Learn more about treatment options for acne scars
Acne scars are usually the result of inflamed blemishes caused by skin pores engorged with excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. The pore swells, causing a break in the follicle wall. Shallow lesions are usually minor and heal quickly. But if there is a deep break in the wall of the pore, infected material can spill out into surrounding tissue, creating deeper lesions. The skin attempts to repair these lesions by forming new collagen fibers. These repairs usually aren't as smooth and flawless as the original skin.
Why treat acne scarring
Physical, emotional and social reasons for treating acne scars include:
Improved appearanceEnhanced self-esteemPromotion of better skin health
What you need to know
There are two main types of acne scars:
- Hypertrophic or keloid scarring. These scars are caused when the body produces too much collagen as acne wounds heal, resulting in a mass of raised tissue on the skin's surface.
- Atrophic or depressed scarring. These scars develop when there is a loss of tissue. There are two common types of atrophic scarring. "Icepick" scars are usually small, yet obvious holes in the skin. "Boxcar" scars are depressed areas, usually round or oval in shape with steeply angled sides, similar to chickenpox scars.
Do's and Don'ts
- Exfoliate. Occasional exfoliation can improve the appearance of scars, removing dead skin and reducing the depth of the scars.
- Eat more fiber. Fiber removes toxins from the body that can clog pores, causing them to swell, burst, and form scars.
- Exercise. Exercise increases blood flower so that oxygen and nutrients are properly distributed throughout the skin. Sweating detoxifies the skin and can help prevent the formation of acne cysts that can lead to additional scarring.
- Tan. Overexposure to the sun can darken scars and make them look more prominent.
- Irritate inflamed skin. Overwashing or scrubbing scarred areas can further reduce skin elasticity and heighten the appearance of the scar.
- Pick at scars. Bacteria from unwashed fingers and nails increase the risk of additional cysts forming, leading to the development of a larger scar.
- Give up on acne scars. New techniques - some non-surgical - can dramatically improve both the depth and appearance of acne scars.