Acne scars -- most of us have a few of them. While acne scars might seem scary and permanent, the good news is that there's a lot you can do to minimize their appearance and completely get rid of them. Here's your comprehensive guide to acne scar removal.
Stop picking at pimples
The vast majority of acne scars form as a result of picking at pimples. When you pick at a blemish, and it heals, it leaves behind a red or brown mark on the surface of the skin. But if you've squeezed a pimple a little too hard, the damage can go much deeper. To minimize the risk of acne scars, make sure to never ever pop a pimple under any circumstances.
Keep acne under control
To keep acne at bay, you'll want to maintain a good cleansing routine. This means cleansing your skin both morning and night. You should use a large dollop of cleanser to wash away all oil, dirt, and debris adequately. If you don't use enough cleanser, makeup and dirt will clog pores, resulting in pesky pimples.
Resurface, resurface, resurface
If you have both acne scars and existing acne, you'll want to use skincare products with resurfacing ingredients, such as glycolic and lactic acids. Both help to minimize the depth and severity of acne scars while unclogging pores. You'll also want to use moisturizers designed for acne-prone skin that contain salicylic and glycolic acids to retexture your skin.
Incorporate retinoids into your skincare routine, too. Its resurfacing abilities help control acne and heal existing scars. Vitamin A dries out sebum production, reducing the likelihood that pores become clogged. Retinoids also promote skin cell turnover and increase collagen production, which fades acne scars. This minimizes the depth of scarring.
Change your diet
Diet plays a huge role in maintaining healthy skin. You should pay close attention to what you're eating and drinking. For instance, gluten can wreak havoc on your skin, resulting in inflammation. You can easily swap out gluten for healthy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, zucchini noodles, and chickpea pasta.
You should also cut back on sugar, alcohol, and carbohydrates. Instead, eat plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables and drink several liters of water daily to help flush out toxins.
Try professional treatments
If acne scarring is your primary concern, and all acne has cleared up, then you should consider microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and a chemical peel to help fade acne scars.
- Fractional laser skin resurfacing. This office treatment creates microscopic perforations in the treatment area to prompt skin to respond to damage. More specifically, it triggers the skin's natural collagen rebuilding process. You'll notice your acne scars gradually fade over time as new collagen continues to rebuild.
- Microdermabrasion. It uses tiny exfoliating crystals to deeply exfoliate skin, removing the outer layer of skin to fade away mild-to-moderate acne scars. You'll notice your skin is more even, softer, and brighter. For more severe acne scarring, dermabrasion is recommended.
- Chemical peels. A chemical solution is used to remove the outer layer of the skin, promoting cell turnover and collagen production. You can choose between mild, moderate, and deep chemical peels depending on your needs.
Win the war on acne scars
Acne scars are unsightly, but you don't have to live with them forever. Treating both acne and acne scars requires a proactive approach. Prevention is critical -- you can prevent pimples from turning into acne scars by changing your diet, refraining from picking at blemishes, and using the right skincare products. If you already have acne scars, seek out professional treatments to help fade them permanently.
- "Everything You Need to Know About How to Get Rid of Acne Scars, Women's Health, October 15, 2018.
- "How to Get Rid of Acne Scars for Good," Elle, November 4, 2018.
- "The 9 Best Acne Scar Treatments Recommended by Dermatologists," Allure, December 13, 2017.