Acne seems to appear when you absolutely do not need another thing on your plate. Stress, diet, cleaning routines, and even sleeping habits will affect whether another pimple shows up.
While acne generally goes away with a few days, even if left untreated, acne scars can be an entirely different experience. Sadly, scars from acne can actually be permanent.
Scarring is the result of your skin healing itself after it has been injured, and acne can certainly be severe enough to trigger this more intense healing process.
Acne scars can be unsightly and cause long-term problems. Here, you can learn what causes them and what steps you can take to prevent or otherwise address acne scarring.
What Causes Acne Scars?
When your acne is serious, it can lead to inflammation due to things like:
- Dead skin cells
- Excess oil
- Bacteria buildup
These inflamed blemishes are generally what cause acne scars. A typical pimple is the result of this buildup near the skin’s surface. However, when bacteria or another cause is deeper in the skin, it can lead to the destruction of healthy skin tissue on a deeper, more permanent level. The more serious the inflammation, the more likely it is that scarring will occur.
As a result of deeper damage, the skin will create new collagen fibers. These fibers replace the damaged skin, giving it back its strength and flexibility. While this growth process is certainly a good thing, it is actually what causes scarring. The uneven re-growth rarely looks as good as your original layer of skin, sometimes leaving a patchy or dimpled appearance.
Takings Steps to Prevent Acne Scars
The best way to deal with acne scarring is to stop it before it happens. You cannot completely prevent acne scars in many cases but taking these steps can help you minimize the appearance.
- Treat acne as soon as you notice it developing.
- Take steps to reduce inflammation as much as possible.
- Avoid squeezing, popping, or picking at pimples or acne.
- Do not pick at scabs once they develop.
- See your dermatologist if you are getting large, deep breakouts or acne cysts.
More serious breakouts may require that you see a specialist. Do not be afraid to take this step—it can be very beneficial to you in the long run.
Treating Acne Scars After They Develop
If you know that you already have acne scars, you may not be able to use traditional skincare products to address them. Instead, treatments might involve the following procedures.
- Chemical peels
- Retinoic acid
- Laser treatment
- Punch excisions
- Skin grafting
Laser treatments are perhaps the most effective treatment for acne scars. In a laser treatment procedure, the physician will use a wand-like instrument to remove the upper layers of your skin. This allows the skin to regenerate and heal at the same time.
As the laser goes over the skin, it heats the layers of the skin to increase collagen production. The treatment stimulates the skin cells so that they heal in a way that creates a smooth, even appearance.
If you want to prevent acne scars or if you want to discuss laser treatment for current scars, contact Valley Skin Institute to schedule an appointment.