Having acne can already be an uncomfortable experience, and the scarring that comes with it isn’t always a welcomed reminder of the past. We’re here to share that you don't have to bear these scars of old breakouts, though! Understanding acne scars' origins can help you reduce their profile — or even prevent them all together.
Causes of Acne Scars
All zits aren't created equally. Inflamed cysts, pustules and similar types of acne are most prone to scarring. Whether or not a blemish actually results in scarring, however, is determined by a variety of factors. One of the most prominent of these is genetics. Acne scarring tends to run in the family, so if Mom or Dad fought the good fight against inflammatory acne, your odds of jumping into the blemish battle are higher.
Another fundamental factor that determines whether or not you're prone to acne scarring is your complexion. If you have fair skin, you're more likely to experience issues with persistent redness, known as acne erythema, after inflammatory breakouts. If you have a darker complexion, your odds of developing brown blemishes, or hyperpigmentation, are higher.
Different Types of Scarring
Treating acne scars is easier if you know what you're up against. We got you covered! Dermatologists have identified four types of acne scars:
- Ice pick: Deep cylinders of damaged tissue that occur when cystic acne moves to the surface and damages the skin, leaving behind small marks that look like pin pricks
- Hypertrophic: Raised scars that result from the overproduction of collagen during the acne healing process
- Rolling: Wide, buckled bands of scar tissue that sit between the hypodermis and the epidermis
- Boxcar: Sunken, angled scars that are the result of destroyed collagen
Best Treatments for Acne Scars
The best acne scar products are those that won't irritate your skin. Ditch the chemicals that can amp up inflammation and instead seek out restorative, plant-based ingredients such as blue tansy, rosehips or black cumin seeds. Skin care that includes natural brightening agents such as tamanu can also minimize discoloration without causing additional breakouts or dehydrating your skin. To keep it simple, read labels closely and look for clean ingredients that will invigorate your skin, not aggravate it.
How To Prevent Acne Scarring
First things first, your gut feeling was right: Don’t pop, pick, or otherwise play with your pimples, pustules, and papules. All this will do is irritate them further! This increases both inflammation and the potential for scarring. You could also break the skin, giving bacteria an open invitation.
Second, stay out of the sun. Its rays can cause skin discoloration to intensify, so buy that stylish hat you've had your eye on or load up on the SPF 30 before you hit the trail.
Finally, say goodbye to skin care products with severe ingredients from your daily routine. Don't just choose a moisturizer for acne scars that utilizes natural ingredients, for example; make sure your daily cleanser, regular face mist and other go-to skin care products aren't bolstered by chemicals that will actually dry out your skin, increase the duration and severity of breakouts, and boost the chance of scarring.
Don't Let Acne Scars Get You Down
Acne scars don't have to be the unwanted gift that keeps on giving. Listen to your skin. Choose natural products with soothing, plant-based ingredients to banish irritation and minimize scars of all shapes and sizes.