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Remove Acne Scars Safely


"I've been considering laser treatment for acne and related scars. Is there a safer, natural alternative?"

"I've been considering laser treatment for acne and related scars. Is there a safer, natural alternative?"

Sherry Torkos, BSc Pharm:

Laser treatment is an effective method of minimizing scars; however, it is quite expensive and requires recovery time. Another option is dermabrasion. An electrical machine is used to scrape off the top layer of skin, resulting in a more even contour to the surface. Several abrasions may be required for deep scars. Healing time is three to six weeks. The less invasive approach, microdermabrasion, scrapes off a very thin layer and doesn't require recovery time away from work or school. These procedures are about half the cost of laser resurfacing.

Peels using glycolic acid (fruit acids) can help smooth minor, shallow scars and stimulate the growth of collagen and new skin cells. Healing time is one to three weeks, and there is often reddening and minor discomfort. Potential risks include scarring (especially with deep peels and darker skin types), loss of skin pigment and infection. Avoid chemical peels containing phenol and its derivatives since they have potentially toxic effects on the heart, kidneys and/or liver. The cost varies depending on the number of treatments and the clinician.

Gotu kola has been used historically for a variety of skin ailments. It contains natural plant chemicals that enhance the production of collagen, which is important for skin health. When applied topically as part of a compress, it accelerates the healing of burns, wounds and scars. Some studies suggest that you can apply a gotu kola ointment directly to affected areas to promote healing as well.

Zinc taken orally may help promote skin healing and fight acne-causing bacteria. Look for a multivitamin that contains 25 milligrams of zinc along with copper, since zinc can block the body's absorption of copper.

For healthier pores and to minimize acne:

  1. Use a sauna, followed by a shower, a few times a week.
  2. Gently exfoliate your face and other acne-prone areas three times a week.
  3. Don't pick or squeeze blemishes as this can create scars.
  4. Eat a plant-based diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  5. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily.
  6. Skin has a remarkable ability to heal and renew. Allow time to heal.



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Matthew Kadey, MSc, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc, RD