Cbd oil for pitted acne scars

Can CBD Heal Scars? [Explained]

Scars are a normal part of healing, and for most people, they do not cause significant problems. However, for some people, scars can have a major impact on their quality of life. Not only may they be painful or itchy, but they can also cause psychological distress.

In recent years, scientists have made many discoveries about how cannabinoids like CBD could benefit the skin. This knowledge has led some people to wonder whether CBD oil could reduce scarring.

In this article, we explore how CBD could influence wound healing and whether it could help with scars.

Why Scars Form

Before we delve into how CBD might help scars, let’s look at what they are and why they form.

Scars occur following injury to the skin, whether it be a cut, a burn, or a skin condition such as acne. When the skin breaks, this causes an inflammatory response.

The body releases white blood cells, which protect the damaged area from infection. Cell fragments called platelets also travel to the area to help the blood clot.

Once any bleeding has stopped, cells called fibroblasts begin to produce a protein called collagen. It helps to strengthen the wounded area while it heals.

Collagen also causes the area to become bumpy or raised. Meanwhile, blood flow to the region increases, causing a red appearance. This is the first stage of scar formation, which can last for several months.

Over time, the extra collagen begins to break down, and blood flow returns to normal. At this point, a scar will usually flatten and fade. The process can take as long as 2–3 years, but scars do not often cause significant problems. However, there are always exceptions. Sometimes, scars can actually become worse over time.

Furthermore, there are several types of scar, and each one differs slightly.

Types of Scars

There are numerous types of scars, and they vary depending on the type of injury and the person’s genetic make-up. The most common scars include:

Fine-Line Scars

These are the most prevalent types of scar. Once fully healed, fine-line scars have a smooth, flat, and white appearance.

Widespread Scars

These can occur after surgery when movement during healing causes scar tissue to stretch and spread. Some people also consider stretch marks to be a type of widespread scar.

Pitted Scars

This type of scarring occurs due to skin conditions such as acne or chickenpox. As the name suggests, they have a pitted or sunken appearance.

Scar Contracture

These most often occur following a burn injury. Scar contractures cause the skin to tighten around an area and can make movement difficult.

Hypertrophic Scars

This type of scar features a build-up of excess collagen, which leads to a raised appearance. In the medical world, this phenomenon is called fibrosis.

Hypertrophic scars may continue to thicken for several months after the injury occurs, but they usually flatten out after a few years. They do not extend past the site of the original wound.

Keloid Scars

Like hypertrophic scars, keloid scars involve fibrosis. Collagen continues growing, even after the wound has healed. However, keloid scars differ from hypertrophic scars as they can extend beyond the site of the original injury.

Keloid scars can appear raised, red, or purple and may be itchy or tender. If they occur over a joint, they can also make movement difficult. Only some people develop keloid scars. They are more widespread in people with dark skin.

Thus, the most problematic types of scars are contracture, hypertrophic, and keloid scars. However, any scarring can be distressing, particularly if it occurs in a highly visible area such as the face.

Common Scar Treatments

Scarring is an unavoidable part of healing, and, unfortunately, it is often permanent. However, there are a few treatments that may help to improve their appearance or relieve symptoms such as itching.

Some of the most common scar treatments include:

  • Silicone gel or silicone dressings
  • Pressure dressings
  • Steroid creams
  • Laser treatment
  • Dermabrasion
  • Surgery
  • Skin camouflage/make-up

Nowadays, CBD is becoming more popular, especially as an ingredient in skincare products. This has led many people to wonder whether CBD could help with scars.

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Does CBD Help with Scars?

CBD is just one of many active compounds that cannabis produces. It has entered the mainstream in recent years thanks to its lack of intoxicating effects. It is also possible to extract CBD from industrial hemp, making it legal in the majority of places.

The compound works by acting upon the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating a vast range of biological functions. It is present in most human tissues, including the skin. Here, it plays a role in cell growth and development. It also helps to regulate the inflammatory response.

Although we are only just beginning to understand the role of the ECS in skin health, it appears to play a vital part in wound healing.

A 2019 study by Toth and colleagues for Molecules suggests that it controls the action of fibroblasts (collagen-producing cells).

Therefore, by enhancing activity in the ECS, CBD could potentially aid healing and reduce scar formation. The authors even suggest that modulating the system’s effects might be “desirable to achieve scarless healing.”

A 2016 study by Zurier and Burstein for The FASEB Journal supports this theory. It suggests that cannabinoids like CBD have both anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic properties.

Furthermore, it seems that CBD could help to prevent acne scarring by relieving the condition itself. A 2014 study by Olah and colleagues for The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that it has sebostatic effects. This means that it reduces the production of sebum, the oily substance that builds up in the skin, causing acne. The authors conclude that CBD “deserves full clinical exploration as a potent, novel class of anti-acne agents.”

How to Use CBD for Scar Treatment

Current research suggests that CBD could play a part in enhancing wound healing and reducing scar formation. However, it is essential to use it correctly to derive the most significant benefits.

While most people use CBD oil orally, this is not effective for reducing scarring. For CBD to have an impact on the skin, it is necessary to apply it directly to the area. This means either applying CBD oil directly to the scar or using a specially formulated cream or ointment. The difference is that ointments are thicker and greasier than creams. They take longer to absorb and have more moisturizing properties.

A 2019 study by Palmieri and colleagues for La Clinica Terapeutica suggests that CBD ointment could be helpful for scars. The retrospective study included 20 patients with skin conditions, including scarring. They applied CBD ointment twice daily for three months. By the end of the study, the patients showed improvements in all skin parameters, including skin hydration and elasticity. Furthermore, there were no reports of allergic reactions or irritation.

However, it is essential to note that this study had a relatively small sample size. There was also no control group, so further research is necessary to confirm the accuracy of these results.

Anyone thinking about using CBD ointment for scars should remember it will probably not get rid of them completely. It may help to improve the overall appearance and texture of new scars. However, using CBD oil for old scars will probably have little effect.

To gain the most benefit, start applying CBD as early as possible during the healing process. That said, we do not recommend using it on broken skin. Wait until a scab has formed and then begin the application.

Can CBD Heal Scars? Final Thoughts

Research into CBD for scarring is currently limited, but it is an area of great interest. We know that the ECS is present in skin cells and could play a critical role in wound healing. For this reason, it seems logical that CBD could provide some benefits.

Although we cannot say for sure that CBD will improve scars, there is little risk in giving it a try. CBD causes very few side effects, especially when applying it topically to the skin.

However, it is always advisable to discuss CBD treatment with your physician before use. This is especially crucial if you suffer from a medical condition, are pregnant, or breastfeeding.

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When buying CBD, choose a reputable brand and a product that contains few additional ingredients. It is best to avoid applying heavily perfumed or inorganic products to a scar. Look for a company that publishes third-party lab reports to know exactly what each product contains.

And finally, if any irritation or worsening of symptoms occurs while using CBD for scars, discontinue it immediately. In this situation, contact a dermatologist for further advice.

Acne Scars 101: A Complete Guide to Getting Smooth Skin Again

Are acne scars making you self-conscious or embarrassed about your skin?

While some people are fortunate enough to have blemishes that come and go without leaving a mark, others are left with visual reminders of their past breakouts, which can take a real emotional toll.

As if acne isn’t bad enough, a scar that develops after a pimple can take weeks or months to fade — if it fades at all, notes the informational website KidsHealth.org. (1)

If you think there’s no hope for stubborn scars, think again. The upside is that many treatments can remove or fade these scars, making them less noticeable and helping you regain your self-confidence.

Why Do Acne Scars Occur?

Why do some people have acne scars, while others don’t?

The reasons vary, but genetics is one risk factor for scarring. If a blood relative struggles with acne scarring, you might, too, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). (2) Also, scarring tends to happen more as the skin loses collagen with age. (3)

Because collagen plays a role in the healing process, your skin produces new collagen as it repairs itself after a breakout. But sometimes, it produces too little or too much, resulting in a scar. (2)

Keep in mind that acne is an inflammatory condition. Scar development has a lot to do with the extent and duration of skin inflammation, so delaying acne treatment raises the risk of scarring, according to the AAD. (2)

“Acne scars result from a complex and abnormal inflammatory response, which results in poor wound healing,” says Kara Shah, MD, a board-certified general and pediatric dermatologist with Kenwood Dermatology in Cincinnati.

Because scarring is a complication of acne, anyone who experiences a breakout can have temporary or permanent scars, according to the NHS; yet scarring is most common in those who suffer from inflammatory acne characterized by numerous pimples and cysts, says Dr. Shah. (4)

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What Are the Signs of an Acne Scar?

“The types of scarring seen in acne include keloids or hypertrophic scars, which appear as red, firm, raised papules [bumps],” Shah says. Atrophic scars appear as depressed or “sunken in” areas, and may be larger, broad scars (boxcar scars and rolling scars), or small pits (ice pick) scars. (4)

Identifying an acne scar from other types of scars isn’t too difficult, because an acne scar occurs in the spot where a pimple was.

Pictures of Different Types of Acne Scars

Not all acne scars look the same. They can take various forms. For example:

Rolling Scars

According to Schweiger Dermatology, this is the most common type of acne scar. They’re shallow and wide, and have sloping edges. These scars tend to get more noticeable with age. (5)

Red Spots

These are flat, red (or brownish) spots that form in the spot of a previous acne lesion. They usually fade without leaving a permanent mark. (1)

Dark Spots

Sometimes, healed acne leaves a temporary dark spot on the skin, known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, notes the website for Proactiv. (6)

Boxcar Scars and Ice-Pick Scars

Acne scars caused by a loss of tissue are called depressed fibrotic scars (sometimes called boxcar scars) and ice-pick scars. They tend to appear sunken and look like pits in the skin, though ice-pick scars are deeper than boxcar scars. (6)

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Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids

Some types of acne leave scars that appear as enlarged, raised growths of tissue. These acne scars are caused by too much scar tissue. Hypertrophic scars and keloids look similar, but the latter are more raised than the former. (6)

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How to Prevent Acne Scars

“The best prevention for acne scarring is to optimize acne treatment with a good skin-care routine, a healthy diet, and an appropriate treatment regimen,” says Shah.

Since reducing skin inflammation can lessen scars, don’t ignore an acne problem — even if it’s mild. (2)

You should treat acne with over-the-counter creams or facial washes containing active acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If these don’t work, see a board-certified dermatologist, the Mayo Clinic advises. (7)

“Regular use of a topical retinoid like tretinoin, adapalene, or tazarotene has been shown to both prevent and reduce the appearance of acne scars, and these are commonly prescribed by a dermatologist as part of an acne skin-care regimen,” says Shah.

Prevention also involves being gentle with your skin and avoiding practices that could irritate your skin and exacerbate inflammation.

“Don’t pick at your acne, and avoid using any skin-care products that are abrasive, like scrubs and loofahs or washcloths,” warns Shah. She also encourages daily sunscreen use to reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots. (2)

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Dermatological Procedures to Improve or Remove Acne Scars

But while certain measures can help prevent new scarring, what are your options for minimizing the appearance of existing scars?

Common procedures to remove or improve acne scars include:

Dermabrasion This effective scar removal treatment uses a high-speed brush or other instrument to resurface your skin and remove or reduce the depth of scars. It can take up to three weeks for skin to heal. (1)

Microdermabrasion For this less-intensive type of dermabrasion, a dermatologist or aesthetician uses a handheld device to remove surface skin. More than one treatment may be required, but there’s no downtime, according to the AAD. (8)

Chemical peel During a chemical peel, a chemical solution is applied to the skin. It removes the outer layer of your skin, resulting in a smoother, more even appearance. You may experience redness and peeling for three to seven days after the procedure, notes the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). (9)

Laser Your dermatologist can use a laser resurfacing treatment to remove the outer layer of your skin, contour areas of acne scars, or lighten redness around healed acne lesions. Healing may take between 3 and 10 days. (1)

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Fillers A substance such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, or fat can be used to “fill out” certain types of acne scars. Since fillers are eventually absorbed into your skin, you’ll have to repeat filler injections, usually every few months, depending on the substance used. (8)

Punch excisions This type of skin surgery removes acne scars by individually excising, or cutting out, the scar. The hole left by the incision can be repaired with stitches or a skin graft. A skin graft uses a small piece of normal skin (usually removed from behind the ear) to fill in an area of scarred skin. Bruising can occur for one to two weeks after the procedure. (8)

Microneedling Also called collagen induction therapy, this procedure involves pricking the skin repeatedly with tiny needles to stimulate the growth of new collagen. This can reduce the appearance of scars. Microneedling can improve the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and fine lines. Skin redness may last a few days, according to the AAD. (10)