How to Heal Acne Scars


| LAST UPDATE 04/04/2022

By Lia Thomson
acne scars skincare tips
@harpersglow via Instagram

We often spend a lot of time focusing on how to get rid of active acne - but what happens when those pimples finally go away? Unfortunately, sometimes our skin tends to easily scar, and it can be difficult to get rid of. Luckily for you, we have some life-changing tips to start healing those wounds and removing the scars for good. Here's how.

First, let's try and understand our skin better. There are three major layers, starting with the innermost: hypodermis, the derm, and the epidermis. The outside layer, the epidermis, is in charge of protecting the body from external things such as UV light and pathogens in the environment. Next is the dermis, which controls our body temperature while also supporting the epidermis by giving it nutrients. And finally, the hypodermis stops any harm from happening to the muscles and bones. When the skin is wounded (aka popping a pimple), our bodies quickly start to go through the healing process. And for it to work its best and heal with the least amount of scars, it needs some extra support and nutrients from us. 

acne scars treatment tips
@lovinglaurel_ via Instagram
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The first stage of healing is blood clotting, which occurs to reduce the amount of blood loss. Platelets and fibrin come together to form a clot and protect the wound from the outside world. Also, blood vessels become smaller to minimize bleeding. After 5-15 minutes, the vessels widen again to allow inflammatory and immune cells to enter and start alleviating the lesion. This brings us to the next stage: inflammation. This is when we can visibly see the targeted area become swollen and inflamed because immune and inflammatory cells—neutrophils and macrophages, are getting rid of bacteria. Then proliferation happens - when new skin, connective tissue, and blood vessels are made, and the wound starts to come together. Finally, the last step of remodeling takes place where scar tissue develops. 

The best way to help the skin repair itself is by providing it with many vitamins and nutrients - Vitamin C and Vitamin A for the first two stages and zinc for the last two. Collagen is also helpful as it helps by rebuilding skin elasticity, hydration, and density. But don't just focus on the internal products: "antiseptics should be used only on intact skin, not on open wounds—they will slow down the healing process by killing proliferation cells," explained dermatologist Unnati Desai on the importance of keeping the area clean. The doctor advised using "Adequate levels of skin hydration help the healing process...Because wound dressings keep moisture in the wound and surrounding tissues, using them can help accelerate healing and minimize scarring." 

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