While most zits are temporary and eventually disappear with retinoid or salicylic acid and a little patience. But some can lead to scars that last for months or years, there are some measures you can take to treat them.
It is not necessary to live covering your acne scars with lots of makeup, if your scars are uncomfortable for you, here is a guide to the treatment. But first things first, what causes acne scars?
Scars usually occur because of inflammation, due to picking skin, untreated acne or genetic predisposition, however, picking and popping breakouts is the major cause for acne scars. There are four types of scars:
- Rolling scars: They are most common in cases of moderate to severe acne. They usually happen when the skin heals unevenly with a wavy contour.
- Ice-pick scars: these have the appearance of a cut that was not stitched up.
- Boxcar scars: the mark is indented and heals below the top layer of the skin, leading to rounded depressions with sharp edges.
- Keloid scars: when the skin produces too much collagen the scar tissue grows excessively.
When a pimple heals, you might also notice some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation –the marks look red and brown, but they are not scars.
Why do some breakout scar and others don’t?
For acne to scar, there has to be significant inflammation. When the skin becomes inflamed, extra blood cells accumulate in the area and they turn on an enzyme to produce collagen. Normally, it should not scar your skin, but collagen-inhibiting enzymes can tamper with collagen production and eventually produce scar tissue.
Cystic acne tends to leave scars because they are infected. Comedonal acne, on the other head, is unlikely to scar. However, if you pick at your skin when you have whiteheads or blackheads it leads to increased inflammation and you can get a scar.
How to prevent acne scars
To avoid acne scarring, the best way is to prevent acne before it appears. Make sure to follow a skincare routine that includes a cleanser and toner with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to prevent acne. if you still haven’t noticed any improvement after a few months using over-the-counter products, consult a dermatologist because you might need some medication.
How to fade acne scars
- Peels: For moderate to mild acne scarring, you can consult a dermatologist for a peel. Peels work for all skin tones, but you have to consult an expert.
- Fillers: Another option is getting hyaluronic acid fillers to smooth over your scars.
- Microneedling: For deep, old acne scars microneedling might be an option. Microneedling increases collagen production by creating micro-injuries with needles.
- Lasers: If you suffer from severe scarring, laser can smooth out the texture and reduce keloidal scars and redness.
- Sunscreen: If you want your skin to heal faster, you must wear sunscreen at all times. Sun can exacerbate inflammation and accelerate scarring.
The best skincare products for acne
If you’ve had acne scars for under a year, it is possible to minimize them with some skincare products.
Topical vitamin C helps brighten skin and fade hyperpigmentation, glycolic acid can help unclog pores and minimize acne and retinoids help prevent acne and improve mild acne scarring.
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