Types Of Acne Scars And How To Treat Them Naturally

Written by Annie Jangam

Most of us have dealt with acne and acne scars in our lifetime. These could be a big source of stress for most of us. If you have already tried numerous treatments and nothing seemed to work, we understand. But fret not – as we have discussed in this post the most important natural remedies that could help fade acne scars and also boost your skin health. We have also listed the various types of acne scars, as identifying your scars can help you treat them better.

Different Types Of Acne Scars

1. Atrophic Scars

You will get atrophic scars if you suffer from severe cystic acne. These scars appear as shallow depressions on your skin. There are 3 types of atrophic scars:

  • Boxcar scars: These have a box-like appearance and are caused due to acne or chickenpox. These are found on the lower cheeks and the jaw.
  • Rolling Scars: These appear uneven on your skin.

2. Keloid And Hypertrophic Scars

These scars are caused due to insect bites, surgery, acne, or chickenpox. They are formed by the excessive deposit of collagen under your skin (1). They manifest as raised lumps.

3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is not technically a scar, though it is often considered so. It happens when your acne heals and forms a discolored patch on your skin. This kind of hyperpigmentation can be treated with the use of a good sunscreen.

Identifying the type of scar you have can help you pick the right mode of treatment. However, the natural remedies listed in the next section could work on most scar types.

Natural Remedies To Treat Acne Scars

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil possesses strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (2), (3). These properties may help reduce the scars by accelerating the wound healing process.

What You Will Need

  • Tea tree oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Take 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil in your palm.
  2. Apply the oil all over your face.
  3. Follow with your regular skin care routine.

How Often You Should Do This

Do it every day.

2. Turmeric Powder

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that helps control the excess production of melanin (4). Melanin is the component that adds pigment to your scar, resulting in hyperpigmentation. Using turmeric on your face may help treat hyperpigmentation. Meanwhile, honey may help reduce acne scars, thanks to its wound healing and moisturizing properties (5).

What You Will Need

  • ½ a teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the turmeric powder and honey in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture all over your face.
  3. Leave it on your face for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Wash with lukewarm water.

How Often You Should Do This

Do it 2 to 3 times a week.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar is a great exfoliant and may help exfoliate the upper layer of your skin. This action may help face acne scars.

What You Will Need

  • A bottle of apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • A spray bottle

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a spray bottle and fill half of the bottle with ACV and the remaining half with water.
  2. Mix well and spray the mixture every day after washing your face.
  3. You can leave the ACV on your face and let it get absorbed into your skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day.

4. Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is known for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. It may fade your acne scars (6). Virgin coconut oil traps moisture under your skin and may potentially help reduce acne scarring. Moreover, the oil also helps in collagen production and may boost wound healing (7).

What You Will Need

  • 2 to 3 drops of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply the oil all over your face and massage well.
  2. Do not wash your face afterward.
  3. Let the oil soak into your skin. You may do this in the night, before hitting the bed.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day.

5. Lemon Juice And Honey

Honey is known for its wound healing and moisturizing effects (5). Anecdotal evidence suggests that lemon may work as a bleaching agent and help lighten your skin tone. These ingredients together may help fade the acne scars.

What You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 to 3 drops of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the honey and lemon juice.
  2. Apply the mixture all over your face.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash your face with lukewarm water.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 to 3 times a week.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known for its wound healing properties (8). Topical use of the plant may help reduce acne scars. Aloe vera also contains aloesin. Aloesin is believed to reduce the excess production of melanin in the skin, thereby reducing hyperpigmentation (9).

What You Will Need

  • An aloe vera branch

What You Have To Do

  1. Remove the gel from the aloe vera branch.
  2. Apply the gel all over your face.
  3. Leave it on for 1 to 2 hours and wash your face with cold water.
  4. Alternatively, you can also use aloe vera gel available on the market.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every day.

These are the natural remedies that have the potential to fade acne scars. However, direct research on these is limited. You may also opt for other cosmetic procedures to reduce your scars (after consulting your doctor). We have listed them below.

Other Ways To Treat Acne Scars

1. Chemical Peels

Using chemical peels may help exfoliate the outer layer of your skin. This may help reduce the appearance of your acne scars over time (10). Some of the widely used chemical peels are glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Both these acids are safe for use on the skin and deliver good results.

2. Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a process of removing the outer damaged layer of your skin. This procedure also helps stimulate collagen production (10). Opting for this procedure may help reduce acne scars. However, keep in mind that laser therapy may not help treat deep ice pick scars.

3. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is another method of exfoliating your face with the help of a diamond tip (10). This process also helps remove the damaged outer layer of your skin and may help fade the acne scars.

4. Micro-needling

Micro-needling is a process of creating tiny pricks on the surface of your skin. This process triggers your skin to produce collagen, which may help reduce the appearance of scars and improve skin texture (11).

Following are a few tips that may help prevent acne scars/reduce their severity.

Tips To Prevent Acne Scars

  • Wash and exfoliate your face regularly.
  • Remove your makeup before going to bed.
  • Never pop your pimple. A popping pimple may leave scars on your face.
  • Use a good sunscreen, preferably with SPF 30 or higher. Anecdotal evidence suggests that using sunscreen every day may help reduce the risk of acne scars.
  • Regularly moisturize your skin.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Eat more fruits, veggies, and complex carbs. Cut down on junk and sugary foods.

Despite taking adequate measures, you may still have to consult a dermatologist. When should you do that?

When To See A Dermatologist

Most people with acne scars do not need to consult a dermatologist as their scars fade away with the right treatment methods. However, if you observe no results despite prolonged treatment (more than a year), you may have to consult your dermatologist and consider alternative treatment options.

Conclusion

Acne scars are easy to treat if done right. Do not worry or stress yourself about them. Follow the natural remedies, reduce sun exposure, drink plenty of water, and watch your diet. You may consider the medical treatment options too after consulting your dermatologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are acne scars permanent?

Yes, acne scars are permanent. However, natural remedies and other treatments help reduce their appearance.

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Sources

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Annie Jangam is a Molecular Biologist with 7 years of research experience in Rice Functional Genomics and Nutrient Signalling with International Publications in Abiotic stress, Nitrogen, and G-protein signaling. She specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has been an avid reader since childhood and is passionate about stories that help decipher life and its meaning. She believes in Human Rights for all and that one should "love others like we love ourselves."