“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars,” said Carly Simon famously, but no woman would be happy if she came back with acne scars. We all dread pimple marks – the first sight of that obnoxious pimple on your forehead is not that awful, but the thought about it leaving a non-budging scar that would go on to stay on your face for ages, is what creates a state of fright. Before we get into details about how to get rid of acne scars and pimple marks, we should address the root of the problem, that is, what causes acne. Our skin has pores that connect directly to oil glands present under the skin. Small sacs called follicles (out of which hair grows) connect these oil glands to the pores. The sebaceous glands present in the epidermis of our skin produce an oily substance called as sebum. This liquid-like substance pushes dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. When the follicles get blocked with dirt, bacteria, dead cells, and sebum, a pimple or acne arises. When the acne or pimple is inflamed, it leaves mark behind on the skin which becomes difficult to get rid of. Hormonal imbalance, comedogenic products, wrong diet, lack of nutrients, PCOD, not cleansing the skin well can all cause acne and pimples. Make sure you switch to a healthy diet and cleanse your skin thoroughly before going to bed to keep pimples at bay. It is also important to stay away from comedogenic products so as to not irritate and inflame the skin. So, now that you have understood the science behind acne and pimples, we are going to reveal 20 Ways To Remove Acne Scars and Pimple Marks.
Tips To Take To Ensure Pimple/Acne Does not Leave any Mark Behind:
1. Use medication to arrest the growth of pimple. Switch to salicylic-based face wash and ointments to dissolve the dirt and debris that clogs and causes pimple and acne. We would suggest these face washes with 2% salicylic acid composition that would clear up acne and reduce inflammation as well, so that there would be Lacne Foaming Face Wash, Saliac Foaming Face Wash, Saslic DS Face Wash. A good salicylic acid ointment like Sebonac gel can clear up acne quickly with less chances of it leaving a mark.
3. Don’t touch your pimples, it’s hard to resist, but then remember, if you irritate it, the mark is here to stay.
4. Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon distilled water. Apply this paste on to the pimple and wait for 5 minutes before rinsing off your skin.
5. Apply pure honey to the acne and let it sit overnight. Honey has anti-bacterial and acne-fighting properties. It would also soothe and heal the inflammation.
6. Apply pure aloe vera gel on acne to soothe the irritation. If the inflammation is less, lesser is the chance of the pimple leaving a mark behind.
Different Types of Acne Scars:
It’s interesting to note that not all acne scars are same. There are 5 different types of acne marks:
1. Ice pick scars: These scars look like holes that have been made by an ice pick or any other sharp object. These appear like small holes on the surface of the skin. An ice pick scar reaches till the dermis of the skin and looks like pits on the skin. This type of a scar is formed when inflamed acne leaves behind a column-like scar that begins from the surface to the inner layer of the skin.
2. Box car scars: Box scars are angular in appearance with sharp vertical edges, and they appear like a box. The depth of this kind of a scar is deeper than an ice pick scar. Box scar forms when there is some tissue loss.
3. Rolling scars: Rolling scars look like waves, they look like tiny hills on the surface of the skin. These scars appear together in group.
4. Hypertrophic scars: If there’s a bump or raised entity, then it would be a hypertrophic scar or keloid. These scars look like small tissue masses that are raised. Overproduction of collagen can cause hypertrophic scars.
5. Brown scars or atrophic scars: An atrophic scar is an indented scar that forms when the skin is unable to regenerate tissue. Atrophic scars can be caused by severe acne or chicken pox.
Medical Treatments To Get Rid of Acne Scars and Pimple Marks:
1. Resurfacing Laser Treatment for Acne Scars: This laser treatment stimulates collagen production which reveals new and scar-free skin. The most common type of lasers to treat acne scars are CO2, Erbium, fractional, Fraxel. The only thing to remember is to get it done by a reputed dermatologist. Your dermatologist would examine and determine the kind of laser treatment apt for you.
2. Dermabrasion: This kind of a procedure involves a tool with an abrasive end which removes the top layer of skin and help reveal healthy-looking, scar-free skin. This procedure is effective in removing superficial scars, it also refines the skin’s texture. Rolling scars, atrophic scars would benefit from this procedure.
3. Subcutaneous incisional surgery: This is a minor surgical procedure that is used to treat cutaneous scars. A needle gets inserted under the scar to break the underlying scar tissue. When the scar tissue is cleared, the new skin comes to the surface and levels up. This procedure is good to get rid of acne holes, box scars, and rolling scars.
4. Punch excision: In this procedure, the doctor would make a minor cut and remove the scar altogether. A cookie-cutter kind of a knife is used to cut the scar. This procedure leaves a minor scar. This kind of a procedure clears ice pick scars.
5. Dermal fillers: Fillers are used to fill in fine lines, acne scars, and wrinkles. Filling components are injected into the hollow of scars to eliminate the hollows. Dermal fillers are good to clear box car scars and rolling scars.
6. Chemical Peels: Skin-safe acids are used in this procedure to deeply exfoliate the skin and to remove the superficial top layer of skin with acne scars and pimple marks. A certified doctor decides on the percentage and concentration of acid and type of acid to be used to get desirable results. Most commonly used acids used in the treatment of acne scars are glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, TCA (trichloroacetic acid). Just avoid sun exposure for one week after the peel, even after wear a good sunscreen to protect the new skin from harmful rays of the sun. Chemical peels are effective in treating rolling acne scars, box car scars, ice pick scars, and dark spots.
7. Derma rolling: The doctor creates multiple, tiny puncture wounds on the skin to create micro wounds with a derma roller. These puncture wounds trigger production of collagen and elastin, and thereby diminishes the appearance of scars. Derma rollers are good to treat box scar and rolling scars.
8. Steroid injections: Steroids are injected into raised keloid scars to reduce their appearance. These injections are effective against hypertrophic marks and keloids.
9. Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion can be done at home too, it’s a milder version of dermabrasion. Tiny crystals are used to improve’s the skin appearance and to reveal new skin, free of scars. It’s good only to treat superficial scars and light acne scars.
10. Retinoids: Retinoid creams are used topically to increase skin cell turnover and to resurface the layer of skin. Creams like retin-A can be applied directly on the skin to treat scars.
Most Popular Ingredients to look for in products to treat acne scars and pimple marks:
1. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is considered to be a very good ingredient to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
2. Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid helps to clear out blocked pores and clears out lesions.
3. Arbutin: Alpha arbutin is most effective in lightening acne scars and melasma.
4. Glycolic acid: It decreases the appearance of acne scars, but a percentage of 10 or less is recommended to be used topically by dermatologists.
5. Lactic acid: Lactic acid helps in fading away pigmentation and acne scars.
6. Onion extract: Onion extract boosts collagen and helps in levelling up deep scars.
7. AHA: Alpha hydroxy acids helps in increasing cell turnover and thereby helps in generation of new skin cells.
8. Retinoids: Retinoids unclog pores. They also reduce acne outbreaks by preventing dead cells from clogging pores. By clearing acne and reducing outbreaks, they may also reduce the formation of acne scars.
Essential Oils To Get Rid of Acne Scars and Pimple Marks:
- Black seed oil: Black seed oil can fight acne and helps to lighten the appearance of acne scars.
- Rosehip oil: Linoleic acid present in rosehip oil reduces hyperpigmentation and the appearance of scars. If you have old scars, you can get rid of them.
- Tea tree oil: Minimises the appearance of hypertrophic scars, clears bacteria, soothes inflammation.
- Grapeseed oil: Grapeseed oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps with reducing acne scars.
- Frankincense: Frankincense oil helps to soothe skin, even out skin tone, and kill bacteria, which makes it useful for treating scars. It promotes growth of new skin cells.
- Carrot seed oil: Carrot seed oil is rich in beta carotene, that has skin healing and rejuvenating properties. When mixed with helichyrsum essential oil in a base oil, you can make a potent anti-acne scar serum which will heal your acne scars fast.
- Almond oil: With its high vitamin E content, almond oil reduces the appearance of acne scars.
20 Ways To Remove Acne Scars and Pimple Marks:
1. A combination of hydroquinone+tretinoin+mometasone: This combination of drugs are used to fade hyperpigmentation and acne marks. Hydroquinone is a controversial ingredient whose prolonged use may cause thinning of skin and grey patches, but if used in moderation and for a limited period of time, clears out acne scars.
2. Kumkumadi tailam: It’s a herbal oil which clears away acne, pimples, scars, and also brightens and lightens complexion.
3. Vitamin C serum: Vitamin C rich serums not only lighten and brighten your complexion, they can help you clear up acne marks too. We recommend Dr. Reddy’s Revibra or VC 15 serum or you can make your own serum this way.
4. Make a natural pack with 1 tbsp oatmeal powder, 1/2 drop lemon juice, and 1/2 spoon cinnamon powder. Mix well and apply on affected area. Keep for 20 minutes and wash off. Do this twice a week for three months to see visible results.
5. Make a pack by mixing milk with one whole nutmeg powder, one strand of saffron. Here’s a detailed post on how you can make this effective face pack.
6. Take 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of baking soda, and add 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Apply this mixture on your face and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off, repeat once in a week for three months.
7. Take half tsp of apple cider vinegar, 4 aspirin tablets, and some water to mix everything together. Apply the mixture on face to get rid of hyperpigmentation and scars.
8. Mix one cup of aloe vera gel with 1 tbsp of witch hazel, and half tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Mix and apply on affected area. Rinse off after 20 minutes. Repeat once in a week.
9. Mix helichyrsum essential oil in a base oil along with carrot seed oil, and you will get a potent anti-acne scar serum which will heal your acne scars fast.
10. Sebogel ointment: This ointment has salicylic acid in 2% concentration along with vitamin B6 in 6% concentration which helps in clearing out pimples and scars.
11. Mix two tbsp of honey with juice of one whole lemon. Add a spoonful of yogurt and apply this pack on the face. Wash with lukewarm water. Repeat twice in a week.
12. Cabbage and aloe vera pack: Make a face pack by making a paste out of small chunks of cabbage and combine a bit of the cabbage paste with pure aloe vera gel. Apply all over the face and rinse off after 20 minutes.
13. Mix a bit of lemon juice in half a spoon of turmeric and a spoon of chickpea flour (besan). Mix well and apply all over the face and neck. Rinse off afer 20 minutes.
14. Mix 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon powder with 1 tbsp honey. Apply on affected area. Rinse off after 10 minutes.
15. Make a paste out of fresh mint leaves and a bit of powdered oats. Add rose water and apply to the face evenly. Rinse off after 20 minutes.
15. Soak a few strands of saffron in a mix of curd and besan overnight. Apply the pack in the morning. Rinse off when the pack is dry.
16. Make a paste out of neem leaves and apply directly on to scars. Rinse off after 20 minutes.
17. Mix 1 tbsp of onion juice with 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp curd. Apply on whole face and rinse off after 20 minutes.
18. Make a pack by mixing Fuller’s Earth (multani mitti), 5 tsp potato juice, and 1 tsp lemon juice. Mix well and apply all over face.
19. Make fresh paste out of potato and cucumber, mix well both the pastes to make a pack, and then apply all over the face for bright skin.
20. Boil and mash one whole carrot after peeling the outer skin. Mash it well and add 1 tbsp honey to it. Mix well and apply to the face. This pack will lighten, brighten, and get rid of acne scars if used regularly.