Scarring can be traumatizing to have, but do you know what it is and how it got there?
After the pimple has healed you may notice a red or darkened spot. Many mistake this as scarring but it however is not; it is a mark from inflammation caused by the pimple. After the pimple is healed, the skin must go through a healing process, which unfortunately can take between six to twelve months. If the area stays acne free, it can then heal properly. If after about a year you still notice a mark, colour change or skin defect, it is then considered a permanent defect or scar.
Honestly the best way to not get scars is to prevent them in the first place. To do this you must first understand what causes acne and use the right treatments according to which type of acne you have. See this article to learn what causes acne.
Once you unfortunately get a scar after acne you need to treat it if you want it to go away or fade at least. One thing to remember though is that scarring is damage to the skin, so it will be a lengthy process and there is no promise that the scarring will or can go away completely. During the healing process you can however help aid the lesion from getting worse. An important thing to remember is to wear a good broad spectrum sunscreen on the mark as any exposure to the sun will make more damage as well as delay healing. You can get tretinoin to help speed up the skin's remodelling process. Also using Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) can also help exfoliate the area, removing pigmentation and smoothing the texture of the skin. One thing you should never do, in any stage, be it pimple, healing process or scarring, is to NEVER pick at the area as this can cause further damage and scarring.
There are many types of acne scarring; in July of 2001, the classification system was developed. This classification system is based on how the scar looks and can help determine an effective scar treatment procedure.
"Icepick" - This scar gets its name because it appears that the skin has been punctured with an icepick. It is usually narrower than 2mm and can go as deep as the dermis or subcutaneous layer. These scars unfortunately are too deep to fix with resurfacing treatments(dermabrasion/laser resurfacing). They are usually caused by an infection from a cyst or a deep inflamed blemish. The skin tissue is destroyed, leaving a long column like scar.
"Boxcar" - This scar is a round or oval depression that has sharp vertical edges. Shallow boxcar scars are 0.1-0.5mm in depth and can be treated with skin resurfacing techniques. Deeper boxcar scars are more than 0.5mm deep and require more serious treatments. These are caused when an inflammation breakout destroys collagen, therefore tissue is lost. The skin is left without support therefore a depression is made.
"Rolling" - These scars look like a wavy texture on the skin, usually caused by severe acne. It is due to bumps and depressions in the skin that is a type of scarring left from the outbreaks and infection of acne. These cannot be helped with conventional skin resurfacing techniques and must be fixed by breaking up the subcutaneous fibrous bands.
"Hypertrophic or Keloid" - These scars are firm and raised. They are larger than the original wound. They are unlike icepick or boxcar scars, instead they are caused by an overproduction of collagen. To treat them you usually have to use steroid(cortisone) creams, tapes, injections. (This is the kind I have on my right cheek caused by bismuth oxychloride in BareMinerals :( )
Removal of acne scars can be very difficult. I recommend going to see a dermatologist if you are concerned about your skin. They can recommend the best solution for your specific case. As I am not a dermatologist I will not recommend what to do but I can tell you what I did and am doing to treat my specific case.
I have suffered with acne for 10 years and counting. Recently I have been blessed to find a great skin care regime. However I do have pitted scarring and pigmented scarring on my face. I do regular peels and microdermabrasion treatments on myself at home. I use the Neostrata products. I also use my Tanda Clear light therapy treatment pretty much every day. My skin care regime includes the Vichy Normaderm gel cleanser, Clarins toner for oily/combination skin and the Biotherm Biopur SOS normalizer moisturizer.
Thanks for reading! Please FOLLOW/SUBSCRIBE and COMMENT!