Scars form because of the skin’s natural healing process. Acne forms when a hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells, the skin’s natural oil and the bacteria that are always on your skin. This combination creates a lesion or small wound that can be either mild or severe. Mild acne such as blackheads and whiteheads may not leave acne scarring, but moderate to severe acne can leave scars after the inflammation heals.
In order to heal the inflammation, the skin may form too much collagen, a protein that gives skin and other connective tissue its structure, firmness and elasticity. When too much is formed, it results in raised tissue on the surface of the skin. This is called keloid or hypertrophic acne scarring. Depressed acne scars are called atrophic or depressed scars, and they develop when there is a loss of tissue and the body produces too little collagen. These are sometimes called ice pick or boxcar scars. Temporary discoloration of the skin after a lesion heals is not really a scar and will fade in time.
It may not be possible to prevent acne scarring completely, but there are steps you can take to minimize the chance of developing it. The first step is to treat acne as soon as you see it. If over-the-counter acne treatments do not make it go away, you should see our professional as soon as possible to keep the breakout to a minimum and prevent more from forming. If you can stop a breakout from becoming severe lesions, you have a better chance of avoiding acne scarring.
Acne should be treated carefully. If you aggressively scrub or try to squeeze blemishes, it is more likely they will become inflamed and cause scarring. You should try to calm inflammation, not aggravate it. If a pimple has healed and formed a scab, resist the temptation to pick at the scab. It may not look very nice, but it protects the wound and is essential for full healing to avoid acne scarring.
Some people’s skin is more prone to acne scarring than others. If you know you are prone to scarring or if you already have acne scars, our specialist at Laser Skin Solutions Jacksonville may be able to help. There are treatments that are specifically designed for people with acne scarring. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Jacksonville Beach!