According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most prevalent skin issue in the country, affecting up to 50 million Americans a year! While mild cases of acne will generally fade away without problem, moderate to severe cases of acne can leave people with lifelong marks and scars. Deep breakouts and pimples can cause long term damage the skin. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair this damage by producing collagen — a substance that gives the skin support. If the body produces too little or too much collagen, you will see a scar.
While we believe that beauty is more than just skin deep, acne scars can still cause some patients to feel self-conscious, leading to a loss of self-esteem. Thus, we want to offer tips for the prevention of acne scarring as well as treatment options that can help patients eliminate their current unwanted scars. So read on to learn more about how to put your best face forward!
Prevention of Acne Scarring
Do not underestimate the power of prevention! By following a few steps, you can reduce your risk of scarring and spare yourself the future discomfort and costs. Of course, genetics and the type of acne you have can factor into whether or not you will develop scarring. However, any individual with mild to severe acne can benefit from these tips –
- When You See It, Treat It! We recommend that individuals seek treatment for acne in it’s beginning stages. Do not wait until your acne is deep and damaging, a dermatologist may be able to help avoid scarring all together if treatment is started early on.
- Use The Right Products! The goal of acne prevention is to create a skincare routine that halts the formation of comedones, those pesky whiteheads or blackheads. These imperfections may take weeks or even months to come to the surface, thus we suggest using topical products that prevent the formation of whiteheads and blackheads from infancy. Look for over the counter products with the following active ingredients: retinol, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. However, If over the counter products are not enough to prevent new acne lesions from forming, then you may need to see a dermatologist to get prescription strength products.
- Regularly Clean Your Face! Using the proper cleanser, wash your face each morning and evening. Keep in mind that excess washing can cause irritation. Gently pat, do not rub, your face dry. Rubbing the skin can irritate it further.
- Absolutely No PICKING! Picking, popping, or squeezing pimples increases inflammation, which naturally increases the risk of scarring. Although we understand that acne can be uncomfortable, you should resist the urge to touch acne as you will only irritates the area more.
Treatment of Acne Scarring
Treatment for acne scarring is not for everyone. Some people are not bothered by their scars, while others feel deeply affected by their scars. Dermatologists often recommend treatment for individuals who fall into one of the following categories: those who find themselves regularly wishing that they could get rid of their acne scars, those who feel their scars limit opportunities for them, or those who feel insecure about their appearance due to the scars.
For people who fall into one of the categories above, we offer many treatment options for you. As professional dermatologists, we will help you figure out how to get rid of acne scars by examining the scarred area and recommending the best course of action for the specific scars that have developed. We will likely recommend pursuing a combination of treatments, over a long term period, for the best results in scar reduction. Keep in mind that one treatment alone cannot eliminate acne scarring and there are no such things as immediate results.
However, some of the common treatments we offer include –
- raising the scar through acne scar surgery or subcision
- using injectable fillers to raise the scar
- resurfacing through laser therapy, chemical peeling, dermabrasion or microdermabrasion
- tightening the skin through radiofrequency therapy
- micro-needling to encourage collagen growth
- using electrodesiccation to reshape the edges of scars
- injecting medication directly into the scars
- freezing the scarred tissue through cryosurgery
- prescribing medicated creams and gels
- recommending over-the-counter acne products
If your acne scars are bothersome, call Hilton Dermatology + Aesthetics at 985-649-5880 to discuss treating your condition.