This page has all the information you need on getting rid of acne scars. First we look at the more superficial “pimple” scars, then provide details on how to treat deeper scars that involve more layers of skin.
How to Get Rid of Pimple Scars
Those marks left on your skin after a zealous squeezing or the aftermath of a deep pimple that just decides to leave it’s legacy?
These scars are usually dark brown, black or red.
Because they involve only the surface your skin remains smooth (i.e. they are not indented or raised).
And just like pimples, they are really common.
How to Get Rid Of Pimple Scars: The Right Way
Because pimple scars happen in the top layers of skin, this is what we need to deal with.
The aim is to speed up cell turnover and provide a consistent exfoliation so these lighter scars fade quickly.
How? With glycolic acid:
- This alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) works by dissolving the “glue” between skin cells, providing an even exfoliation and speeding up cell turnover
- This results in healthier, clearer, smoother skin. Healthy cells reach the surface faster while the older cells are shedded off.
- PLUS it controls oil, blackheads, breakouts, smoothes fine lines and brightens your complexion.
How to Use Glycolic Acid for Pimple Scar Removal:
You need a glycolic acid product with a high enough percentage of glycolic acid to work, and that can be used on a consistent basis in order to see results.
Our Glycolic Daily Exfoliator 7.5% is exactly that
With 7.5% pure glycolic acid with no fillers or unnecessary ingredients, you will see and feel the difference in your skin.
Plus, it doesn’t require any down time or annoying extra steps in your routine.
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How To Use It and What To Expect
Here are step by step details on using the Glycolic Daily Exfoliator 7.5.% to fade scars and clear up skin:
- Apply in the evening to clean, dry skin – like a toner
- For the first week or 2 you may only be able to only leave it on for a few seconds before rinsing off with cool water to neutralize
- Once your skin has built tolerance you can leave it on for longer – up to 1minute. However, you may never need to do this depending on your skin. Several seconds could be all you need!
- Follow with your usual moisturizer
- Extra tip – massage a small amount of Vaseline or almond oil onto the scar. This will help nourish and protect the area so it can heal faster
- Important – always wear sunscreen, particularly when using glycolic acid as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Plus, sun damage can make a scar more obvious as pigmentation is increased
When Will Your Pimple Scars Be GONE?!
This depends on a few things: how old is the scar?
What color – is it red/pink (fade quicker) or pigmented/dark? How deep was the pimple?
Did you pick/squeeze or did it go away on it’s own?
You can expect to see a difference in skin clarity within a week or 2 of using glycolic acid. Lighter scars should be fading significantly and some may be gone entirely. If you have older or darker scars, it may be 3 -4 weeks.
And from then on, you can expect much smoother skin with less breakouts, that continues to get better and better!
Think of the glycolic acid like thousands of tiny ‘pac-men’ working to steadily munch the top layer of skin, revealing the healthy blemish-free skin below.
What About Topical Vitamin C for Fading Scars?
- Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients you can use to strengthen and heal skin.
- It is excellent at brightening your complexion and evening skin tone, plus it helps protect skin from UV rays.
- The most important thing with Vitamin C is to use a quality product like a serum with the right percentage—otherwise it is useless
Optional Treatment – heavier skin peels
A heavier chemical peel every few weeks is a nice add on and can speed up the skin clearing process. See this page for details on how to do a chemical peel at home
Important tips for lighter acne scars:
- Sun will darken scars, especially recent ones as they are still healing and vulnerable. Protect your skin with sunscreen and preferably shade
- Keep your skin well hydrated to help the healing process, this will also lessen the look of the scars
- Yes they are more likely to happen if you pick and squeeze, however this is not always the case. Some skin just scars easier, some pimples are deeper and do more damage
- It helps to remember these types of acne scars are often a part of skins natural healing process, and while annoying they can be treated, and will eventually disappear on their own
Dealing with more severe acne scars? The information below is for you:
How to treat severe acne scars
More severe acne scars are deeper within the skin and are sometimes called “pock marks” or ice pick scars.
They aren’t always indented though and can be raised.
These are harder to treat because they involve the deeper layers of skin – so no skin care product or superficial treatment will do much beyond slightly lessening their appearance.
The question is how to get rid of acne scars:
Professional help is usually necessary (but not always!) – but the good news is these treatments can be very successful!
The best options are below:
1. Professional Peels
A dermatologist can perform a series of peels, sometimes TCA or phenol. This definitely needs to be done by a pro as they really resurface the skin.
Speak to your doctor/dermatologist about the right options for you.
2. Laser Treatments
Laser treatments are extremely beneficial for a lot of skin problems.
For getting rid of acne scars they can be especially successful as they are able to penetrate the deeper layers of skin and really make a difference.
They may be more successful for raised scars rather than the pocked/indented.
Just make sure you see a very experienced professional (a doctor) and speak about your options.
A common laser for acne scars is Fraxel.
These scars need heavier treatment which involves down time and management – which is well worth it for clear smoother skin!
The most important thing when figuring out how to get rid of acne scars that are severe is to speak to a professional – not an esthetician but a doctor.