14 Aug Acne Scarring: Causes, Preventions & Treatments
Pimples, zits, and clogged pores may be temporary, but they can leave lasting scars. Spectrum Dermatology specializes in preventing acne and treating lingering scars. What exacerbates acne scarring, and how can it be prevented? The majority of superficial wounds do not scar, but when deeper layers of the skin (the dermis) are damaged, scarring can occur.
Why Acne Scars
Most acne scars are caused by severe forms of acne, including cysts, pustules, and papules. This skin inflammation happens when a pore or follicle gets plugged with oil, bacteria, and/or dead skin cells. When the pores swell to a certain point, the follicle wall can break. Shallow breaks usually do not cause scarring, but deep breaks can.
The body tries to naturally heal by forming collagen fibers. However, many times this repair isn’t perfectly smooth, resulting in scar tissue. The best way to gauge whether or not acne will scar is by inflammation. The more inflammation the skin experiences, the higher the chance for scarring.
Types of Acne
There are many types of acne scars. Keloid scarring, or hypertrophic scarring, happens when the body creates too much collagen. This scar is thick, ropy, and raised. The more common type of acne scarring is called depressed or atrophic scarring. This occurs with lost tissue and creates a divot in the skin. Within atrophic scarring, there are subsets, such as ice pick and boxcar scars.
It is common to confuse genuine acne scarring with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH is actually a temporary discoloration that will fade over the years, but the process can be sped up with a number of skin care therapies including microneedling and lasers.
The best ways to reduce the odds of scarring is to treat acne quickly, minimize inflammation, and to resist the urge to pick or squeeze. Some people are naturally more prone to acne scarring than others. Those with more melanin in their skin than others have a higher chance of developing keloid scars. Having a quality acne treatment regimen monitored by a dermatologist is your best defense.
Contact Spectrum Dermatology today to schedule a consultation, and get on the pathway to clearer skin.