Do you struggle with acne breakouts despite having tried several over-the-counter products? Maybe you tried an acne-free skincare routine you saw online, only to still have stubborn spots? While some people experience breakouts that come and go without leaving a trace, sometimes acne can leave scars that may take weeks or months to fade–if they fade at all. Acne breakouts can be frustrating enough, but the scars they might leave behind can be even more aggravating.
Fortunately, just like acne, even the most stubborn acne scars are treatable. With today’s medicine, there are many treatments available that can help to remove and fade blemishes, making them less noticeable. However, before treating acne scars it is important to have your acne under control to avoid future scarring. Though there are hundreds of over-the-counter products available to help, it is easy to forget that acne is not merely cosmetic. Acne is a medical condition best treated by professionals. Our dermatologists are experts in skincare and know that with the right treatment and skincare routine, anyone and everyone can achieve clear skin.
What Causes Acne Scars?
Acne scars typically form from acne penetrating deep into the skin and damaging the tissues beneath the surface. Acne is an inflammatory condition and scarring occurs depending on the extent and duration of inflammation. Scarring generally occurs when there is either too little or too much collagen produced during the healing process of the breakout.
Type of Scars
There are a variety of acne scars that develop, but all can generally be broken into three categories:
- Depressed Scars, also known as atrophic scars, are scars that sit below the surface of the skin and develop from a lack of collagen during the healing process. These depressions can vary in shape and depth.
- Raised scars, also known as hypertrophic scars, stand above the surface and are caused by an overproduction of collagen during the healing process. They are generally red, enlarged, firm growths.
- Dark spots are scars left behind once the zit has cleared. They can range in colors and often fade on their own after several months.
How Do Dermatologists Treat Acne Scars?
Before we can treat your scars, it is important to have your acne under control and treated. Additionally, it is also good to know what type of acne you have and what type of scars are left as a result. Each type responds to treatment differently and some treatments may be better suited for particular types of acne. Your dermatologist will conduct a thorough examination of your skin, noting where the breakouts occur and what type of acne is present. Skin samples may be taken to rule out any fungal or bacterial causes as sometimes what looks like acne may not actually be acne.
By undergoing this exam, we will be able to determine whether you have acne or another skin condition and create a treatment plan customized for your condition. We will also take into account your lifestyle, age, skin type, diet, stressors, and previous treatments you may have tried to ensure successful treatment. Your treatment will be unique to your skincare needs.
Some acne scars may fade over time. For those that remain even after trying over-the-counter products, professional treatment can help. Treatment will depend on the type of scar and severity. In some cases, several types of treatment may be needed for the patient’s desired results. Common acne scar treatments may include:
- Chemical peels
- Corticosteroid injections
- Dermal fillers
- Laser or light energy resurfacing
- Radiofrequency treatment
- Topical prescription medication
In more severe or complex cases, acne scar surgery may also be recommended. This surgery involves either lifting the scar or breaking up scar tissue to make the scar less noticeable.
Most treatments are successful in reducing the size and visibility of acne scars. As dermatologists, we can help you to find the treatment option for your needs so you can get back to looking and feeling like the most confident version of yourself. For more information on acne scars and our treatment options or to schedule a consultation, contact Dermatology Institute today.