When we first start to deal with acne, it’s generally believed that we’ll grow out of it and that beautiful, smooth skin will be left over afterward. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Even months or years after you’ve dealt with acne, you may still see their mark left on your face through acne scars. The good news is our team at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY, has treatment options to help your skin health.
Are Acne Scars Permanent?
They Don’t Have to Be
Some people are lucky enough to find their acne scars fading naturally. If your scars are going to heal on their own, you can generally expect that to happen between several weeks to several months. If months have passed and you’re not seeing any more improvements, your skin may need a helping hand.
There are several different types of acne scarring, but many of them do end up requiring treatment in order to be truly removed.
What About At-Home Treatments?
How effective at-home treatments are depends on the quality of treatment, the severity of the scars, and your skin’s reaction to the treatment. In some cases, at-home treatments containing lactic or glycolic acid, or chemical exfoliants are used to try to reduce the appearance of facial scarring.
These treatments may be helpful for some, but it’s often not enough to effectively treat the scars.
Why Seek Out Professional Treatments?
By seeking out professional help, not only do you better your chances of finding an effective treatment, but it can help save you from wasting money on trying a host of different treatments that aren’t going to be a good fit.
You also need to be careful that any acne treatments you buy online are actually safe and from a respectable source. The last thing you want to happen while you’re trying to improve your skin health is to end up actually damaging your skin.
What Causes This Scarring?
Acne itself is something that pretty much everyone has or will have to deal with at some point. It’s usually a result of clogged pores from dead skin cells, P. acnes bacteria, or an excess of oil on your skin.
If the skin isn’t able to heal itself after acne, it can leave small scars behind. These scars can be indented, raised, or flat. Regardless of their appearance, they’re all signs of damaged tissue, oftentimes from acne that’s penetrated more deeply into the skin. If your body isn’t producing enough collagen, that can also contribute to scar formation.
What About Flat Acne Scarring?
Some acne marks are caused by an overproduction of melanin. These marks are known as PIH, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. They pop up when there’s damage to the cells of the epidermis from inflammation. This damage causes the body to release higher levels of melanin. Since acne causes inflammation, it’s a common culprit behind PIH.
People with darker skin tones may be more likely to experience this type of acne scarring, and treatments that aim to increase collagen production and encourage skin restoration can be helpful in fading the appearance of these marks.
What Can I Do to Prevent Scars From Acne?
Thankfully, not every breakout leads to permanent scars, but suffering from inflammatory acne tends to increase your risk of scars developing afterwards. Cysts and nodules are two forms of inflammatory acne that can reach deep into the skin and may cause more skin damage.
Have a Good Skin Care Routine
Taking good care of your skin can help clear up acne faster. The longer inflammatory acne goes untreated, the more risk you could be at for scarring to develop. While there’s no way to prevent acne altogether, the right skin care can help reduce the severity and longevity of acne.
Cleaning and gently exfoliating your skin can help clear out dead skin and oil that may clog your pores, while the right moisturizer can help reduce the chance your skin will try to overcompensate dry skin with too much oil.
Toner Can Be a Helpful Tool
Toner can help wash out impurities and grime that have gotten stuck in your pores, and may help your pores appear smaller as a result. Toner can be great for anyone looking to boost their skin health, but can be especially helpful for those with oily skin, or people who are fighting acne and trying to reduce its severity.
Food May Play a Role in Acne
One way to approach acne management is to be mindful of whether or not the foods you eat may contribute to inflammation. Since acne is partly an inflammatory response, limiting foods that cause inflammation may help reduce the severity of your acne.
Blood Sugar and the Skin
A low-glycemic diet may help limit acne breakouts as it can reduce spikes in your blood sugar. Spiking blood sugar can lead to inflammation, but it can also cause your skin to make more of an oily substance known as sebum.
The combination of excess oil and inflammation could pair up and put you more at risk for an acne breakout. That said, it’s important to talk to your family doctor or dietician before you start to change up your eating habits, as the most important thing is to make sure your body is being well nourished and has everything it needs to thrive.
Your Genetics Could Be a Factor
There’s not much you can do about this, but if you have someone in your family that has experienced acne scarring, you could be more likely to develop these scars yourself. If bad breakouts tend to run in your family, that makes good skincare even more important to help you stay on top of your skin health.
Don’t Pick at Acne
We know this can feel impossible sometimes, but this is one of the best things you can do to prevent scarring from acne. The dirt and bacteria hiding under our fingernails can get introduced into your skin when you pop or pick at acne. Popping zits may also cause inflammation, and inflammation can lead to scarring.
How Can These Scars Be Treated?
When your body tries to heal a scar, it triggers your body’s elastin and collagen processes. Elastin and collagen are both crucial building blocks to the skin and help it maintain its structure.
If your skin didn’t produce enough collagen to repair your scars, a treatment that stimulates your natural collagen production can be helpful in reducing the appearance of scars caused by acne.
There’s No “One Size Fits All” Treatment
Our team recognizes that every person and their skin is unique, and there’s not a single treatment that will work for everyone. That’s why we encourage you to come in for a consultation so we can take a look at your needs and your skin health. That way we can help you settle on a treatment plan that has the best chance of working for you.
For instance, there’s a range of laser treatments that can be adjusted to fit your needs. These treatments can help fade scars, encourage healthy skin regeneration, and improve overall skin texture.
How Long Will Acne Scar Treatment Last?
The type of scar you’re having treated and the type of treatment you receive can both impact how long you can expect to enjoy your results.
If you receive dermal fillers to fill the indents caused by some acne scars, this treatment will have to be occasionally redone to keep up your results, but the improvements can be significant. Laser treatment is another option that can offer long lasting results. Our team can give you a better idea of what timeline you can expect when we know which treatment is a good fit for you.
How Can I Tell if I’m a Good Candidate?
The type of acne scars you have will play a role in deciding the best treatment option for you. Effective treatments for all skin types and tones are available, and a consultation will give us the missing information we need to help you.
When you come in to visit us, we can give you a realistic idea of what you can expect. In the end, our goal is to bring each of our patients effective options that will leave them with smooth, clear, and healthy skin.
Rediscover Clear Skin
If you’d like to learn more about the treatment options we provide, why not drop us a line? Reach out to us today at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY, to set up a consultation! Besides our main location, we also have offices in Flushing, NY, Bronx, NY, and Englewood, NJ. Our experienced team looks forward to helping you achieve your skin goals.