existent” will simply be a waste of your time, effort and money.
You can start by recognizing what type of acne you have: Mild? Severe? Cystic? Hormonal? Body? Choosing the right treatment that will help you stop the acne cycle is a foundation of fighting acne scars.
So in summary, preventing new acne from forming is the first crucial step to getting rid of acne scars and marks.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Option for You
After your acne is healed and you prevent new breakouts from coming, choosing the right acne scars treatment option is a next step to clear skin.
Depending on how extensive your acne scars are, how sensitive your skin is, how much perseverance you have, what your budget is and your philosophy on skincare, the list of acne scar remedies is quite extensive. The problem is that often they promise too much. Deep acne scars may generally be made less visible but will only completely vanish under make-up. In general, treatment of acne scars takes time and commitment.
Doctors remove the top layers of skin with a chemical application. The procedure both reveals fresh skin and stimulates the collagen production. Often, this treatment must be repeated several times for satisfactory results. Again, if new acne outbreaks are not prevented, peels may not only fail to bring satisfactory results, but may not be permitted during times of acne flare-ups. Take a look to see the reviews on chemical peels – they’re not too favorable.
High-energy light burns away damaged skin. The procedure is neither cheap nor painless (even topical analgesic agents are used). Repeated treatments are sometimes necessary. New acne may produce new scars requiring additional treatments.
Doctors make injections beneath the skin to replace the body’s natural collagen that has been lost. This can be done with collagen or fat taken from another part of the body. The cost is usually per cubic centimeter that needs to be restored. Results are temporary, so it must be repeated. New acne scars will require new injections.
The surgeon removes the top layers of skin with an electrical machine that abrades the skin. Repeated treatments are often necessary especially with deeper scars and if new acne formation is not prevented.
Small skin grafts replace scarred skin. Doctors punch a hole in the skin to remove the scar, which is then replaced with unscarred skin. Multiple punches are usually necessary.
Natural alternatives to dermatological procedures:
While you are getting rid of your acne and preventing new pimples from forming, you are also helping to heal the existing acne scars and prevent new acne (and scars) from forming. When your skin is in better shape from the right acne treatment, you may opt to explore some less expensive, less painful and more “natural” alternative ways to help acne scars become less prevailing. Just remember though, less is more – you don’t have to run to your nearest health food store to buy all of these ingredients and try all of them at once.
These natural remedies are safe and non-irritating options proven to soften and diminish the appearance of scars.
• Vitamin E. Vitamin E comes in capsules (soft gel) or in a bottle. You can get 400-500mg soft gel capsules. Poke with a needle (do not break or crush, as it will spill), and squeeze the content slowly on your ring finger (not at once). Massage (not rub) the most profound scars for 30-45 seconds at time, at least twice a day. Alternatively, you can buy liquid vitamin E (it comes in potency of 50,000 IU). Put a drop or two on a clean plate, and use your ring finger to apply as directed above.
• Rose hip seed oil. Available in most health food stores, rose hip seed oil has shown to reduce the appearance of scars. Massage (not rub) on the scars twice a day with your ring finger (it has a lightest touch!).
• Aloe vera juice, or gel. Aloe fades scars, and can prevent them altogether when applied regularly. Massage (not rub) on the scars twice a day with your ring finger.
• Lavender oil. Available in health food stores or bath and body shops, lavender oil also reduces scar appearance when applied (massaged delicately) on scars on a regular basis. Massage (not rub) on the scars twice a day with your ring finger.
The KEY to PREVENTING ACNE SCARS and HEALING the existing scars is an acne treatment that stops new acne from forming. After this step is successfully achieved, choose your acne scar treatment based on an educated choice, balancing the information you get from dermatologists, with your own search and preferences, and of course your budget. Do not expect or believe in instantaneous results, as unfortunately they do not exist. But YES, with the right choices you CAN make significant difference acne scars.
Dr. Agnes Olszewski, CEO of Herborium, natural medicine expert
“My work in China in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, and my personal experience while growing up in Europe, inspired me to develop Herborium®, a novel Botanical Therapeutics® company, based on a new, innovative healthcare concept that combines science and nature. Our approach has already been proven up to 98% effective in our acne treatment, AcnEase®.”