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Acne Scarring: How to Prevent and Treat It

While acne is often associated with puberty and the teen years, the scars that breakouts leave behind can last long after you enter adulthood. By understanding how to prevent acne scars and your treatment options, you can help improve your skin’s appearance.

What Is Acne Scarring?

Acne scars are areas of pitted skin resulting from damage from lesions, inflamed blemishes and cysts. When a pore becomes engorged with bacteria, excess oil or dead skin cells, it can swell and break the follicle wall. To repair the damage, the skin begins forming new collagen fibers. However, this new collagen never resembles the skin’s original appearance before the injury, resulting in the formation of a scar.

Different Types of Acne Scars

Dermatologists separate acne scars into four main categories:

  1. Hypertrophic or keloid scars: Raised scars that appear red and may be itchy or irritating
  2. Rolling scars: Shallow scars with soft edges that create a wave-like appearance
  3. Icepick scars: Deep, narrow scars that look like an empty pore
  4. Boxcar scars: Shallow scars with sharp edges that look like small imprints on the skin

How to Prevent Acne Scarring

One of the best ways to prevent acne scarring is to get your acne under control as soon as it forms. Treat your acne as quickly as possible, and make an appointment with your provider if it isn’t improving. Some other methods you can use to prevent scarring include:

  • Reduce inflammation: Large, inflamed blemishes are more likely to cause scarring than more minor breakouts. You can prevent further irritation by calming any inflammation as soon as possible and avoiding aggressive scrubbing.
  • Don’t squeeze or pick at breakouts: Picking or squeezing blemishes can force dirt and bacteria deeper into your skin, spreading or worsening your inflammation. Do your best to leave blemishes alone and let them heal on their own time.
  • Look into prescription treatment options: Over-the-counter products are not ideal for nodular or cystic breakouts, which are the most likely to cause scars. Receiving prescription strength medication can reduce your breakouts and limit your chances of scarring.

Are Acne Scars Permanent?

The good news is that most acne scars are not permanent. Since everyone experiences acne differently, the proper treatment will vary depending on your scarring and overall goals. Some ways you can treat acne scars include:

  • Chemical peels: A chemical peel involves using acids of various strengths to remove acne-causing bacteria and reduce the appearance of scarring. 
  • Microneedling: A microneedling procedure uses fine needles to create “micro-tunnels.” This helps the skin produce collagen to plump deeper scars and reduce the overall size of your pores.
  • Laser skin resurfacing: Laser skin resurfacing is best for individuals whose acne has cleared. It involves removing the top layer of skin to stimulate collagen production and rejuvenate the skin.

How Long Does It Take to See Results From Treatment?

The amount of time it takes to see results depends on which treatment you receive. For example, the most popular options, such as laser treatment for acne scars, can take four to six weeks for results to occur. Since acne scar treatment needs to break down old tissue before it can start healing the skin, advanced scars can take up to six months to fully recover, while more moderate scars may heal in just four weeks.

How Much Does It Cost to Receive Acne Scar Treatment?

The final cost of acne scar treatment will depend on:

  • How many scars you wish to treat
  • The treatment area’s size
  • The number of treatments needed
  • Your provider’s experience level

During your consultation with Berman Skin Institute, we will discuss the exact cost of your treatment.

Treat Your Acne Scars at Berman Skin Institute

At Berman Skin Institute, we want to help your skin look its best. We offer various acne scar treatment options and are here to work with you to develop the right treatment for your needs. Schedule an appointment at one of our California locations today!

Treat Your Acne Scars at Berman Skin Institute

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