What causes acne scars?
Acne scars generally result from inflamed blemishes that are caused by engorged skin pores. Skin pores can swell up from excessive oil, bacteria and dead skin cells, causing a break in the follicle wall. Minor breaks in the follicle wall do not take as long to heal, but a major one can cause infected material to spill out into surrounding tissue to create deeper lesions. Your skin actually has its own self-repair technique for lesions. New collagen fibers are formed and attempt to repair them. Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, making it harder for acne scars to fade. And even when our skin repairs itself, it does not look as pristine as that original dermal layer.
What are the main types of acne scars?
Scars resulting from acne are identified as either hypertrophic/keloid or atrophic/depressed. Hypertrophic/keloid scarring develops when the body produces too much collagen as acne wounds heal. They look like a mass of raised tissue on the surface of the skin.
Atrophic/depressed scars are caused by a loss of tissue. Often referred to as “icepick” scars, they appear as small, visible holes in the skin. “Boxcar” scars are depressions that are commonly round in shape. They can look similar to the scars you can get from the chickenpox.
What should I do if I already have acne scars?
Make sure to stay out of the sun. Excessive sun exposure can darken acne scars and make them more visible. Remember to avoid over-scrubbing when you wash your face. Friction will irritate inflamed skin. Never pick at your scars, especially if you haven’t washed your hands. Bacteria from your hands and nails can result in the formation of additional cysts.
Schedule treatments in New Hampshire or Massachusetts
At Dermatology & Skin Health in Dover, NH, Newington, NH and Peabody, MA, we use the CO2RE Fractional CO2 resurfacing system to treat acne scars. Laser treatments with CO2RE provide non-invasive, skin resurfacing to diminish acne scars without surgery or downtime.* We also use Vbeam Perfecta and Picoway Laser. To find out which treatment option will work for you, request a consultation online or give us a call at (603) 742-5556 (Dover & Newington) or (978) 525-0100 (Peabody).