Fortunately, there are several ways to tackle these acne scars. The best treatment is definitely prevention – not getting scars in the first place. If you suffer acne, we recommend you to see a dermatologist. They will recommend therapy that can soothe your acne that scarring can be largely prevented.
An acne disease with inflamed pimples and pustules is bad enough. But the signs of this disease are still written on many faces after the acute phase.
Especially with more severe courses, clearly visible acne scars or pimple marks can remain on the skin. And so, in addition to the disease, the long-term consequences also cause psychological stress for those affected.
What are the signs of acne?
The most noticeable and most serious signs of acne are the scars. They remain on the skin in various shapes and sizes. In addition to the scars, the so-called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), also called pigment spots or pimple marks, are a further consequence of acne diseases.
These are dark or reddish discolored areas that remain on the areas of skin affected by acne but have already healed. You can read more about the treatment and removal of these pigment spots or pimple marks here.
How do acne scars develop?
Please do not try to manipulate the pimples themselves – neither with your fingers nor with any accessories from the bathroom! Because especially when you squeeze pimples a little rough (especially those that are not yet “ripe”) you can destroy the fine veins, sebum glands, and the tissue around the pimple. This can worsen acne symptoms and increase the risk of scar healing.
Scars always form when the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, has been damaged and deeper layers of the skin are also affected by the injury. The organism is then usually not able to restore the skin exactly as it once was. Instead, the wound is replaced by so-called granulation tissue. Collagen connective tissue fibers fill the wound from the inside, close it, and help to restore the affected skin area. This replacement tissue closes the injury but often remains visible.
What types of acne scars are there?
are often referred to as “ice ax scars“. They occur when the wound does not heal properly and too little connective tissue is formed. The scar then forms below the surrounding tissue and a small visible indentation (dimple) is created. Punctual depressions in the skin: typical scars that are left behind in severe acne
You can recognize hypertrophic scars by the bulging of the skin or scar tissue. Where there was an inflamed pimple, the skin produces “inferior” tissue. This does not have the same structure as healthy tissue. It looks thicker and lies over the surrounding skin.
If a scar continues to grow uncontrollably in comparison to the hypertrophic form and expands into other areas of the skin, this wound healing disorder is called a keloid. This form of scar can (rarely) occur in acne but is more common after burns or chemical burns.
What are the consequences of acne scars on the skin?
An acne scar is not only different from the surrounding skin in appearance. No new sebum or sweat glands can form in the scar tissue. Hair growth is no longer possible here either. In addition, it hardly contains any elastic fibers, so that in some cases only a hardening of the skin can be perceived. In addition, there is less blood flow and less moisture supply to the scar, which greatly affects moisture regulation.
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How can acne scars be removed?
Have you left unsightly scars from your acne disease that you would like to get rid of? Then you have various options available – depending on the texture, size, and shape of the scars. However, the treatment should only take place after acne disease has been overcome.
Unfortunately, complete removal of the scars is not possible. However, the scars can be significantly reduced and appear less noticeable. And: Your complexion will possibly improve all by itself over the years.
1. Massages with gels and ointments
Massage with a gel or ointment is a good method that you can do yourself at home. The products with the associated massage effect ensure improved blood circulation in the skin and improve the suppleness of the scar tissue.
This method is definitely worth a try as it is comparatively simple, convenient, and inexpensive. When choosing the product, however, make sure that it is not comedogenic – so that the acne that has healed is not promoted again immediately. You can also have such a massage performed professionally. Unfortunately, it is not enough just to do the massage a few times or to have it done. Patience is required here in order to get a visible result.
2. Chemical peel
Professionals such as dermatologists or beauticians can treat acne scars with peelings. Here fruit acids, salicylic acid, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA) are applied in different concentrations. This procedure makes the complexion smoother and more even.
3. Fruit acid
Fruit acids are used quite often in the aftermath of acne. Depending on the concentration, there are preparations for at home (up to 12%), for use by a beautician (up to 40%) or by the dermatologist (up to 70%). Usually, several sessions are required for visible treatment success.
The dermatologist will determine which concentration might make sense for you based on your skin condition. In general, a more concentrated fruit acid can remove deeper layers of the skin.
After treatment with fruit acid, you should make sure to use adequate sun protection and follow the recommendations of your doctor.
This method is a relatively gentle type of skin abrasion – here the upper layers of the skin are mechanically removed with the help of small crystals. The treatment has a positive effect on the complexion and is also recommended for dry skin, large pores, or other scars.
The good thing: the treatment is painless and is usually carried out by a beautician. However, microdermabrasion should be carried out at regular intervals in order to achieve effective and lasting treatment success.
This treatment is usually performed by a dermatologist or a beautician. There are also devices for use at home. However, we recommend that you trust the professionals in order to avoid errors during application and thus possible inflammation.
With micro-needling, the skin of the face is treated with a so-called derma roller, which is equipped with many fine needles that are just 0.5 mm short. These pierce the top layer of skin, sending the signal to the skin that there is an injury that needs to be repaired. It reacts to this by increasing the release of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. As a result, the skin can look firmer, firmer, younger, and fresher after a short time.
Acne scars can also be treated with injections. For atrophic scars, you can have hyaluronic acid injected under the indentation to fill in the uneven area. However, since this hyaluronic acid is gradually broken down by the body, the result is not permanent.
Hypertrophic scars, on the other hand, are injected with corticoids (cortisone), which should lead to the scar tissue breaking down and the elevation becoming smaller.
One way to treat keloids is to use liquid nitrogen to freeze the scars. The cold causes the tissue to die. The doctor then injects a cortisone preparation into the tissue.
Disadvantage: This treatment usually takes a long time and can stretch over years. Because in order to reduce the keloids bit by bit, each area must be treated individually. So you need a lot of patience to soften the unsightly scars.
8. Laser therapy
In laser therapy, the skin is injured in a targeted manner, so that the skin’s natural self-healing process is activated. The skin is renewed and the complexion appears smoother. Since the available laser variants are quite extensive, this form of treatment should only be carried out by an experienced dermatologist in order to avoid injuries to the adjacent skin areas. Unfortunately, this therapy also requires many sessions in order to visibly and permanently improve your skin’s appearance.