Living with acne is difficult and emotionally draining. It affects a person’s physical appearance, which, in turn, can have a negative impact on his or her self-esteem. But to imagine having lifelong acne scars is worse than any breakout – it will be a daily, painful reminder that you should have treated your acne sooner. Believe it or not, acne scars can be treated. Acne scar treatment is available in different forms, from basic home remedies to invasive and non-invasive options. As one of the best medical aesthetics clinics in Singapore today, 1Aesthetics Medical & Surgery team will be with you every step of the way, from consultation to recovery. In order to help you explore the options to treat your condition, this article will discuss the benefits of various home treatments and remedies for acne scars.
Home remedies for acne scars are usually over-the-counter treatments that can help manage acne and minimize the appearance of scars. Topical medications are creams, lotions, or gels that are applied directly to the skin. These products, which are applied on the skin after washing the face, contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. The latter, in particular, is a popular ingredient that is found in most anti-acne skin care products. It helps reduce acne swelling and redness as well as clears the pores and reduces scarring. When applied topically, salicylic acid is a great skin exfoliator. You can incorporate products with salicylic acid into your daily regimen, or your dermatologist may use it for occasional chemical peels.
Acids such as alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, and azelaic acid can smoothen the rough texture of the skin and minimize the appearance of acne scars. Azelaic acid is also known to kill acne-causing bacteria with its antimicrobial properties. Retinoids, on the other hand, are available in lotion and cream forms. Retinoids can inhibit cell regeneration and are recommended to be used in treating fresh acne scars because it has been proven to be effective in preventing and reducing scarring when used in the stages of acne. If you want to try topical retinoids, look for serums and creams that list it as one of the active ingredients, or you can ask your dermatologist to prescribe a formula with a higher concentration.
If over-the-counter products are not enough to address the problem, your dermatologist may prescribe acne creams or gels that contain tretinoin, a more powerful version of benzoyl peroxide, or an antibiotic like clindamycin. These enable acne to dry up faster and prevent further breakouts.
There are also home remedies that you can try if you are looking for more natural methods of reducing acne scars. Shea butter and turmeric powder are two ingredients containing anti-inflammatory properties that fight bacteria-causing acne and prevent scarring. The combination of honey and lemon is beneficial to the skin – lemon has antibacterial qualities while honey is a natural antiseptic. When used together, they can help reduce scars at a faster rate. Aside from naturally moisturizing the skin, aloe vera contributes to melanin production, which is good for reducing pigmentation and discoloration caused by acne. Essential oils found in different plants also prevent the development of scar tissues and at the same time, reduce inflammation and smoothen the texture of the skin.
Home treatments and remedies are beneficial because they are inexpensive compared to in-clinic procedures and they require no downtime. However, always make sure to do a patch test first before applying any product or substance to your entire face. People with sensitive skin may have negative reaction to certain medications so a patch test is vital. If you are unsure about anything, it is best to consult with your dermatologist. The dermatologist can advise you about the advantage and disadvantages of using a product, whether it is natural, over the counter, or prescribed. If you are planning to use topical medications, you need to use a sunscreen that suits your skin type. It protects the skin against the UV rays and helps reduce the prominence of scars. If possible, you should avoid any direct exposure to sunlight as it may darken acne scars and make them appear more prominent.
Avoid squeezing, picking, or scratching areas of the skin that is affected with acne, both active and scars. Manipulating the skin only increases the risk of scarring and over-scrubbing scarred areas can only further lessen the elasticity of the skin and heighten the appearance of acne scars. Wash your face at least twice a day with clean water and a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser as to avoid aggravating the skin. If possible, choose products that are labelled as noncomedogenic, which means that the product will not clog the pores. External acne treatments work better if you make changes to your diet, too. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid unhealthy and oily food because as they say, good skin is a reflection of a good digestive system. Your body and your skin will heal faster if you treat both with proper nutrition, exercise, and enough rest. Just remember: following these simple steps are just as important as finding the right acne scar treatment.