Everything You Should Know About Acne Scarring and Treatment
In continuation of this month’s topic on acne and acne scarring, we’re diving into treatments for both. Get ready to take notes!
It is essential to tackle any active acne before treating scarring since new breakouts can create even more scars. Treatments for acne can include:
- Home remedies such as Witch Hazel or tea tree oil
- Over-the-counter treatments
- Prescription medications such as antibiotics and hormone-reducing treatments
- Laser treatments
- Skin surgeries
- Chemical peels
Here are some tips and tricks to try if you’re experiencing a flare or worsening acne:
- Try a retinol or retinoid cream
- Benzoyl peroxide wash or cream can help
- Reduce sugars, carbs, junk food, fast food, whey, or milk in your diet
- Eat mostly green leafy veggies, fruit, lean meat and fish
- Reduce stress by meditating daily and/or working out regularly
If the above do not work or your acne is leaving scars, it’s time to see your board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible as early treatment can prevent permanent scars.
On occasion, teenagers use harsh facial or body scrubs, alcohol-based astringents and tanning to try to clear acne. In reality, all of these can worsen the situation. Research has also shown treating your acne can help reduce depression and anxiety while boosting self-esteem.
About acne scars
Acne scarring is just as common as acne. An acne scar is created when the skin becomes inflamed, acne is left untreated, or pimples are picked at or manipulated. Pimples that are squeezed, popped or picked become further inflamed which increases the likelihood of an acne scar forming. Further, there is a genetic link to acne scarring. Patients whose parents or other family members have a history of severe acne or acne scars can have a higher risk of developing acne scarring themselves.
There are two types of acne scars: Depressed (or “atrophic”) and raised (or “hypertrophic”). When the skin tries to heal from acne on the face or body, it creates collagen to try to repair the wounds acne leaves behind. Your skin can produce too little or too much collagen, causing either depressed or raised scars, respectively. Acne scars can be avoided by seeing a dermatologist early when your acne first appears, before inflamed acne, cysts or nodules form permanent scars.
Acne scar treatments
Scar treatments include retinoid creams, chemical peels, microneedling, laser treatments and even filler injections. These treatments can improve the appearance of scars, dark spots and uneven skin textures caused by acne on the face or any other part of the body.
In skin of color, acne can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, due to inflammation. These dark spots can vary in color from red to light or dark brown. If a person has more melanin, or color, in their skin, these lesions can appear very dark or even black. These discolorations and marks can be disfiguring and last months or years if left untreated. UV light exposure that occurs when you are exposed to the sun or a tanning booth can make these dark spots even worse. For this reason, it is important to use sunscreen daily to prevent dark marks and spots from getting even darker.
Dr. Obayan can diagnose the specific type of acne you have and work with you to create a plan to help treat your acne scars and resolve any active acne. Hello, beautiful skin!