Tips for Preventing Acne Scars

dermatology practice buckhead atlanta ga

Dealing with acne breakouts is hard enough. If you are experiencing acne, you know all too well that it can have a serious impact on your self-confidence and self-esteem. With acne scarring, every new pimple can leave you feeling frustrated knowing that a new scar could develop.

Scarring is the body’s natural response to an injury. Acne scarring can leave people with visible marks that can stick around for a very long time if they are not treated. Preventing acne scars is possible. However, it starts by properly treating your acne breakouts in the first place.

If you have acne and acne scarring, read on to learn how you can prevent new acne scars and treat current scars to improve the look of your skin. Like any skin condition, acne and acne scarring is best treated by an experienced dermatologist. Atlanta-area dermatologist Dr. Straughn at Buckhead Dermatology is one of the leading acne dermatologists in the area, specializing in skin of color. If you are concerned about scarring after a break out, contact Buckhead Dermatology today to schedule an appointment.

What is acne scarring? 

Acne, especially papules, cysts or other deep clogged pores, can cause damage to the hair follicle. A pimple forms when sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria cause inflammation within the follicle. Deep inflammation can cause a tear in the follicle wall which can release bacteria, oil and dead skin cells into the dermis layer of the skin.

In response, your body goes into over drive forming collagen fibers at the site of the injury. Collagen provides strength and flexibility to your skin. Sometimes, the repair job does not return skin to its prior state. Instead, you will be left with an indented or raised scar.

There are different kinds of scarring that people with acne may experience. If the body has responded by producing too much collagen fiber, you may develop a raised, keloid scar. If the body’s response involved too little collagen fiber, it may present as an indented scar. Some examples include rolling scars, boxcar scars and icepick scars.

Rolling scars: Indented scars that have a wave-like appearance on the skin. Rolling scars appear ruddy, but smooth. 

Boxcar scars: Shallow, indented scars that are more defined than rolling scars. 

Icepick scars: Deep, narrow scars that look like very large pores. They can look like blackheads. 

4 Tips for Preventing Acne Scars

There are things you can do to reduce your chances of developing a scar. While there are effective treatments available, they can take time and be expensive. Your best bet is to focus on prevention first. Follow these tips to reduce your chances of developing an acne scar. 

Seek help from your dermatologist. 

If you are experiencing regular breakouts, it is important to begin treatment right away by getting on an effective plan. With the help of your dermatologist, you may be able to treat current pimples, prevent the appearance of new breakouts and prevent deep inflammation. By treating your entire face, you are taking steps to block breakouts from happening, not simply treating them pimple-by-pimple. 

Don’t pop or pick pimples. 

It can be tempting to pop a pimple with the hopes of it going away faster. In most cases, this only makes the inflammation worse and therefore makes your chances of scarring even greater. When you pop or pick at pimples, you are spreading the bacteria that is inside the inflamed follicle which can cause the pimple to become more severe. 

Reduce inflammation. 

Scarring most likely happens because of a deeply inflamed follicle. When you do develop a pimple, take steps to reduce inflammation. Avoid popping, picking or squeezing. Refrain from using harsh scrubs and cleansers. Icing can be an effective way to reduce inflammation and the overall appearance of a pimple. 

Protect your skin from the sun. 

It is good advice to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater every day. But it is even more important for people who have acne. The sun can cause red spots from past pimples to darken. It can also result in scars appearing darker, making them even more visible.

Possible Treatments for Acne Scarring

If you have acne scars, it is recommended that you speak to a dermatologist about your treatment options. Patients have had positive results reducing the appearance of acne scars using treatments including:

  • Prescription Retin-A
  • Microdermabrasion 
  • Chemical peels 
  • Micro-needling 
  • Laser therapies

Acne Dermatologist Atlanta

If you are experiencing acne and acne scarring, there are things you can do to improve the appearance of your skin. A reputable dermatologist should be your first stop when looking to begin an effective treatment plan. While acne is not curable, it can be controlled. Contact Buckhead Dermatology today for an appointment with the leading Atlanta acne dermatologist.