Facial blemishes occur as a direct result of a skin pore that becomes clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. The pore starts to swell, and a break in the follicle wall occurs. A minor infection usually heals quickly and leaves no mark, but if the orifice develops a cyst and the thick wall of the pore breaks, then the infection rapidly spreads to surrounding tissue to form deep lesions. The skin works to repair the damage by forming collagen fibers, but the repair is not smooth, so the skin develops acne scars.
Acne and Scarring
Pimples that occur during puberty and minor acne usually do not leave significant scars, but severe cystic acne creates large cysts deep in the skin that often cause significant skin damage. The pustules are red, painful, and very inflamed. The cysts usually last from one to four weeks and can cause considerable damage to the thick layers of the skin. People from the age of nine to 50 may develop cystic acne. However, it is the most common during a person’s teenage years.
Types of Acne Scars
There are two types of acne scars:
- Hypertrophic (keloid scarring): Hypertrophic scars occur when the body produces an overabundance of collagen to repair the damaged skin. This causes a raised and uneven skin texture.
- Atrophic (depressed scarring): Atrophic scarring occurs when the skin sustains a loss of tissue from the acne infection. Two types of discernible acne scars occur. One is referred to as the “Icepick” scar. The Icepick scar is minimal and often looks like tiny holes in the skin’s surface. The second type is the “Boxcar” scar which is a depressed area in the skin’s surface. The spots are usually round or oval. They have steeply angled sides. The scarring looks similar that caused by the chickenpox virus.
What Makes Acne Scarring Worse?
Several things can make acne scarring worse:
- Over-washing or scrubbing of the area damages the skin’s elasticity and makes the scars more noticeable
- Picking at the pimples can introduce bacteria from your fingers or fingernails into the pore which causes a more severe infection to develop and extensive scarring.
- Sun exposure darkens the acne scars and makes them more noticeable.
Cosmetic Options to Improve Acne Scars
If you suffer from acne scarring, then you do have cosmetic options to improve your skin’s surface and make the scarring less noticeable.
Here are several procedures that are highly effective at treating acne scars:
Laser Skin Rejuvenation: The use of a laser significantly minimises scars and skin surface irregularities. The laser stimulates collagen production in the skin and can be used to peel away the top layer of skin to encourage new skin production. The new layer of skin is smoother and softer.
Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion mechanically resurfaces your skin for a smoother appearance.
Chemical Peels: Chemical peels lift away the skin’s top layer and encourage collagen production to reveal smoother softer skin.
Dermal Fillers: Skin that is deeply pocked from acne scars may benefit from dermal filler injections to create a smoother skin surface.
If you suffer from acne scars, and you are seeking a way to minimize the appearance of the damaged skin, then please schedule a consultation with our medical experts at the Laser Skin & Vein Clinic to explore your options. Many modern cosmetic techniques can dramatically improve your skin and give you the appearance you have been dreaming about.