At some point in your life, you’ve probably experienced the struggle of trying to deal with unsightly acne. This is a skin condition where your pores become blocked by sebum, the oil produced by the sebaceous glands, leading to the formation of pimples on your face or any part of the body.
About 80 percent of the population gets acne breakouts between the ages of 11 and 25, and a small amount of the population still gets pimples at 40 or above.1
Causes and Types of Acne Scars
There are actually six types of pimples differing on their appearance and depth in the skin. You have whiteheads, the blackheads, pustules, nodules and cystic pimples.2
Acne scarring is usually caused by pustules, nodules and cystic pimples, which penetrate the skin and sometimes destroy the follicle wall, damaging the healthy dermal tissue in the process.
Acne scars then form because of the higher production of collagen, which helps in the healing of the skin. However, the excess collagen leads to a raised scar on your skin. This is called hypertrophic scarring.3
Acne scars can also form due to tissue or collagen loss or/and damage. These are called atrophic scars, and can be distinguished from hypertrophic scars because of their appearance. Atrophic scars are small indentations or depressions on the skin and may sometimes develop a darker tone compared to the skin surrounding it.4
Aside from these two types, here are other types of acne scars that you might encounter:
• Ice Pick Scars
Ice pick scars come from comedones, which are caused by sebum and dirt that are buried into your skin. The skin becomes inflamed because of the pus and bacteria. It then puts pressure on the tissues and surrounding skin, damaging them and leaving a deep and narrow indentation in that area.5
• Boxcar Scars
Boxcar scars arise because of pimples that damage the overall structure of the surrounding skin, resulting in a U-shaped scar with defined edges and a wider diameter than ice pick scars. These are usually seen on the cheeks and temples.6
• Rolling Scars
These are named as such due to their rounded appearance. Rolling scars are caused by the development of bands of tissues under the skin. This pulls the skin, showing a kind of rippling effect. Rolling scars are usually wide and shallow.7
Acne scars can also be caused by the persistent popping of pimples, which inflicts considerable damage to the surrounding skin. Popping can also make pimples more inflamed because it leads the papules to pop inwardly and infect other pores or follicles.8
Natural Ways to Remove Acne Scars
There are numerous natural remedies that may aid you in eliminating acne scars. Some of these ingredients may even be in your kitchen and pantry right now:
• Baking Soda
As a common household supply, baking soda offers a wide array of uses. For acne scars, baking soda may be used as an exfoliator, since the small granules will remove the dead skin cells from your face.
To use this method, combine a bit of water and a few teaspoons of baking soda and mix until it becomes a paste. Massage it onto your face for one to two minutes and keep it there for a few more before washing it out. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer after because baking soda can make your skin dry.9
• Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and it also contains different nutrients that are beneficial to your skin. Simply apply the oil to your skin and massage for a few minutes.
Washing it off is optional, because you can keep it on for a longer period of time. But if you’re not comfortable with walking around with coconut oil-soaked skin, you can use a natural cleanser to remove it.10
Cucumbers are said to have the same pH as your skin, thus aiding the skin’s natural healing process. In the process, cucumbers also hydrate the skin. Slice a few pieces and lay them on your acne scars. Discard the cucumber pieces after 30 minutes and wash your face with cold water.
Lemon is known for its bleaching properties, but studies show that applying lemon juice to scars helps in the overall healing of the skin because of the minerals and vitamins in it.
Use a cotton swab to apply the juice to your scars. You can also make a mixture of lemon and honey and apply it to your face as a facial mask. The honey will give the mask anti-bacterial properties and will aid the lemon juice in healing your skin.11
The age-old treatment for acne is the ice cube face massage. This method can also help get rid of the scars caused by acne. Ice helps minimize the pores, making your skin appear smoother.
It also helps soothe the skin and makes your pores look smaller. Admittedly, ice will not entirely get rid of the scar, but it will significantly help reduce its overall appearance.12
• Raw Potato
Potatoes contain potassium, sulfur, phosphorus and chlorine, which are components that make it a good scar remedy. Wash and peel the potato and rub it on the affected area, making sure that its juices are transferred to your skin. Washing your face after is not needed.13
• Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in vitamins that can aid your skin’s healing process. It’s also full of antioxidants that can help eliminate bacteria.
To use it, just massage olive oil onto your face until your pores get saturated. This takes about five to 10 minutes. Wipe the excess oil and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.14 Olive oil is non-comedogenic, which means that it will not clog the pores and cause pimple breakouts.
• Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains numerous antioxidants and enzymes that are beneficial to your health. It has also been cited in helping in the healing of acne scars because of its ability to remove oil deposits from the skin. It also serves as an exfoliator which helps regenerate a new and healthier skin layer.
To use apple cider vinegar on your acne scars, mix a 50:50 percent ratio of apple cider vinegar and water. Dampen a cotton ball with this mixture, apply to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Wash the area with water and pat dry.15
A vast majority of people may have to deal with acne scars at some point in their lives. But don’t worry — these natural remedies may help get rid of these pesky skin marks. Keep your skin healthy and moisturized as well, for a naturally attractive glow.