There are many cultures around the world that view some form of facial scarring as a sign of beauty or as an indication that a person belongs to a particular social group, culture or society. However, for a good portion of the world, facial scarring is seen as unpleasant. It is the disfiguring result of a wound or an injury. In addition to scars caused by accidents, acne is another source of facial scars. They are the unwanted result of the body’s natural healing process. The truth is that when a person has a wound on their skin, if it is superficial, it won’t scar. Scarring happens when the dermis, a deeper layer of the skin, is affected.
Not all acne leads to acne scars. Most acne scars are caused by inflamed lesions such as cysts. These forms of acne happen because facial pores become full of oil, dead skin and bacteria. As the pore swells, the follicle wall around it deteriorates and eventually ruptures close to the skin’s surface.
Unfortunately, the break in the follicle wall is deep. The infected material in the pore spills out into the dermis, and this leads to the destruction of healthy skin tissue, which in turn leads to acne scars.
When the dermis becomes damaged, the body reacts by creating collagen fibers. Collagen is the protein that gives skin its flexibility, malleability and strength. Collagen does an excellent job at repairing damaged skin. Unfortunately, the repair job is not as smooth or as flawless as before the injury.
When the skin is damaged, the body’s healing mechanism may go into overdrive. As a result, the body produces too much collagen, which results in a mass of raised tissue on the surface of the skin. This is why some people will develop thick scars or even keloids.
Another common example of acne scars is atrophic, or depressed, scars. This happens when the damage to the dermis results in a loss of skin tissue. When it comes to acne, the best way to gauge whether or not there will be scar development is measuring the level of inflammation on the skin. The more inflammation, the higher likelihood that scarring is going to happen.
Additionally, the deeper the breakout, the higher the chances that scarring will occur. Scarring is unlikely from blackheads and whiteheads since these are non-inflamed forms of acne.
Some people think that they have an acne scar, but it’s not really a scar. Instead, it is what dermatologists refer to as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a temporary discoloration on the face and will eventually disappear on its own.
There are a lot of treatments out there that are designed to remove acne scars. However, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This means that as soon as a person begins to develop serious acne, they should consult a skilled professional at Guelph Medical Laser and Skin Centre, located in Guelph. Our dermatologist can help you get your acne under control and hopefully prevent scarring.
Additionally, you should resist the urge to pick or squeeze your pimples since this can force the infected material deeper into the dermis, leading to scarring. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to see what treatments we offer for your acne scars.