Aloe vera is a plant that has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of health problems, especially to heal wounds and soothe irritated skin. Some people may also suggest it to use aloe vera for acne scars, which is the type of wound.
Acne scars can be discolored, flat, or raised. They are the result of damage to the pores. They can show up on the face, chest, back, and other places.
Could aloe vera be the natural way to treat acne scars that has been missing so far? Read on to find out what research has found and how to use and what kind of aloe vera to use.
Aloe vera for acne may make scars less likely to form.
Aloe vera can help prevent acne scars in a few ways when it is put on the skin. Examples include:
Boosting immune response. An article from the International Journal of Natural Therapy from 2009 says that aloe vera may make the immune system respond better to inflammation, which may make acne scars less visible.
Getting the body to make more collagen and elastin fibers. Scars are fixed by these fibers. The Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences says that applying aloe vera may help to increase the production of collagen compounds. Having more of these fibers in your body may also help slow down the signs of aging.
Getting rid of swelling. An article in the Pharmacognosy Review says that putting aloe vera on your skin may help reduce the inflammation that can cause acne scars.
Most of the research on aloe vera gel and scarring has been done on burns and scars from surgery. But the benefits could also help with acne scars.
How old your acne scars are is another thing to think about. Most of the time, if you start using medicines and treatments to prevent acne scars as soon as possible, the results will be better. But there is some evidence that applying aloe vera for acne regularly to old scars can also make them less noticeable.
Is aloe vera for acne An effective Treatment?
A 2018 review of studies found that a chemical in aloe vera called “aloesin” may help to reduce hyperpigmentation in acne scars. Aloesin helps stop the body from making too much melanin, which is a dark pigment that can make acne scars stand out more.
In one study that the authors mentioned, people put on a mixture of aloe vera and another topical agent called arbutin four times a day for 15 days. When these two compounds were used together, they were better at lightening acne scars than when each compound was used on its own.
Aloe vera doesn’t work on all acne scars
Aloe vera is a good way to get rid of acne scars, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Also, it seems to work less well on acne scars that aren’t caused by inflammation but are caused by other things. So far, research has shown that aloe doesn’t seem to do anything more than reduce redness and swelling.
It’s clear that this means aloe can only help with inflammatory acne scars. But inflammation is not the only thing that can lead to acne. Some of the other things that can lead to acne and scarring are a buildup of dead skin cells, hormones, your genes, and oil glands that make too much oil. All of this can lead to acne that gets red and swollen if it isn’t taken care of in time.
Aloe vera doesn’t seem to help with acne scars that are caused by these things. Also, acne starts when a pore gets clogged, and aloe vera does nothing to stop pores from getting clogged.
Also, aloe vera isn’t as good at getting rid of hyperpigmentation and can’t heal acne scars with pits. Laser treatment, dermal fillers, subcision, and other acne scar surgeries are the only way to get rid of acne scars that are sunken in.
How long does it take for acne scars to fade?
Scars from acne usually develop in three stages. These things are:
Inflammation. The damaged area of skin reacts by first tightening the blood vessels and cutting off the flow of blood to the area. This effect makes the skin produce more melanin, which can make the skin darker. The scarred area gets substances that make it hurt.
Making scar tissue. The skin makes new small blood vessels and new tissue to replace the damaged tissue. New collagen is made about three to five days after the wound is made. About 20% of the collagen I fibers in healthy skin are type I, but 80% of the type I collagen in acne scars is type I.
Remodeling. When proteins in the skin are out of balance, extra tissue can form. This can lead to hypertrophic scars, which are scars that are raised or get bigger.
Unfortunately, scars form faster than they take to treat. Most of the time, you have to put things on your skin like aloe vera twice a day or more for several weeks or months for acne scars to get better.
That’s because it can take 28 days or more for skin cells to turn over (slower as you age). Because of this, you may need to use aloe vera for acne often.
How to use aloe vera?
Aloe vera comes in a number of different forms. You can also buy an aloe vera plant, break off a leaf, squeeze out the clear gel, and put it on your skin.
You can find gels with aloe vera for acne in most drugstores and online. But not all of them are meant for the face. Look for labels with words like these:
- Won’t clog pores
- Can be used on face and body
Some aloe vera products are made with anesthetics that are put on the skin to ease the pain of a sunburn. Most of the time, these aren’t meant for the face. Also look for “100% pure aloe vera gel.”
Aloe vera and witch hazel
You may have heard that aloe vera and witch hazel can be used together to treat acne scars. Witch hazel is usually used as a toner. It is made from a flowering shrub. Because it may close up pores and get rid of extra oil.
There haven’t been any studies that show that this is a good combination. Still, some people use witch hazel to get rid of acne because it makes the skin less oily.
Some people may find that witch hazel irritates their skin or makes it too dry. Because of this, many people who know about skin care don’t recommend it for treating acne or acne scars.
Other ways to treat acne scars
There are many other ways to get rid of acne scars. These things are:
- chemical peels
- silicone gels
But these treatments may or may not work on different kinds of acne scars. If aloe doesn’t help after one to two months, talk to your dermatologist about other options.
Dermatologists haven’t found a “miracle” way to get rid of scars yet, but aloe vera for acne may help lighten and fade acne scars.
Aloe usually doesn’t have any major side effects, but you should stop using it if it makes your skin itch or swell.