Can Certain Foods Reduce Acne Scars?

Can Certain Foods Reduce Acne Scars?

Hippocrates, the Greek philosopher and physician who famously inspired the doctor’s Hippocratic oath, also gave us this ageless wisdom: “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.” During his lifetime, science was not yet advanced enough to examine food and digestion on a molecular level, but he had of course noticed a distinct correlation between diet and health. Those who ate well tended to be healthier, and those who did not often had poor complexions.

We now know that there are some specific food ingredients that influence skin health, and can be particularly helpful for healing acne scars. Research is still ongoing, and the links between diet and skin health are still anecdotal in many cases. However, there are a few correlations that are supported by strong clinical evidence.

The Role of Fruits and Vegetables

Vitamin A and its related compounds are found in foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, and cantaloupe. These compounds contribute to skin health by maintaining proper elasticity and moisture, which helps scars form more evenly across tissues. The vitamin A ingredient, retinol, is commonly used in topical face creams; however, the body also actively absorbs vitamin A from foods with the aid of vegetable oils.

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables also tend to be lower in fats and added sugars, which helps keep the glycemic index low. Recent clinical research indicates that high-glycemic-index diets contribute to a greater occurrence of acne in some groups due to an increase in insulin production, which is required to regulate blood sugar. In fact, high glycemic index and insulin are among the most scientifically and clinically significant dietary factors which can impact acne. Low glycemic index diets are also known to decrease the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

The Scoop on Omega Fatty Acids

Two forms of omega fatty acids (OFAs) are found in our foods. Omega-6 fatty acids are associated with repairing tissues after physical activity. Omega-3s are primarily associated with metabolism in mammals. Both forms are essential to the body for different functions, but the ratio of one to the other is where many diets fall short.

Most nutritionists recommend consuming equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, many diets that are high in vegetable oil and beef ingredients tip this balance in favor of omega-6, sometimes as much as 30:1. This may not seem important at first glance, but excessive imbalance in favor of omega-6 have been shown to contribute to inflammation.

Because acne scars are generally formed over relatively small areas of the skin, any level of increased inflammation can increase their appearance and slow the healing process. To help balance your OFA ratio, it is helpful to first visit a nutritionist to analyze your current diet, and determine if an omega-3 deficit exists. If so, you may increase your omega-3 intake with grass-fed beef or dairy products, soy-based foods, wild rice, walnuts and almonds, flax, black and kidney beans, and coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefin tuna, Atlantic mackerel, and anchovies.

Healing Acne Scars from the Inside and Out

The hard truth is that no one remedy can completely heal acne scars. However, by eating a healthy, balanced diet which provides essential vitamins and nutrients to the skin, combined with topical creams, such as InviCible Scars, the appearance of acne scars can be greatly reduced, both during and after the initial healing phase.

Have a question about your acne scars? Leave a comment and let us know!

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Scars?

Healing is a series of steps on a very long journey, but the destination proves worthwhile when scars eventually fade. Individuals hoping to minimize (or even eliminate) the appearance of hypertrophic, atrophic, and other types of scars should understand how their bodies react to each stage of the process.

Read More: Scars

The Inflammatory Phase

Healing begins with the inflammatory phase. A cut to the skin triggers a sudden dilation of blood vessels, which allows enzyme-rich fluids to rush to the wound. These fluids attack damaged tissue, breaking it down to eliminate bacteria, erythema, and broken collagen fibers.

The Proliferation Phase

To combat the amount of nutrients lost from inflammation the body increases its collagen production. This creates a new network of tissue. However, all too often this network proves excessive, with protein chains layering against each other. This raises the skin and forms a scar.

Epithelialization Phase

Skin serves as a barrier against infections. However, newly formed scars are structurally weaker than traditional tissue. Lipid bilayers appear infuse the skin surface with moisture, sealing scar sites against free radicals.

Maturation Phase

Scar tissue eventually begins to mature. Surrounding blood vessels shrink back to normal size, collagen production decreases, and hydration levels settle. The wound closes completely and bonds with the tissue. Eventually, the scarring begins to fade.

Read More: Scar Phases

How Long do These Phases Take?

Scars are unique – and so is the healing process. Each phase demands an individualized amount of time to reach completion. In general, however, patients can expect:

  •  Inflammatory Phase: 1 to 3 days.
  • Proliferation Phase: 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Epithelialization Phase: 1 to 2 days.
  • Maturation Phase: 1 – 2 years.

Impacting Factors

The healing process is, unfortunately, fickle. A variety of factors impact its effectiveness:

Genetics

Certain elements, such as metabolism, oxygenation rates, and enzyme levels, are inherited. Genetic precursors play pivotal roles in the overall speed and efficiency of healing.

Nutrition

Dietary choices directly impact healing. Patients suffering from low Vitamin A (which promotes balanced cell growth), Vitamin C (which promotes anti-oxidation), or Zinc (which promotes enzyme production) often experience slow healing.

Age

Younger skin is more prone to abnormal and exaggerated healing. This can lead to hypertrophic or keloid scars. Older skin takes longer to recover. These factors affect the body and its ability to heal, keeping scars from fading and potentially increasing their appearances.

Read More: Scar Healing

Each patient is different – shaped by specific genetic traits, dietary choices, and their age. Because of this, it remains impossible to definitely chart a scar’s healing process.  However, most can expect the process to take about a year.

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Healthy Snack Ideas to Improve Scar Appearance

Healthy Snack Ideas to Improve Scar Appearance

Healthy skin demands a healthy diet. To improve the appearance of scars, ensuring proper collagen distribution, the reduction of inflammation, and the softening of tissue, choose nutrient-rich foods.

Read More: Nutrition

Snack Time Suggestions: Choosing the Right Ingredients

Sodas and sweets make for a delightful treat. However, they don’t offer the fundamental nutrients needed to improve scars. Swap out those calorie-heavy snacks for ones infused with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Zinc.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that strengthens the immune system and expedites the healing process, helping scar tissue fade. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 90 milligrams to ensure good health, and achieving this requires the right snacks:

  • Yellow Bell Peppers (341.3-mg per large pepper)
  • Golden Kiwi (64-mg per large fruit)
  • Strawberries (10.6-mg per large berry)
  • Oranges (69.7-mg per large orange)

Read More: Vitamin C

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a retinal-infused compound that improves the texture of the skin. It accelerates cell development and generates greater elasticity. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 1500 micrograms, and individuals can reach this amount this with:

  • Carrots (7835-micrograms per large carrot)
  • Kale (17707-micrograms per cup)
  • Cantaloupe Melon (2334-micrograms per cup)
  • Tuna Fish (7141-micrograms per ounce)

Read More: Vitamin A

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient. It counters the effects of free radicals, protecting skin from loss of hydration, decreases in elasticity, and oxidation. While Vitamin E does not improve the appearance of scars (whether applied topically or taken through diet or supplements), it is great for combating oxygen free radicals which can damage the skin, especially from sun exposure – and UV rays can permanently darken a scar. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 20 milligrams, and there are many ways to meet this number:

  • Almonds (7.3-mg per ounce)
  • Avocados (4.2-mg per cup)
  • Sunflower Seeds (10.2-mg per ounce)
  • Tofu (4.5-mg per ounce)

Read More: Vitamin E

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that directly impacts the body’s immune system. It enhances cellular growth and dissolves carbohydrates (which provide key proteins during the tissue creation process). This decreases the rigidity of scars and reduces inflammation. Physicians recommend a daily dose of 15 milligrams, and there are many delicious ways to reach this goal:

  • Cashews (1.6-mg per ounce)
  • Dark Chocolate (5.9-mg per cup)
  • Mushrooms (1.4-mg per cup)
  • Mung Beans (0.6-mg per cup)

Read More: Zinc

Consider Supplements

Achieving a healthy lifestyle is not always possible, with individuals forever on the move and away from the kitchen. Choosing the right snacks proves challenging, and vitamin supplements are often needed to ensure balanced results.

These items deliver concentrated bursts of key minerals so that even the busiest individuals can maintain their diets and meet their intake goals. It also promotes the improved appearance of scars.

Read More: Vitamins

Substituting traditional snacks with vitamin-heavy foods provides immediate and long-lasting results. Make the change today!

Have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and let us know! Be sure to subscribe to the Scars and Spots blog as well for further updates on this and similar topics.

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Do Essential Fatty Acids Fade Scars?

Do Essential Fatty Acids Fade Scars?

Scars are almost always permanent, but with patience, time, and proper treatment, they can fade and become less noticeable. Choosing the right treatments, however, proves crucial to the healing process. Essential fatty acids are one of the treatments often recommended to individuals seeking to minimize the appearance of their scars.

Read More: Fade Scars

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

Essential fatty acids (also known as EFAs) are carboxylic compounds. Though they serve key functions – stimulating the metabolic process and aiding in tissue regrowth – they’re not created naturally within the body. Instead, they’re synthesized through foods, ointments, or other secondary methods. This ensures a steady introduction of linoleic and oleic properties into the bloodstream.

Linoleic Acid

Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated EFA chain. Due to its double-bonded shape, it does not appear naturally within the body. Its role as an inflammation regulator and a producer of cell membranes, however, proves critical to human development.

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid (also known as Omega 9) is a monounsaturated EFA chain. It’s not manufactured within the body but is instead commonly ingested through nuts, seeds, avocados, and other oil-based foods. It directly affects plasma production, circulation, and insulin production.

These two EFAs impact the texture and appearance of scar tissue. How? Let’s examine their effects.

How Do Essential Fatty Acids Affect Scars?

Essential fatty acids – specifically linoleic acid and oleic acid – trigger a variety of functions within the body:

Regeneration of Lipid Bio-Layers

Lipid bio-layers affect the skin’s overall hydration. They’re needed to soften each scar’s texture and promote elasticity. EFAs stimulate the lipid production process and maintain moisture levels.

Prostaglandin Production

Prostaglandins are fatty enzymes. Through their secondary compounds, known as prostacyclins, they stimulate skin growth, as well as attack sources of inflammation. This reduces redness, irritation, and swelling. EFAs contribute to prostaglandin production, which delivers concentrated compounds to the scar site.

Melanin Regulation

Melanin is an oxidized compound that determines an individual’s pigmentation. It affects skin color, eye color, hair color, and more. The arrival of scars tend to create an overproduction of melanin, which darkens the affected area considerably. EFAs regulate melanin and fade hyperpigmentation.

Through essential fatty acids, individuals achieve supple, hydrated skin, reduced irritation, reduced inflammation, reduced hyperpigmentation, and enhanced elasticity. These elements combine to fade scars. InviCible Scars contains essential fatty acids in combination with a stable form of Vitamin C to fade scars.

Read More: Get Rid of Scars

Essential fatty acids are pivotal in the healing process. They deliver vital lipids and promote hydration, decreasing tissue rigidity and size. This makes them ideal for the treatment of hypertrophic, keloid, and even surgical scars.

Have a question? Leave a comment below!

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What Is the Difference Between Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars?

What Is the Difference Between Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars?

No two scars are alike. Each one is shaped by genetics, metabolism, perfusion cycles, oxygenation rates, and more – and different wounds respond to different treatments. It’s important, therefore, to understand how the most common tissue tears can be healed. Let’s examine atrophic and hypertrophic scarring.

Read More: Types of Scars

What are Atrophic Scars?

Atrophic scars are flat lesions that appear on the face and body. They’re formed when fatty deposits beneath scar sites disintegrate, causing a sudden recession of collagen and muscle. This decreases the overall elasticity of the skin and creates a shallow, pitted effect.

Atrophic scars are typically associated with skin disorders, such as: chickenpox, cystic acne, or extensive ultraviolet damage. Their sizes, textures, and depths vary greatly. They’re not generally considered painful, but they are often prone to irritation or inflammation.

What are Hypertrophic Scars?

Hypertrophic scars are, unlike their atrophic counterparts, raised lesions. They occur when an excess of collagen builds within the body, causing the tissue to thicken dramatically. They’re clustered around the scar site (unlike keloids, which spiral outward) and feature red, textured appearances.

Hypertrophic scars have many causes – cuts, surgery, burns, or even acne. They will often heal on their own, but the process is slow and sometimes painful (extreme irritation or itching may occur).

How Do Patients Treat These Scars?

Treatment starts with identification. Once patients establish whether they’re suffering from atrophic or hypertrophic scars, they can then quicken the healing process.

Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars occur when external factors interrupt the body’s collagen process. There are, however, several treatments available to reinvigorate this process:

Dermabrasion

Cylindrical pads move across the scar site, buffing away olds cells and encouraging the growth of new ones. Skin is gently stimulated and collagen production resumes.

Soft Tissue Injections

Soft tissue injections introduce patients to new collagen, pumping controlled doses directly into the scar site. This slowly rebuilds elasticity and fullness.

Silicone Gels

Silicone gels restore natural hydration levels, helping skin achieve greater mobility. They also soften pitted tissue and minimize the appearance of atrophics.

Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars occur when the body releases too much collagen, but several treatments are now available to maintain proper production, including:

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy utilizes bursts of light to penetrate the skin, with high-frequency pulses reversing the collagen flow.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy relies on varying degrees of pressure (often achieved through bandages) to slowly eliminate build-ups of collagen.

Vitamin C Complexes

Vitamin C complexes infuse tissue with key nutrients, helping to stabilize collagen production. They also reduce redness, irritation, and rigidity.

Before starting any scar treatment program patients should consult with their physicians.

Read More: Get Rid of Scars

Atrophic and hypertrophic scars rank among the most common afflictions worldwide. They affect men, women, and children alike. Learn how to identify them to ensure successful healing.

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