Acne Marks and Scars – What causes them and how to prevent them
By Anna Powell, Dr. Paula's Skincare Staff & Licensed Paramedical Esthetician
Acne marks are a baffling skin condition that you have to understand to combat. I will explain what they are, why they appear and how to prevent / eliminate them altogether.
Acne marks are a result of damaged or lost skin tissue, active acne, and trauma left behind from acne. These blemishes can rear their ugly heads when you least expect it. They don't discriminate affecting men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
Your skin consists of pigments producing cells that are under the surface of your skin. These cells respond to trauma in different ways. An example of this is when you have sunburn; your skin turns brown with in a few days.
In the same way you receive a tan for your hard work in the sun, a pimple can leave behind ugly acne marks or scars.
Regardless of what caused your acne and acne marks, you have the power to control these inconvenient pests. I know you are tempted to pick and squeeze the bumps when they pop up but DON’T!
Pesky pimple picking can cause bacteria to spread to other areas of your skin, making the problem worse and prolonging the healing time.
But have no fear my faithful readers; there is a solution!
Reduce your risk of post pimple infections, scars and marks by keeping your hands off. In other words, don't tinker, squeeze, strangle or touch your acne.
Avoiding the sun can also prevent marks but if you find yourself packing up the family and heading out to the beach, always wear a high SPF sunscreen. (In fact you should always wear sunscreen, even if you go outside for just a few minutes; remember you can burn on cloudy days).
In my opnion and 10 year experiences in the skincare business, those "as seen on tv" wash products such as Proactive provide poor solutions to real skincare issues. I recommend using a premium quality acne wash which will prevent acne and acne marks. A good cleanser will also allow you to easily remove blackheads (if they occur). Dr. Paula has developed a wonderful Therapeutic Washwhich I highly recommend.
Understanding which types of scarring your skin is affected by is essential for the correct treatment. There are several types:
Some examples are:
Rolling Scars: This type of scarring causes rolling or "wave-like" palpitations across otherwise healthy appearing skin. Rolling scars occur when fibrous bands of tissue develop between the skin and the subcutaneous tissue below. These bands pull the epidermis, attaching it to the immersed structures of the skin. It is this stretching of the epidermis from within that creates the rolling presentation of the skin.
Keloid or Hypertrophic Scars: Keloid or Hypertrophic scars have the appearance of a raised, solid accumulation of tissue. They often grow larger than the original pimple or trauma itself . This type of scar is more common in men than women. Keloid scars differ from boxcar and icepick scars in that they occur due to an overproduction of natural collagen versus a loss of tissue. These scars can be treated by professional grade skincare products used to help shrink and flatten the scar. Such an example of a product would be Dr. Paula's Enhance Radiant Pads.
Icepick Scars: These deep ugly scars are extremely narrow and extend deep into your skins dermis. The skin almost appears punctured by a shard object (such as an icepick, hence the name). Ice can sometimes be mistaken as open skin pores because of their hole like appearance. Infected cysts and other inflamed blemishes cause icepick cars to appear. These traumas destroy your skins tissue and leave behind a long column-like scar. A more intensive treatment maybe needed to alleviate icepick scars. Treatment options include punch elevation and excisions, where scar tissue is elevated then reattached.
Boxcar Scars: Boxcar scars are round or oval depressions with steep vertical sides. These scars are wider than ice pick scars and give the skin a punctured or pitted appearance. When an inflammatory breakout destroys collagen, tissue is lost. The skin over this area is left without support, and a depressed area is created. Boxcar scars may be superficial to severe, depending on the amount of tissue lost.Treatments for boxcar scars include professional grade skincare products, laser resurfacing, punch elevations or excisions and, dermal fillers
It is imperative you consult a skincare professional before deciding on any skin procedures.
If you are unsure how to eliminate your acne marks, CLICK HERE to take advantage of my FREE skin consultation worth $147. It's as good as a personal visit to the dermatologist. I will recommend a skin regime designed to give you the healthiest skin possible.