What Is Acne?
Basically, acne refers to the blackheads, whiteheads, and short pink bumps called papules, which appear on the skin in the form of cysts as a result of prolonged contact with dust, polluted air, sweat or dirty water. Acne usually occurs on the face, but areas like the legs, buttocks, shoulders, chest, and back are also not spared by this skin condition in certain cases. According to the dermatologists at the Acne Research Institute in California, men and women can even experience acne at 25 or 35 years of age, sometimes even older, which many people don’t know since acne is typically associated with teenagers and pubescent individuals.
Acne is caused due to plugged pores and an outbreak of lesions, as reported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Acne can be an embarrassing condition to experience when you are a teenager and an adult; but once those hormonally charged years are over, and you have reduced the chances of recurrences, the scars, spots, and after marks of acne can still cause a lot of self-esteem and confidence problems. That is why curing the condition of acne is not enough; the acne scars must also be taken care of.
Causes Of Acne Scars
There are a number of things responsible for acne scars. Different dermatologists have different theories for their emergence. Although none of them indicate to a whole and sole cause of it, one thing that is common is that they are influenced by the skin of a person and the environmental conditions of where they live. Below, we have discussed some of the reasons for acne scarring:
- Presence of Oil on the Skin: Too much oil makes it difficult for the skin to breathe by clogging the skin pores, thereby slowing the healing process and causing scars.
- Accumulation of Bacteria: The ideal place for the bacteria to grow is around the hair follicles. This results in red and yellow colored lesions on the acne prone area.
- Dead Skin Cells: The oil glands present inside your skin secrete sebum; this process helps lubricate your skin. When these oil glands secrete a huge amount of sebum, it results in the accumulation of dead skin cells, which causes acne scarring.
The above three are the primary reasons or causes for acne scarring. We shall also take a look at the secondary reasons:
- Genetics: Genetics also play an important role in acne scarring. Those who have parents who went through the same ordeal are more prone to have acne scars than others.
- Poking and Pinching: Another thing that can cause scars is the pinching and poking of acne spots or pimples.
- No Treatment: If you have acne and are experiencing a lot of them on the face, arms, shoulders, etc., then it is crucial that you take some treatment for it. Because if you don’t, then acne scars are expected to happen.
Home Remedies For Acne Scars
The commonly used home remedies for acne scars include the following:
Rubbing tomato slices on scars is found to be effective in reducing the appearance of the marks or scars. This is partially due to the vitamin A and carotenes in tomatoes, which not only provide the red color but are also antioxidant compounds that can heal damaged tissues and promote the healthy re-growth of cells.
Cucumber juice is an ideal skin toner, which improves the texture of the skin. Cucumbers reduce inflammation, soothe the skin and heal the scars caused by acne.
Apply a mixture of sandalwood paste in rosewater and leave it on your face overnight, then wash it off the next morning. Repeat this process until there is a marked improvement in scars. The usefulness of sandalwood in skin care is very well known. It has actually been one of the traditional, essential elements of make-up kits for women in India for many years. Even today, there are several brands that prepare soaps that highlight sandalwood as one of its key ingredients.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the most popular remedies for curing acne problems. This diluted oil is applied to the spots affected by acne. There is a strong belief that this oil consists of terpinen-4-ol, which eliminates bacterial activity and easily kills the bacteria permanently. It neutralizes the acne bacteria called Propionibacterium and other dangerous bacteria, which dwell on your skin and can quickly develop into acne.
Egg whites are easy to obtain and are effective in treating acne scarring. Apply egg whites on the scars using a cotton ball and leave it on overnight to get the best effect. Eggs contain a huge amount of protein and by applying that directly to your skin, you can speed the healing process. Proteins are the building blocks of cellular tissue, and muscle, so directly applying and leaving it on your face can boost the speed of your acne scar recovery.
Herbs such as turmeric, aloe vera, and sage are also effective in treating acne scars. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in the Orient as a beauty product and applying turmeric paste on the skin or ingesting turmeric is effective in the management of acne scars. Sage and aloe vera are well known healing agents, which can bring relief to acne scars. Soak sage in hot water, allow it to cool, and then apply it on the skin. Aloe Vera can be applied directly to the skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It is a good toner that helps to clear up scars and acne marks. Vinegar is a powerful astringent that also stimulates blood flow to areas, which speeds healing and regeneration of cells.
Apply freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice on the scars, and then it for a while before washing it off. The bleaching property of lime juice makes the marks less visible. Lime juice also helps in the removal of dead skin cells and in the regeneration of new cells, along with improving the elasticity of the skin.
You should use olive oil for cooking since it not only makes food appetizing but can also lighten acne scars. Lightly massage olive oil onto the skin, and it will make the skin smooth again and reduce the scars. Olive oil is packed with natural antioxidants, which is why it is frequently used around the world for a variety of health benefits, but in terms of clearing the skin of marks and scars, it is one of the best options for a home remedy.
Honey is a natural moisturizer, which is used in the treatment of acne scars. Eating honey and applying a honey mask on the face are found to be effective in acne scar treatment.
Water is probably the best available natural method to treat acne scars. You should drink plenty of water, as it helps in flushing out the toxins from your body and revitalizing it. Water also assists in shedding dead skin cells and the formation of healthy skin. Drinking lukewarm water in the morning specifically helps in flushing out toxins.
You can always apply the mint juice on the face as it is highly natural and nutrient-rich substance that has been connected with anti-inflammation and a reduction in acne symptoms.
After eating strawberries, do not throw away their leaves, as these are helpful in curing pimples on the face.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seed oil can reduce acne scars and lessen discoloration. This oil is also a powerful anti-aging agent, which reduces wrinkles and rejuvenates the skin. Rosehip seed oil is an important ingredient in cosmetic products and is commonly used to treat acne scarring, facial scarring, sun-tan damage and premature aging. Massage the skin with this oil two times a day for best results.
Application of lavender oil on acne scars can revitalize the skin since it has many regenerative properties.
It is commonly used in the treatment of acne scars. Boil some fenugreek seeds in water and allow them to cool before applying to the scars. Application of a face mask made of fenugreek leaves paste is also quite effective.
Apart from the most common remedies mentioned above a few other remedies include:
Makeup and Creams
For women who want to reduce the appearance of their acne scars, be sure to choose makeup that is light, non-greasy, and oil-free. Obviously, it is natural to want to cover the scars, but if you do it with harsh makeup or more chemicals, you could be making the problem worse.
This essential vitamin helps in countering pimples since it is a natural antioxidant that eliminates free radicals associated with skin diseases. The common vitamin E supplements are soft gelatin capsules containing pure vitamin E along with glycerin, water, and soybean oil.
You can apply toothpaste on the acne to relieve swelling and pain every night for at least a week to experience a significant improvement.
Applying ice to the face helps to tighten pores and to reduce secretion of acne-causing sebum. Ice also works as a natural astringent to tighten up the pores around marks and scars, making scarring less obvious, by decreasing the size of the pores that were affected by acne in the first place.
This beneficial substance is commonly used for cleaning oily skin, clearing out skin pores, and diminishing scars due to acne. A face pack prepared from a mixture of fuller’s earth and rose water can be applied to the face for quick results and can reduce the effects of any sebum that has been additionally built up beneath the pores on the face.
Applying natural or herbal products to the affected areas of acne scars can be helpful, but it is not the only solution. Remember that other skin care issues are solved both internally and externally. Be sure to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that has a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals, particularly those that are renowned for boosting skin health, like vitamin A, and antioxidant-rich food that reduces any further damage to your skin. Including fruits and vegetables in your daily diet to reduce acne scars is a good idea, considering they are healthy and delicious dietary items that are associated with healthier skin.
Word of Caution: Home remedies are only recommended for mild acne scars and if you have a secondary infection or deep scars, you should consult a qualified dermatologist before setting out on an alternative treatment regimen. Apart from the natural goodness of home remedies, a nutritious diet can go a long way towards healing scars from acne.