Acne is a medical condition that can affect adolescents and adults. It causes painful bumps and spots to develop on the face, neck, back and/or arms. While acne may go away on its own at some point, the scars that it causes require professional treatment. If you’ve been wondering ‘do acne scars go away’, we’ve put our top tips together so you know what to do to get rid of acne scars.
What Causes Acne?
Acne develops when the hair follicles in your skin trap sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that is supposed to protect your skin but when it encounters bacteria and dead skin cells, spots and pimples develop. It is also accompanied by inflammation below the blocked follicles. Acne occurs commonly during puberty because of the hormonal changes that take place and affect the sebum your skin produces.
What Makes You More Susceptible To Acne?
Acne can be triggered by a number of factors that include
- Your diet
- Physical inactivity or being overweight
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
How Do Acne Scars Develop?
Acne can leave two types of scars when the breakouts clear: postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and what is referred to as true acne scars. How the blemishes develop depends on your skin tone and the severity of your acne breakouts.
Post Inflammation or Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation develops when a wound (a pimple or spot) is formed and the skin undergoes healing. The skin produces an excess of melanin, which results in darker and discoloured skin. This blemish may last for a few months after the wound has healed. If you do not want to wait for months, it can be treated with laser resurfacing and scar treatment.
There are different types of acne scars that can develop after post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The most common scars are
- Boxcar scars, which are shallow to medium depressions on the surface of the skin. They have Edges that are well defined and typically appear on the cheeks and temples
- Icepick scars, which are narrow and deep scars that penetrate into the skin’s lower layers
- Rolling atrophic scars, which are depressions in the skin
Sometimes a combination of scar types may develop on the skin.
Do Acne Scars Go Away?
Acne scars will not fade on their own. Scarring is a normal bodily response to skin trauma and in order to address or treating an acne scar, you will need to seek professional treatment from a registered and licensed dermatologist, aesthetician or plastic surgeon.
Because acne is a medical condition and can be very complex to treat, you must work with a professional aesthetician or plastic surgeon for the best outcome. Not all treatments for acne scars are suitable for patients with active breakouts.
If you have large areas of depressed acne scars, you may be able to use filler to build the depressions up.
If you have active acne, picking and squeezing your spots will not help and should be avoided. In doing this, you are creating more trauma to your skin and open wounds, which create an environment that is more conducive to the development of an acne scar.
How Can Laser Resurfacing And Scar Treatment Help?
Laser treatment can help to minimise the appearance of scar tissue. It can be used to remove the outer layer of the skin to improve the acne scar appearance or it can be used to stimulate the growth of new skin cells so that the damaged, scarred cells are covered. The laser makes use of heat and light to smooth out the texture of your skin.
Typically patients will require more than one laser treatment, but your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your acne scar. You may notice the results immediately after treatment, and you may need to wait a few weeks or months to see the results.
Laser treatments may help to
- Stop the formation of raised scars
- Reducing pain, irritation or itchiness
What To Do After Laser Resurfacing And Scar Treatment?
Most patients recover from laser treatment three to ten days after treatment. Your aesthetician will give you specific care instructions but in general, you can expect to
Stay out of direct sunlight for six weeks after your treatment
Avoid make up for the first few days after your treatment
How To Prepare For Your Laser Treatment?
Your medical practitioner will brief you on how best to prepare for your acne scar treatment but you can expect to
- Quit smoking at least two to three weeks before your treatment
- Avoid skincare products with retinol for four weeks before treatment
Wear sunblock and avoid unnecessary sun exposure. You should not have a tan or have spent too long in the sun before acne scar treatment, as it can cause burns to the skin
If you are susceptible to cold sores your medical practitioner may give you an antibiotic to take, in order to avoid an outbreak after acne scar treatment.
If you want to discuss do acne scars go away in more detail, it’s best to get professional advice. Please contact us for a convenient appointment: (02) 9158 6375.