Sufferers of acne know the misery that can be caused not only by the pimples but also by the scarring which can occur after a breakout. It’s a particularly miserable situation for those who have managed to eradicate their acne but find that the scarring is just as disfiguring as the actual acne was…and there is so much conflicting advice surrounding the issue that it is easy for people to fall into the trap of spending a lot on supposed “cures” for scars which often do nothing to reduce the marks at all.
What is acne scarring?
Put simply, acne scars are the skin damage left behind after more serious types of acne spot such as nodules or cysts, burst and break down the layers of skin causing pits and craters. Less serious spots can also leave scars if they are picked or squeezed…skin is easily damaged and if infection sets in then scars are to be expected. Acne spots should never be picked or squeezed but should be left well alone to dissipate in their own time. For many people however, the worst type of acne spots will cause scars even if they are left alone and it is then that treatment for them can be sought….but which treatment is the right one for your acne scars?
Dermatologists recognize that scarring from acne can be placed into different categories with two main sub-types; these are atrophic which means that there has been a loss of skin tissue and these generally cause an indentation in the skin; and hypertrophic which means that there is a build up of skin tissue and a lump or bump may be discernable.
Types of acne scars
What not to do
If you have acne scars there is no doubt that you will feel frustrated, self conscious and even depressed about them but there are certain things which you must never try when it comes to attempting to cure yourself of them…no matter how desperate you may feel.
Never add chemicals to your skin in an attempt to lighten or bleach the discolouration of the scars…equally do not over-exfoliate the affected areas as you could irritate and even make scars worse.
Do not expose your skin to the sun too much but protect it with a hat and sunscreen….the sun can damage already damaged skin very quickly. Avoid soap and harsh cleansers but seek out gentle preparations for your skin and try to maintain excellent hygiene with regards to washing your face. Do not touch the skin often as dirty fingers can cause more infections and further breakouts.
How to reduce acne scars
The first thing you should do is seek professional help. The treatments available do vary according to the type of scarring which you have sustained and whilst one type of scar may benefit from dermabrasion for example, another will not
Speaking to a professional will make your options clear; there are treatments such as dermal fillers available for pitted scars as well as punch excision where some of the surrounding tissue is removed in order to create a more even skin tone. Steroid creams and injections are commonly used to shrink hypertrophic scarring and can be extremely successful…the main thing to remember is not to try anything at home but to get the proper help in reducing your scars and you could soon be benefiting from clearer skin and increased confidence.