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Acne Scars - What Causes Them and How to Prevent Them

            Acne is a skin condition that affects 90% of the population at some point during their life cycle. It is unsightly, embarrassing and unattractive. Acne occurs as a result of blockage in the follicle of our pores. As a result our skin becomes irritated causing a pimple which is usually large, red and very unpleasant. Most people’s reaction to acne especially when it appears out of nowhere is to immediately pop it. However, popping your pimples can cause scarring on your skin and what people don’t realize is that once acne has formed it has already created scarring within the deeper layers of skin.

            The body is a modern miracle within itself that has its own immune system. The immune system defends the body against foreign substances and keeps the system from being attacked. When acne metabolizes in a blocked follicle the immune system is trigger to send an inflammatory response. Although, the inflammatory response is the body’s way of defending itself against acne it can also cause damage to the skin.

            When acne forms in a blocked follicle, debris builds up and can back up into the dermis, the middle layer of skin. During an inflammatory response the body sends an overabundance of white blood cells and plasma to the affected area, which causes inflammation to protect the surrounding tissues and organs. Inflammation within the dermis is the actual cause of acne scars. The wound from where the debris overflowed into the dermis, tries to heal itself, however due to the inflammation too much collagen is left within the area causing a scar to be left within the skin. Acne scarring can be very noticeable causing pitting within the skin tissue or can be superficial and not very noticeable at all.

           There are four typical forms of acne scars. They are defined based upon the look and shape of the actual scarring. The ice pick scars are the most common type of scarring. They are deep pits with steep sides and jagged edges, basically the size and shape an ice pick would leave behind. This type of scarring is normally found on the cheeks. Box car scars are oval shaped depressions within the skin and have sharp edges. These scars vary in depth and look like chickenpox scars. Box car scars are normally found on the cheeks and temples. Rolling scars have a wave like appearance. Typically appearing on the cheeks or forehead, rolling scars are a result of tissue damage beneath the top layer of skin. Lastly hypertrophic scars are small, red bumps. They can be thickened or resemble keloid scars.

            The easiest way to avoid acne scars is to stop popping your pimples. This will decrease the superficial scars that appear on the surface of your skin. However, there are other ways to eliminate the scarring that forms within the dermis. Dermatologists have come up with several different procedures that can restore your skin by removing the scar tissue left behind from acne. Not every treatment is right for everyone; it is dependant upon the type of scarring you have.

Some of the procedures that dermatologists recommend are subcision, punch treatments, chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing and acne creams. Treatments such as these although very effective can range in cost from $50 to $2500. Unfortunately the average person suffering from acne scars cannot afford these expensive treatments. However, there are several natural acne treatments that can be used within the comfort of your own home that can not only resolve your acne scars but also won’t cause side effects or several days of healing.

            Natural treatments are becoming more and more popular because they have no adverse side effects; they are low in cost, and easily used at home. For people who have sensitive skin, natural skin remedies won’t harm or injure the skin. Drinking lots of water and maintaining a healthy diet with lots of antioxidants, fruits and vegetables will not only improve the health of your skin but it can also cleanse and rejuvenate damaged skin cells. Drinking lemon juice daily will shed dead skin cells and grow new healthier, more elastic skin. Lemon juice greatly reduces the presence of acne scars. Apply aloe gel to acne scars. Aloe is known for its healing properties. Using aloe gel directly from the plant is the best source however using an aloe product will work just as well. Honey is also a natural skin healer. Apply honey directly to the face for 10 minutes and then rinse. Honey will kill bacteria within the skin that causes the formation of acne. You have seen people put cucumbers over their eyes to reduce dark circles; well putting cucumber juice on your face can tighten the pores allowing less debris to build up.

            Whatever home remedy you choose; remember it may take a couple of days up to a week to notice a difference in your skin. Don’t get discouraged, there are several home treatments out there, so if the first one doesn’t do enough for you, then try another one,  there is one that is right for you!