I’ve received a few questions from our readers on how long do acne scars take to go away. Well, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to years.
I know that’s not a very definitive answer but it’s the reality. How quickly acne scars fade away varies from one person to another and depends on a number of factors.
- How severe your acne was. The more serious it was the longer it will likely take for the scars to go away. But this is not always the case. You may have had mild acne but depending on other factors such as your skin type it could take months or years to get rid of the scars.
- Your skin type. People with oily skin usually take longer to completely get rid of acne scars compared to people with normal or dry skin.
- Whether you get treatment or not. If you opt for treatment the scars will obviously fade away faster. But it’s important that you choose the right type of treatment.
Treatments to get rid of Acne Scars fast
Before you consider any sort of treatment first be sure that you actually have acne scars. Many people confuse post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation with acne scars.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are small dark-red marks that appear on the skin after an acne outbreak heals. They are flat and tend to go away on their own in a few weeks or months. You usually don’t need any treatment for them (though there are things you can do to fade them away quicker).
The main difference between the hyperpigmentation and acne scars is how they look and feel. The dark-red marks associated with Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are flat and non-palpable (you can’t feel them by hand).
Acne scars on the other hand tend to be pitted. They are more difficult to get rid of.
If you think you have acne scars your best option is to see a dermatologist. He or she will diagnose the scar noting their type and severity. Then based on your skin type, you will be recommended the best treatment option.
Here are some common options.
This is a much faster and more effective way of treating acne scars than homemade products or store-bought creams.
There are different types of laser treatments including Frazel laser (stimulate collagen production), carbon dioxide laser (vaporises scar tissue to allow for new skin growth) and Fractional laser (specifically targets acne scars to quicken healing and increase collagen).
Ask your dermatologist which type of treatment is best for your acne scars and skin type.
This involves cutting out the area around the scar. This allows new smooth non-scarred skin to grow in its place. There are different types of excision treatments that can be used depending on the type of scars.
This is another mini-surgery that involves excising the base of the scar and elevating it to reduce the pitted appearance. It’s ideal when you don’t want to risk skin discoloration or another scar from a wound.
Chemical solutions are applied onto the skin to cause mild blistering. The ‘damaged’ skin will automatically begin peeling off while smooth and scar-free skin replaces it below.
This treatment is usually ideal for those with shallow acne scars. If you have deep scars you may require a specialized deep chemical peeling treatment.
The dermatologist sands off the top layer of the skin to get rid of the acne scars. New skin regenerates without the scarring.
If your acne scars are mild or you don’t want to use a more invasive medical treatment, there are ways you can treat acne scars at home. But it will take longer to see results and in some cases you may not be able to completely get rid of the scarring.
- Exfoliate regularly using a homemade scrub or DIY microdermabrasion at home.
- Buy a home microdermabrasion machine. It will provide faster results than just exfoliating.
- Protect your skin. Make sure you moisturise regularly and whenever you go out don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
- Use natural scar-healing products such as Aloe Vera, honey and lemon. You can also try essential oils for acne scars such as sandalwood, tea tree, lavender and jojoba.
Take care when working with natural products especially essential oils. Always do a patch test to check whether you have any sensitivity to the product before applying it on your skin.