How to Remove Acne Scars and Heal Skin

Acne scars can be an unfortunate side effect of pimples. Find out how to heal scars here.

How to Remove Acne Scars and Heal Skin
  • 1
    What Causes Acne Scarring
    It’s estimated that acne affects 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30. Scarring can be an unpleasant side effect of breakouts, but fortunately it’s possible to minimise the damage to your skin.

    There are two types of acne scarring. “Depressed” or “atrophic” scars are the most common. This type develops as dents in the skin where tissue has been lost.

    “Keloid” or “hypertrophic” scarring is where the skin creates new fibres of collagen – the protein that gives skin strength and flexibility. These scars are raised above the skin’s surface and are more unusual.
  • 2
    How to Reduce Acne Scarring
    This acne scar removal guide will explain how to reduce the appearance of acne scars at home using non-prescription remedies. It will also give an overview of treatments offered by medical professionals.
  • 3
    Types of Acne Scars
    Depressed or atrophic scars fall into the following categories:
    • Ice Pick Scars
    These are deep, narrow (around 2mm wide) scars that look similar to open pores. About 65–70% of atrophic scars are ice pick scars.
    • Rolling Scars
    These are caused by damage under the skin. There are usually wider than 4–5mm and lead to shadowing on the skin surface. About 15–25% of atrophic scars are rolling scars.
    • Boxcar Scars
    These are normally round scars, similar to rolling or chicken pox scars. They’re commonly wider at the surface and often compared to craters.
  • 4
    How to Reduce Acne Scars
    You won’t be able to remove acne scars completely, even with a cosmetic procedure. However, you can reduce the appearance of acne scars over time simply and safely at home.
    • Avoid the Sun
    The sun’s strong UV rays trigger your melanin-producing cells (melanocytes). This can darken your skin and make scars appear more visible. Wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, and reapply often. The sun is at its strongest from 11am to 3pm, so avoid direct sunlight during these hours.
    • Moisturise
    Your skin needs moisture to heal. The top layer of skin alone – the stratum corneum – can absorb three times its weight in water. If you suffer from acne scarring on your body (shoulders and back for example) moisturise with Vaseline® Intensive Care Deep Restore Lotion. Its nutrients and moisture penetrate multi-layer deep down into the stratum corneum.
    • Skin Treatment Procedures
    If your acne scars are damaging your confidence and daily life, you might want to consider a cosmetic procedure. However, you should always talk to a qualified dermatologist about the advantages and risks before committing. Your surgeon could recommend:
    • Dermabrasion: Removal of the top layer of skin using a fast rotating device. Dermabrasion can remodel the structural proteins of your skin, making it look smoother.
    • Laser Treatment: There are two types of laser treatment. Ablative laser treatment removes a small patch of skin to leave a smoother area. Non-ablative laser treatment is where a laser stimulates collagen growth, tightening skin and repairing the damage caused by scarring.
    • Punch Technique: Can be used to treat ice pick and deep boxcar scars. There are different versions of the punch technique, but all involve surgically removing the scars and smoothing the skin.
  • 5
    Prevent Acne Scars
    Even if you treat your breakouts correctly, you may still scar. Here are a few simple preventative steps that could help stop acne scars.
    • Don’t Squeeze Your Pimples
    A pimple is a localised infection of a pore. Your hands carry oils and bacteria and touching (or worse, squeezing) your pimples can cause additional infection and further inflammation of the skin. The more inflamed your acne becomes, the greater the chances of scarring.
    • Develop a Skincare Routine
    Committing to a healthy skincare routine can promote clearer skin, resulting in fewer breakouts. Opt for a mild soap or gentle cleanser and avoid abrasive products like facial scrubs and astringents. Be sure to avoid overwashing as this can irritate skin further.
    • Visit a Dermatologist
    If you’re struggling to control your acne, visit your dermatologist. They’ll help you come up with strategies to reduce pimples and the chances of scarring.
Remember, no one has perfect skin. Everyone has had a pimple, a scar or a blemish at some point. While you can’t remove acne scars completely, you can reduce acne scars and learn to embrace your skin.
The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice, it is solely available for information purposes.