Ways to Treat Acne Scars and Marks

Pimples occur due to an inflammation under the skin that is caused by the pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells as well as excess oil and bacteria. Exfoliating the skin with a chemical exfoliant is necessary to keep the skin healthy and clear especially with people who are prone to breakouts. Although many people see themselves as expert pimple poppers, this generally leads to further destruction of the tissue and even an acne scar. Therefore, popping pimples should never be the option. However, some pimples, when left alone, can create a scar on their own. Cystic acne is a type of inflammatory acne which causes painful lesions under the skin. Due to a rush of white blood cells and enzymes in that region, the lesions never really make it to the surface and the infection spills out under the skin’s surface. As the skin tries to heal itself, acne marks and scars may form.

How to Treat Acne scars

Acne Marks VS Acne Scars

An acne mark is not the same thing as a scar but it can still leave the person with noticeable flaws on the skin. People with lighter skin tones usually develop post-inflammatory erythema or marks that appear as red or purple. People with darker skin tones will generally have marks that appear brown in color and this is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These marks generally go away on their own but they can take 6 months or more to disappear. Acne scars are generally formed when the acne lesion destroys the collagen and elastin in the area but they often happen during acne popping or picking. This is because an indentation is created and the body is not able to regenerate the tissue properly and this results in a scar. Therefore, the best way to prevent an acne scar from occurring is to leave it alone. People who are prone to cystic pimple outbreaks may benefit from a cortisone injection to reduce the body’s inflammation levels and pimples within 24 to 48 hours and to lessen the chance of scarring.

Treating Acne Marks and Scars

If acne marks or scarring does occur, there are many treatments which can be used to improve the skin’s appearance.

  • People with darker skin tones may be able to treat a brown mark using an at-home exfoliating product with glycolic or salicylic acid to bring the dark skin cells to the surface
  • Retinoid skin products can be used for both types of acne marks
  • Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever going outside can help to reduce the appearance of marks and scars since the sun can intensify or darken a scar
  • Cortisone cream can be purchased, without a prescription, and used to reduce the appearance of a red or swollen scar
  • Cortisone injections can be used to calm down a red or raised scar
  • Ablative lasers can vaporize the scar and promote smoother skin
  • Non-ablative lasers can promote new collagen formation to fill-in acne scars
  • Dermal fillers can be used to fill-in depressed or “ice pick” scars but this method is temporary and will need repeat treatments, every 4 to 6 months, to maintain the results


How to Treat Scars on the Scalp?

Scar tissue can form anywhere on the body and this includes the scalp. When scars form within the hairy regions of the body, the tissue becomes damaged and the scar can also destroy the hair follicles. A small scar from an injury or acne, surrounded by healthy tissue, may not be visible to others since it can hide within the surrounding hair follicles. People prone to severe acne or psoriasis or have had significant head injuries or surgery may have regional hair loss. This happens because the fibrous connective tissue that makes up a scar has limited blood flow and restricts healthy hair growth within the scar. Multiple scalp scars, or even one scar, can permanently destroy countless hair follicles and leave a person with noticeable visibility of the scalp. Thankfully, there are several ways to treat scars on the scalp and lessen their visibility.

Scar Scar Treatments

  • Scalp Acne Treatment

Although acne on the scalp may seem irrelevant, it is one of the main causes of hair loss because acne is infected glands in the skin. They can become inflamed, itchy and burst at the surface. The lesion is then replaced by scar tissue. When someone has recurring acne outbreaks, the skin is unable to heal properly and excessive acne scarring can occur and cause baldness. It is best to treat acne issues as soon as possible using an acne wash containing salicylic acid either 2-3 times a week or as directed by a dermatologist. If acne scars already exist, there are some natural treatment options available.

  • Take Vitamin E

Vitamin E has therapeutic properties to increase the rate of wound healing. It is rich in collagen production and can be a natural means to maintaining healthy hair and skin. Vitamin E is full of antioxidant qualities which make it popular for use in beauty products as well as highly recommended by dermatologists. It can help prevent acne and keep scars at bay by promoting a healthy flow of oxygen and blood to the scalp.

  • Scalp Massage

Dead skin cells can form all over the body and they clog the pores and accumulate on scars. Massaging the scalp can help remove dead skin and stimulate blood circulation. Scalp massages can reduce scar tissue build-up and keep the surrounding skin healthier.

  • Itching Solutions

Scar tissue can have some unpleasant side effects such as inflammation and itchiness. In many cases, itchiness can become unbearable and cause the scar to become worse than it already was. Keeping the scalp clean and applying a steroid ointment can help reduce itching and allow the skin to heal more naturally. Depending on the type of scar, certain injections may be beneficial with alleviating inflammation, itchiness and making a raised scar flatter.

  • Hair Extensions and Lasers

Hair extensions can hide thinning or bald patches caused by scarring. Since treatments can take time to improve the appearance of the scar, hair extensions can provide adequate coverage at an affordable cost. In some cases, the scar may not be receptive to non-invasive treatments and may not improve. Therefore, the patient may need to consider alternative treatment options such as laser treatments to reduce the appearance of the scar.

  • Hair Transplant

When scars are left untreated or the skin and hair follicles have been severely damaged, the hair may never regrow. Therefore, some patients turn to a surgical method such as a hair transplant. A hair transplant can reduce the scar and make it less noticeable thanks to the implanted hair follicles. The donor hairs are taken from the back of the patient’s head so any scarring from the transplant technique will be hidden within the patient’s natural hair.