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Last updated on August 3rd, 2019 at 4:00 am

Can acne scars be completely removed?

acne scars on face

Just about everyone has dealt with acne in one way or another. Most folks endured the worst part of their acne during their teenage years. However, it doesn’t end there. The acne itself may have cleared up but the scars remain.

How do you get acne scars

Inflamed lesions are the leading cause of acne scars. When your pore swells and becomes engorged with excess oils, dead skin cells and bacteria, it causes your follicle walls to break. 

Normally, when the rupture occurs near the skin’s surface, it usually goes away on its own without a trace. But when the break in the follicle walls run deep, and the infection spills out into the dermis, it can destroy the healthy skin tissue underneath.

When that happens, your skin starts forming collagen fibres. Collagen fibres are what gives skin its strength and flexibility. 

However, your skin won’t look as smooth and flawless as before once it heals.  The result is acne scars.

Can you get rid of them?

Scars are permanent, but you can remove them. Home remedies and medical treatments are available for those who want to get rid of them. Over the counter drugs and ointments have been one of the more popular options in treating acne and acne scars alike. But there are also natural remedies for people who are uncomfortable about using chemicals on their skin. Here are some of both

Over the counter remedies

  • Salicylic Acid. Often found in most acne skin care products, Salicylic Acid is a compound that helps clean dirt, skin cells and other debris from your pores. It can help with keeping your skin clean. It also reduces swelling and redness in the affected area, preventing any noticeable scarring. 
  • Retinoids. Topical retinoids can help speed up cell regeneration. It also helps reduce acne lesions and blocks inflammation. It can also lighten hyperpigmented acne scars, reducing their visibility. However, retinoids make your skin more sensitive to the sun. So, remember to put on sunblock. 
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids. AHA scrapes away the old, outer layer of the skin to reveal new skin underneath. The acids can also help with discolouration due to scarring, returning your skin’s natural glow. 
  • Lactic Acids. This helps reduce scar appearance and improves your skin’s overall texture. It also peels away dead skin cells. The great thing about lactic acids is that you can find it in most acne treatment products. For a more cost-effective method, use apple cider vinegar diluted in water. It also has lactic acids and costs half the price of acne products. 

Natural remedies

If you’re not a fan of over the counter ointments and creams, natural remedies are another option. Some products you can consider using to remove acne scars include: 

  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Raw honey
  • Prevent acne scars

They say that prevention is always better than cure. Acne may not be preventable at times, but you can help yourself from getting any acne scars with proper skin treatment. Here are some ways to help prevent acne scars.

  • Treat acne as soon as possible. As soon as you notice yourself breaking out, treat it right away! Wash your face regularly, drying with a clean cloth. It’s also important to change your beddings regularly. If it doesn’t get any better and continues to get worse, get in touch with your dermatologist. 
  • Reduce inflammation. The more inflamed the blemish, the more likely it is to leave a scar. Some of the above-mentioned products can help reduce redness. Lastly, avoid aggressive scrubbing and strong skincare products to prevent irritation. 
  • Don’t pop your pimples. You’ve heard this time and time again. Squeezing and picking at your pimples can cause more harm than good. 
  • Do not pick at scabs. In line with popping your pimples, do not pick at the scabs forming over dried blemishes. Picking at the scab can cause damage deeper into the skin and cause scarring over time. 
  • Find out if you’re prone to scarring. Genetics can sometimes play a role in your scarring. Some people are just more prone to scarring than others. Some people get severe acne and walk away from it with clear skin, while others do not. If your family has a history of severe acne scars or scarring in general, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist about the best ways to prevent your breakouts into becoming scars. 
  • Talk to a dermatologist in case of acne cysts. Acne cysts and nodular breakouts can cause severe scarring. If you’re experiencing these, then talk to your dermatologist sooner rather than later. 

Another thing you can do is to learn a skincare routine. Do it regularly to take care of your skin. Also remember to drink plenty of water. That way, you can maintain healthy skin and the acne that you do get are set to a minimum.  


Medical Director

After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Dr Boey’s journey in aesthetics brought him to esteemed institutions such as Harvard Medical School, American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Queen Mary University of London in diverse cities like Seoul, London, Boston and New York.