Scarring is a result of a wound or an injury, and is part of the skin’s normal healing process. As a general rule, most superficial wounds heal without scarring – it’s only when the dermis, the underlying layer of the skin, is damaged, that a scar forms.
Acne scars are most often the product of an inflamed lesion, such as a papule, pustule, or cyst. When the follicle or pore becomes engorged with excess skin sebum (oil); dead skin cells and bacteria, the pore swells and becomes inflamed.
He swelling can cause a break in the follicle wall. If the rupture happens near the skin surface, the lesion is usually minor and heals; but more serious lesions can occur if the break is deep in the follicle wall. The infected material spills out into the dermis and destroys healthy skin tissue.
How scars are made
To repair the damage done to the dermis, the skin forms new collagen fibres. Collagen is the fibrous protein that gives the skin its strength and flexibility. However, the skin often looks less smooth than it did before the injury, depending on the area of the body where the injury happened
As the wound heals, the body sometimes produces too much collagen, which creates a mass of raised tissue on the skin’s surface. This type of scarring is called hypertrophic, or keloid, scarring.
More commonly, acne causes atrophic, or depressed, scars. Atrophic scars develop when there is a loss of tissue. The greater the inflammation on the skin, the more likely scarring is to occur.
Deep breakouts that take a long time to heal also increase the chance of scarring. Blackheads, whiteheads, and other non-inflamed blemishes typically don’t cause scarring because these types of lesions don’t injure skin tissue.
Skin discolouration after acne
Often, what is taken to be an acne scar is not a true scar at all, but rather post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This temporary discoloration of the skin will eventually fade on its own. Certain treatment medications, such as Retin A, may speed fading time.
Acne Scar Prevention
To lessen the chance of scarring, try to reduce inflammatory breakouts as much as possible.
Cosmetic Doctor in Dublin has an acne clinic and Dr. Lisa Fay, as an MD, can write prescriptions for topical or oral solutions to help bring acne under control and minimise active breakouts.
Cosmetic Doctor also offers a number of treatments to help reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
To book an appointment with Dr Lisa Fay call 01 685 3100.