Healing Acne Scars
An estimated 80% of people are known to suffer from acne in their teens and twenties and about 5% of adults suffer from acne in later life. Normally, people recover from acne with no long lasting visible effects but a few unfortunates are left with disfiguring acne scars. Acne scars occur when spots become inflamed or don’t heal properly. If you use an effective acne treatment, and on time then acne scarring will be minimal.
There are many skin care products and medications that can help improve the appearance of very mild scarring, but more severe, deep scarring can only be treated by a surgical procedure or skin resurfacing.
Acne spots (or lesions) can often leave a red or hyper-pigmented mark on the skin, this is not actually a scar, it is a post-inflammatory change, usually seen once the skin is trying to heal and regenerate itself and this can take several months. If no further acne lesions appear in that particular area, the skin will heal repair normally and the marks will no longer be visible. If any coloring or mark is still visible after a year, it is most likely permanent.
You can avoid acne getting that severe by seeking treatment as soon as possible, but for many it is often too late. The good news is though that acne scars can be treated to a degree, depending on the severity and can be made less noticeable. A few treatment options for healing acne scars are:
Laser resurfacing is a fairly new treatment that helps to reduce facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as blemishes or acne scars. The technique directs short, concentrated pulsating beams of light on irregular skin. Laser skin resurfacing removes skin very precisely, layer by layer, resulting in fewer problems with hypopigmentation (lightening of skin). This popular procedure is known by several other names, including lasabrasion or laser peel. This can be expensive and time-consuming, you may need more than one visit, although results can over time be very pleasing. But depending on exactly which procedure you have done, the recovery can be uncomfortable and lengthy.
There are many over the counter acne lotions that contain glycolic acid-that are very effective at reducing the appearance of acne scarring. It will take at least six weeks to see any real improvement because acne scars lie deep under the skin. If there is no noticeable improvement after two months, a doctor can prescribe a stronger hydroquinone-based bleaching cream to be used in conjunction with a retinoid cream like Retin-A or Retinova. The retinoids will help inhibit more acne breakouts and will exfoliate skin cells deep within the dermis, where the scars form.
Honey is an excellent natural alternative to surgery or otherwise damaging surgical procedures to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Honey is very moisturizing and although it will not remove the scars it will certainly make them a lot less noticeable. The cheapest and quickest way to treat acne scars is to just apply the honey directly to the affected areas for an hour and then rinse off. If you have just a single scar, apply the honey before you go to sleep, cover with a plaster and remove and rinse off the next day. Adding a bit of lemon juice to the honey is just as good for treating acne scars and pimples, but because it is very drying if you have very sensitive skin it is advised to just stick to the honey.