All about acne scars
Adolescents and adults alike often wonder if there’s an acne scar treatment to take care of scars they’d really rather be rid of. Even though acne is a skin condition that varies from one person to another, we believe that the more severe it is, the higher the risk that scarring could occur. Luckily, acne scars aren’t an inevitability, as treatments exist for removing and fading them. Simply follow these informed pieces of advice for preventing their occurrence, treating them with care and reducing their visual intensity.
What is a scar?
A scar is a mark that appears as skin regenerates following a trauma, such as aggressive acne growth. This natural process allows the skin to protect itself against infection and heal the damaged zone.
What causes scarring?
A growing pimple, especially when touched or pierced, can cause inflammation as enzymes attack collagen and elastin, essential proteins for skin regeneration and elasticity. The result: a scar. But even though scars are permanent, their look can be markedly reduced.
What are the types of acne scars?
There are three distinct types:
1 - Pigment scars
Once pimples recede, the skin can be left with marks or spots that are redder or darker than its natural pigment.
2 - Atrophic scars
These scars are characterized by shallow craters that make the skin look pockmarked; these are caused by a loss of skin tissue as the acne pimples heal.
3 - Hypertrophic scars
Often linked to the most severe forms of acne, these scars make the skin’s surface irregular and swollen, especially on the cheeks and cheekbones. They are caused by an overproduction of connective tissue and collagen as the acne pimples heal.
How to fade acne scars
Despite or best efforts, scars can still form. How long does it take for acne scars to fade? It all depends on their characteristics. A superficial scar will disappear within a few weeks (following light acne growth); however, a deep scar (resulting from a popped pimple or severe inflammation) could stick around for 18 to 24 months and leave an unsightly mark. But fear not! There are a few things you can try to get rid of them.
How to hide marks and redness
Opt for non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic makeup products, such as a hydrating concealer, oil-free foundation or mattifying powder foundation from the Dermablend line, which all mask imperfections for 24 hours while letting the skin breathe. Applying a soothing serum, such as Rosaliac AR Intense, before putting on makeup will also help alleviate redness and reduce its frequency. To kill two birds with one stone, use a corrective care product, like Rosaliac CC Creme, to immediately cover and correct redness and marks left my pigment scars. A gentle peel performed by a beauty institute or dermatologist is another possibility for evening out your skin tone.
How to reduce atrophic and hypertrophic scars
Microdermabrasion, peeling, miconeedling, radiofrequency treatments, CO2 fractional laser treatments, hyaluronic acid or steroid injections—a wealth of medical cosmetic care options exist for fading deeper or obvious scars. Consult a dermatologist or medical-cosmetic specialist to find out which treatment is best for you. Post-treatment, alleviate redness and discomfort with a soothing, hydrating care product, such as Toleriane Ultra.
How to prevent acne scars
Fading acne scars is all well and good, but preventing them from forming in the first place is better! See which statements are true and false to learn which habits to adopt and discover the best products for acne scars and acne scar removal.
Cleansing your skin vigorously slows acne growth.
FALSE. Excessive use of a cleanser or overly abrasive exfoliator, as well as rubbing too hard, will only worsen skin inflammation and encourage scar formation. Go for gentle products, like a cleanser, scrub or oil-free moisturizer intended for acne-prone skin.
Hydrating your skin every day promotes scarring.
TRUE. Hydration is crucial for skin scarring. Remember that even oily skin needs hydrating with an oil-free moisturizer, which fortifies the skin’s barrier function.
Vitamin C speeds up scarring.
TRUE. An antioxidant, vitamin C greatly promotes collagen synthesis, which helps along skin tissue regeneration and scarring. Pepper, citrus fruit, red berries, kiwis, broccoli, cauliflower and parsley are all rich in vitamin C.
Popping a pimple makes it disappear more quickly.
FALSE. When a nasty pimple appears, don’t touch, pinch or pop it; this will only aggravate inflammation or spread the infection to adjacent areas, thereby promoting scar formation.
The sun makes pimples heal more quickly.
FALSE. At first, UV rays seem to improve acned skin; however, they actually make things worse. What’s more, repeated unprotected sun exposure accelerates the formation of pigment scars and amplifies their intensity. Be it summer or winter, avoid going outside with your face exposed and apply mattifying, non-comedogenic sun protection with an SPF of at least 50, such as Anthelios XL Dry Touch.
Wearing masks causes pimples.
TRUE. The pandemic has given rise to the term “maskne,” a portmanteau of “mask” and “acne.” This is because the repeated friction of a mask rubbing against the face can irritate acned skin. Furthermore, the heat and humidity trapped under the mask can promote the proliferation of bacteria and the secretion of sebum. The best way to fight this is to carefully cleanse your skin twice a day, clean your mask after use and adjust it correctly on your face.
Treatment of acne
Treating acne skin starts with a rigorous daily care routine. In the morning and evening, use dermocosmetic products designed for acne-prone skin. This is key for staving off acne growth and the formation of irreversible scars.
1 - Cleanse
Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel for Oily Sensitive Skin
Clinically proven to rebalance sebum production, this cleansing gel removes impurities and excess sebum, leaving skin clean and healthy.
In the morning and evening, emulsify the foaming gel in your hand with a bit of water and massage it gently on the skin. Rinse with plenty of cool water to better tighten pores.
Clinically proven on sensitive skin, this hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic care product contains no parabens, oil, alcohol or soap.
2 - Tone
Effaclar Astringent Micro-Exfoliant Lotion
This incredibly refreshing toning and micro-exfoliating care product regulates sebum production, helps unclog pores and visibly tightens them with one use.
In the morning and evening, after cleansing, soak a cotton pad in this lotion and spread it gently on your face without rinsing.
Clinically proven on acne-prone skin, this toning care product is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
3 - Treat and hydrate
Effaclar Duo (+) Anti-Imperfection Unclogging Care
This innovative care product simultaneously treats imperfections and obstructed pores, the main culprits of scar formation. Packed with four powerful dermatological actives (niacinamide, piroctone olamine, targeted linoleic acid and LHA, a derivative of salicylic acid), it purifies pores and slows pimples and acne growth, leaving skin lastingly purified, mattified and rebalanced.
In the morning and evening, use small circular motions to work the lotion into your face.
Clinically proven on sensitive skin, this non-oily, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic care product is paraben-free.
Does salicylic acid help acne scars?
This powerful organic compound is acne’s sworn enemy. Its keratolytic effect (like a natural peel) dislodges clumps of dead cells on the skin’s corneous layer, thereby preventing sebum from obstructing pores. Once freed of impurities, pores tighten up, blackheads disappear and pigment scars fade. Salicylic acid also prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses on the epidermis all day long, which halts inflammatory reactions that cause acne. It’s no surprise that salicylic acid can be found in care products for acne-prone skin, like Effaclar Duo Anti-Imperfection Corrective Unclogging Care, which contains the ideal 1.5% dose for taming your acne.
This article contains general information and is in no way a substitute for advice from a health professional, who will be able to recommend treatments and products suitable for your needs.