Back Acne Scar Treatments
There are several different ways to get rid of back acne scars. Some of them are simple, home remedies, and some, like chemical peels, should only be done by a professional.
Back Acne Scarring
People who have suffered from back acne understand the discomfort of the unsightly condition. Not only is it painful, it is often located on a part of your back that you can’t easily reach for treatment. Back acne scars often form because of this. If the skin cannot be properly treated with exfoliation and moisturizers, the damage can leave permanent scarring, even though the skin on the back is thicker than anywhere else.
People commonly get acne in the epidermis. This is the surface area, exposed to the elements. The epidermis may not slough off as it should, and it stays on the skin. This especially pronounced on the back, where outbreaks of back acne can be especially difficult to get rid of. The pores of the back become inflamed, clogged with sebum, old skin cells, and bacteria that cause infection. In fact, the pore becomes so engorged with this stuff that it ruptures the wall of the pore. If this rupture is near in the epidermis, it usually causes no problem, and the aftermath is gone in a couple of days. If it happens in the dermis, though, where new skin is formed, then health tissue may be damaged. Back acne scars are formed when the skin tries to repair itself. It sends extra collagen fibers to the damaged area, producing scars.
Most of the time, back acne scars are actually called “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This, basically, means that the skin is discolored. While this usually goes away with time, there are several back acne scar treatments that will hurry the process along and improve and restore the skin. Actual scarring may occur when the pore wall is broken deep in the dermis. This will result in a hypertrophic scarring, which is a raised area of scarring, or an atrophic scarring, which is the depression left with lost tissue.
The two variables that will affect the severity of scarring are the amount of inflammation—how deeply it goes into the dermis—and length of the inflammation. Breakouts that take a lot of time healing are more likely to produce back acne scars.
Types Of Back Acne Scar Treatments
Usually, back acne scar treatments focus on either sloughing off the scarred skin and encouraging the growth of undamaged skin, or of improving the tone of the surface skin, thereby smoothing out the scarring. Some of the procedures require a healing time between treatments, while others are gentile enough to be used every day. Also, all back acne scar treatments should be done only when your skin is clean and dry.
Lemon Juice as a Back Acne Treatment
Vitamin C is very helpful in skin care when it comes to increasing your skin’s ability to regenerate itself. For a concentrated amount of vitamin C, you can use lemon juice. It will help to stimulate your skin to slough the old cells that are scarred, which will help the new skin surface. You can use it up to 3 times a day without worrying about using it too much. Simply take a cotton ball or cotton pad and moisten it with full strength lemon juice and pat it onto the skin. To get the best results from this treatment, use it following an exfoliant treatment, such as a baking soda exfoliant.
Exfoliation as Back Acne Scar Treatment
Exfoliation is perhaps the most natural back acne scar treatment, because it most closely mimics your skin’s natural life cycle. New skin, or dermis, is formed deep down, while the epidermis, or outer skin, protects it from outside pollutants. When this outer skin becomes infected, scarring may occur. The epidermis is not sloughed off as it should be under normal circumstances, and keeps the dermis from surfacing properly. It is, basically, trapped under the dead, dry skin that clogs your pores and traps irritants and bacteria. Exfoliation is the key to removing this dead skin, allowing the new skin to surface. It will eventually slough off, leaving more new skin. In this way, back acne scars are naturally peeled away from your skin. Since you have to wait for the new skin to form underneath, it takes a while to exfoliate acne scars.
There are a number of exfoliation scrubs available to help your skin slough off the scarred layers. Baking soda is often used for this, because it is so alkaline that you won’t even have to scrub. It will exfoliate your skin if you’ll make a paste out of it with water, and apply it to the affected areas. Baking soda will really reduce the redness in your skin, and help eliminate light scarring. In fact, baking soda has chemicals in it that are common to many back acne treatments.
Anytime you use an exfoliation technique, be careful not to do it too often. This can result in irritation and drying of your skin, which will worsen the appearance of back acne scars. Also, remember to let the exfoliant scrub do the work. Don’t scrub your skin fiercely, because you’ll irritate it, allowing even more bacteria and dirt to enter your pores.
Chemical Peels for Back Acne Scar Treatments
The term “chemical peel” sounds really scary, bringing to mind the Joker or Two-Face. But you can actually buy chemical peels over the counter. They really help reduce the appearance of back acne scars. These chemical peels usually have about 2% salicylic acid. Some of them contain glycolic acid. Both of these are used extensively in the treatment of back acne. Chemical peels are very useful for taking the redness out of back acne scars and smoothing the skin.
Salicylic acid works by affecting the bonds between skin cells. It basically loosens the dead skin that is stuck to your new skin so that it will slough off easily, helping to replace the scarred skin with fresh, less affected skin. . It also doesn’t irritate as badly as some treatments. This makes salicylic acid chemical peels very valuable on the thicker skin of the back.
Glycolic acid stimulates the production of collagen. This is what produces new skin cells underlying the epidermis. With a glycolic acid back acne scar treatment, you’ll have plenty of new skin growing to replace the old damaged skin that you’ve been exfoliating.
Laser resurfacing of back acne scars is another scary mental picture for many people. But in reality, it just uses a medical laser to remove the old, scarred skin. This is done in an office, whether it’s a dermatologists’ office or spa. The doctor will concentrate the laser directly at the back acne scar. The laser removes only the surface layer of skin, and with it, the part of the acne scar that is on the surface. Deeper scars will require more treatments, but this is enough to take care of most of the scarring and discoloration of most back acne scars. Your doctor can tell you if this is the choice for you.
Less drastic laser treatment for back acne scars involve the use of pulsing light. The stronger lasers are CO2 and YAG. They heat the outer layer of skin, making it slough off more quickly.
Fraxel laser is the latest treatment for back acne scars, and is said to vary from traditional laser resurfacing in that it encourages new growth of healthier skin, and eliminates the damaged skin more efficiently by taking it out at a deeper level.
All laser treatments will probably need to be repeated. Deeper scars, of course, take more treatments. Your recovery time should be around 2 weeks, and there may be some discomfort.
Other Medical Procedures
Other medical back acne scar treatments involve more invasive procedures. For instance, dermabrasion involves scrubbing the face with rotating wire brushes. Injected fillers are collagen fillers that are injected into the scar to fill it out. This also signals the skin in that area to produce more collagen on its own. The skin will look much smoother after the collagen fillers have been injected. In another procedure, the doctor goes under the surface of the scar and cuts it loose from the skin beneath. This will loosen the scarring, allowing it to be less pronounced. And finally, the punch technique actually cuts the scar out, with fine stitching leaving a much smaller scar than the acne presented.
Aloe vera is another natural back acne treatment. The healing properties of aloe vera have been lauded for generations among natives in the Americas. The aloe vera gel that is secreted when a leaf is broken is strong anti-inflammatory capabilities. You can apply aloe vera to the areas affected by back acne to help reduce the inflammation surrounding the scarred area. It also encourages the production of health skin which will take the place of the damaged skin, eventually.
Cover Up Acne Scars
While most acne and acne blemishes usually go away in just a few days, some can leave scarring or discoloration. To cut back on the acne problems, you can use oil free products on your skin. This will decrease the number of clogged pores. Hypoallergenic products can also help, especially if you have sensitive skin. You can cover up acne scars with concealers. Just be sure to clean and dry your skin, first. Then add moisturizer. This will help keep your skin from absorbing the cover creams.
To find a concealer that is a shade lighter than your skin tone, try it on the inside of your wrist. You can tell if it’s too yellow or too red that way. For concealing back acne scars, you may need to find a shade of concealer that’s a little darker than your wrist color if you have a lot of sun exposure. Dab the concealer on the back acne scar and smooth it in with your finger. This should cover the scar pretty well. If you’ll dust it with a little face powder, it will set and not rub off as easily. The powder will also absorb oils from your skin, and smooth your skin.
While most concealers are just made for under-eye shadows, you can also get concealers made specifically for scars. These will be more opaque, and have a little more weight to them so they don’t rub off as easily.
As you can see, back acne scar treatments range in complexity. You can go from simple kitchen supplies to scientific medical procedures for removal of the scars. It is indeed possible to get rid of back acne scars, but you’ll have to choose a treatment and stay with it. The sloughing of the damaged layers of skin takes quite a while, depending on how deeply the scarring extends into your dermis. The sloughing process can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but as the process continues, your skin has a chance to replace damaged surfaces with fresh, new ones.