As if the sting of acne weren’t quite enough, many men and women are left with pock marks, red spots, or other discolorations brought on by acne scarring. Though some will say avoidance of scars is simple, some acne seems to leave marks no matter how many precautions are taken. For men and women who suffer from these marks, don’t worry; your scars can be cured.
Why Do Acne Scars Occur?
Acne scars occur for several reasons:
- Pitting caused by the improper use of nails or tools to “pop” pimples
- Discoloration caused by prolonged pimple presence and irritation
- Pock marks caused by irritation, scabbing, and infection
Scarring is more commonly seen in individuals with chronic acne, rather than those with only occasional flare-ups. Scars can be deep, dark, and severe, or light and reminiscent of small, dotted freckles. Whatever the case, scarring can cause very real emotional issues resulting from insecurity about one’s appearance. For this reason alone, curing scars is a high priority for many acne-prone people.
Can Anyone Get Rid of Acne Scars?
Yes! Acne scarring, both big and small, is typically curable, regardless of skin color, texture, or age. Younger, fuller skin will, of course, respond more readily to treatment, as will light-colored and shallow scars. There are several different methods of erasing scars, some of them simple and easy to complete at home, others requiring medical-grade equipment and professionals. These include:
- DIY treatments, typically involving honey or lemon
- Spa treatments using microdermabrasion or chemical peels
- Medical treatments using lasers and other medical-grade cosmetic equipment
Lighter, more recent scars are usually well-treated by at-home remedies, while deeper scars usually require more in-depth treatment.
How Is It Done?
DIY Treatments usually use ingredients found in the average family’s pantry. The most common ingredients is honey; it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, discouraging future acne, as well as moisturizing and smoothing skin. Honey and cinnamon have a soothing, toning effect on skin.
To use this mask, mix ½ tsp of cinnamon and 1 tbsp. of honey to form a paste. Apply this paste and leave on for 1-2 hours. Wash off with warm water, and repeat once per week until scars have sufficiently faded.
Spa Treatments generally employ either microdermabrasion or chemical peels. Microdermabrasion is a less inflammatory option, and uses rotating heads typically made of diamond or crystal. Accompanied by a small vacuum, these crystals slough off the top layers of skin to reveal smooth, fresh skin underneath, while removing dirt, grime, and old skin.
Chemical peels have a similar effect on skin, though they use chemicals to do so, and generally cause swelling and redness that can persist for several days.
Medical Treatment usually involves a laser and several intensive treatments. These treatments are designed to wholly resurface the skin, and are typically reserved for more drastic cases of scarring with deep pitting or stretching. Laser treatments can be quite expensive, and can require as few as two sessions or as long as months of treatment. Although it may seem tempting to enlist the help of a professional for even mild scarring, these treatments are best left for men and women with severe pitting and discoloration.
How Do You Remove Acne Scars From Your Back?
At-home acne scar treatments for your back usually employ lemon rather than honey, as removing honey from large areas of the back can prove quite difficult. To create a back mask, compile lemon juice, yogurt, and turmeric. In a bowl, combine 3 tbsps. of yogurt, 20-30 drops of lemon juice, and ¾ tsp of turmeric. Mix ingredients thoroughly, then apply to the affected area and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Remove with a warm, wet washcloth. For best results, apply the mask once per week for at least one month.
Can Scars Be Prevented? How?
The good news is that scars absolutely can be prevented. The easiest method of prevention is, of course, eliminating the culprit: acne. To eliminate acne, consider improving your diet to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy lean meats, and plenty of water. Begin a regular exercise regimen, and practice good hygiene in washing your body and face. Pillowcases and bedding should also be washed at least once per week.
If acne stubbornly persists, there are several measures you can take to prevent scarring. The first of these is simple: avoid touching your face as much as possible. Although it can be tempting, avoid squeezing, scratching, or fiddling with pimples, and allow them to go down on their own. The process can be facilitated by applying ice to the area, crushing and applying aspirin, or even applying toothpaste overnight.
If touching your face or fiddling with spots is not in the cards, consider applying a toner before applying moisturizer or makeup each morning. Toner is designed to even skin tone and texture, keeping redness and pock marks at bay. A toner, of sorts, can even be applied to areas of the body prone to breaking out. Applying an apple cider vinegar and water mix to a break-out-prone area should help lessen breakouts, as apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial properties, and serves to tone and clean skin.
To support even-toned skin, apply a trusted brand of sun screen. Though it may seem strange, limiting harmful sun exposure can assist in maintaining an even skin tone and healthy skin, even as it applies to acne pitting and scarring.
At the End of the Day…Raid Your Pantry
While some deeper scarring may require medical or professional assistance, many instances of acne scarring can be eradicated by applying masks and pastes comprised of ingredients found in most pantries. While the prevention of acne as a whole is, of course, preferable, there are also measures you can take to prevent scarring following a break out. As much as possible, avoid fiddling with existing spots. When scars occur, take care of them as quickly as possible to facilitate healing and new growth. Above all, remember: skin is an organ, capable of incredible regeneration. Taking steps to move toward greater health both inside and out will result in brighter, softer, clearer skin.