Acne affects many of us, especially during our teenage years, and it often clears up without issue. However, some people are left with acne marks and even scars even if they’ve avoided squeezing or picking their pimples.
What Causes Acne Scars?
The most common cause of acne scars is inflammation from pimples and other forms of acne. An inflamed pore can allow excess oil and dead skin to fill it and cause bacterial growth and swelling. This forms red and often painful lesions that eventually rupture and spill on to the face destroying what was otherwise healthy skin tissue. In order to repair this now damaged tissue, the skin forms new collagen fibers but if it overproduces then this can result in raised acne scars and if collagen is under-produced then it may result in indented or pitted acne scars. The most severe scarring is caused by the more serious types of acne like nodules and larger pimples are more likely to cause scarring than other forms.
Can Acne Scars be Treated?
It is important to first establish whether you have been left with acne marks or acne scars. Acne marks are usually red or patches that will eventually fade with a good skincare routine and no further treatment.
However, acne scars are permanent. The main types of acne scars include ‘ice pick’ scars which are small, deep holes as well as ‘rolling scars’ caused by scar tissue and ‘boxcar’ scars which have a crater-like appearance.
Today though there are many treatments that can help to improve the appearance of both mild and severe scarring once your acne condition is under control.
Forms of Treatment for Acne Scars Include:
- Chemical Peel: This treatment involves an acid-based solution being applied to the face to remove surface skin cells. It uses controlled damage so when the new skin heals your complexion should be improved and the scars less visible.
- Microdermabrasion: This is a cosmetic procedure that removes dead skin cells from your face to reduce the appearance of fine lines and blemishes. It can be effective when used on acne scars.
- Ablative Laser resurfacing: This procedure uses lasers to remove the upper layers of skin. It removes dead skin cells around a scar to make a new, smoother looking area of skin.
- Non-Ablative Laser treatment: This procedure uses lasers to stimulate the growth of collagen to help repair any damage caused by scarring. This also improved the appearance of acne scars.
- Dermabrasion: This treatment removes the top layer of skin which can at first look red, raw and sore but as it begins to heal the appearance of your scars should be improved.
- Punch Excisions: A surgical procedure used on mild ‘ice pick’ scars. The scar is removed and the wound is sealed to create a smoother surface.
- Punch Elevations: A surgical procedure used on ‘boxcar’ scars. The base of the scar is removed and then reattached and lifted to improve the appearance of the scar and make it less noticeable.
- Punch Grafting: A surgical procedure used on deep ‘ice pick’ scars. The scar is removed and the wound is ‘plugged’ with skin taken from elsewhere on the body to improve its appearance.
- Subcision: A surgical procedure used on ‘rolling’ scars. The upper layer of skin is removed which allows blood to gather under the affected part before clotting. This helps to create connective tissue to push up the scar so it is at skin surface level.
For day to day treatment that can help to ease the appearance and visibility of acne scars, marks and blemishes consider using a cream. Check out these reviews on the best creams for acne scars, to find the best solution for you.