For many people, the excitement of saying goodbye to acne is accompanied by the frustration of saying hello to acne scars. Acne scars can develop if you experience deep acne lesions, have inflammatory acne, or if you can’t stop yourself from picking every pimple that pops up. When you get a pimple, the hair follicle becomes inflamed and can erupt, which causes damage to your skin. The bigger and deeper the acne lesion, the more damage that is caused. Your body tries to fix this damage by producing more collagen fibers, but if too much collagen is produced, raised scars form where your acne once was. If too little collagen is produced, depressed scars (dips in the skin) appear. Read on for tips on how to reduce the likelihood of scarring and how to treat them once they're formed.
Start treatment quickly
One of the best ways to reduce the severity of acne scars is to start treatment as soon as you break out. Finding effective treatment quickly will help to prevent the skin from too much damage. Take a quiz on our website to find which #FOBO Kit is right for you or talk to a dermatologist about setting up a treatment plan. If you develop deep, cystic acne, you will want to see a doctor ASAP as over-the-counter treatments are usually not beneficial for this type of acne.
If your pimples are red, painful or swollen, it means that you are experiencing inflammatory acne. Inflammatory acne is more likely to result in acne scarring than non-inflammatory acne. Try not to further inflame the skin by scrubbing the skin too hard, washing too much, or picking or popping pimples. We know it’s sooooo tempting to pop that unsightly zit, but if you can stop the temptation then your future self will thank you! To help reduce the temptation, cover your pimples with a pimple patch. They’ll speed healing, help reduce scarring and provide a barrier to keep your sneaky hands away.
Using a daily exfoliant containing salicylic acid or lactic acid can be helpful to get rid of dark spots called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These gentle exfoliants will slough off dead skin cells to even out skin tone. Topical retinoids are also great for treating dark spots by promoting cell regeneration and calming inflammation.
Acne scars, however, typically require the help of a dermatologist to treat. If you have mild acne scarring (not too deep), your dermatologist might recommend a resurfacing technique like a chemical peel or laser treatment. For depressed scarring, procedures like skin filling and microneedling are more commonly done to add collagen back to the skin. For raised acne scars, some dermatologists might recommend corticosteroid injections to soften and flatten them.
Summary and expected outcomes
Acne scars can be just as emotionally painful as dealing with acne itself, but it's important to remember that you are not alone. It's also important to know that if you decide to not treat your scars, then that's okay too! Any scarring you see on your face is much more noticeable to you than anyone else, but no matter what you choose to live your best self, it's good to know that there are many options out there.