How to Erase a Pimple Scar
Scarring and blemishes from acne can make you feel self-conscious about your looks, but there are steps you can take to help get rid of scars. Whether your acne scars are recent or they’ve been there for a while, there are treatments you can use which can help them fade or even disappear completely.
Treating Early Acne Blemishes and Scars
Reduce redness.Fight the redness of a blemish by applying cortisone cream. Cortisone will help to fight inflammation and will reduce the surrounding redness of the scar, making it appear less noticeable.
- You will be able to buy cortisone cream without a prescription, at most pharmacies. It should cost about .
- Look for creams that are labelled as “non-comedogenic,” which means that they avoid ingredients that can clog pores, like cocoa butter, coal tar, isopropyl myristate, and pigments and dyes.Treating your scars while at the same time causing more acne is like fighting a losing battle.
Try fade creams.Another tool in your arsenal is fade creams. Fade creams that contain kojic acid or arbutin will help to lighten the pigment of the blemished skin, and therefore reduce its visibility.
- Such creams, again, should be available at your local pharmacy for a fairly low cost.
- Be careful of hydroquinone. Hydroquinone skin fading topicals are fade creams that lighten pigments in the skin; however, they have recently fallen out of favor due to concerns about possible cancer-causing properties.
Use retinoids.Retinoids are topical or oral products that normalize “hyperkeratinisation,” meaning they help your skin cells slough off at a normal rate, which prevents them from clogging pores and causing acne. They also have anti-inflammatory qualities and can improve the look of the skin by promoting healing.
- Topical retinoids like Retin-A or Tazorac are used in the treatment of acne as well as scarring. Alpha-hydroxy acids and Beta-hydroxy acids, on the other hand, are chemical peels that remove the top layer of dead skin, revealing the newer, less blemished skin underneath.
- You can usually buy retinoids in a cream or serum without a prescription.
- Pregnant women should avoid them retinoids, as they are not safe for the fetus.
Use vitamin C.Ascorbic acid, or simply vitamin C, may be an effective way to fade or even remove acne scars and can be found in something as simply as lemon juice. Vitamin C not only contains antioxidants and reduces inflammation but it is essential in the production of collagen, which the body uses to heal connective tissue.
- You can buy specially formulated vitamin C skin creams or serums at drugstores and pharmacies.
- An even simpler method is to apply lemon juice to your face with a cotton swab, after a thorough cleansing, leaving it for no longer than a half hour. You may feel some stinging or discomfort. Your skin may also dry out, so you should apply moisturizer afterward.
- Another variation of this home remedy is to mix lemon juice with honey and milk in a proportion of 1:2:3 and to apply it as a mask after cleansing. Remove after no more than one half hour.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun while using lemon juice to lighten your skin. Prolonged sunlight is bad for your acne scars as it is, but with lemon juice on your skin, it's particularly bad.
- Like many topical treatments, results are not immediate but regular safe use can help prevent and treat acne.
Avoid creams with vitamin E.Creams with vitamin E may actually do more harm than good. Because it's a vitamin, we're tempted to think that it will be either beneficial or harmless. In fact, one University of Miami study reported that vitamin E treatment had no effect or worsened the appearance of scars in 90% of subjects, with improvement in only 10% of cases.
Treating Late, Pronounced Scars
Consult your doctor.Many recommended treatments for pronounced acne scars must be administered by a doctor. This may seem like a hassle — why can’t you do it at home? —however, the risk and potency of these methods mean that they should always be done with proper medical supervision.
- Make an appointment with a dermatologist. A specialist in skin problems, called a dermatologist, can give you informed advice on how to treat your acne scars.
- If you don’t already have a dermatologist, you might make an appointment with your general practitioner and ask for a referral.
Consider a chemical peel.Talk to your doctor about administering a stronger chemical peel. Using potent acid formulas, these procedures lift off the top layer or layers of skin, thereby minimizing the appearance of scars.
- Stronger chemical peels always need to be done under a doctor’s supervision. Depending on acne severity, skin type, and other factors, your doctor will advise a specific kind of peel, as well as give you instructions for after-care.
Undergo dermabrasion or microdermabrasion.“Dermabrasion” is the process of sloughing off top layers of skin with a rapidly rotating wire brush.Usually, this procedure removes blemishes on the skin surface and reduces the appearance of deeper scars.
- Dermabrasion is not without risks. The procedure may can temporary redness or swelling, enlarged pores, infection, and, rarely, scarring. It can also cause changes in skin pigment for patients with darker skin.
- Microdermabrasion is a lighter procedure that applies small crystals onto the top layer of skin, which are then vacuumed up, along with dead skin cells.Because the procedure only removes the top layer of skin, results are generally far less pronounced than dermabrasion.
Talk to your doctor about laser resurfacing.In laser resurfacing, the doctor uses a laser to remove the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis) and tightens the middle layer. The skin normally grows back looking smoother, usually in three to 10 days. Sometimes, multiple treatments are needed to reduce the acne scars.
- Laser treatments do not work for everyone, and can have unpredictable results. Doctors do not yet know why laser treatments are effective for some but ineffective for others.
- Many people are satisfied with the procedure, but few patients will see a 100% elimination of scars.Although it helps reduce the visibility of scars, it is almost never completely effective and it needs to be used along with other treatments.
Consider cosmetic surgery.As a last resort, consult with a medical professional about surgery for large, deep lesions or scars. In this procedure, a doctor will use a punch excision to cut out the scar and replace it with stitching or a skin graft. Smaller lesions require only stitching, while large lesions may require a skin graft from another part of your body.
- Consider this option carefully and consult with your doctor before proceeding. Remember, this is a minor surgery and carries risk. It may require anaesthesia and a surgical facility and could prove quite expensive. You will also require time to heal.
Practicing Preventative Care
Avoid exposure to sunlight.Exposure to excessive amounts of sunlight will cause acne scars to darken (hyper-pigmentation) while hindering the healing process — this includes tanning and sunbathing. Be careful to avoid direct sunlight, especially during peak hours in the afternoon.
- Apply sunscreen (broad-spectrum SPF 30) liberally before you go out, and reapply two hours later. Try to find brands that will not clog skin pores.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for extra protection. If your scars are on your arms, neck, or back, cover those with clothing as well.
Don’t pick or squeeze pimples.Largely made from collagen, scars are the body's natural way of healing itself. Picking and squeezing your acne or acne scars will further irritate the skin tissue and keep it from properly healing.
- Instead, wash with a gentle cleanser to get rid of the oils and dirt that cause acne. You might also try over-the-counter acne products. Look for products that have benzoyl peroxide as the active ingredient.
- Watch what touches your skin. Keep your hair clean and swept away from your face, and avoid resting hands or objects like phones on your face.
Have good hygiene.There is a balance between under-washing and over-washing skin. Under-washing leaves excess skin cells, oil, bacteria, and other debris on the skin, potentially clogging pores and creating blemishes. Over-washing irritates and dries the skin, contributing to excess oil production and more breakouts. Refrain from washing problem areas more than twice a day. When washing, use gentle cleansers with smooth grains and light scrubbing to exfoliate. Avoid products containing large grains, such as almond or apricot shell fragments, that will potentially damage or irritate the skin.
- Showering is especially important following exercise and/or heavy perspiration to prevent bacterial growth on the skin.
- Wash your hands when soiled and avoid touching your face or other problem areas. Touch can drive bacteria and debris into hair follicles, causing acne.
Avoid makeup products with alcohol.Products containing isopropyl alcohol will strip the top layer of skin and dry it out. As a result, sebaceous glands in the skin will produce more oil, possibly worsening or causing more breakouts.
Pursue a focused treatment plan.It is tempting to just throw anything and everything at your acne and acne scars. This, however, is usually not effective. Talk with your dermatologist and devise a targeted plan for attacking your scars.
- Your plan might involve an oral antibiotic, a topical retinoid, and a fade cream. Your doctor might also prescribe something to bring your acne under long-term control.
- Treat your scars with your doctor’s guidance. Most of all, be patient as your skin gets clearer.
QuestionHow do I get rid of scarring caused by popping pimples?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe best way is to avoid popping popping pimples at all, but if you do, there are a few ways to calm down redness.Try using ice and leaving it on for 5 minutes, or until it numbs. After that, try applying fresh lemon juice. If you need to cover up scars, try applying green concealer with foundation.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 20 and my skin is very oily and I have many acne scars. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI suggest you moisturize. That helps with oiliness and acne scars. Get plenty of rest too, because this helps rejuvenate your skin.Thanks!
QuestionI have acne marks, how do I remove them? I've tried so many products with no results.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSqueeze the juice from one organic lemon into a small bowl. You can use this treatment undiluted or mixed with water if you have sensitive skin. Dab juice over the scars with a cotton ball and let it dry completely. Then rinse your face with cool water and follow up with a natural moisturizer.Thanks!
QuestionIs there any natural way to get rid of scars?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionI have a lot of pimples on my face. I have tried every kind of oil to get rid of them but nothing has worked. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to see a dermatologist. Antibiotics along with a prescribed skin care routine will help you clear and maintain your clear skin.Thanks!
Short Video: How to Erase a Pimple Scar
If your acne scars are recent, you can use special creams like cortisone or Vitamin C serum to help reduce redness and speed healing. For scars that have been present longer, ask your doctor about procedures such as chemical peels or laser resurfacing. These procedures help to remove scars by gently exfoliating the outermost layer of skin.
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