FAQ: Does Honey Actually Work to Help With Acne Scars?
Modern society has put significant stock in the importance of our physical appearance, so much so that an entire industry has risen around it. For example, the cosmetics industry focuses on marketing products designed to enhance our appearance but also works to hide blemishes that might adversely affect our looks. Some people are born with specific blemishes, while others develop them as part of puberty or environment.
One of the most common blemishes we cope with in life is acne, which peaks in our teenage years due to hormonal spikes from puberty. Despite being associated with puberty, acne does not go away after a certain age and can recur at any point in life. Unfortunately, sometimes the worst part of acne is not the blemishes themselves but the scars that can be left behind.
Acne, when improperly treated, can leave scars behind because the acne was treated too roughly or was forcefully removed. Acne scars can be worse than acne itself because scars do not always fade and can leave permanent marks. This can devastate people who want to correct their appearances without being marked by blemishes. One commonly cited remedy for acne scars is honey, which has a significant standing in holistic care. However, while honey is commonly referred to as a powerful natural treatment tool, there is a question of how effective honey is for tending to acne scars.
What Causes Acne Scars?
When we are teenagers, acne becomes an unbearably common issue that directly affects our self-esteem and physical comfort. Acne is highly unpleasant to look at, and the sensation of zits on our body can range from irritating to painful. Unfortunately, there are few instances of acne where the sensation is absent, and the individual dealing with it is unaware of the zit.
As a result, most people suffering from acne feel the impulse to remove the acne as quickly as possible. Sometimes, that impulse is too powerful to ignore, and we pick at a lesion and forcefully remove it from its place on our skin. While this can provide short-term relief from acne, it does nothing to curb its effect on our appearance.
Picking or popping zits on our face almost always causes scarring on the skin that can last longer than the acne that preceded them. Acne scars are caused by skin inflammation, meaning they can form regardless of whether you pick at your zits. Acne irritates the skin from which it forms and causes inflammation that generates acne scars. Acne scarring is not quite what the name implies and does not mean there is a large scar on your face. Instead, multiple types of acne scars manifest depending on the severity of the inflammation and placement of the acne:
- Atrophic or Depressed Scarring
- Ice Pick: Ice pick acne scars are so named because they resemble ice picks in that the top of the scar is a wide hole with a tip that narrows as it deepens. Ice pick scars are among the most common and usually manifest on the forehead and cheeks.
- Rolling Scars: Rolling scars are indents that cause the skin to look uneven due to sloping indents. Rolling scars are less common and usually form on the lower cheeks and jaw.
- Boxcar Scars: Boxcar scars are indents with sharp edges that go deeper into the skin than others. Boxcar scars usually manifest on the lower cheeks and jaws like rolling scars.
- Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars: These scars are different from the others because they only occur when fibrous tissue grows in excess. Hypertrophic scars are less common than the others and usually manifest on the chest, back, shoulders, and jawline. These scars also tend to cause pain or itchiness due to the nature of the scars.
Acne scars are a risk for everyone since anyone with acne can develop scarring due to their lesions. Some types of acne are more likely to cause scarring, and the odds are still low so long as we do not pick at our zits. Nevertheless, scarring is a significant enough issue to warrant treatment to mitigate its effect on our skin. This is part of why people have turned to honey as a potential remedy for acne scarring, but the question of its usefulness remains.
Does Honey Help Acne Scars?
Acne scars are unpleasant and can harm our self-esteem when unchecked. Acne scars typically fade after a certain period, but others can be long-lasting and take months to heal. In the worst-case scenario, some acne scars can last forever as a mark of acne that has long since faded. Unfortunately, permanent acne scars can cause blemishes that never fade and define aspects of your facial features. Because these blemishes can cause us to hate our appearance and diminish our confidence, finding a way to reduce or eliminate acne scars is essential. Unfortunately, acne scars are a form of skin damage that is notoriously difficult to correct.
Some employ simple honey as a skincare product due to the various cosmetic benefits honey allegedly possesses. For the most part, honey has been used to adjust skin tone and lighten the skin to give it a fairer complexion. However, recent trends have been of people employing honey to repair damaged skin and address acne scars. Raw honey does have benefits that help maintain the health and appearance of the skin by acting as an exfoliator. Some people have even used honey to treat acne scars with alleged success. The problem is that using honey to treat acne scars is not proven.
There is no supporting evidence that honey can treat and reduce the severity of acne scars, let alone remove them. Therefore, using honey to treat acne scars is not recommended since raw honey is not connected to skin repair. Attempting to use honey to treat acne scars can lead to a lack of results and a loss of hope that you can remove the scars. While future research might determine that honey can treat acne scars, it will likely take some time to find such results. Until then, you might need an alternative with a track record for skin repair.
What Can You Use Instead?
As honey is not a reliable tool for skin repair, the question becomes a matter of what we can use instead. While honey might be a bust, several natural substances have healing effects on the skin that can treat acne scars. These alternative products, like honey, are widely available but have proven effects in regenerating skin and healing acne scars. The most notable of these beneficial substances is vitamin C, which you have likely used before. When growing up, physicians frequently cite Vitamin C as essential for our development. The main problem is that vitamin C is not something our bodies can synthesize independently.
We must adjust our diets and supplements to account for vitamin C since our bodies cannot produce any. Fortunately, supplementing vitamin C levels is more straightforward than you might expect since the importance of this particular vitamin has led to several supplements being developed. Vitamin C's benefits for the body are numerous, but there is a little-known detail about vitamin C's ability to treat damaged skin. Vitamin C is a crucial ingredient to a protein naturally occurring in the human body called collagen. Collagen is responsible for creating our skin when developing in the womb. After birth, the collagen in our bodies is used to repair our bodies when it suffers damage.
Vitamin C is one of our bodies' primary resources to manufacture collagen, which is already diminished due to the amount used to produce our initial dermal layers. Introducing more vitamin C to our bodies enables them to produce more for future use and repair dermal damage. As a result, vitamin C has become an indirect tool for treating acne scars. Vitamin C gives the body what it needs to produce collagen to repair the damage caused by acne. This has been corroborated by a 4-week study conducted on 30 subjects.
The study involved micro-needling, a process where tiny needles are rolled over the skin in conjunction with a topical cream of 15% vitamin C once a week. The results found that the subjects in the test group had moderately improved collagen production compared to the placebo group. Vitamin C makes producing collagen simpler, but you are likely wondering how this helps your acne scars. While vitamin C cannot directly treat acne scarring, the collagen it helps produce can give your body the resources it needs to repair your skin.
Collagen is the central resource our bodies need when dealing with dermal damage and acne scars since it is the protein used to produce new layers of skin. In addition, the collagen we maintain throughout our lives is what our bodies use to regenerate tissue following injury. The problem is that our collagen reserves are finite, and our body prioritizes what it uses to repair. Usually, this means cosmetic repair gets sidelined in favor of repairing severe damage from injuries. However, supplementing your collagen levels can give your body more to work with and allows it to redistribute resources to repair blemishes.
One potential benefit of supplemented collagen levels is that it can reduce the severity of acne scars or eliminate them entirely. While the benefits of collagen are essential, it can be a double-edged sword when treating acne scars. The only time collagen should be relied on to treat your acne scars is if you have a low concentration.
If your collagen levels are normal, producing or introducing additional collagen directly via supplementation can backfire. We mentioned earlier that hypertrophic acne scars result from excess fibrous tissue that causes the scars to rise and become more noticeable. Collagen is such a tissue, and having too much in your system could cause you to develop hypertrophic acne scars if you are not careful.
Collagen supplementation can be highly effective for those with deficiencies, while vitamin C supplementation can provide your body with the resources needed to manufacture more. The latter option ensures your body does not divert too many resources to produce a protein you do not need. Nevertheless, these tools are superior to honey insofar as treating acne scars is concerned. The problem is finding a supplement that provides the necessary resources without using artificial ingredients that might adversely affect your recovery.
Finding the Right Blend
Raw honey has several health and cosmetic benefits that have become a valuable tool for many who follow holistic lifestyles. Unfortunately, while honey is beneficial, it is not an effective tool for treating acne scars since it possesses no scientific benefits for skin repair. Nevertheless, there are valid reasons to add honey to your list of products when trying to improve your health and appearance.
When tending to acne scars, you will likely need to employ alternative substances that have proven effects on skin health and regeneration. Vitamin C and collagen are among the leading natural compounds that can help you reduce acne scarring and recover your original visage. The trick is finding something that can provide the vitamin C and collagen levels your body needs.
We at Teami believe natural products are the best tools in any arsenal dedicated to health and beauty. This is why we have dedicated ourselves to creating natural products like our Hibiscus Infused Vitamin C Serum that provides the vitamin C you need to produce and absorb collagen. This serum is one of many products we produce and features natural substances that can improve your appearance and the health of your skin. However, we recommend consulting a physician if you suffer from seasonal allergies, as some ingredients might cause allergenic responses.
Nevertheless, our products are designed to be completely safe and viable for anyone needing dermal repair. We encourage you to visit our website and browse our products to see if they appeal. Remember, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding our products, please feel free to reach out at any time! We'd be more than happy to assist you.
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