Acne is the most common skin disease in the world — 80 percent of all people experience an acne breakout at some point in their lives, often during the teenage years. Acne scars are part of the skin’s healing process. It’s a condition caused by injury to the skin from the acne. Acne scarring is almost as common as acne itself.
Acne scars are red or brown spots that can take weeks to go away. Sometimes, they never go away completely. In the case of lasting acne scars, they become permanent blemishes that can often resemble dents or pits on your face. The scarring can be painful and embarrassing. As with most medical conditions, the earlier your contact your Manhattan dermatologist, the better.
Avne Scars should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.
Causes of Acne Scarring
Pimples occur when hair follicles (or pores) are clogged and infected by natural oil and dead skin cells. Depending on your body’s ability to rid the follicle of dead skin and your personal skin care, you may be more or less prone to acne. The different types and degrees of pimples include:
- Whiteheads: Pimples that remain under the surface of the skin
- Blackheads: Not caused by dirt, but look black on the surface of the skin
- Papules: Small pink bumps that are frequently tender
- Pustules: Red bumps with whiteheads caused by pus buildup
- Nodules: Large, red, painful pimples that are deep in the skin
- Cysts: Deep, pus-filled, painful pimples that cause acne scarring
The deepest of these pimples are what cause acne scarring. They are painful, embarrassing, and require a dermatologist in New York to diagnose and prescribe treatments to prevent further acne development and heal existing scarring.
The Difference Between Acne Marks and Acne Scars
Acne marks and scars differ in their permanence on the skin. Acne marks often go away on their own after many months or even years. Acne scars, on the other hand, are permanent and require a dermatologist to treat.
Because acne marks are red or brown in color, you may mistake this post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for scars. If you visit your NYC dermatologist, a visual exam may be enough to distinguish your acne marks from your scars. A good dermatologist then can prescribe appropriate treatment.
What Makes Acne Worse
There are a number of conditions and factors that can make your acne worse. You can avoid some of these things, but not everything. Some of the factors that make acne worse are:
- Genetics, including your family history with acne
- Hormone changes — typically during puberty, women’s menstrual cycles, and menopause
- Humidity or air pollution
- Certain makeup brands
- Some medications
- Scrubbing or harsh washes
- Squeezing and picking at pimples
- Inappropriate face washes, lotions, or treatments
To make matters worse, over-the-counter remedies often don’t work as advertised. That’s why your dermatologist needs to treat your skin. After your exam, you and your dermatology doctor can come up a customized plan to cure your acne scars.
Types of Acne Scarring
There are two different types of scars your skin creates:
- Hypertropic: Where scar tissue is raised and forms a keloid, a type of scar
- Atrophic: Where you experience a loss of tissue that causes a depression in your skin:
- Scars with a more shallow dip or depression are sometimes called rolling acne scars
- Scars that are very deep and narrow are sometimes called ice pick scars
More often, acne causes atrophic scarring, which can be unsightly and permanent without proper treatment. The deeper the dip created by your scarring, the more difficult it is to treat. Your treatment depends on the severity and depth of your acne scars. Your New York City dermatologist can help guide you through diagnosing your acne scars and picking a treatment that’ll be most successful.
Acne Scarring Prevention
Prevention of new blemishes in conjunction with scar treatment gives your face the best chance to reduce permanent damage. Many people make their acne and scars worse by using over-the-counter face washes, treatments, and lotions. More often than not, these make your acne scars worse because they agitate the skin and make your scars more red and noticeable.
Instead, you should see your NY dermatologist at the first sign of acne to be diagnosed and receive the most effective preventative treatment for acne and acne scars. This is an important first step no matter what stage your acne is in because you’ll need to treat existing acne to prevent further scarring before treating old scars.
Acne Scarring Treatment
Your New York City dermatologist meets with you to diagnose your condition and come up with a personalized plan to effectively treat your acne and minimize your acne scars — because treating both is necessary. Here are some of the common methods for treating acne scars:
- Existing Acne Treatment: First and foremost, your Manhattan dermatologist helps you get your acne under control. You must prevent new blemishes from forming while you’re treating scars. Acne treatment can take the form of antibiotics, prescriptions, contraceptives, or topical creams that contain retinoids, according to the Osteopathic College of Dermatology.
- Laser Resurfacing: Laser resurfacing is a technique commonly used for acne scars that have caused holes in your skin. It’s a highly effective technique that causes the area to heal properly with the use of antibiotic ointments that are applied to the skin after treatment.
- Surgery: Considered one of the most effective ways to treat acne scars, this surgery fills in the depressions on your face and minimizes the scars’ appearance. You’ll face some bruising and healing time that’s commonly associated with this procedure.
- Injections: Using synthetic fillers — although sometimes tissue from your own body is used — your dermatologist injects it into the dips caused by acne. This procedure has to be repeated every few months, and your recovery time is about three days.
- Chemical Peels: Your dermatologist applies an acidic solution, which causes your skin to shed its top layer. This damage forces new cell growth and reduces the visibility of old acne scars. Healing time for chemical peels is usually a couple of weeks.
Acne scarring is common and a real problem for many people of all ages. The scars can cause self-confidence issues and depression. But acne and acne scars can be treated. If you’re suffering from acne scars, call your local dermatologist in NYC today to set up a consultation.
Acne scars should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Acne Scars? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, best NYC Dermatologist, Dr. James Taft of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC office for consultation with cosmetic dermatologist.
Dr. James Taft (Laser Cosmetic Dermatology of NY)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 889-2402