Acne breakouts are not only difficult to deal with while the acne is active, but it is even something patients must address after the acne clears and the skin is left scarred. Active acne blemishes are inflamed and damaging to the skin and tissue around and beneath the blemish. As acne begins to heal, the body’s natural healing process includes the production of collagen, a vital material created by our skin to support its integrity.
Depending on the amount of collagen produced during the healing process, the body can produce a scar – too much collagen produced yields a raised acne scar, and too little collagen produced creates a depressed, acne “pit scar”. Raised scars are found more prevalently in African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Some factors during an acne breakout affect the scarring potential:
- Inflamed, swollen, red, and painful acne, usually cystic and nodules are much deeper-rooted in the skin and thus have a greater chance of leaving a scar during healing.
- Untreated acne lasts a long time. The longer there is acne inflammation, the greater chances of their healing causing scars.
- Picking at the skin, “squeezing” or “popping” acne blemishes increase the inflammation of the skin which in turn increases the risk of scarring.
- Genetics. Scarring and scarring tendencies run in the family.
There is no straightforward way of knowing if an acne patient will develop scarring or not, as each person’s skin is different. However, there is a way to reduce the possibility of acne scarring during active acne by treating the acne and the healing process together.
Treatment Options Available for Acne Scars
- Prescription Medications: There are prescriptions (oral or topical) that may help with this condition. Schedule a consultation if you would like to see what treatment options are best for you.
- Q1064: Thermage procedures can help smooth, tighten, and contour your skin for an overall younger-looking appearance in a single treatment without surgery or injections.