What Acne Scarring Is Not
An acne scar is a change in texture in your skin. Usually, its depressed. Its not a brown spot. Discoloration is temporary, but texture changes are permanent.
This bumpy texture, also known as cobblestoning, starts when a pimple creates an indentation. If you notice a low spot form from a pimple, get the dermatologist ASAP. The more aggressively you treat this type of acne, the less likely you are to deal with the long-term effects of acne scarring.
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.
How Long Does Acne Last
Acne normally starts during adolescence and only 20% continue with acne into adulthood. Commonly, most peoples acne starts between the ages of 10-13 and lasts for 5 to 10 years or into the early 20s. It goes away with age and proper treatment. Although these are statistical averages, no one knows how long acne will last for each individual person. Many teens and young adults find that their acne improves as they get older into their 20s and others have acne into their adult years.
You May Like: Is Lotion Good For Acne
What Does The Clear Skin Challenge Look Like
If youre committed to taking the Clear Skin Challenge, youll be checking in with your acne specialist every two weeks. Shell take a look at your progress and any areas where you might need some extra support. If your skin is ready to go to the next level, the concentration of your acne correctives will be increased and/or new products may be introduced into your skincare routine. Then, its up to you to stick to the plan! By treating that acne thats already forming beneath your skins surface and preventing new acne lesions from forming at the same time, youre breaking the acne cycle!
Continually challenging your skin is the key to stopping acne in its tracks. This strategy is the reason behind the 90% success rate we see with our acne clients. You no longer need to suffer through the pain and struggle that acne brings into your life. Our personalized approach to acne treatment, combined with your commitment to clear skin, is sure to bring you the results youve been hoping for. Your before and after pictures are going to be proof of all your hard work and determination!
Apply A Face Mask For Acne
There are a ton of face masks on the market these days, and many of them target pimples. Again, youll see ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which treat the acne directly by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation. Another ingredient that works in a similar way is sulfur. Sulfur may bring to mind match heads, hot springs, and the strong smell of eggs, but it is also used to treat pimples, especially milder outbreaks, and is often found in face masks. Sulfur is gentler than salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide and may be a better choice if you have sensitive skin.
In choosing a face mask for acne, other key words to look for are exfoliating and anti-inflammatory. Depending on your skin type, you can also choose among products that are calming, hydrating, soothing, or that detox your skin and have antioxidant or antibacterial properties. All face masks have different formulations that help to offset the drying effects of the acne-fighting ingredients and soothe the skin. Many use botanicals such as tea tree oil or green tea, both of which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Read Also: How Make Acne Go Away Fast
Symptoms Of Cystic Acne
As cystic acne tends to be severe and difficult to treat, its important to know the difference between cystic acne and other forms of acne, like whiteheads or blackheads. Signs of cystic acne include:
In addition to being the most serious form of acne, cystic pimples tend to be larger in size. Whiteheads can range in size from being barely noticeable to around 5 millimeters in size. Cysts, however, tend to be larger and elevated into a noticeable bump. Some may even appear more like boils on the skin.
While other breakouts appear to rest on the skins surface, cystic acne exists deeper within the skin. These fluid-filled lumps may feel more inflamed and extend deeper beneath the skins surface.
Painful to the touch
In addition to the depth of the lumps, cystic acne is more likely to be painful. When touched, the lump may feel tender or sore. In some cases, you may feel pain even when the lump hasnt been touched.
Difficult to extract
Cystic acne may be harder to extract than a regular pimple. When fully developed, other forms of acne may develop a white head, or a raised white point that can be squeezed to release pus from the clogged pore. Cystic lumps may not develop a white head. This is also called a blind pimple.
Why Is Dermatological Treatment Recommended For Acne Scars
When you have true scars that have changed the texture of your skin, youll need a medical procedure to see improvement. We use a laser specifically approved by the FDA for treating laser scars. Some people try chemical peels, which arent very effective. Others try dermabrasion, a technique like a sanding wheel on your skin, but theres a high risk of permanent scarring. A laser gets much better results without the same risk.
You May Like: What Birth Control Pill Is Best For Acne
How Do We Treat Acne Scarring
Depending on the type of scar being treated and your skin tone, various methods can be used to reduce acne scars. Ultimately, the goal of any treatment for acne scars is to increase collagen production in the sub-dermal layers beneath the scar so the scar will have volume similar to the surrounding skin tissue.
One of the most popular methods for treating acne scars is laser treatments and IPL light treatments. However, for those who have certain skin tones or types, these energy-based treatments may not be an ideal method for you. At Your Skin RN, we prefer treatments that can be used universally, no matter the tone or type of your skin. Our preferred treatments include:
EndyMed RF Microneedling
Radiofrequency microneedling is an incredibly powerful treatment to rejuvenate the appearance of the skin. This treatment can tackle all types of acne scars and is safe for virtually every patient. This treatment combines the thermal energy of radiofrequency with the regenerative power of microneedling into a simple single-step process that transforms the appearance of your skin from the inside out.
MD Pen With PRP
If you want to get the most out of your microneedling treatment, you may want to consider adding PRP to your treatment plan. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, which is the portion of your blood that is filled with numerous powerful self-healing tools. To obtain PRP, we perform a simple blood draw and isolate your plasma from your red blood cells.
How Do Pimples Form
“The formation of a blemish can start weeks, or potentially months before it ever appears visibly,” says Rouleau. “Most infected blemishes form due to pre-existing whiteheads and blackheads, which consist of blocked and hardened sebum deep within the pores. These become inflamed due to dead cells that line the hair follicle and create bacteria.” It’s important to note that all follicles contain bacteria naturally, she adds. When oxygen can easily flow into the follicle, the bacteria cant thrive or cause problems. It’s only when you get the perfect storm of a little too much sebum, plus some dead skin cells, that you’re put on the path to a pimple.
You May Like: How To Treat Different Types Of Acne
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Hormonal Acne
Though hormonal acne can be unavoidable, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of getting breakouts:
- Make lifestyle changes to reduce stress, get better sleep and eat a healthy diet.
- Use skincare products that wont clog pores.
- Discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider for persistent acne.
Resist The Urge To Pop It
First and foremostdon’t ever try to pop a deep pimple. Don’t poke it with a needle. Don’t squeeze it.
Squeezing, poking, or otherwise messing around with the blemish makes the healing time longer. It can actually make a big pimple bigger, and much worse.
Trying to pop a pimple can seriously damage your skin and cause scarring, especially when the pimple is rooted deep in your skin. Squeezing it puts pressure on the already swollen pilosebaceous unit, or what we commonly call the pore.
It can also push dirt, dead skin cells, and other debris deeper into your pore. This can cause the follicle wall to break and allow infected material to spread in the skin. As much as you might like to, don’t try to drain your pimple. Popping is rarely a good idea, especially when it comes to large zits.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Severe Acne Fast
Can Plan B Cause Acne Breakouts
Levonorgestrel which is responsible for Plan Bs ability to prevent the egg from being released from the ovary, as well as thicken the vaginal fluids to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg can have androgenic properties as it breaks down in the body, which can potentially lead to acne flare-ups and skin that
Does Diet Affect Cystic Acne
As mentioned above that one of the general causes of cystic acne can be your wrong diet or eating habits.
But, the basic information to catch here is that our body can respond to different food items in a different way.
Like dairy products can be very good in attaining a glowing skin for some, while it may worsen the skin problems for some.
Similarly, having food with high sugar content can accelerate the inflammation process resulting in the breakout of not only cysts but all kinds of acnes.
So, it is very important to understand your own body and observe as to what suits your skin type and what does not.
If you are able to find this out, minimize or discontinue the intake for the same. If for weeks you don’t get a new cystic acne, then you have your answer and the root cause of the problem too.
Thus, your eating habits play a great role in deciding the fact that in how much time your cystic acne gets cured.
Generally, you should reduce the intake of cheese or ice creams if you have cystic acnes or any type of pimple.
It may be the main culprit behind the cystic breakout. Our body reacts immediately and excretes out the things that it doesn’t agree with.
That is why when you have a lot of daily products and your stomach is unable to digest it properly then, it does come out in the form of cystic acnes or pimples.
Some people worry that they may have to cut out dairy products from their diet forever. But, that isnt the case
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Stress Induced Acne
What Gets Rid Of Redness From Acne Scars
Salicylic acid clears pores, reduces swelling and redness, and exfoliates the skin when applied topically. Its considered to be one of the best treatments for acne scars. You can add products with salicylic acid into your daily routine or your skin care specialist may use it for less frequent chemical peels.
What Causes Acne Scars And Dark Marks
The spots that linger after a pimple has healed are caused by inflammation that has disrupted the skins natural healing process. When your skin is opened up and then closes back together, you can get abnormal pigmentation, texture, and tone that looks different from the rest of your skin. Sometimes the broken blood vessels that remain after an acne lesion fades can result in a mark, says Dr. Bowe. For a number of people who are able to refrain from picking, inflamed pimples or blemishes can still leave a dark brown or red mark but these naturally fade over the course of a few months, notes dermatologist Heather C. Woolery-Lloyd, MD.
Since its pretty difficult to determine what causes one person to scar more than another, the best way to avoid scarring is to treat acne with a great skin care routine and that means you need to resist picking, poking, or touching a pimple.
Some acne marks and scars are completely within your control while others are pre-determined. Aside from genetics, there are several lifestyle habits that can make dark marks and scars worse. Spending time in the sun is a big one, and, to reiterate one last time, every dermatologist agrees that picking or squeezing pimples creates further inflammation and can ultimately lead to more damage.
Now that we know where acne scars and dark spots come from, lets dive into how to treat themstarting with acne scars.
Read Also: Does Honey Get Rid Of Acne Scars
You Dont Understand Your Acne
One of the biggest issues I see with people who suffer from acne is they dont understand their acnewhat causes it, why it flares up for some and calms down easily for others, what makes it worse or better.
Acne tends to occur around puberty when the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, start functioning. When too much sebum is produced, the oil can clog up pores and hair follicles. This attracts bacteria, which leads to acne. While teen boys seem to suffer more than teen girls, the problem performs a gender reversal as time goes on, and adult women tend to suffer from more acne flare-ups than adult men. Why? Blame hormones. This is why birth control pills, which can normalize hormones, often help cut down on acne.
Greasy foods, chocolate, and dairy dont cause acne, but certain foods can exacerbate it. So if youre on a strict skincare regimen but your skin isnt clearing up, you should take a look at your diet. Dairy, in particular, is known to cause problems with current acne-sufferers. Greasy foods are also bad for the skin.
Recommended Reading: Does Adapalene Help With Acne Scars
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- How severe is my acne?
- What lifestyle changes should I make to prevent hormonal acne from forming?
- What are the side effects to my acne treatment?
- Can I take this treatment if I become pregnant?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
It can be frustrating to see breakouts on your skin as an adult, considering they are most frequent among adolescents. Talk with your healthcare provider if your acne is persistent and they will be able to offer advanced treatment options to eliminate pesky pimples.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/10/2021.
Also Check: What Does Spironolactone Do For Acne
Acne Made Jills College Days Difficult
Jill had typical teenage acne, but what happened during her second year of college completely surprised her. Large, painful acne cysts and nodules began appearing on her face. She tried treating them with acne treatments that she could buy at the store. Nothing worked. Desperate for help, Jill went to her student health center.
Because Jills acne was severe, she was given a prescription for an antibiotic. This is often the first treatment given to a patient with severe acne. A dermatologist also injected medication into a few of her most painful cysts to help clear them. The treatment helped for a few days. Then her acne flared.
Her doctor prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic. Nothing worked. She felt devastated, and said that she just wished she could wear a veil.
She did stay in school, but it was difficult. Somehow, I managed to continue my studies, she said. But friendships and extracurricular activities suffered. The acne left her feeling too stressed and withdrawn. She felt alone.
Jill finally got relief from her acne when she saw a dermatologist who prescribed isotretinoin , a medication used to treat severe acne. The isotretinoin got her acne under control, but by this time, she had permanent scars and discolored skin.
After graduating, Jill moved back home. She didnt start looking for a job. Instead, she asked her parents if they would pay for surgery to treat her acne scars.
Use An Acne Treatment Medication
If you use topical acne treatments, continue to do so. You can even dab a bit more on the pimple to help it heal more quickly. There’s no need to use too much limit yourself to a twice-daily application. Using too much medication too often can dry out and irritate your skin rather than heal it.
There are also small, medicated “stickers” called hydrocolloid patches that you can place over a pimple. The medication helps dry out the pimple, while the sticker covers the pimple and keeps you from picking at it.
Be aware, however, that spot treatment works best for pustules. It won’t do much for deep nodules or cysts.
If you break out regularly but don’t typically use an acne treatment, now is a good time to start. Consistently using an acne treatment medication will stop pimples from forming before they become a huge blemish.
What you should never do for these large blemishes is try to spot-treat with items not meant for the skin. For example, things like garlic, honey, cinnamon, lemon, or toothpaste won’t treat large acne cysts, contrary to what some online sources say.
Home remedy spot treatments can’t get deep enough into the skin to do any good. At best, they’ll do nothing for the blemish. At worst, you’ll end up with an irritated spot or a red and itchy rash called contact dermatitis.
Recommended Reading: Why Do I Get Chest Acne