5 Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars

5 Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars

Scars used to be untreatable. Skin, once damaged, could not return to its former texture, and redness was permanent. This has been a source of lingering discomfort for many faced with acne in their teens and the remaining acne scars throughout adulthood, making it a problem that never really goes away.

However, times have changed, and individuals now have a seemingly endless array acne scar solutions – but which solutions actually work? Five in particular have been proven to provide superior results.

Topical Scar Cream

Topical creams combine natural ingredients (such as Vitamin C or Aloe) with fortified synthetics (such as silicone) to heal, protect, and restore skin. They infuse the body with much-needed hydration and soothe irritation through their antibacterial properties. They provide non-invasive results and can be obtained without prescriptions.

Read More: Topical Scar Lotion

Facial Scar Revision

Facial scar revision redefines the appearance of scars, combining topical treatments – which expedite the healing process and improve pigmentation – with surgery. The procedure, known also as layered closure, involves cutting out the old scar and reclosing it, repositioning  the edges of the scar so it heals better. This is a medical procedure and must be conducted by a certified plastic surgeon.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a process that involves the removal of scarred skin. It utilizes a series of sharp-edged brushes, rotating them quickly across tissue to “sand away” uneven areas and promote more even texture as the skin heas. This bolsters the body’s ability to heal (as exposing unaffected dermal layers restores balance to collagen production) and helps to improve the appearance of scars. Dermabrasion is a medical procedure but does not require a plastic surgeon. Many dermatologists also perform it.

Read More: Dermabrasion

Micro-Needling

Micro-needling is aptly named. It utilizes countless tiny needles, pricking the skin again and again in a series of controlled bursts. These bursts are intended to stimulate the healing process (as the body will respond to the minor injuries, producing collagen to fill in the minuscule holes). This reduces the appearance of scars by improving facial contours and enhancing the skin’s elasticity. Micro-needling is typically performed by a dermatologist.

Chemical Peel

Chemical peels deliver a low concentration of acid to the skin. They’re typically composed of glycol or TCA (trichloroacetic acid), and they’re used to (gently) remove affected dermal layers. The peels are spread across scars and penetrate the ridges, revealing the softer tissue beneath. These treatments can be done at home, but due to potential risks with improper acidic balances, it is strongly recommended that individuals visit their dermatologists for treatment instead.

Read More: Chemical Peel

Treatment Successes – Patience Required

All scars are different, and will therefore respond differently to treatments. The healing process is determined by a variety of factors, including genetics, collagen production, metabolism, nutrition, stress levels, and age, and it’s impossible to accurately calculate the amount of time needed to experience results from creams, peels, and other solutions. Some individuals may see instant improvements. Others may instead have to try multiple avenues before seeing real results.

When attempting new treatments, it’s important to be patient and allow the body to heal at its own pace. Don’t give up, and don’t try to rush the effects.

Are you curious about the scar solutions mentioned here? Contact us today! We’ll be happy to provide you with more information. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog as well for instant inbox updates!

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Old Scars: Treatment Options

Old Scars: Treatment Options

There are many types of scars, just as there are many types of scar treatments. Individuals are forever bombarded with endless creams, ointments, and abrasion pads – and it can prove confusing to choose between them. For many, the best option is to utilize a variety of natural and medical options when trying to improve the appearance of scars.

Read More: New Or Old Scars

Topical Remedies:

Aloe Vera

This gelatinous extract (from the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant) delivers superior relief during the initial stages of scar healing. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that heal wounded skin, soothing irritation and helping to increase moisture. This softens the scar, keeps is moisturized and improves its appearance, however it does not fade the scar.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the best ways to fade scars. Always choose a stable form of Vitamin C (such as in InviCible Scars.) Healthy collagen production is necessary to reduce the size and appearance of scarring overall, and that is something that Vitamin C can play a big role in, as this vitamin is essential in the collagen production that is required to formulate healthy connective tissue in a wound.

Dimethicone Silicone

Silicone is one of the best ways to treat old scars. It relieves scar redness, pain and itching, improves scar elasticity and can treat and prevent difficult scars like hypertrophic scars.

Honey

Scars often create a lack of moisture in the skin. Honey helps to provide that moisture, providing the tissues with alkaline-rich properties and antioxidants. This revitalizes the hydration process and reduces scarring. Raw honey (not pasteurized) should be used.

Read More: Nutrition

More Invasive Options:

If topical scar treatments don’t help, there are several more invasive options for people to consider. Dermabrasion is the process of carefully removing layers of skin. It utilizes a series of rotating brushes, which spin quickly across raised tissue to reduce its thickness and rigidity. It’s used most often for facial scars, such as ones left by acne or surgeries.

Tissue fillers are aptly named, with dermatologists injecting the skin with substances like hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxyapatite. These mimic the effects of collagen and help to redefine the skin’s natural contours. This reduces the appearance of scars, as well as improving their overall textures.

Read More: Dermabrasion

Surgical scar revision can also be a very good option for some problem scars, especially scars that healed poorly or unevenly, and ice-pick acne scars. This of course creates a new scar, but replaces the problem scar with a scar that heals better and more predictably.

Consult With a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon

Before starting any scar treatment program – whether natural or medical – individuals should consult with a specialist. This will allow them to choose the right products for their particular needs, as well as help them avoid dangerous OTC options (such as hydroquinone or kojic acid). Be aware that no treatment is guaranteed and results will vary based on a patient’s specific scar type, skin type, healing rate, and genetic profile.

Have a question about your old scar? Leave us a comment! Be sure to subscribe to Scars and Spots as well to have all updates delivered right to your inbox.

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Do Over the Counter Scar Treatments Really Work?

Do Over the Counter Scar Treatments Really Work?

There are so many different types of over the counter scar treatments that it can be difficult to know whether or not they actually work. The ingredients of the treatments play a significant role in their effectiveness. The right ingredients, especially in the right combination, will facilitate the natural healing process, reducing the appearance of the scar, while other ingredients may not work, or even cause more damage.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is commonly found in skin care ingredients since it is a powerful antioxidant that promotes beautiful skin. However, there is no real evidence that using vitamin E actually improves the scar. Instead, the benefits are most likely due to continued moistening of the area, rather than the infusion of the vitamin. Many people also develop contact dermatitis from vitamin E, so it is another ingredient to avoid.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant, and it plays an important role in the body’s healthy immune response, which includes wound healing. Furthermore, it is essential for proper formation of collagen and elastin in skin, which helps build healthy skin cells, rather than damaged scar tissue, after the skin is injured. Vitamin C also fades the hyperpigmentation that can come with scarring. Therefore, it is an effective and safe ingredient in an over the counter scar treatment.

Silicone

Silicone is another ingredient that has been shown in studies to aid in the treatment of scars, while not promoting any danger. It reduces any redness, pain and itching associated with the scarring, while also improving the elasticity of the skin.

Aloe Vera

Another beneficial, and effective, ingredient for over the counter scar treatment creams is aloe vera. This plant has long been used in cosmetics and first aid creams due to its moisturizing and healing effects. It protects the wound while also promoting healing, reducing inflammation, and strengthening the collagen structure.

Hydroquinone

Many popular over the counter scar treatment creams contain hydroquinone, and it has a reputation for effectively lightening scars. However, it is a very dangerous ingredient that has been banned in several countries. Even in the smaller doses found in over the counter creams, it can lead to problems such as impaired wound healing, irritation, nail discoloration, and ochronosis (permanent skin darkening).

Kojic Acid

Another seemingly effective scar treatment ingredient that is commonly found in over the counter creams is kojic acid. Like hydroquinone, it may work, but the negative effects are not worth its lightening abilities. Studies have found that prolonged use leads to more sensitive skin and contact dermatitis. It also is not effective at improving the appearance of scars, beyond lightening the skin color.

When OTC Treatments Do Not Work

If you have a keloid, indented scar, or certain other scars, then over the counter treatments will not work. These scars require more invasive treatments, such as laser therapy, collagen injections, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, dermabrasion, or microneedling. If you are unsure about the best form of treatment for your scar, then you should discuss it with your dermatologist.

When looking for an effective over the counter scar treatment, you should look for all natural ingredients that do not include preservatives or fragrances, as this could also aggravate the skin. You do not want to use any harsh ingredients; instead, you want to support your skin’s natural healing process, which will reduce the appearance of any scars.

Have a question about your scar or a particular ingredient? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Risk Factors for Scarring

Risk Factors for Scarring

Damage to the skin, whether from an incision or wound, results in a risk for scarring. Scar tissue forms as the natural part of the skin’s healing process, and when the scar tissue remains rather than being replaced by normal skin cells you are left with a scar. There are several risk factors for scarring, some of which you can moderate and others you cannot.

Age

The very young heal better, which results in a better outcome for their scars. When you are young and prone to growth spurts, your body creates new collagen and skin everywhere in your body, including the areas where you have scars. Your body is always synthesizing new collagen and destroying old collagen that is less functional and old. That’s why some scars may have ‘disappeared’ over the years. Your body may have broken down some of the collagen in the scar and replaced it with new collagen. Additionally, the elderly also heal better, so if your age is anywhere in between, you have a greater risk of having issues with your scars.

Genetic Factors

Everyone heals differently from wounds based upon his or her genes. Therefore, if your family tends to scar easily, then you have a greater risk of forming scars as well. Certain genetic influences due to your race can also alter your risk factor for scarring. For example, those with dark skin have a higher risk of forming hypertrophic or keloid scars, which are raised scars. Additionally, those with fair skin typically have more prominent scarring than those with darker skin.

Size and Depth of the Wound

Deep, uneven wounds that are not treated properly will have larger, more prominent scars than small, insignificant wounds to the skin, such as a paper cut. The greater the trauma to the skin, the longer it takes to heal, which also increases the chance of scarring. When you undergo surgery, you want to have as small an incision as possible, and you want to ensure that the two pieces of skin are glued, stapled, or sutured back together with the correct lineup to reduce the amount of scarring.

Read: What Affects Wound Healing?

Your General Health and Wellbeing

If you are generally healthy, then your healing system will work better, reducing the amount of scarring. Alternatively, if you have a chronic illness, including an immune deficiency or diabetes, it can negatively affect the healing process, increasing your risk of scars. Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking slow down the healing process. You also want to eat a healthy and nutritious diet full of vitamins and minerals to promote healing. Drinking lots of water is also important for your overall health. You also need adequate sleep and rest.

Read: How Does Smoking Affect Scar Healing?

Taking Care of the Wound

Once the skin has been damaged, you need to take care not to re-injure it before it has a chance to heal. If the incision or wound area reopens, then it will have to work extra hard to completely heal, increasing the chance of scar tissue forming. You also want to treat the wound carefully, including preventing any infection.

Although you cannot change your genes or your age, you can eat well, sleep, hydrate, and take care of your wound to help reduce any scarring. Any action you take to promote proper wound healing reduces the risk of excessive scar tissue forming and resulting in a prominent scar.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Can You Reduce the Size of Acne Scars?

Can You Reduce the Size of Acne Scars?

After battling acne to finally get it under control, many people are left with prominent scars that continue to mar their complexion. If this is the case, then you are looking for ways to reduce the size and appearance of your acne scars. There are several different types of acne scars, and the type of scarring you have may affect the type of treatment most effective for your situation. However, most acne scars can be minimized and faded.

The Different Types of Acne Scars

The severity of your acne and how you treated — or did not treat — any outbreaks affects the type of scarring with which you are left. One of the most common types of acne scarring is known as ice pick scars, which are deep scarring that creates a pitted look in the skin. They are formed due to cysts or inflammation that affects several layers of skin. A similar type of scarring is known as boxcar scars, which are wider than ice pick scars. You may also have scarring known as rolling scars, which creates waves under otherwise normal skin due to fibrous bands of tissue growing between the skin and underlying tissue. Lastly, you may have keloid or hypertrophic scars, which are large, unsightly raised scars.

You might also have other remaining effects from your acne in the form of discoloration of the skin, which are not technically scars but do create problems. This could be either hyperpigmentation, where the scars have excess pigmentation and will look like freckles or blotches on the skin, or hypopigmentation, where there will be no pigment, leaving the mark as white. The skin may also remain red due to damage to the small capillaries in the skin.

How to Reduce the Size of Acne Scars

You can reduce the size of your acne scars, but the best treatment differs based upon the type of acne scarring you have. If you are left with discoloration such as red marks or dark spots after your acne is under control, then you can benefit from using a scar fading cream that helps your skin resume normal pigment production. Smaller and lighter scars can also benefit from scar treatment creams. You want to be sure to use ingredients that are natural and will help the skin’s own natural healing process, including licorice root extract, which lightens any dark spots, and vitamin C, which helps to rebuild collagen and normalize skin growth.

If you have more prominent scars, then you may need to undergo a more invasive skin care treatment, such as laser surgery, subcision, punch excision, grafting, dermabrasion, or dermal fillers. Scar reduction cream can also work on many scars, including hypertrophic scars, especially if it includes silicone as one of the ingredients. Scar treatment creams can only reduce the size and appearance of scars, but they usually do not completely eliminate very prominent scarring. One option that is becoming very popular among those with hypopigmented acne scars, is having the skin tattooed the same color as your flesh so as to camoflauge the scar. You can discuss the different types of treatment, especially the more invasive treatments, with your dermatologist or doctor to find the best solution for your unique situation.

Have a question about your acne scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help!

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