What are acne scars?
Acne breakouts can sometimes leave scars on the face and other areas of the body. Acne scars are formed when a breakout penetrates the skin deeply and damages the tissues beneath it.
Some people find that acne scars are an unwanted reminder of a painful and bothersome condition. However, acne scars do not have to be permanent, as some home remedies and medical treatments can help get rid of them.
Before treatment can start, you first have to get rid of any acne once and for all since new breakouts can lead to new acne scars.
There are three types of acne scars:
- Atrophic scars: These scars appear as small indentations in the skin. They occur when the skin does not make enough fibroblasts in the healing process. Fibroblasts are cells that play a crucial role in wound healing and the synthesis of collagen.
- Hypertrophic scars: These occur when the skin makes too many fibroblasts as the acne spot heals, causing a raised scar.
- Keloid scars: These are similar to hypertrophic scars but are typically much thicker than the original acne spot. They are usually darker than the surrounding skin and can be red or brown. Keloid scars may also cause symptoms, such as itchiness or pain.
Acne scars symptoms
Acne scars symptoms include:
- A scar causing depression or pits in the skin
- A scar standing above the surface of the surrounding skin
- A raised scar darker than the surrounding skin
- A scar causing itchiness or pain
Who is at risk?
Acne scars are more likely to develop when a person:
- Has inflammatory (swollen, reddish, and painful) acne
- Delays or does not treat inflammatory acne
- Picks, squeezes, or pops acne
- Has a blood relative with acne scars
Acne scars causes
When acne breakouts penetrate the skin deeply, they damage the skin and the tissue beneath it. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair this damage.
During the healing process, the body produces collagen which is a substance that gives the skin support. The level of collagen that is produced to repair the skin is one of the main reasons for acne scars. If the body produces too little or too much collagen, you will see a scar.
Sometimes, even with the best measures to prevent acne scars, some people scar. Hence, acne scars can be difficult to determine.
How are acne scars diagnosed?
A dermatologist may perform a visual examination of the skin to diagnose acne scars and the type of scar it is.
How are acne scars treated?
Acne scars treatment can be done by at-home practices as well as medical procedures. However, before starting any treatment for acne scars, it’s important to be seen by an acne scars doctor. They can help you determine the best method to reduce the appearance of the scars and also rule out the possibility of any other condition.
- Home remedies: Various remedies are available over the counter as medicine for acne scars, many of which can help people manage their acne and reduce the appearance of scars.
- Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid clears pores, reduces swelling and redness, and exfoliates the skin when applied topically.
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): AHAs exfoliate the outer layer of the skin to help remove discoloration and dead skin, making acne scars appear less noticeable.
- Lactic acid: Lactic acid improves the texture, appearance, and pigmentation of the skin and lightens acne scars.
- Retinoids: In addition to speeding up cell regeneration and improving the skin’s texture, retinoids can also help reduce discoloration and make acne scars less noticeable.
- Medical procedures: Several medical procedures are available for acne scars cure.
- Chemical peels: A chemical peel is a strong acid that is used to remove the top layer of the skin to reduce deeper scars.
- Injections: A few different medications like corticosteroids can be injected into raised scars to help soften and flatten them.
- Dermal filler: Fillers can be made with collagen, or fat, or a commercial filler can be injected under the surface of the skin to help plump up and smoothen out depressed scars.
- Microneedling: It boosts the formation of collagen and can help reduce the depth of acne scars.
- Laser treatment: Laser resurfacing removes the top layer of the skin to reduce acne scars.
How can acne scars be prevented?
Steps for prevention of acne scars or reducing the risk of acne scars are:
- Wear sunblock
- Don’t pick, scratch, or squeeze acne
- Treat your acne immediately
- Don’t smoke
- Follow a healthy diet
- Exercise to flush out the body toxins