How to Fade Acne Scars
Acne Scars are permanent structural changes in the skin that need treatment to improve and go away.
This is why indentation and raised acne scarring are both defined as acne scarring, but red or brown discoloration leftover from acne scars is classified as discoloration as opposed to scarring because it is less severe.
The good news is both indented and raised acne scarring can be improved with both professional in-clinic as well as at-home treatments, and so can red and brown discoloration marks and scars leftover from acne.
What are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are the result of deep acne healing and the body either producing too little or too much collagen, which creates a textural change in the skin called a scar.
Depressed acne scarring:
When the body makes too little collagen, the scar forms as an indent or pit in the skin.
Raised acne scarring:
When the body makes too much collagen while the acne is healing, the scar can become raised. This type of scar is more common for those with African American, Hispanic and Asian skin.
Acne Scar Discoloration: The last type of acne scarring is the least severe as it only affects the top layer of skin and is technically not classified as an acne scar. This is the discoloration that can be left over from acne and acne marks. This is the easiest type of scarring to heal and will also often improve in time on its own.
The good news is there are in-clinic and at-home treatments you can use to improve the appearnce of all types of acne scarring, including fading acne scar discoloration and indents.
What Fades Acne Scars?
When you have discoloration acne scars such as red marks or brown marks, these will often improve over time, and the improvement can be accelerated with a topical treatment including the following:
- Topical Vitamin C: Vitamin C serum helps the skin produce more collagen and gives the skin what it needs to fade, brighten and improve acne scars caused by discoloration of the skin.
- Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid encourages dead and damaged skin to turnover, making way for newer skin underneath which can also help the skin’s discoloration due to acne scar marks improve.
- Exfoliation creams: Exfoliation creams also help the top layer of dead and damaged skin to come off of the skin to make way for newer healthier skin underneath to fade and improve the appearance of superficial discoloration that is on the top layer of skin.
- Natural oil topical application: Applying natural oils to the face such as coconut oil and argan oil can help the skin moisturize and improve the appearance of any discolored acne scar spots
When your acne scars are more severe, deeper or indented, you may have to combine at-home topical treatments with either in-clinic treatments or at-home microneedling treatments and topical treatments to see the best results.
Vitamin C to Fade Acne Scars
Vitamin C is a natural way to protect the skin from oxidative stress and improve discoloration acne scarring on the skin’s surface.
The Pumori Telang Vitamin C study abstract states, “Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant drug that can be used topically in dermatology to treat and prevent changes associated with photoageing. It can also be used for the treatment of hyperpigmentation.”
The study found Vitamin C to be effective in treating hyperpigmentation, which is one reason it is great to use to help fade acne scarring, both the less severe discolored red mark acne scarring, and the deeper indented scars when used in combination with an at-home derma-roller or derma-pen or a professional in-clinic micro-needling session.
When choosing a Vitamin C serum, try to find one that combines Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin C to bring out the highest efficacy of the Vitamin C.
The Pumori study found that alone Vitamin C is still effective, but that when used in conjunction wtih Vitamin E, the action of Vitamin C potentiates four-fold. The study explains that Vitamin C and Vitamin E synergistically limit chronic UV damage by significantly reducing both cell apoptosis and thymine dimer formation.
Choosing a Vitamin C serum with both Vitamin E, and Ferulic acid is important and the study explains its findings that using .5% Ferulic acid in combinatino with 15% Vitamin C and 1% Vitamin E, can increase how effective the Vitamin C is eight-fold.
The study explains that the reason Vitamin C is effective in aiding skin reparation and healing is that it is already present in the skin and is directly impacting collagen transcription and synthesis.
This is why Vitamin C is so effective when applied topically to the skin to help fade acne scar marks by aiding the collagen and skin healing process.
Fading Acne Scar Before and After
My before and after using Vitamin C to fade acne scarring.
I had both indented atrophic scarring as well as discoloration from acne scarring.
For the past few years I have done at-home derma-rolling and used copper peptides to target my deepest scarred areas. After a few years my indented scarring has improved substantially to the point it is barely noticeable in some areas and not noticeable at all in others.
At that point I noticed my skin still had some discoloration so I started using a shorter needle derma pen, and Vitamin C serum to target and fade my skin discoloration and give skin a healthy glow.
I keep getting compliments on my skin, something I never thought would happen a few years ago, and I love the way it has been improving using my at-home derma-roller and copper peptides, and now using the Vitamin C serum.
Vitamin C is also a great part of an everyday skinare routine even once scarring is faded and healed, and I plan on using it everyday for many more years to come.
Here is my before and after as my acne scarring has faded over the past few months: