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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | How to (Finally) Get Rid of Acne Scars

How to (Finally) Get Rid of Acne Scars

Embarrassing breakouts happen to the best of us. Even Dr. Schultz admits, “We’ve all had acne.” And sometimes it gets to be so annoying we resort to popping them. However, the aftermath is just as difficult to conceal, because even though your pimple may be gone, the nuisance leaves behind damaged skin.    

Why do we get acne scars?  

Acne scars are skin colored holes or depressions that are left behind when a pimple or cyst on your skin ruptures and leaks on to surrounding healthy tissues. Dermal tissue, which is the second layer of tissue on your skin, is destroyed by the pus that comes out of your pimple, but also by the way that your body tries to repair what happened. Because the repair process is not perfect, the body creates scar tissue instead, and that’s what your skin is left with to remember that awful past pimple.   

What do acne scars look like?

There are many different types of scars. The most common is known as an atrophic scar where the body is unable to make enough collagen to replace the skin that’s been damaged. The other scars are defined by the way the scar looks. The more common scars are called crater scars, which are wider than they are deep. The ice pick scar embodies a deep "V" in the skin, and a boxcar scar is almost the same, though it’s bottom is flat, while the walls are still vertical. There’s also the possibility of an hypertrophic scar, where the body produces more collagen than necessary, though they’re pretty uncommon.

Besides scars, dark spots also have the tendency to linger. They can be red or pink and will usually fades over time into a lighter than usual skin color, sometimes even white. They are caused by the same thing as the scars, where the body is trying to protect itself from injury.

How can acne scars be prevented and treated?

First and foremost, getting your acne in control is the best way to ensure no more breakouts. Even if you don’t pop your pimples, the inflammation behind the pimple or cyst will accumulate so much pus that it will eventually rupture, regardless of intervention. That’s when the outside skin is affected, and then no one’s happy.

If you’re already affected by acne scars, the bad news is that most at home treatments make no difference because they don’t have the ability to get the body to make new dermal tissue. But Dr. Schultz has some good news.

“There are procedures that will remove acne scars and put a smile on your face,” he said. Laser therapy, surgical repair, and filler treatments are all options that can be discussed with your dermatologist.

If you have acne prone skin, Dr. Schultz has some recommendations for products that you should add to your routine


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