If you have darker skin, there’s one skin issue that you dread more than most others: acne. And as if the acne itself wasn’t bad enough, you’re left with an unwelcome, sometimes long-lasting reminder of it…scars.
When it comes to beauty woes, acne scars are right up there with unwanted facial hair and nail fungus. You really don’t want them, and it’s really hard to get rid of them. While they aren’t always easy to treat, there are ways to help reduce their appearance. And with long term treatment, you may be able to remove them permanently. Here’s what you need to know…
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Why Do I Scar?
Dermatologists aren’t exactly sure why, but the melanin in darker skins definitely has a part to play. Family history might have to do with it, so if scarring is in your genes, then you may be more likely to experience problems. Severe acne can cause scarring, too. If you have severe acne or are prone to scarring, it is especially important to treat the acne and scars early before scar tissue has time to develop (making the mark more difficult to treat).Here’s what you can do…
What Can I Do About Scars?
Consider aloe. Theoretically, natural aloe may have some skin benefits. It has natural film forming and antibacterial properties that can help heal skin. I can’t find concrete evidence to support this notion, but it does make sense that a coating of aloe could diminish the appearance of acne scars. The key is to treat the spot immediately; it’s unlikely that aloe can provide any benefit when applied to aged scars. The same is true for scar removal gels or creams. While these products won’t remove scars completely, they can diminish their appearance and work best when the acne scar is treated immediately.
Use lemon. Lemon is a natural bleach. Vitamin C in lemon helps in rebuilding collagen. When you use lime juice on your acne scars, the spots get lighter day by day. Take a fresh lemon and squeeze out its juice. Apply this juice directly on your scars with finger tips or a cotton ball. If your skin is very sensitive, diliute lemon juice by mixing some rose water and then apply on your scars. You can even mix a teaspoon of lemon juice with two teaspoons of Vitamin E oil and then apply this to your acne scars. Vitamin E is a very good emollient with a lots of antioxidants that protects and even improves your skin texture.
Make a microdermabrasion appointment. This exfoliation treatment removes the outer layer of skin (the epidermis). When done professionally, it has been shown to reduce the appearance of acne scars. (Bonus: It also improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduces skin pigmentation.) Do’t expect the same results at home–the DIY machines can only provide mild exfoliation.
Look into laser resurfacing. Fractional resurfacing is one of the newest laser treatments available. It increase collagen production, which can help to smooth out scarred skin. This treatment has significantly less downtime than other more invasive laser treatments. Younger skin may only need a single treatment; older skin may require additional ones. For the best results, your doctor may combine laser treatments and microdermabrasion.
Scar Reduction Is Possible
Mild acne scars may be diminished if treated early with aloe or scar removal cream, but the most effective treatments require a trip to the dermatologist. She can help tailor a plan to meet your unique needs.