What causes scarring from acne, how to prevent and treat it
Acne scars pop up after inflamed blemishes that have been caused by skin pores have filled up with excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. When the pore starts to swell, this breaks the follicle wall, usually leading to shallow lesions that are fairly mild with the ability to rapidly heal. But sometimes with deeper breaks, all that infected material spills into the surrounding tissue and creates even deeper lesions.
The body’s natural reaction is for the skin to repair those lesions through the formation of new collagen fibers. Sadly, though, these new fibers aren’t nearly as flawless and smooth as original skin, which is how acne scars are formed, says the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
You may have one of two types of acne scars:
- Atrophic or depressed: These occur with a loss of tissue. You may either have an “icepick” scar with small holes in the skin, or a “Boxcar” scar which is characterized by depressed circular or oval areas featuring steeply-angled sides (think: chickenpox scars).
- Hypertrophic or keloid: This is when your skin produces high amounts of collagen as the wounds heal. This will show up as a mass of raised tissue.
Already suffer from acne scarring? It’s vital to partner with a trusted dermatologist before beginning any sort of treatment, as you could worsen the situation on your own. Your doctor will tell you the safest and most effective treatment around designed to diminish acne scars and reduce those more serious raised ones.
Tips for Prevention Acne Scars
There’s really no way to get through life without the occasional break-out but there are ways you can promote healthy skin, preventing most severe acne breakouts from occurring. It takes diligence and a routine, though. Here are some tips to follow:
- Wash your face twice a day with a mild soap, some warm water and a clean cloth. Do this in the a.m., the p.m., and after a strenuous workout.
- Try not to squeeze or pick at your pimples, which is the biggest contributor to scarring.
- Make an appointment with a dermatologist for severe acne treatment and see them regularly. You may be prescribed oral antibiotics, topical creams, and cortisone injections to clear up your face.
- Stay out of the sun, and if you do venture out, always slather on the sunscreen. That’s because UV rays will damage your skin and boost the appearance of acne and scars.
- Apply topical acne medications with the main ingredients of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
- Use silicone gels like Scarfade, a topical treatment known to reduce scarring on the skin. That’s because it contains silicone that slows down collagen production. Want to know more? Check out our product line here!