Having acne is painful and embarrassing and almost every person has to deal with it at some point in their life. To make the issue worse, when acne goes away it may leave a mark, spot or even a scar. Scars are part of the skin’s natural process of healing. While acne is usually a temporary problem, scars can be permanent if not treated properly or in time.
To find out more about acne and acne scar treatments, continue reading below.
What Is Acne?
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide. Acne forms when hair follicles become clogged and plugged with excess oil or dead skin cells. While they are most prominent on the face, they can also appear on the chest, upper back and shoulders. These areas of skin have the most oil glands, and hair follicles are connected to them. Most people relate acne to puberty because that’s when the sebaceous glands activate and produce the most oil. This oil is additionally stimulated by testosterone, which is also the most active during puberty. However, acne can occur at any age and, while not dangerous, it can leave scars.
The severity of acne differs from person to person. Some of the factors that may worsen acne are hormones, certain medications, diet, and stress. A hormonal imbalance can affect sebum production, which is why some women have acne during their menstrual cycles. Medications that contain corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium can cause an acne outbreak. Diet has been a matter of debate for years and for some, certain foods and drinks can worsen acne, such as carbohydrate-rich and greasy foods.
There are different types of acne based on severity. In general, acne is divided into inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. They can also be categorized into the types listed below.
- Whiteheads occur when clogged pores do not open to the surface. They are medically known as closed comedones.
- Blackheads are clogged pores open to the surface. They are medically known as open comedones.
- Papules are the small red tender bumps. This is the stage of inflammatory acne.
- Pimples or pustules occur when whiteheads rupture the hair follicle wall, leading to the development of other lesions.
- Nodules are large, solid, and often painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin.
- Cysts or cystic acne form when pustules become infected by bacteria and penetrate deep into the skin. This inflammatory acne likely leaves behind scars and marks.
Causes of Acne Scars:-
Inflammatory acne occurs when pores become clogged as a result of excess oil, dead cells, and bacteria. This leads to swelling, which can cause hair follicle walls to expand and eventually break. It is important to note the difference between acne scars and acne marks. If the rupture occurs close to the surface of your skin, the lesion is minor and can heal quickly. This mark is actually part of the natural healing process and it fades away on its own after several weeks or months.
If the break on the hair follicle is deep, the lesion will be more severe as the infected material may leak out into the second layer of the skin called the dermis. This significant damage to healthy skin tissue leads to abnormal collagen production, resulting in a scar. Just like different types of acne, there are also different types of acne scars. Generally, scars are separated as either depressed or raised. Depressed or atrophic scars develop when there is a loss of tissue and may look like pits or craters. Raised scars are also called hypertrophic scars and occur as the wound heals and produces too much collagen. This raised tissue on the skin’s surface may be firm and tender. The most common types of scares are:
- Ice-pick scars, which are narrow and very deep.
- Rolling scars, which have broad depressions and rounded edges.
- Boxcar scars, which are broad and rectangular depressions with steep edges.
Acne Scars Treatment:-
One of the best ways to avoid scars is to treat acne on time, which may reduce the stress of dealing with scars later on. This includes regular visits to the dermatologist, using prescribed creams and medications, and maintaining regular facial hygiene. Wash your face twice a day using a gentle soap and avoid hot water as it can dry out your skin and make acne worse. Never scrub your face with a towel and avoid masks, cosmetics, and other products that may irritate your skin. Never squeeze, pick or scratch the acne as that will aggravate it and cause a higher likelihood of leaving a scar. Lastly, try avoiding extreme stress. Stress can’t cause acne, but may aggravate and inflame it.
Regardless of what type of acne scars you may be faced with, they can be reduced or even completely removed by using various treatments for acne scars. These treatments may be natural home remedies such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, tea tree oil, aloe vera or coconut oil. Other remedies are orange peel, almond oil, cocoa butter, and honey mask. If you are more of a product person, be sure to read the ingredients of the acne skin care products you are buying.
Ingredients that help heal acne scars are:
Vitamin C: A powerhouse ingredient that’s good for immunity and restoring the health of your skin, stimulates collagen synthesis, and brightens dull skin.
Vitamin E: An antioxidant packed with skin-protecting properties, helps seal cracks in the epidermis, and improves the appearance of scars after the wound has completely healed.
Glycolic acid: The smallest acid in size, which can penetrate deeply into the skin’s pores, break apart the dead skin cells, and help reveal fresh, new skin.
Retinol: A vitamin A derivative great for speeding up cell turnover rate.
Zinc sulfate: One of the ultimate minerals with anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and redness, promotes faster wound-healing, and helps get rid of acne scars and marks.
If the scars are persistent and cannot be reduced or removed by these home remedies and natural products, you should consult your dermatologist or visit the nearest clinic for acne treatment to surgically remove scars associated with acne by using one of the three techniques: dermabrasion, chemical peeling or laser resurfacing. These treatments remove scarred skin completely and expose the underlying healthy skin layers.
Acne is not only an unpleasant sight, but can be extremely painful as well. Inflammatory acne can get infected by bacteria, which could lead to scarring. In order to prevent scars, treat acne on time, maintain proper face hygiene, and visit your dermatologist often to address skin issues or concerns you may have.
If you end up with a scar, try some of the remedies listed in the article above. Visit Lucere Dermatology & Laser Clinic for acne treatment if you want to remove scars using modern technology.