Despite being a really common skin condition, acne scarring can feel like a setback. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s completely normal. Yes, in the world of airbrushed and filtered photographs it’s difficult to love your skin for what it is but actually, there’s nothing like ‘perfect’ skin- it’s textured, it’s flawed, it’s got pimples and marks and that’s alright.
However, if you do want to try out some treatments to get rid of the acne scars, we’re here to help you out with that too. We’ve got Dr Niketa Sonavane, Celebrity Dermatologist and Founder of Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai to give you the ultimate guide on how to bid adieu to acne scars for good.
“Acne scars are the textural change that acne leaves behind when it heals. A post-acne scar may look like a small crater or a bump. Some of them may even appear as though your pores got permanently left open. Scars form when the structure of collagen protein in your skin gets permanently altered during the healing process”, explains Dr Sonavane.
Another thing to note is that if you see brown spots that have been caused by healed acne are not scars but are actually post-inflammatory pigmentation.
If you thought there is only one type of acne scars, you’re mistaken. There are actually multiple types so let’s see how they’re different from each other.
These have smooth edges and look like saucers. They are most commonly found on the cheeks.
These have sharp edges and look like boxes. They are usually seen on the cheeks and temples.
These are really minute and look like large open pores. These scars are most common on the forehead and cheeks.
Erythematous macular scars look like pink spots which are common on the cheek area.
These look like soft fleshy bumps, usually seen on the chin.
These are raised bumps of tougher scar tissue and are usually seen on the chest area.
Platelet-rich plasma treatment uses your own body’s natural healing factors to repair your acne scars. This treatment is suited for you if you’re a part of the younger age bracket as the treatment does not use any external or chemical methods to regenerate collagen.
“Microneedling is an amazing way to repair collagen. When combined with radio-frequency waves, the treatment becomes even more effective in repairing scars. This treatment is ideal for adults who want to repair scars and wouldn’t mind some skin tightening along with it”, says Dr Niketa.
Laser resurfacing is best for lighter skin tones and thin skin which doesn’t otherwise regenerate well. These sessions are done once in 2 to 3 months to allow complete skin healing between sessions in order to prevent sensitivity and pigmentation in Indian skin.
Subscision is minimally invasive in which a subscision cannula is inserted into the scarred area to release the scarring from within the skin. The treatment is reserved for stubborn scars caused by cystic acne.
Chemical peels containing pyruvic acid are perfect to boost skin health, hydration, and repair collagen These sessions are often combined with your acne treatment to prevent scars from forming altogether.
If you don’t want to go in for treatments at the dermatologists’ clinic, then you can add some of these ingredients and products into your skincare routine and see a difference in scarring.
Dr Niketa Sonavane says that our skin needs a lot of hydration to heal well. The most common mistake is to not apply moisturiser when you get acne. Dehydrated skin can’t repair well and is at a higher risk of scarring. Use a hyaluronic acid serum that gets deeply absorbed into the skin. This will not only hydrate your skin and reduce oiliness, but also prevent acne scars.
Soothing creams containing Centella Asiatica or Gotu Kola can help calm down skin inflammation. The sooner the inflammation reduces, the lesser the scarring will be. Besides this, Cica is also able to re-structure collagen to a small extent and repair scarring.
Pick a formula that is lightweight and silicone-free. You can use it once or twice daily to control inflammation and reduce scars.
Retinol is usually thought of as an anti-aging ingredient, but it is undervalued as an anti-acne and anti-scarring ingredient. Retinol can help eliminate comedonal acne, calm down inflammatory acne, fade post-acne spots and help improve scarring.
Use a retinol serum at bedtime every day. Layer with a hyaluronic acid serum before it and a Cica cream after it to create a retinol moisture sandwich.
So, all geared up to fight acne scars?
Featured Image: Instgaram