The emotional effects of acne are often as bad, if not worse, than the spots themselves. Of all the complications and issues linked to acne, scarring can often seem to be one of the scariest. Most of us believe scars to be something permanent that will only slightly fade over a long period of time, if at all. Understandably those with facial acne scars are more concerned than most about how long this fading process will take, or if it will even happen!
Whilst many people chose not to try to remove scarring on other parts of the body, those with facial scarring from acne can find that it has a negative impact on their self-esteem. In the search for a quick-fix to scarring issues, the simplest solutions are often overlooked in favour of extreme solutions like cosmetic surgery and laser treatments.
Most dermatologists believe the best way to treat scarring is with an ‘individualised treatment plan’ as acne scars are unique in appearance and can be complex. So how do you treat scarring with skincare?
So what causes acne scarring?
Fundamentally scarring occurs when spots burst and damage nearby skin. Normal tissue in the skin is then destroyed and replaced with fibrous tissue. When the damage caused by acne is severe the body responds by creating too much or too little tissue. These lead to different scars. The deeper and more inflamed the acne lesion, the more likely it is to scar.
Can you do anything to avoid scarring?
So the good news is acne scarring is sometimes preventable by cutting out our bad habits! As tempting as it is to take the problem into your own hands, never pick or squeeze spots. Picking and squeezing spots will increase your chances of scarring. Sun exposure can also cause marks and scars to darken, so make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen.
So can I treat acne scarring with skincare solutions?
Most of us find it difficult to fit in dermatologist meetings in our busy lives, or don’t have the means to pay for expensive sessions or cosmetic surgery procedures. Some skin care brands have responded to the demand by launching specialised products that can be used at home to combat the signs of scarring.
What do I need to use?
Treating acne scars when their fresh is best (but don’t fret if they’re not!), using a mild exfoliant is a good idea as it will get rid of scarred skin cells. Salicylic acid and LHA are ingredients to look out for as these will help skin cells turnover quickly, bringing fresh new skin to the surface, and a smile to your face. If you didn’t manage to treat the scar whilst it was new Dermatologists suggest trying exfoliating and brightening skin care products will help fade old red or brown spots. Spot faders like vitamin C are good, and skin regenerators like vitamin A (retinol). Most dermatologists recommend using a skin caring cocktail of all of these for best results.
Acne scars are scary stuff, there’s no doubt about it. But armed with the right information and ingredients it is possible to conquer your scars. Be patient and take positive steps will be so worth it when you have clear skin and the new-found confidence to match.
This article is intended as general information only. You should seek advice from a professional before starting any new regime or course of conduct.