The first thing that anyone notices about you is your face. It goes without saying that any scar or blemish on your face, thanks to acne, can leave you feeling so insecure about your looks and you would do absolutely anything to change your skin.
There are some simple steps to take initially to get your skin in the best condition possible before you start looking at more complex and expensive treatments to remove acne scars.
To start with, treating acne and treating the scars left behind by acne are two different things.
DO NOT RUSH out there and buy anything that vows to restore your smooth skin. Although we have detailed the Top 10 Clear Skin Products on the market, it is important to note that a good skin care regime should be first and foremost in your mind.
If you skin is healthy and strong, then it will be prepared for potent treatments to remove acne scars.
Of course there will be other products providing a quick and temporary fix but they may not heal your skin properly.
Also it is not always possible to rule out the odd breakout all the time. But that is where the 80/20 rule applies. If you are eating well, sleeping well and getting lots of exercise and have a good skin care regime the majority of the time, this good foundation for clear skin will reduce breakouts.
The Science of Acne
For those of you that like to understand about the what, how’s and ‘why me’ when it comes to acne, let’s go into a little detail.
Acne is scientifically referred to as acne vulgar is or cystic acne. It is a very common skin ailment in humans and it manifests itself in any of the following forms:
- comedones (black or white heads),
- pustules (pimples),
- nodules (big papules),
- seborrhea (scaly red skin) and in some cases,scarring does occur.
Acne, more often than not strikes in three areas; the face, upper torso and the back. Why is this?
This is attributed to the fact that these body parts consist of the largest population of sebaceous follicles, that is, a larger percentage of oil glands are found here. Acne at its very worst is inflammatory though this is not always the case. Changes in pilosebaceous units and changes that require androgen stimulation are the reason behind the acne lesions.
When and Why Does It Occur?
Acne usually occurs around puberty as this is the period when oil glands really come to life. Sebaceous glands are set off by hormones in the adrenal glands that occur in both males and females. Acne is not as serious as a chronic disease or any other big disease the only problem is that if not well taken care of; it can lead to scarring in the patient.
Are Pimples The Same As Acne?
Our skin contains some pores that connect directly to sebaceous glands which are beneath the skin. The connection is made with the help of follicles (they resemble small canals). As the name suggests, sebaceous glands produce sebum which is a very oily liquid that carries dead skin cells via the follicles to the surface of the skin. A tiny hair grows through the follicle and out of the skin. When blockage occurs in theses follicles, the result is an accumulation of oil under the skin and remove acne scars hence a pimple also known as acne.
Why and how do acne scars occur?
When inflammation within the skin occurs as a result of acne, a wound usually occurs and in the process of the body trying to heal itself, it produces too much collagen in particular spots eventually leading to scarring. Well, we are not going to dwell on scientific jargon. In lay man’s terms, a scar occurs when there is tissue injury.
For acne, the injury occurs when the follicle is blocked leading to build up of sebum. Bacteria usually affects this build up leading to a wound and as the body tries to heal itself and in most cases, this usually leads to scarring. The intensity of the scars left behind depends on how bad the wound was. The bigger the wound, the bigger the scar. However do not worry we will be looking at the treatment of scars in just a bit.
What are the different types of acne scars?
The first step in treating acne scars is visiting a dermatologist for the correct identification of the scar (s) you have as there are different treatments for different scars.
Before acne scars are treated, some information about acne type is required. Acne scars refers to the depressions left bу acne lesions. Although removing acne scars is difficult, it’s not impossible. The main types of acne scars are:
- Depressed Acne Scars-These scars occur as a result of inflammatory acne
- Rolling Scars– these scars are left behind by acne that one has had for a long time.
- Boxcar Scars– Thеѕе are more defined and have steeper edges when compared to rolling scars
- Iсе Pick Scars– These are very deep scars making them very hard to treat with the traditional resurfacing procedures.
- Hypertrophic Scars– these scars show excess tissue of the scar at the injury site and manifest as a raised region оf firm and fibrous scar tissue.
- Keloid Scars– these are very huge scars that are rubbery.
Acne Scar Treatments
There are many ways to treat acne….but each case must be treated individually. Below are a few treatment types and it is highly recommended that you speak to your doctor or general practitioner for the best advice…
- Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
- Injections ( Kenacort)
- Spot fractional resurfacing (also known as Fractal)
- Punch excision and Subcision
- Steroid creams (cortisone)
- Dermal Fillers
- Laser resurfacing (CO2 laser, Pearl laser and YAG laser)
- Dermabrasion оr Dermasanding
- Chemical peeling or Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peel