How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars — Fast

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woman with acne scars

If you've ever watched "Big Mouth" on Netflix, this coming-of-age cartoon has an anthropomorphic creature that’s called a “hormone monster” that guides kids through puberty. If I lived in that universe, I could assure you that my hormone monster probably slapped me for fun.

What I’m trying to say is that my hormones were out of whack back then and, as a result, puberty was not fun for me at all. Among other issues that come with all those big changes came acne.

I suffered from acne pretty badly. Heck, I still have problems with breakouts these days and I’m in my thirties. Unfortunately, my acne has led to scarring on my face and other areas, leading me to wonder about how I can get rid of my acne scars.

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What are acne scars?

Acne scars are the result of bad inflammation of blemishes caused by acne. When inflamed, acne allows for a pore to swell and break down the walls of the pores. This causes a scar to form.

There are five types of acne scars: atrophic, boxcar, ice pick, rolling, and hypertrophic.

Acne scarring is also different from hyperpigmentation, which is something many people mistake it for. Acne scarring occurs when the texture of the skin has been changed, while hyperpigmentation is a darkening of the skin's color.

How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

1. First things first, moisturize.

Scars tissue tends to be dry skin, which, in turn, causes inflammation around the scar and can even prevent healing. If you want to reduce the appearance of a scar, you need to get your skin to heal and stop being inflamed.

A good way to moisturize well is to apply an oil-based moisturizer that’s rich in vitamins A, C, and E.

2. Stay out of the sun.

I shouldn’t have to tell you, but sunlight really doesn’t help acne scarring. In fact, it worsens it and makes the scar appear darker.

Being exposed to light is pretty inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you should just accept it as inevitable. Try to wear a hat outdoors and do what you can to avoid sunlight.

Oh, and I probably shouldn’t have to say this, but I will just to emphasize it: wear sunscreen! Beach Bum makes some pretty good stuff and it can help you reduce the damage your already-damaged skin gets from the sun.

3. Even though it’s tempting, don’t pick at acne.

Your mom was right to tell you not to pick at your zits. That causes irritation and inflammation.

If you’re picking away at acne scarring, then you have an even worse issue. Too much scratching and picking can spread the bacteria that causes acne, make your scars larger, and also double the time it takes to heal up.

4. Use a scar-fading cream.

Scar-fading creams like Mederma help get rid of acne scars, as well as surgical scars. It’s best to use them daily for at least a month or two so they’re given a full chance to work.

They aren’t miracle workers, though, so be reasonable when it comes to your scars' appearance.

5. Go light on cosmetics for the time being.

If your acne scars are relatively new, I have some bad news for you: That means that your skin is super-sensitive right now and could easily become infected if you put the wrong substances over your acne scarring. Any form of cosmetics probably shouldn’t go near your breakout area until it’s fairly healed up.

It can be hard to go without makeup, so if you really can’t handle the temptation, at least opt for non-comedogenic, fragrance-free makeup. This will reduce irritation and won’t clog pores.

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6. Dab on niacinamide.

Niacinamide is a vitamin that has been linked to a lot of good stuff for your skin, and one of the things it’s linked to is a reduction in skin darkening — also known as hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is permanent and when your scar is fresh it’s very likely that it could darken up if exposed to the elements. Adding a drop or two of niacinamide to your acne scars can help prevent darkening.

7. Go for a micro-needling session or two.

One of the treatments people are using to get rid of acne scars is micro-needling, and it’s done by using a roller with tons of little spikes to poke tiny holes in your skin. This helps promote the creation of collagen, which promotes skin healing and the reduction in scar appearance.

Most would suggest getting this done professionally, but you don’t have to splurge if you can’t afford it. You can actually get micro-needling kits online if you’re a “hands-on” person. I’ve heard of this working well on scarring, fine lines, and even stretch marks. That being said, your mileage may vary.

8. Do a monthly visit to a spa for a facial.

If there is one group of people who understand what’s good for skin, it’s people who work in skincare.

The best way to figure out what you need and also get it at a professional quality level is to hit up a local spa for a facial that they suggest. They will be able to help you figure out what your skin needs and put together a customized treatment.

There are so many different spa treatments that have been linked to better scar appearance. Your ideal treatment can vary pretty greatly. Some might get microdermabrasion, others might get laser treatments, while even more might find that they are best matched with chemical peels.

9. Go to the dermatologist for a prescription treatment.

Are you really, really worried about how to get rid of acne scars? Is it a little more than the usual blotchiness?

If your acne scarring is seriously bothersome, it may be time to haul out the big guns, so to speak. A quick trip to the dermatologist’s office will help you get a prescription for specialized scar-fading creams.

10. Consider getting dermal fillers if your acne scars are pitted.

Acne, when it’s really bad, can cause craters. That’s when getting rid of acne scars the traditional way will not be enough.

Believe it or not, getting dermal fillers helps you get where you want to be in terms of looks. Much like prescription solutions, you will probably need a dermatologist to work this magic. That being said, it’s so worth it.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, New Theory Magazine, and others. Follow her on Twitter for more.