Scars from acne can seem like double punishment — first you had to deal with the pimples, now you have marks as a reminder. Most serious scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne. Affecting both the color and tex­ture of the skin, acne scars may appear as small dents in the skin’s sur­face or as raised scar tis­sue. In either case, scar­ring often cre­ates uneven pig­men­ta­tion in the form of red­ness or dark spots. Covering with make-up can help camouflage scars, but that’s not an option for everybody, and heavy make-up can lead to more breakouts. There are a few other things you can do to eliminate or lessen the appearance of acne scars but first, you need to make sure you don’t do anything to make your acne scars worse.

What makes acne scars worse?

Sun exposure

Exposing scars to the sun can cause them to darken and slow the healing process, because the sun’s ultraviolet rays stimulate pigment-producing cells, leading to further discoloration. Before heading outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that contains the ingredient zinc oxide. Reapply after swimming, sweating, or after more than 2 hours in the sun. Also, limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Picking and squeezing

Scars, which are made mainly of collagen (a protein fiber normally found in the skin’s second layer), are the body’s way of repairing itself. Acne scars are typically indented because of collagen loss from intense inflammation. Picking leads to further inflammation and injury of the skin, which adds to the skin’s discoloration and scarring. Squeezing or trying to pop a pimple causes pus and bacteria to filter deeper into the skin, resulting in more collagen damage.

How can we treat acne scars?

Depending on the severity of the acne scars, the treatment for the scarring varies. In some superficial cases, the doctor may suggest a chemical peel or laser collagen stimulation treatments to improve the skin texture. In more severe cases of acne scarring, Glo Medical Spa will customize a treatment plan to best assist you in your quest to reveal your skin’s inner beauty.