Talk about adding insult to injury — once you manage to get your acne in check and clear your skin, you could be left with permanent acne marks. The more severe your acne, and the longer you suffer from breakouts, the more likely you are to experience acne scarring. Those who struggle with cystic acne are especially prone to acne scars, but even mild acne can cause permanent scarring in certain cases.
The Four Basic Types of Acne Scars
Ice Pick Acne Scars:
Also known as “pits,” these scars are deep and narrow, making the skin look as though it’s been pierced by an ice pick. These are the most common type of scars caused by acne and are formed when an infection from a severe blemish destroys surrounding tissue.
These create a wave-like appearance on otherwise normal-looking skin. Rolling scars occur when fibrous bands of tissue develop under the skin’s surface and pull against deeper structures in the skin.
These are similar to ice pick scars, but wider. They also have more angular edges and usually occur on the temples and the cheeks when an inflammatory breakout destroys collagen and leaves the skin in the area without support. They can be superficial or deep, depending on how much collagen tissue was lost.
Generally, these are raised, firm scars caused by an overproduction of collagen. Some stay within the boundary of the original wound, while others, called Keloids, extend beyond the borders of the original wound.
Many people think red or dark marks that sometimes remain after a pimple heals are scars. In fact, these surface marks aren’t scars—instead, they’re known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. They are more common in darker skin tones, and these marks can last for years. There’s no real way to prevent them, aside from avoiding pimples in the first place. Topical lightening creams and more advanced dermatological procedures may help fade discolorations more quickly.
How to Deal with Acne Scarring
With every breakout, there’s a risk of permanent scarring—therefore, preventative measures are best.. It’s also crucial to avoid picking at your blemishes, which will only increase your increase your chances for permanently damaging your skin. If you already have scars, see a dermatologist—he or she can give you reliable information about procedures to minimize their appearance.
Click here to learn about back acne, those annoying acne outbreaks on your back.