Vitamin E for Acne Scarring: Does it Work?

Anyone with acne knows that it takes a toll on the appearance of your skin. About 20% of people who have had acne in their lifetime will have scarring. Acne scarring can take several forms, from minor skin discoloration to more severe issues like pock marks.

Most people who suffer from acne scarring actively look for ways to downplay the lingering reminders of this persistent skin condition. Often, that means resorting to chemicals and synthetic formulas that promise to yield results. Recently, however, Vitamin E has gained traction as a powerful skincare ingredient. But can it reduce the appearance of acne scars and blemishes?

Acne scarring and keloid formation

Acne is traumatic to your skin, and severe cases of acne can lead to hypertrophic scars: thickened, wide, and often raised blemishes that occur in response to skin injury. The scars aren’t dangerous, but they can be painful and a troublesome cosmetic issue.

Acne scars are milder than keloid scars, which are similar types of scars that are darker in color and are more raised than hypertrophic scars. Acne scars typically appear as red or pink blemishes that are less raised than keloid scars.

There’s no officially established treatment for hypertrophic scars, but there are some oral treatments that include Vitamin E that may reduce their appearance. It’s important to note, however, that topical Vitamin E is discouraged as a method for acne scar treatment, since it can irritate healing tissue when applied directly. 

Vitamin E is a powerful skincare ingredient

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights free radicals throughout the body. Free radicals harm healthy cells, including skin cells, leading to premature signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and scars. Vitamin E combats these harmful free radicals, preventing them from damaging cells to protect the health of your skin.

Vitamin E supports your body’s healing process, aiding in the formation of red blood cells that send oxygen through the body. This, combined with its free radical fighting properties, makes Vitamin E a crucial healing agent that can support better skin health.

The acne-friendly properties of Vitamin E

More people are looking to Vitamin E as a potential acne treatment. As an anti-inflammatory, Vitamin E boosts your immune system and aids in cell regeneration, which is particularly important in terms of skin cells. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a potential treatment for inflammatory acne, which often manifests as nodules, cysts, papules, pustules or scars.

While more research is required to determine whether Vitamin E is more effective than other methods for treating acne, many people see benefits from using Vitamin E supplements to control free radicals and the effects that follow them.

Combine vitamins for enhanced effects

Many products feature Vitamin E in combination with Vitamins A and C, for a powerhouse antioxidant combination that can improve skin health. This combination may also reduce acne breakouts and the appearance of acne scars and dark spots. If your primary concern is reducing the appearance of acne scars and spots, look for an anti-aging product featuring Vitamin E, along with A and C.

If you’re dealing with an active acne breakout, choose a gentle spot treatment product that features Vitamin C, while supplementing the alpha-tocopherol form of Vitamin E. This enables a two-front assault on acne. While gentler vitamins and moisturizing products soothe inflamed skin, antioxidants inside the body get to work reducing inflammation at the source. While there’s no overnight cure for acne, this twofold approach fights the chief catalyst behind acne scarring: inflammation.

Diet plays a role in antioxidation and acne control

Supplementing is a great way to support those who aren’t getting enough Vitamin E in their diet; however, as most acne sufferers know, diet plays a critical role in reducing flare-ups and downplaying scarring. To improve your antioxidant levels, eat more whole foods like fruits and vegetables, which are rich in Vitamin E. Likewise, even though they’re a great source of Vitamin E, you might want to avoid fatty oils that might contribute to a flare-up.

Keep in mind, the recommended daily intake of Vitamin E is 15mg per day for adults. Supplementing is a safe and effective way to get more Vitamin E into your body, but always get approval from a medical professional first.

Always consult with a dermatologist

Want to minimize the appearance of your acne scars or other skin blemishes? Topical Vitamin E products, as well as supplements, can help reduce symptoms of acne and reduce the appearance of acne scars, too. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your dermatologist to discuss your options, and be sure to discuss Vitamin E products to determine whether they’re right for you.

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