Acne is the most common skin problem in the United States. And many people who suffer with acne later find themselves with a new problem: acne scars.
Acne scars are actually part of the healing process, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). After acne has cleared, the skin attempts to correct the damage that’s been done by the blemish. By producing collagen, it heals the skin. Too little collagen, and you’re left with a concave scar. Too much, and you’ll have a raised scar.
However, acne scars can make you as self-conscious as acne itself, so what can you do about them? While the AAD suggest things like surgery and laser resurfacing, you might also find relief through these less invasive, natural treatment options.
1. Black Seed Oil
Also known as Nigella sativa, black seed oil is native to Eastern Europe, western Asia, and the Middle East. It is a relatively common medicinal plant, and the oil can be found online. In addition to having antibacterial and anti-viral properties, the oil is anti-inflammatory. But reducing inflammation isn’t the only way in which it may aid in scar reduction. Studies have found it to be able to speed up as well as improve wound healing. It can also even out pigmentation or even prevent acne altogether.
2. Rosehip Seed Oil
Marketed largely as a solution for aging, rosehip seed oil is widely available and is safe to apply directly to the skin. One study has also indicated that it can be used to treat scars. Though the study was specific to surgical scars, the oil could be similarly useful in reducing acne scars. Researchers found that applying it twice daily reduced the appearance of scars and discoloration.
You don’t even have to go to the drugstore for this potential acne scar remedy. Honey is used for numerous medicinal purposes, including burns, wounds, and herpes. And research indicates that it can speed wound healing, reducing the potential for scarring. Researchers found that directly applying honey can help with wound clearing and wound cleansing because of its antibacterial properties. It is also able to fight infections that could otherwise cause more acne to appear.
4. Aloe Vera
Like honey, aloe vera is a common home remedy. In the case of acne, it works similarly to aid the healing process. According to a study in the Annals of Plastic Surgery, applying aloe vera directly to wounds reduced inflammation and scar tissue size. You can find aloe vera gels and products at drugstores, but you can also grow the plant yourself. Cut into the leaves and apply the sticky gel directly to the skin.
5. Lemon Juice
There is no significant research out there that proves that lemon juice is effective at getting rid of your acne scars. However, anecdotal evidence is ample. Many say they’ve found great success in applying lemon juice to acne scars. Advocates say it helps reduce discoloration and even out your skin tone. Because lemon juice is highly acidic, apply just a few drops directly to scars.
Truly, there are very few proven natural remedies for acne scars. However, compared to the many more expensive creams and lotions — whose effects are equally unproven — there are added benefits of going natural. Namely, less expense, and few if any side effects. In other words, it doesn’t hurt to try.