What are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are the unwanted reminders of your previous blemishes. When your skin is recovering from an injury, like active acne, you will develop scars as a part of the healing process. Your scars are made of fibrous tissue that contains a protein called collagen. Collagen plays a vital role in your skin’s firmness, volume and elasticity. It is also the same skin protein that was damaged by the acne.
The texture of your scars will depend on the severity of your acne. Your scars may also be noticeable because they are usually dark and discolored.
What causes acne scars?
The inflammation from your active acne reduces the collagen and fat below the surface of your skin. As a result, you will have hollow scars once your acne has subsided. People with cystic acne are more likely to have scarring.
What can worsen acne scars?
There are some things to avoid when you are healing from acne because they could worsen the appearance of your scars. Exposing your skin to sunlight without proper protection could cause further discoloration of your scars. UV rays can also slow down your skin’s healing process.
It is also very important not to squeeze or pick your acne. Picking at your skin can cause more inflammation, deeper skin irritation and further damage your skin’s collagen.
Finally, topical vitamin E has been said to help to heal scars, but studies have proven otherwise. If you apply the vitamin directly to your scars, you could interrupt the healing process and make your scars look worse.
What can improve acne scars?
Over time, some of your acne scars will gradually fade. In the meantime, you can use cortisone creams to decrease inflammation of the skin and lightening creams to improve the hyperpigmentation of your scars.
To repair the texture of your skin, filler injections and laser technology can be used to fill in your scars. Lasers are very beneficial because they not only rebuild your collagen, they also correct skin discoloration. Syneron’s Fotofacial RF and Matrix RF and Lutronic’s Infini are great examples of effective laser treatments.
The Fotofacial RF uses uses focused light energy and radiofrequency to brighten and tighten your skin. The Matrix RF and Infini are more aggressive laser treatments that work great on depressed acne scars because they deeply penetrate the skin. The Matrix RF utilizes a fractional systemation and radiofrequency, while the Infini uses microneedles as well as radiofrequency for their desired results. All three lasers will improve the appearance of your acne scars because they will stimulate your skin’s collagen production and improve skin discoloration.