Acne scars can happen anytime you have a breakout, but women and men prone to severe acne breakouts are more likely to develop these types of scars. And unfortunately, most of the time, these scars are here to stay.

But what exactly is acne scarring, and is there anything that you can do about it? Luckily, there are some treatments that can help you reduce these scars, so keep on reading if you want to find out more. 

What Is Acne Scarring?

Acne scarring occurs when the skin gets damaged after a moderate or severe breakout. The scars are a result of acne breaking through the elastin, and elastin is responsible for keeping a firm complexion. 

Your collagen production can also influence whether acne scarring will occur or not. Too much collagen can lead to the tissue becoming more raised and prominent around the scar. However, if there is too little collagen, the wound may not heal correctly, leading to a depressed scar. This is why acne scarring is very common in people over 30, as their skin starts producing less collagen.

Types of Acne Scars

Acne scars can take different forms. The most common are the following:

1. Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars are depressions in the skin that are flat and shallow, healing underneath the top layer. These types of scars happen usually when you have cystic acne, but they can also be caused by other types of acne, as long as they leave a gap underneath the skin. The most common types of atrophic acne scars are ice pick scars, boxcar scars, and rolling scars. 

2. Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars

While atrophic scars are depressed, hypertrophic and keloid scars are raised. These will create a lump where your acne used to be. These scars usually happen when you have excessive collagen accumulation, leading to the formation of scar tissue. These scars are most common on the jawline, back, chest, and shoulders, and are more prominent in people with darker skin. 

3. Post-Acne Hyperpigmentation

Not every acne scar will have a lump or a depressed area. Sometimes, the only thing left behind may be a discolored skin patch. Hyperpigmentation usually happens when your skin is damaged by a severe breakout. However, it can also happen if you pick and pop your acne, but with good topical treatment, sun protection, or something like a chemical peel, these spots should fade with time. 

Common Acne Scar Treatments

There are different ways to treat acne scarring and it all depends on the type of acne that you are dealing with. After an initial consultation, Dr. Ariel Ostad may recommend one of the following treatments: 

  • Topical Skincare Treatments

When the acne scars are not that serious, very often, Dr. Ariel Ostad may prescribe topical treatments first. For instance, if the acne scarring is mostly visible through pigmentation, then you may be given sunblock treatments to limit the contrast. Tinted sunblock usually works best to hide the scar while BHA/AHA, retinoic acid, and plant based lightening agent products work their best to heal the pigmentation. 

  • Laser Resurfacing Treatments

Resurfacing treatments use various techniques like lasers and microneedling to trigger your body’s natural healing process. They typically employ the use of laser that may or may not involve microneedling as well. The most common skin resurfacing treatments are Morpheus8™ and Fraxel®, among others. Within a month, the top layer of your skin begins to shed, revealing the new skin underneath. 

  • Dermal Fillers

If you have depressed acne scars, dermal fillers may help you fill in those gaps and offer the impression of smoother skin. Most dermal fillers are based on hyaluronic acid, a compound that is essential in wound repair. The substance can trigger collagen production, allowing the acne gap to close up. On the plus side, these dermal fillers can also help you get rid of wrinkles from the areas where they were injected. 

  • Chemical Peels

Chemical peels use salicylic or glycolic acid to remove the outer layer of your skin. This treatment is generally recommended for mild-to-medium acne scarring and may not work that well for deep scars. It works best on post-acne pigmentation or scars with a slight indent. That being said, provided you go for multiple treatments, even bigger scars should be reduced.

Top Tips to Prevent Acne Scarring

The best way to treat acne scarring is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Scarring can’t always be prevented after acne, but it can be minimized by using the following techniques:

1. Treat Acne Immediately

The more your acne worsens, the deeper it will start digging into your skin. Use topical acne creams the moment you see the first zit popping up. If the acne is not responding to any topical treatments and only seems to get worse, you should see Dr. Ariel Ostad for treatment. For instance, if you constantly get acne breakouts, you may be given an AviClear™ treatment. 

2. Reduce the Inflammation

If your acne swells up beyond control, it is much more likely to leave a scar compared to the non-inflammatory type of acne. Avoid using harsh products on your skin, and no matter what you do, don’t scrub your skin. Ice can reduce inflammation and relieve the pain around the pimple, making it less “angry.” It won’t cure the acne itself, but at least it can reduce the chances of deep scarring. 

3. Don’t Pop Your Pimples

We know – your zits hurt, they are bulging out of your skin, and all you want to do is pop them so that they disappear. However, you should resist the temptation of popping your pimples. If you do that, there is a good chance that the bacteria will be forced deeper into the skin, leading to an infection. Don’t pick at any scabs either, since they are your skin’s natural “band-aid” and can ultimately cause scars if tampered with. 

Find the Best Way to Treat Acne Scarring

Acne scarring can happen at any time, no matter how careful you may be with your skin. Luckily, even though you’re dealing with deep scars, there are ways to treat them. Call now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ariel Ostad and reduce the appearance of those nasty acne scars! 

For more information about acne scarring, you can contact Dr. Ariel Ostad at 212-517-7900. He would be more than happy to provide you with the details that you need. You can also use the provided online contact form to ask your questions or set up an appointment.

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