Acne scars. Those annoying, stubborn reminders of breakouts past. Whether you’ve had them since you’ve been a teen or you’re developing them now with adult acne, you’re in good company. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will have acne and 1 out of 5 in that population will develop scarring.
Those scars are more than just annoying, though. They can have a profound effect on your self-esteem as you try every trick in the book to cover them up and make them less noticeable. And while you’re hardly alone in the struggle, that’s little comfort on those days you wish you could just be rid of them.
The good news is that there are things you can do to treat your acne scars so that they are less noticeable.
Understanding Acne Scars
Acne scarring isn’t the same for every person. There are three main types that each have their own characteristics:
- Ice Pick Scars
Small, deep pits that look like puncture marks on the skin’s surface.
- Rolling Scars
A result of damage to the skin’s collagen fibers, these scars create a wavy texture to the skin.
- Box-Car Scars: These are wider than the others with well-defined edges, giving them a box-like appearance.
There are many reasons one person may develop scarring while another person may not. Some of the factors that contribute to acne scarring include:
Severe inflammation of the skin can damage the skin’s collagen and lead to scars forming.
- Delayed or Inadequate Treatment
The sooner that acne is treated effectively, the better chance you’ll have of dodging the acne-scarring bullet altogether.
- Picking and Squeezing
Squeezing pimples might be a popular video genre on YouTube, but these actions cause more inflammation and increase the likelihood of scarring.
Some individuals are more predisposed to scarring than others simply because of their genetic makeup.
Not only do the types of scarring vary from person to person, but the severity of the scarring can wildly vary as well from mild to severe. Understanding the level of your scarring will help you decide what type of treatment to seek for them. For example, mild cases of scarring respond well to non-invasive treatments while a severe case of scarring may require advanced procedures for optimal results.
Effective, Non-Invasive Techniques for Treating Acne Scars
Non-invasive techniques are available and have great results for a lot of people. However, it depends on how severe the scarring is in the first place. With non-invasive treatments, you’ll have the benefits of little to no recovery time and a gentler treatment experience.
Non-invasive treatments include topical treatments such as retinoids and vitamin C which can help reduce inflammation and promote skin rejuvenation. Treatment can also include microdermabrasion and chemical peels. Finally, microneedling can help reduce the appearance of acne scars by stimulating the skin’s natural healing process.
Advanced Treatments for Acne Scars
If your scars are more severe, however, you may find more advanced treatments to be the key to successfully combating your acne scars.
More advanced treatment options include:
- Laser Therapy
Lasers can be a godsend for those with severe or stubborn acne scars. The laser targets damaged skin cells and encourages the production of collagen to improve the scars’ appearance.
- Dermal Fillers
Injectable fillers can plump up depressed scars for some time, thus reducing their appearance. Results from dermal fillers are immediate and can last several months to a year.
The most advanced of these treatments, excision, such as punch excisions, may be used to physically remove scar tissue from deep, pitted scars.
Aftercare and Maintenance
With non-invasive treatments like topical creams or microneedling, recovery and aftercare are minimal to none. However, if you have a more advanced treatment, you may need aftercare such as a pain reliever to help reduce discomfort and inflammation.
With just about any treatment, being mindful of sun exposure is always a must. You not only have to use sun protection such as a broad spectrum SPF, but you also need to plan for sun protection as a preventative measure as well. Staying out of the sun as much as possible is one of the important things to remember for effective scar management.
No matter what treatment option you go for, you always have to practice patience. This will not be a one-and-done procedure even for mild scarring. Damaged skin takes time and patience to heal and look better.
Let the experts at Ink-B-Gone help you explore your options for mild to severe acne scars. We can help boost your confidence once again as we guide you through the whole process from consultation to aftercare. Check out our Twitter and Instagram to see why our clients leave with the results they want.