Keen to discover the best ways to speed up skin healing? No need to delay to find out how to get rid of acne scars and learn to prevent them.
Not only are acne scars embarrassing to have, but they’re a constant reminder of the struggles you went through to get rid of that painful acne.
However, you put that burden on yourself. The way you treat that acne now can potentially be the deciding factor as to whether or not it will lead to the emergence of acne scars.
But in some cases, scarring is inevitable.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t just get acne scars from picking at your acne. Certain types of acne are prone to scarring even if you leave them completely alone.
Cystic acne, for instance, is one of the most severe forms of acne. It develops deep in your skin which can eventually lead to gaping scars. The longer it stays on your skin, the more likely it will evolve into a scar.
Acne scars come in many different forms. The most common types are ice-pick scars, rolling scars, boxcar scars, and hypertrophic or keloid scars. And unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment for all the different types of acne scars.
But not to worry, we’ve taken the liberty to give you a rundown on everything you need to know about the various types of acne scars, including how to prevent them and how to get rid of them overnight fast.
How Do Acne Scars Form?
In general, scars on human skin result from a wound or injury. However unwelcome they may be, scars are part of the skin's normal healing process.
For most wounds, they heal without scarring. Only when the dermis (the sensitive inner layer of skin directly under the epidermis) is damaged, do scars form on the skin.
Same goes for acne scars. It is often the product of an inflamed acne lesion which is just a skin pore that has been engorged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
As the pore swells up, it causes a break in the follicle wall. If the rupture occurs near the skin's surface, the wound is usually minor and heals quickly. But if it’s a deeper break in the follicle wall, the lesion can potentially be more severe.
The infected material will then spill out into the dermis and destroy healthy skin tissues. To repair the damage, the skin forms new collagen fibers to regain its strength and flexibility.
But unfortunately, the finished "repair job" never looks as smooth and flawless as before the injury.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars Overnight Fast
Realistically speaking, you can’t make acne scars disappear overnight. No matter what type of treatment you use, it will still require tremendous time and effort to get rid of your acne scars completely.
So I can’t promise you instant results if that’s what you’re looking for. However, the remedies listed below are still the fastest way possible to completely remove acne scars if you don’t include medical treatments.
1. Cortisone Cream
As mentioned earlier, acne scars are often the product of an inflamed acne lesion. When inflammation occurs, over-the-counter cortisone creams can be applied directly to the affected area to calm the skin and reduce the chances of scarring.
Not only does cortisone cream help to reduce inflammation, but it also promotes healing. It can also be applied to other types of scars. On average, you only need to apply the cream once or twice a day and make sure to use it only on the affected area.
If you tend to have dry skin, remember to moisturize after using the cortisone cream as it often leads to dry and irritated skin.
The cortisone cream can also make you more sensitive to the sun, so it's prudent to minimize sun exposure. But if you really can’t avoid staying in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent additional damage to your scars.
2. Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a natural skin lightener derived from mushroom extracts. It is often found in many lightening creams and can help in safely fading skin hyperpigmentation brought upon by acne scars without causing damage or irritation.
Lightening creams are a great alternative to help red or brown acne scars fade away since not everyone wants to visit a dermatologist for an expensive treatment.
And even though it takes longer to make blemishes disappear just by using lightening or fading creams, it’s still an efficient and painless treatment you can do at home.
However, if you have darker skin, I don’t recommend using any skin lightening products as it might permanently remove melanin (the pigment that gives our hair, skin, and eyes its color) from your skin and create an even worse blemish.
3. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is derived from sugar canes, unripe grapes, pineapples, and various melons. It’s also found in many skin care products such as creams, scrubs, and ointments. As useful as it is in exfoliating the skin, it can also help in getting rid of hyperpigmentation on the skin.
When it comes to acne scarring, it works as a powerful exfoliant which helps even out the top and bottom areas of a scar. It is also capable of removing the gray appearance women often report along with their scarring.
Glycolic acid also helps stimulate collagen production to repair the damage done by inflamed acne lesions. Scars have reportedly become flatter and less visible with the continued use of glycolic acid.
For acne scars, I recommend using a glycolic acid ointment to focus on treating the affected area. However, be careful not to use a glycolic acid product with a concentration higher than 10%.
An amount this high is considered dangerous and should only be used if your dermatologist recommends it.
4. Retinol Creams
Retinol is another name for Vitamin A in its purest form. It is found in a wide array of skin care products used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and skin discoloration.
Once applied to the skin, retinol increases skin cell turnover and stimulates collagen production, making this an excellent choice for targeting acne scars. However, this isn't the case for all types of scars.
Deeper scars that leave indentations in the skin are unlikely to respond to treatments containing retinol. So it might be best to avoid them if you have super-sensitive skin.
Not to bum you out, but retinol creams tend to be a little pricey. Nevertheless, they’re highly recommended by dermatologists for their fast and efficient results.
Ingredients in retinoid creams are much like those in cortisone creams in that it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. So it’s best to apply these creams at night to avoid damaging your skin.
How To Prevent It Naturally
It’s bad enough having to deal with that acne when it first popped up but getting a scar on top of all that is going a bit too far. So if I were you, I’d put a lot more effort in making sure I don’t get any scars from my breakouts to avoid having twice the problem.
To help you do so, we’ve listed down all the best tips and tricks on how to avoid having acne scars ever again.
1. Get Acne Under Control Quickly And Efficiently
The best thing you can do to prevent future scarring is to treat your acne as soon as it develops. Don't wait to see if it will go away on its own. And although this is easier said than done, this should be your primary goal.
Inflammation of acne is what causes discoloration or permanent scarring. To lessen the chances of scarring, try to reduce inflammatory breakouts as quickly as possible.
Large, inflamed acne blemishes are much more likely to leave scars behind. Those non-inflamed breakouts and blackheads, not so much.
Your goal should always be to calm inflammation and avoid doing anything that will further irritate your skin.
2. Pass Up The Temptation To Pick Or Squeeze A Pimple
Picking or squeezing a pimple can force pus and bacteria deeper into the dermis, spreading an infection to other tissue and worsening inflammation, which can add to the discoloration and scarring.
So as much as possible, try to pass up the temptation to pick or squeeze a pimple.
But if you do, make sure to clean the area after you mess with it to help dry out the lesion and minimize any bacterial growth, which can aid in preventing infection and scarring.
Picking at scabs should also be avoided. A scab is the skin's natural "bandage" which protects the wound as it heals.
Picking a scab off a wound before it is ready prolongs the healing process and increases chances of scarring.
3. Stay Out Of The Sun
Too much sun exposure can cause scars to darken. Those dark spots are created by the same pigment cells that darken your skin with a tan, called melanocytes. Ultraviolet rays stimulate melanocytes, leading to further discoloration.
So before heading outdoors, make sure to put on sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to prevent melanocytes from becoming more active and to reduce the risk of dark spots.
Make sure to reapply after 2 hours in the sun, or when you’ve been swimming or sweating. Also, remember to wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, and a wide-brimmed hat.
Avoid spending your time in the sun between 10 am to 2 pm because this is when the sun’s burning rays are at their strongest.
4. Don’t Use Vitamin E On Scars
Contrary to popular belief, applying vitamin E to a scar can hinder its healing. A study shows that applying the nutrient directly onto a scar either had no effect or makes matters worse for 67% of the patients.
For the 33% of those patients, they developed contact dermatitis, which happens when the protective layer of your skin gets damaged, after putting vitamin E directly on their skin.
The Bottom Line
Acne scars are part of our skin’s normal healing process. The deeper and more inflamed the acne lesion is, or the more that it is picked and squeezed, the more likely it is to scar.
So if I were you, I’d start by getting that inflammation under control because that may well be the primary cause of most of your acne scar problems.
And do try to avoid picking and squeezing as it will only lead to more inflammation and injury to your skin which can increase your chances of discoloration and scarring.
Acne scars are not that easy to get rid of. So as much as possible, try to avoid ever having them by following the tips given above. It’ll save you a lot of trouble if you do.
But in the unfortunate chance that you do develop acne scars, the remedies listed above will surely help you get rid of them in no time.