How Does Acne Cause Scars
Your skin is your largest organ. It has three main layers. They are, starting with the outermost, the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. The layers protect your fragile insides from the elements, from UV rays and bacteria, and they also help produce vitamin D thanks to sunlight. Any area with sebaceous glands is prone to acne especially the face, back and chest.
Acne scars are the result of inflammation of acne blemishes. The acne pore swells and a breakdown occurs in the wall of the pore. Some acne blemishes are small and the scars created are shallow and heal quickly. Sometimes the contents of blemishes spill into the surrounding tissue and cause deeper scars. The skins response is to repair the scar by forming new collagen fibers.
Acne scars take on two main forms: either a scar develops when there is a loss of tissue, resulting in an indentation in the surface of the skin or, a scar develops that is raised on the surface of the skin. This type of acne scar, in fact, is a sign that your skin is doing its job but, perhaps, too well. Your skin creates collagen to help heal the wound the acne but, if it makes too much collagen, raised scars form.
Keep in mind that just because you have acne, that doesnt mean youll get scars. And if you do , the good news is that not all acne scars are permanent! Treatments are available. Some treatments nearly remove the scars while others help the skin heal itself with its own collagen.
Things You Can Try If You Have Acne
These self-help techniques may be useful:
- Do not wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day. Frequent washing can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse.
- Wash the affected area with a mild soap or cleanser and lukewarm water. Very hot or cold water can make acne worse.
- Do not try to “clean out” blackheads or squeeze spots. This can make them worse and cause permanent scarring.
- Avoid using too much make-up and cosmetics. Use water-based products that are described as non-comedogenic. This means the product is less likely to block the pores in your skin.
- Completely remove make-up before going to bed.
- If dry skin is a problem, use a fragrance-free water-based emollient.
- Regular exercise cannot improve your acne, but it can boost your mood and improve your self-esteem. Shower as soon as possible once you finish exercising as sweat can irritate your acne.
- Wash your hair regularly and try to avoid letting your hair fall across your face.
Although acne cannot be cured, it can be controlled with treatment.
If you develop mild acne, it’s a good idea to speak to a pharmacist for advice.
Several creams, lotions and gels for treating spots are available to buy from pharmacies.
Products containing a low concentration of benzoyl peroxide may be recommended, but be careful as this can bleach clothing.
If your acne is severe or appears on your chest and back, it may need to be treated with antibiotics or stronger creams that are only available on prescription.
Are Black Pimples Bad
Specifically, dark spots from acne, referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation , is often a chief complaint. Severe: a combination of comedones, papules and even cysts. It often has significant inflammation, pain and even scarring. Because this type usually leads to scarring, early treatment is important.
Recommended Reading: How To Heal Fresh Acne Scars
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Acne Scars
- Whats the best makeup I can use to cover my acne scars?
- Which in-office procedure is best for me?
- Do acne scar removal treatments hurt?
- What will my skin look like right after the procedure?
- How long will it take my skin to recover from the procedure?
- Which over-the-counter medication is best for me?
- How can I prevent scars from returning?
- Are acne treatment procedures covered by insurance?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Acne is common very normal and so are acne scars. There are treatments for acne, and there are treatments for acne scars. Some choose to just live with their acne scars while others decide that the scars interrupt their daily lives too much. You can decide to get treatment, or decide not to. You have options and youre in control.
Stay in touch with your dermatologist and any other healthcare providers you see and make sure you ask about treatment options , raise any questions and voice any concerns. You and your doctors will work together to make decisions best suited for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/23/2020.
When Does Acne Go Away
So When Does Acne Go Away? Most people tend to associate acne with youth. However, being young does not equate to having acne. A poor diet , stress, teenage oily skin, pubescence, and hormonal changes are strongly linked to pesky breakouts or even cystic acne. You must be wondering when acne will go away. Just thinking about being free from its hold can provide you with much-needed relief. You are not the only one who finds it to be a sick joke. What you want is hope and optimism to finally not have to deal with breakouts. The truth is that its root causes have to be addressed if you want to achieve flawless skin.
Recommended Reading: How To Clear Up Acne Naturally
Mild Vs Severe Scarring
Treatments depend on how severe the scars are. In some cases, a doctor or dermatologist may suggest a chemical peel or microdermabrasion to help improve the appearance of scarred areas. These milder treatments can be done right in the office.
For serious scarring from previous bouts with acne, several types of treatment can help:
- Laser resurfacing. This procedure can be done in the doctor’s or dermatologist’s office. The laser removes the damaged top layer of skin and tightens the middle layer, leaving skin smoother. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. The doctor will try to lessen any pain by first numbing the skin with local anesthesia. It usually takes between 3 and 10 days for the skin to heal completely.
- Dermabrasion. This treatment uses a rotating wire brush or spinning diamond instrument to wear down the surface of the skin. As the skin heals, a new, smoother layer replaces the abraded skin. It may take a bit longer for skin to heal using dermabrasion usually between 10 days and 3 weeks.
- Fractional laser therapy. This type of treatment works at a deeper level than laser resurfacing or dermabrasion, Because fractional laser therapy doesn’t wound the top layer of tissue, healing time is shorter. Someone who has had this type of treatment may just look a bit sunburned for a couple of days.
Types Of Pigmentation On Skin
Our skin produces a pigment called melanin that gives it colour. Certain conditions increase melanin production leading to dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
Pigmentation or dark spots on skin can be of any of the following categories:
- Hyperpigmentation on face
- Dark spots caused due to acne
- Overall dark complexion due to sun exposure
Learn about these skin conditions and the underlying causes. Read on to know more about pigmentation and how to avoid it.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Dark Spots From Pimples
How To Remove Dark Spots Caused By Pimples
Do Acne Scars Go Away
October 29, 20207 min read
Isnt it frustrating to keep trying treatments for your acne scars to go away but none of them seems to work?Acne in itself is quite emotionally draining! But the prominent acne scars they left behind is causing you more stress? The good news is, these scars can be treated. It is important to know your skin before you begin any treatments.
Also Check: How Can I Remove Acne
Fade Acne Scars With Over
Over-the-counter or nonprescription products may also help minimize the appearance of acne scars.
Even though dark spots may fade over time on their own, an over-the-counter medicated dark spot remover with hydroquinone may help these scars fade quicker, notes Yoram Harth, MD, a dermatologist and the medical director of MDacne in San Francisco.
In addition, acne treatments with alpha hydroxy acids can stimulate the growth of new skin, minimizing the appearance of old scars while simultaneously preventing the formation of new acne, says the Mayo Clinic. When shopping for an acne treatment, look for products that contain alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid.
If over-the-counter products dont fade acne scars, concealer and foundation can help camouflage discoloration.
How A Dermatologist Can Help
If the treatment youre using fails to deliver the results you want, you may want to see a dermatologist. Dark spots and patches can be a challenge to treat. To fade some, you need more than a skin lightener.
A dermatologist has the knowledge and expertise to safely combine treatments to help you get the best results.
Images Image 1: Used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 63:274-83.
References Heath CR and Taylor SC. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. In: Kelly AP, Taylor SC. Dermatology for Skin of Color. McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2009:337-340.
Manuskiatti W, Triwongwaranat D, et al. Efficacy and safety of a carbon-dioxide ablative fractional resurfacing device for treatment of atrophic acne scars in Asians. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 63:274-83.
Roberts WE. Melasma. In: Kelly AP, Taylor SC. Dermatology for Skin of Color. McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2009:332-6.
Also Check: Can You Get Acne On Your Arms
Q How Long Will It Take For The Dark Spots To Completely Fade Away
A. It all depends on the treatment you choose. With retinol, it could take up to two to three months but you will see some major results. Vitamin C serums and masks work a bit quicker but will still take two months for completely clear skin. Laser treatment will take about four sittings which should be spaced out by two weeks for each one. You will see results after two sittings of laser treatment. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion gradually fade away the spots depending on how pigmented they are. Pimple patches will give you instant results.
How Do You Get Rid Of Dark Spots Fast
Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the dark spots before bedtime. Rinse the face in the morning with warm water. Licorice extract: Glabridin in licorice inhibits the activity of melanocytes, therefore helping in skin lightening. Creams containing licorice are available as over-the-counter topical products.
Read Also: How To Rid Of Hormonal Acne
Are Some People More Prone To Acne Scars
For some people, scarring is, unfortunately, due to genetics. “There are definitely families that have a genetic tendency to bad scarring,” Ciraldo says, pointing to the hereditary nature of issues like hyperpigmentation and keloid scarring. Keloid scarring, in particular, is more common in certain ethnic populations. “Keloids are more common in both dark skin as well as Asian skin,” Ciraldo says, adding that fair-skinned redheads are also prone to keloids.
If your parents or siblings have a history of scarring or struggle with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, it’s all the more important that you chat with a derm. “It is essential to see a dermatologist for guidance on acne treatment and how to treat any acne scars that may form,” Ciraldo adds.
Treating Dark Spots At Home
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What Is The Fastest Way To Fade Post Acne Hyperpigmentation
According to Ayodele, a chemical peel is also a great way to fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, as it will help the skin to exfoliate quickly and fade the discolouration. Alpha-hydroxy-acids such as glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid work by dissolving the glue that holds dead skin cells together, revealing
Hypertrophic Scars And Keloids
Poonsak Pornnatwuttikul/Alamy Natallia Mikulich/Shutterstock
Some types of acne leave scars that appear as enlarged, raised growths of tissue. These acne scars are caused by too much scar tissue. Hypertrophic scars and keloids look similar, but the latter are more raised than the former.
More on Managing Acne
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How To Treat Hyperpigmentation
First, get your skin completely clear from active acne. This way you are preventing any future hyperpigmentation.
Once you are clear, you can try a hyperpigmentation treatment to reduce the marks you might have. Topical treatments are the first choice for treating hyperpigmentation. The treatments most commonly prescribed by dermatologists are hydroquinone and retinoids.11
Hydroquinone is often referred to as the “gold standard” for treatment of hyperpigmentation.12
It is normally used at a concentration of 4%. In higher concentrations it can cause “spotted halos,” which appear as lighter colored ring around marks. Hydroquinone treatment results in a marked improvement or complete clearing of PIH in 63% of the patients.4
The efficacy of hydroquinone may be increased by the addition of a retinoid and a low potency corticosteroid, such as hydrocortisone.13
Side effects of hydroquinone include burning, redness, and itching in 30% of the patients.12 The addition of ascorbic acid to a topical hydroquinone treatment may help minimize side effects.2-3
Hyperpigmentation starts to subside after 4 weeks of hydroquinone treatment, but maximum results usually require 8 to 12 weeks of treatment. Be certain to work closely with your physician or dermatologist if you decide to use hydroquinone to ensure proper dosage and reduction of side effects.
Retinoids: Tretinoin , Adapalene , or Tazarotene
Expand to read details of studies
Niacinamide, also known as Nicotinamide
Acne In Skin Of Color
What is Acne?
Chere Lucas, MD
Acne is a common skin problem. It is commonly called breakouts or pimples and can happen at any age. Usually starting when people are in their early teens, acne can continue into a persons 30s or 40s. In some individuals, acne can start later in life even if a person never had acne as a teenager. Acne can occur on the face, chest, shoulders and back. It can be very mild with only a few pimples or severe with cysts and scarring. Acne can be frustrating, but it is treatable.
For skin of color patients who develop acne, the secondary skin color changes can be of primary importance. Specifically, dark spots from acne, referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation , is often a chief complaint.
Different types of Acne
Mild: A few comedones with little inflammation
Moderate: More comedones or even pustules , inflammation and few papules
Severe: a combination of comedones, papules and even cysts. It often has significant inflammation, pain and even scarring. Because this type usually leads to scarring, early treatment is important.
What causes acne?
What Makes Acne Worse?
Squeezing, scrubbing or picking at the skinIrritants from the environment Greasy products such as skin or hair products with oilMake-up and makeup brushes that arent cleanHormones, acne often worsens during puberty and may be related to womens menstrual cyclesThings that put pressure on your skin: sports wear, helmets, cell phonesGrease in workplace
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Getting A Professional Treatment