How to Get Rid of Acne Scars Naturally

How to Get Rid of Acne Scars Naturally
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Acne is a condition that most people have had to endure in their lifetime. For some, it is a passing phase during puberty, for others the condition last much longer and may leave scars. This article will look at the best methods to get rid of acne scars naturally.

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What are Acne Scars?

Acne scars form when the skin has become damaged because of inflamed pimples, spots or boils.

The result can be a permanent bump on the skin where too much collagen formed to heal the scar. Or it could be depressed area resembling a small hole when there was a loss of tissue as the scar was healing.

Inflammation is the most important factor of scar development – The greater the inflammation on the skin, the more likely scarring is to occur.

The Best Time to Treat Acne Scars

The first thing to remember about acne scars is that you need to have patience for them to fade. Depending on the severity of the scarring, it could take anywhere from a week or two to a few months to disappear.

There are a few practical steps that you can take to avoid making any scarring worse. These are:

  • Keep the affected skin area out of strong sunlight. This can make the scarring more prominent.
  • Don’t pick and squeeze spots. The more you pick and squeeze spots, the more chance you will make scarring worse. This is because you cause the infection to become worse and damage the collagen.

The best time to treat acne scars is when they are relatively new as it can be more difficult to get good results if scar tissue has already formed. Old scars are difficult to treat and often require a medical approach such as surgical scar revision or laser treatments.

Current Medical Approach to Treat Acne Scars

It is good to remember that some acne scars will take a long time to heal and it requires daily treatment to achieve the best results. In this regard, it is worth noting that scientists are still researching effective methods to treat acne scarring.

Even though many chemical products with natural extracts make claims of being effective, it’s interesting to note what professor of surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Terence Davidson said: “There’s a whole bunch of things you can buy, but none of them have scientific validity.”

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At present scientists are exploring different methods of getting rid of acne scars. They require special procedures and skilled execution of the procedure by the physician. These include skin needling, punch techniques, chemical peels, tissue augmentation, fat transfers, laser resurfacing1 as well as silicone gel to treat keloid scars5. The treatment for each person depends on the type and severity of scarring.

However, there are natural remedies that can help you to get rid of acne scars naturally.

Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Acne Scars

There are many natural ingredients which have proven antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide needed relief and help to get rid of acne scars.

The good news is that, if you are undergoing other types of medical treatment for acne scars, then these methods can be used to make the treatment methods more effective. They are also very effective on their own to treat mild acne scars.

Please remember that acne scars can’t be treated by just a few applications. Use the methods below as part of your daily routine for as long as you need to.

It should also be mentioned that many of the home remedies mentioned below can be mixed together to include various combinations.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is well known for its use in treating burns because of its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a potent source of vitamins and nutrients which can help to heal skin and fade scars.

A research published in the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology journal found that aloe vera gel had better anti-inflammatory properties than 1% hydrocortisone2. Hydrocortisone is often recommended to treat acne scars.

If you want to learn more on how aloe vera can help your skin, please read my article about the amazing health benefits and uses of aloe vera for skin.

How to use

Peel away the skin of one leaf to expose the gel. Gently rub some of the gel on the affected skin area. Leave the gel on your skin for around 30 minutes to absorb before washing off. If you feel any irritation on the skin, wash immediately.

You can also buy aloe vera gel in drugstores or health shops. Always read the product label to make sure it contains a high concentration of aloe vera with the least additives possible.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a good all-around cleanser that makes a great facial cleanser which can gently remove oil, dirt, and dead skin cells from the skin. You can also use baking soda to treat and fade acne scars. You can try adding some other ingredients, for example, lemon juice, olive oil or coconut oil. Try a test area first to check for skin sensitivity. Baking soda is also an excellent home remedy for chest acne, and back acne.

How to use

Make a paste with 2 parts of baking soda and 1 part warm water. You may want to adjust the proportions. Then gently apply the baking soda with your fingertips before rinsing thoroughly with warm water.

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Lemon

Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C with antibacterial properties and is an effective astringent. Therefore, it works well to dry out acne inflammation and helps to kill off infection. It can also help to lighten the dark spots and scars that come from acne. Remember that lemon juice can cause some skin irritation, so it is wise to try it on a small test area first.

How to use

If you don’t have sensitive or dry skin, you can apply some lemon juice with a cotton pad directly on the affected skin area. Dip a cotton ball or a Q-tip in some lemon juice and then dab on the affected skin area. Wash off after several minutes.

Alternatively, you can use lemon juice together with baking soda to make a great cleansing facial scrub, or add lemon juice to this turmeric face mask.

Essential Oils

There are many essential oils that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which work very well to treat acne scars. These oils can be mixed with carrier oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil or sweet almond oil.

Here is a brief note on some great essential oils with healing properties that you can use for treating acne scars.

  • Tea tree oil – Research has shown that this is an effective oil at killing off bacteria3. It also reduces inflammation.
  • Lavender oil – Contains many antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Sandalwood oil – This helps the new skin cells to form and assists in healing wounds.
  • Frankincense oil – Known as a very healing and restorative oil. Frankincense oil promotes cell regeneration, and can help wounds heal properly so that scarring is less likely.

There are many other essential oils which are good for the acne prone skin and you can read about them in my article about the best essential oils for acne.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent product for general health, and it is also good for treating acne and acne scars. It has many antiseptic and antibiotic properties and helps to dry out oily skin. It can help detox the skin, and can also be used as a detox drink to cleanse the body from the inside.

How to use

ACV should always be diluted. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Dip a cotton pad into the diluted ACV then gently wipe the affected areas. Don’t worry if it stings a little, this is just the ACV going to work.

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When you use ACV for the first time, it is a good idea to rinse it off with warm water after 5 minutes. If you don’t get a reaction, then the next time you use it, don’t wash it off, and then you can build up your skin’s tolerance.

It is best to apply the ACV toner at night as ACV can increase sensitivity to ultra-violet rays. Get more details in my article on why you should wash your face with apple cider vinegar.

Nourishing Oils and Body Butters

These natural oils contain essential nutrients and minerals to help nourish the skin and get rid of infections. Keeping the skin moist has shown to help the healing process and minimize scarring, and these oils are a good way to moisturize your skin naturally.

Here are some oils that work well in helping to treat acne scars:

Coconut oil – Contains lauric acid which has antifungal and antiviral properties. It is a natural moisturizer with healing properties and it also contains vitamin E and K which encourage the growth of new skin cells. You can simply take some coconut oil in your fingertips and massage onto your face for 5 minutes to cleanse the skin. Leave for 10 minutes then rinse with warm water. You can also mix coconut oil with aloe vera to combine the healing properties of both ingredients.

Extra virgin olive oil – Contains lots of vitamins to nourish and heal the skin as well as antioxidants. It works well to moisturize the skin and also kill off bacteria. You can use it similar to coconut oil to cleanse the skin, or mix it with baking soda, lemon juice or add some tea tree oil.

Rosehip oil – Rosehip oil is a natural source of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, which help repair and regenerate damaged skin while reducing the appearance of scars.

Sweet almond oil – Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and help to repair damaged skin.

Cocoa or shea butter – They contain antioxidants and using them regularly on damaged skin can help the skin repair itself. They both promote the healing process of your skin and they also soothe, hydrate, and soften scar tissue.

A note regarding vitamin E oil – Many sources have promoted the use of vitamin E as a good way to heal pimple and acne scars and I myself wrote about the benefits of vitamin E to the skin, however current research is conflicting.

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A study from 1999 has shown that vitamin E doesn’t have any benefit in treating scars and can even be detrimental to the scar appearance4. In 90% of the cases in the study, topical vitamin E either had no effect on, or actually worsened, the cosmetic appearance of scars. In the study 33% of the participants developed a contact dermatitis to the vitamin E.

A previous research from 1993 claims there is still insufficient proof of vitamin E’s effectiveness in treating certain dermatologic conditions and further research is needed to clarify vitamin E’s role7.

However a study from 2010 found that children with surgical scars who used vitamin E three times a day didn’t develop keloid scars and that topical vitamin E before and after surgery improved surgical wound healing and improved cosmetic results.6

Many people have experienced improvement using vitamin E oil, but it makes sense for anyone who plans to try vitamin E oil to test it first on a small patch of skin to make sure he or she does not develop contact dermatitis from applying topical vitamin E.

Turmeric

Turmeric is better known for its culinary uses rather than its use as a beauty product. However, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that it contains make it a good option for treating acne scars as well as other skin blemishes. Read more about the skin benefits of turmeric and on how to make a healing turmeric face mask to fight acne and fade scars.

How to use

Turmeric should be added as an ingredient in a face mask. Take a teaspoon each of turmeric, raw honey and natural yogurt. You can also add some lemon juice or a few drops of tea tree oil for even better results. Mix together to make a paste and apply the mask evenly over your face. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then wash it off.

Potato Juice

Potato juice has a large number of health benefits and it is actually a great facial cleanser that works well to unclog the pores in the skin as well as treating minor skin injuries. Potato juice can also help you to fade acne and pimple scars.

How to use

You can grate a raw potato and rub it over your skin and then rinse. Alternatively, you can cut a slice of raw potato and do the same. Use a new slice of potato each time to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Honey

Raw honey is another natural ingredient which can help heal scars. Raw honey has antibacterial properties and is commonly used to treat burns, cuts as well as other skin irritations. Honey is very suitable for acne prone skin. It has hygroscopic properties which means that it attracts and holds water molecules from the surrounding environment, thus hydrates the skin. It also has antiseptic properties, and helps in wound healing.

How to use

You can use raw honey on its own or mix it with other ingredients to prepare a face mask, for example: honey is one of the ingredients in the turmeric face mask I mentioned before, or you can mix it with aloe vera, or natural oils and essential oils, or add it to facial scrubs (see below).

Facial Scrubs for Acne Scars

There are many natural ingredients that you can use to make your own natural facial scrub to remove dead skin and promote cell regeneration. Some of the ways to do this are to use sugar or oatmeal and add together with some of the ingredients already mentioned in the article.

How to use

Mix 1/4 cup of sugar with the juice of ½ a lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp raw honey. Using gentle circular motions, cleanse the skin. Leave on for about 7 minutes, then rinse off.

Or mix a tablespoon of oatmeal with some warm water. Apply the scrub to scars about once every two or three days. Gently massage on your face and leave for 2 minutes before rinsing off.

Read these related articles:
1. The Best Essential Oils for Acne
2. Why You Should Wash Your Face With Apple Cider Vinegar
3. The Best Essential Oils for Reducing Scars
4. 12 Best Natural Ways to Improve Stretch Marks

Resources:
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