#SkinSchool: How to get rid of acne scars

Experts explain the best in-salon and at-home treatments
#SkinSchool: How to get rid of acne scars
#SkinSchool: How to get rid of acne scars
#SkinSchool: How to get rid of acne scars
#SkinSchool: How to get rid of acne scars

In the event you’ve tackled a bout of acne and come out triumphant, it could feel like the battle has been gained. However, so many blemishes depart their mark in your skin lengthy after the breakout has subsided. Pitted scars and purple patches of pigmentation can linger for months – even years – however there are tactics you can employ to smooth your way again to vibrant, even skin.

Here, we ask the experts to disclose exactly how to get rid of acne scars and pigmentation as rapidly (and safely) as potential.

What are acne scars?

A generalised time period, acne scarring can be used to refer to a mess of various marks {that a} breakout might depart behind. “Acne scars come in different kinds, including rolling, boxcar and ice-pick scars,” explains Pamela Marshall, scientific aesthetician and founder of Mortar & Milk.

Whereas most forms of scarring may be handled by way of different strategies, there’s one subset that requires specialist remedy, as aesthetician and founder of West Room Aesthetics Dija Ayodele explains. “Be cautious that keloid scarring, which darker skin may be liable to, could make you contraindicated to remedy that works on the premise of inducing a gentle trauma to the skin, equivalent to chemical peels and microneedling. In the event you’ve acquired this sort of scarring, it is best to see a doctor or dermatologist that may present steroid pictures or advise on removing with surgery.”

Acne scars or hyperpigmentation?

Acne scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can each happen after a breakout, however the two are literally very different – and thus a distinct approach is required in the case of fading them.

“Acne scars happen when too much collagen kinds in a selected spot when a wound is therapeutic,” explains dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross. “The scar usually develops throughout the dermis, the place the unique acne-caused inflammation formed.”

“When somebody has cystic acne, there is a larger chance of getting rolling or boxcar scarring – particularly if they’re picked at earlier than they’re prepared, or too aggressively,” says Marshall. Aesthetic practitioner and ambassador for Filorga, Dr Philippe Hamida-Pisal agrees. “Acne scarring is because of touching and squeezing spots. This damages small veins, glands and tissues surrounding the spots which creates scarring,” he says.

In contrast to acne scarring, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is solely a type of skin pigmentation (like solar harm), which occurs because of trauma to the skin. As it would not harm the follicle, it is not thought of a real type of scarring.

According to Ayodele, sure skin types and tones are more likely to expertise this post-acne redness. “Darker skin tones are extra liable to hyperpigmentation due to the elevated ranges on melanin in the skin. Which means that at any time when there’s any trauma, the melanin cells rapidly leap into motion to supply extra melanin to defend and shield in opposition to that trauma,” she says.

The good news is that in the case of eliminating each acne scars and pigmentation, there are myriad choices accessible, from skilled treatments to at-home hacks.

In the event you’re seeking to diminish rolling, boxcar or ice-pick scarring, the answer possible lies in a salon. Submit-inflammatory hyperpigmentation will fade by itself over time, however there are a number of choices – each in-salon and at-home – that you would be able to utilise to hurry up the approach.

How to get rid of acne scars


There are many treatments out there to help fade the varied types of acne scarring – including lasers and microdermabrasion – however Marshall’s most popular remedy is microneedling. “Carried out by knowledgeable, microneedling might be one of the best for scarring, and likewise helps scale back the indicators of ageing,” she explains. The approach includes using tiny needles to create micro-punctures in the skin, which kick-starts mobile renewal, leading to better collagen and elastin manufacturing.

Ayodele agrees, including that “the sooner that is executed the higher, As it’s far more difficult to deal with previous scars.”


In case your scars aren’t extreme, a chemical peel might be a smart possibility. “For much less apparent scarring, having a scientific remedy with a low-pH acid will make a giant distinction,” says Marshall.

What’s extra, at-home peels have come a long way in recent years, and there are now loads of glorious choices that work on renewing the skin floor, decreasing the depth and depth of acne scarring. “To deal with acne scars at residence, use a product that gives mild chemical exfoliation,” suggests Dr Gross. Go for a pre-soaked pad for ease of use, or strive a toner-style resurfacing liquid.

How to get rid of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation


In the case of brightening darkish hyperpigmentation, vitamin C must be a key weapon in your skincare arsenal. “I absolutely love it for a lot of causes. Its benefits are limitless, including revitalising and brightening the skin whereas stimulating your physique’s pure manufacturing of collagen,” says Dr Gross. “Not solely does it help to lighten and break up pigmentation you may have already got, however it additionally prevents darkish spots or solar spots from forming sooner or later.”


According to Ayodele, a chemical peel can also be an effective way to fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, as “it’s going to help the skin to exfoliate rapidly and fade the discolouration.” Alpha-hydroxy-acids equivalent to glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid work by dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds useless skin cells collectively, revealing brighter, brisker skin beneath.

“On Black skin it is best to do a series of superficial peels over a course of some months versus doing a single deep peel, which can trigger further PIH,” says Ayodele. Contemplate a low-dose at-home product designed for delicate skin, equivalent to Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Common Each day Peel (which, conversely, would not must be used on daily basis), or QMS Medicosmetics’ Lively Exfoliant 7% Delicate. A poly-hydroxy-acid can also be a very good, mild different to the often-used glycolic acid, as its bigger molecule measurement means penetration into the skin is decreased. You can find an ideal dose of poly-hydroxy-acid in Medik8’s good new Press & Glow, which is designed to hydrate whereas it exfoliates.


“Retinol (or vitamin A) is helpful for acne As it fades hyperpigmentation by growing the cell turnover charges,” explains Dr Hamida-Pisnal.

A course of prescription-strength retinol requires a visit to the dermatologist, however there are now a number of glorious over-the-counter manufacturers working with efficient vitamin A derivatives, equivalent to Sunday Riley and La Roche-Posay. As all the time in the case of lively skincare, observe the directions stringently, seek the advice of a doctor if doubtful, and put on a high-factor SPF each single day.


Gentle remedy has been proven to work on so many skin concerns, from lack of collagen to lively breakouts, and up to date analysis means that purple LED particularly might help to cut back inflammation and immediate mobile restore, aiding the skin to recuperate from a breakout extra effectively.

The place such treatments had been as soon as confined to the 4 partitions of a dermatologist’s workplace, a handful of manufacturers have now harnessed this superior expertise in at-home masks and hand-held devices. Search for one with a red-light setting (the bulk have this), and use it repeatedly for cumulative outcomes.