How to get rid of acne scars

how to get rid of acne scars

What causes acne?

How to get rid of acne scars is a question many of us, at one time or another, have pondered. Glycolic acid products have a definite place to play in preventing acne, healing acne and in getting rid of acne scars, but there are other solutions that can help as well.

So let’s take a look at what causes acne first and then we can move on to prevention, treatment and healing acne scars.

In a way, we don’t know exactly what causes acne – something that causes acne in one person might not in another. There are many factors involved in whether or not you develop acne and the severity of this condition as well, and to some extent it depends on your age and lifestyle.

Factors that can cause acne

high sugar foods causing acneHigh glycemic diets – Research has suggested an association between acne and high levels of insulin in the body.

When we eat high-glycemic foods, they quickly convert to sugar in our body, so in order to keep our blood sugar levels stable,  our body produces insulin, which converts the sugar into its component parts and stabilizes our blood sugar.

It is theorized that large amounts of insulin in our body (in response to high-glycemic foods) can cause or worsen acne. Supporting this supposition, research has actually shown that a low-glycemic diet improves acne, meaning that for some people, acne may be caused or exacerbated by their lifestyle choices.

Hormones and acne – At times when we normally have a surge or change in our hormones, we can experience acne. These include puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause, as well as when women take birth control pills.

Hormonal shifts are quite common throughout our lives and can cause various types of acne, such as rosacea or localized breakouts. Hormones can also be responsible for an increased production of oil or sebum in our skin, itself contributing to blocked pores and acne (glycolic acid products help to unblock these pores, preventing and healing acne).

Help with comparing glycolic acid productsStress – Another cause of acne is stress. Research has suggested that the link between acne and stress is due to a release of stress hormones, which are produced when we are under prolonged stress in our lives.

These hormones, particularly norepinephrine and epinephrine are associated with the development of acne. Also, when we are under prolonged stress our immune systems can be more vulnerable to bacterial infections, increasing the severity of acne.

In general, there are 4 main factors that result in acne, which can be caused by one or more of the situations above (diet, hormones or stress):

  1. Over active production of sebum in the skin.
  2. Dead skin cells.
  3. Clogged pores.
  4. Bacterial infections.

Acne develops when a mixture of sebum and dead skin cells clog your pores (this is one reason why exfoliating helps to prevent acne). The addition of bacteria then causes inflammation and infection, resulting in severe acne. The most common areas for acne to develop are the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders.

White heads are formed when the blocked pore expands and bulges out above the skin’s surface, blackheads form when the pore is still open and not completely blocked.

Contrary to popular opinion, a blackhead is not dirt trapped in a pore, it is a mixture of bacteria and sebum which has oxidized when exposed to air (the pore is still open).

A pimple is actually a blocked hair follicle that has become inflamed or infected and if the blockage is deep enough under the skin, can result in cystic acne.

Tips on clearing up acne

Just a fewacne and hormones mild breakouts of acne in your teens isn’t anything to worry about, but if you have more persistent or severe acne, then you want to do everything you can to get rid of it for good.

So here are a few tips on helping you to keep acne at bay and clear it up when it does occur.

Don’t squeeze your pimples – Even touching your blocked pores with unwashed hands can easily transfer bacteria into the pore, resulting in acne. So keep your hands away from your face and don’t squeeze any pimples.

Squeezing pimples stimulates the blocked pore to create more sebum and along with more irritation and inflammation, can easily become infected (again) and take much longer to heal.  As much as you might want to squeeze your pimples, it will only make the situation worse.

Keep your face clean – Make sure to clean your face twice a day, morning and night, because keeping your face free from excess sebum and bacteria will help to prevent blocked pores. Use a facial soap or a facial cleanser that is designed to reduce oil in your skin.

Check out the Aqua Glycolic Facial Cleanser with 11% glycolic acid, as this is a non-drying formula which will remove excess oil and dead skin cells from your skin and is mild enough to be used daily.

Types of acne scars

Scarring  is common in severe acne, but in many cases it can be minimized if not completely healed. There are generally two types of acne scars – color changes and persistent scars.

Color changes – Even when severe outbreaks have cleared up, you can still be left with color changes on your skin. These can range from pink or purple patches, brown pigmentation (frequent in people who tan easily or have dark skin), and white marks that are areas deficient in pigmentation.

Persistent acne scarring – There are a range of disfiguring scars that can result from severe acne, from deep narrow pits or broad depressions on your skin, as well as flat thin scars or depressed scars.

How to get rid of acne scars

Treatment to reduce or get rid of acne scars depends on whether you just have color changes on your skin or actual persistent scarring.

Color changes – It is important to protect your skin from exposure to the sun, because dark discolorations can become worse in the sun. So apply a broad spectrum sunscreen and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

If your skin discoloration is fairly mild, you can try skin lightening creams that contain Hydroquinone or Meladerm, also a mild glycolic acid peel might help as well. If your discoloration is quite marked however, it might be advisable to talk to your dermatologist first, as professional chemical peels containing glycolic acid might just be the solution you need.

Persistent acne scarring – For this type of acne scarring you will most probably need a mix of at home microdermabrasion, professional dermabrasion by a dermatologist, laser resurfacing and chemical peels – all dependent on the severity of the scarring and your skin type.

To read my at home chemical peel reviews – click here.